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Aston Martin

New Aston Martin Heritage Showroom in London

Having opened a new facility in Goldhawk Road, West London this week, Nicholas Mee & Co says it is the first ever high-street, officially endorsed, Aston Martin Heritage showroom. The company was established 21 years ago and held a party to celebrate the opening, with guests including Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez and Director of Works Service and Parts Operations, Kingsley Riding-Felce. Riding-Felce said: “Aston Martin takes its heritage very seriously, and it is crucial that current and prospective owners of our Heritage models are able to receive the kind of levels of service and specialist knowledge that is expected of the Aston Martin brand. “Up until now our heritage network has not had such prominence in London and it is wonderful to see Nicholas and his team investing so heavily in the future of Aston Martin’s Heritage business.” […]

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Classic Cars

Historic Cars To Display at Gaydon

A wealth of unseen historic British cars could soon be on display at the Heritage Motor Centre after a trust based there received a lottery cash boost. The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £2.5 million project to create a new building to store and display the Trust’s reserve collection of historic British cars, at the Gaydon centre. Funding of £51,100 has been awarded to help the Trust progress their plans to apply for a full grant in 2012. If two more rounds are awarded building work on the new project could begin in 2013. The Trust has a collection of almost 300 cars, telling the story of the motor industry in Britain from the 1890s to the present and although more than 160 of these vehicles can be seen […]

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Highlights

MG6 Magnette Sports Saloon Road Test

Trying to break into a new marketplace is never easy – and it’s a damn site harder when it’s the ultra-competitive car market. That, though, is effectively what MG is trying to do as the company’s Chinese owners return to the table with the first new models to wear the MG badge in 16 years. Their task is made even harder by the history involved here. The messy demise of the previous company cost the brand a lot of the goodwill and then there was the, perhaps understandable, scepticism as the Far Eastern conglomerates stepped in to pick over the wreckage. However, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation seem to be taking the right steps to woo the army of MG followers back. They have set up their UK headquarters in what is retained of the Longbridge plant, which had become […]

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Corporate Business

MG Names Top Open-Points

MG has exclusively revealed to Car Dealer Magazine the 10 most important towns and cities it wants to find new dealers for. The UK car manufacturer, which was relaunched in 2008 with the backing of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, wants to establish showrooms in the following eight locations in England: Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Northampton, Swindon and South London. The firm, which has recently launched a new range of models that have been designed and engineered at its 69-acre site in Longbridge, Birmingham, also wants to establish outlets in Glasgow and Edinburgh. MG’s list of potential dealership locations also includes more than 20 medium-priority locations, including Brighton, Exeter and Guildford in the south of England, and Blackpool, Burnley and Carlisle further north. And at the bottom of the list are six low-priority spots, including in England, Barnstaple; in Wales, […]

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Corporate Business

MG Motor UK Appoints GMAC

MG Motor UK Ltd has selected GMAC UK plc, a subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc., to be its preferred retail financing provider in the UK for manufacturer programmes and standard rate finance. GMAC UK will provide financing to MG customers under the MG Financial Services brand. Guy Jones, sales and marketing director of MG Motor UK, said: “GMAC is a trusted financing source in the industry. As a company with extensive experience, resources and capabilities in the UK market, GMAC will support our brand and help us grow our business. This important development allows us to offer a competitive range of retail finance products for the new MG6 GT, Magnette and following models.” “We are extremely pleased to enter this new retail relationship with MG in the UK,” commented Ed Paulat, GMAC UK managing director.  “We look forward to working […]

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Aston Martin

‘The Persuaders’ TV Material Discovered

Exciting new material about the filming of ‘The Persuaders’ TV series has been uncovered in the Archives of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (based at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, near Warwick) during a major re-cataloguing project. ‘The Persuaders’ celebrates its 40th Anniversary having debuted on British TV in September 1971. The stars of the show were Sir Roger Moore and the late Tony Curtis, who drove an Aston Martin DBS and a Ferrari Dino 246 GT respectively. Sir Roger Moore was re-united with the actual Aston Martin DBS used at a recent event, to commemorate the anniversary and the release of the series on Blu-ray DVD. Photographs, film production records and correspondence relating to this classic Seventies TV series have come to light in the personal collection of the late Roger Stowers. Roger Stowers worked at Aston […]

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Classic Cars

Heritage Motor Collections Centre Gets Funding

There’s been a great deal of excitement at the Heritage Motor Centre this week as it’s been announced that they have received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a new Museum Collections Centre project. This project will enable people to see the whole collection for the first time in a purpose-built facility that will also include a vehicle restoration and conservation workshop. The Centre has been awarded a first round pass by the HLF along with funding of £51,100 to help them develop plans to apply for a full grant in 2012. The complete project is expected to cost around £2.5 million. If second round funding is awarded and match funding is also obtained, building work on the new project could begin in 2013. Keep an eye here and on their website for future announcements.

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Classic Cars

BMH Completes 100th E-Type Bonnet

As the 50th anniversary of the incomparable Jaguar E-Type draws to a close, British Motor Heritage (BMH) has been celebrating an E-Type milestone of its own – the production of its 100th replacement bonnet. Best known for the manufacture of replacement bodyshells and individual panels for the MGB, MGR V8, MG Midget, Austin Healey Sprite, Triumph TR6 and original Minis etc, BMH these days also produces bonnets for the Series 1, 2 and 3 Jaguar E-Types. Supplied exclusively to Unipart Jaguar Classic and distributed by Jaguar Classic Parts, the bonnets are manufactured using the original Jaguar tooling and the 100th one (that for a Series 1 model) was completed on September 11 by Stephen Fry, Martin Pollard, Alan Stacey and Dave Jeffs, who between can boast over 40 years’ service to BMH. The E-Type bonnet is just one of a […]

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Classic Cars

Celebration of Morris Minor

Morris Minor enthusiasts from Ireland and the Netherlands joined British motoring fans to celebrate the history of the icon. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the one millionth Morris Minor rolling off the production line. To celebrate the million mark, 350 bright lilac models were produced and 10 of the special cars took part in Sunday’s rally. Enthusiasts travelled from far and wide to be part of the event, which took the cars from Steeple Aston to Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire. Oxfordshire was chosen for the event because the car was produced at the Cowley car plant. It was 40 years ago the last Morris Minor was built in this country. Denis Lynch, 69, owns one of the limited edition Minors and travelled from West Limerick in Ireland to be part of the event. He said, “I am a Minor […]

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Corporate Business

MG Sales Centre Opens At UK’s Birmingham Plant

A new sales centre will open at MG Motor UK’s Birmingham plant, the event will be marked with a Macmillan Coffee Morning and a weekend of celebrations. The MG Sales Centre will open on 30th September 2011, coinciding with the final stages of ‘The Great British Charity Test Drive’, which has seen fleets of the latest MG cars tour the country to raise cash and support Macmillan cancer Support and Help for Heroes. The opening of the MG Sales Centre will see one of the biggest Macmillan coffee mornings ever held, with a number of VIPs and the press invited. MG employees and their families will be taking part in an afternoon of activities such as face painting, children’s entertainment, bouncy castles and a miniature farm will be available for children to pet a number of small animals. Employees will […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Knocks Off Apple

Despite its unprecedented success and staggering popularity the world over, Apple’s iPhone is no longer Britain’s coolest brand, having been knocked off the top spot of the ‘Cool Brands index’ by Aston Martin. The influential survey is made up of 2,000 consumers and a panel of 35 designers, style magazine editors, and website executives, who have deemed Aston Martin vehicles as Britain’s most desirable product — pushing the iPhone into second place. The desire to own an Aston Martin vehicle is believed to have been fueled by James Bond, who can be seen driving a whole host of the company’s vehicles in the films. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the car manufacturer still maintains its appeal, according to the survey, while cutting edge technology — such as the iPhone — struggles to keep up. For the full story, read […]

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Highlights

Update: New Jensen Interceptor to be Built in Coventry

A new version of the Jensen Interceptor sports car is to be built in Coventry, the former home of British car manufacturing. CPP Global Holdings will be using Jaguar’s former Browns Lane site to engineer, develop and build the vehicle. The Interceptor was originally built between 1966 and 1976. A team of Coventry-based designers have completed the design of the new Interceptor for the Jensen brand owners, Healey Sports Cars Switzerland Ltd. CPP hope to start the delivery of the new car in 2014. The public unveiling of the Interceptor is planned for late 2012; however no prices or annual production numbers have been announced, though its rarity could push up car insurance rates for the vehicle. Brendan O’Toole, founder and co-owner of CPP, told the BBC: “I started my career by restoring bodies and components for classic British sports […]

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Classic Cars

New Jensen Interceptor

Another retro sports car is being revived. The Jensen Interceptor was a British V8-engined coupe built between 1966 and 1976, and these official pictures show how a modern interpretation of the elegant GT will look when it gets its public unveiling in late 2012, before going on sale in 2014. CPP, a Coventry-based coachbuilder and owner of Spyker sports cars, has won the contract to engineer, develop and build the new Jensen Interceptor from the brand’s Swiss owners, Healey Sports Cars. Based on an all-new aluminium platform with aluminium bodywork, the newcomer will be extremely light for its size. It will use the same four-seat layout as the original and features many of its forerunner’s design cues – including the wraparound rear screen, vents behind the front wheel and quad headlights. Annual production numbers and pricing are yet to be […]

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Highlights

British Sports Cars

The spirit of the British sports car tradition is reflected in the aesthetics of Schlegelmilch’s photography and in Lehbrink’s knowledgeable text in British Sports Cars. I am not sure whether to classify this book as a coffee table book because of the beautiful photography or a reference book due to the exhaustive cataloging of the cars and their features. Whichever way you go though, the works is both fascinating and of very hight quality. Without reading a word, I can sit and stare at the imagery for ages. Of the authors, this is said, “There is a persistent rumour that Rainer Schlegelmilch’s birth was initiated on the back seat of a Mercedes Benz 170V. Whether or not this is the source of his ongoing affinity to anything that has four wheels, his fascination with cars is vividly expressed in his […]

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Caterham

Michael Caine is Set to Live a Life Long Dream

Michael Caine is set to live a life long dream at Rockingham on Sunday after agreeing a deal which will see him compete in the final three rounds of this year’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Having held talks with manager of the Airwaves Motorbase team Dave Bartrum last month, a package was agreed between the pair earlier this month to run a third car in the team for the 42 year old from Newmarket in the closing three rounds. It will not be the first time that car salesman Caine has taken to the track in one of the team’s Ford Focus cars having jumped into one at Snetterton last month, when competing against the world’s fastest ice cream van. “It is something that I have always wanted to do ever since I became involved in motor racing,” said […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Still Contemplating IPO

The revival of the IPO market, when it comes, will give James Bond fans a chance to own a slice of British luxury car maker Aston Martin and could generate enough funds for the group to revive its famous Lagonda brand. “It’s clear that at some point investors holding equity in an independent company need to devise an exit, and this exit is an IPO that we will do when the time is right,” Chief Executive Ulrich Bez told Reuters on Tuesday. “Aston Martin is working on achieving a valuation comparable to a luxury goods maker.” Ford Motor Co (F.N) sold Aston Martin for 479 million pounds ($756 million) in March 2007, to a consortium led by David Richards — former Formula 1 Benetton and BAR racing boss — as well as two Kuwaiti funds. In an interview at the […]

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Corporate Business

MG Takes Center Stage in Nigeria

Renowned British automobile brand, MG has joined the growing number of automobile brands in the country courtesy of Coscharis Motors, a leading automobile marketing company which also represents BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar and Ford, in Nigeria. Presenting the MG models to members of the Nigerian Motoring Press over the weekend in their Victoria Island Lagos office, Mrs. Helen Alechenu, Deputy General Manager Coscharis Motors described the MG as typical British brand, through manufactured in China by SAIC Motors. According to her, “The MG, as the best representative of the United Kingdom automobile industry, has significant leverage in the United States Sports Car Market, hence MG brand history is the Chronicle of the world automobile industry.” The Deputy General Manager who ones had a stint in the BMW, Land Rover and Ford sections of the Coscharis Auto Group, explained that the […]

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Highlights

Details of Eterniti Hemera Emerge

The first pictures of the Eterniti Hemera have been released by the start-up British company before the ‘super SUV’ makes its debut at the Frankfurt motor show. The images are of a prototype, and appear to show that the car is based on a Porsche Cayenne, as the car shares many of the dimensions and details of the German 4×4. A statement from London-based Eterniti claims that the car will bring “new levels of luxury and performance to the SUV segment” and the company also claims it will have a top speed in excess of 180mph. This will come from a claimed power output of “over 620bhp”. The brand says the car will also offer “a limousine-like rear cabin, including twin electric reclining seats, iPads and a drinks chiller” for those that want to be driven rather than take the […]

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Corporate Business

Two Millionth MINI Rolls Off the Line

Mini has celebrated the two millionth car rolling off the production line with prime minister David Cameron driving the vehicle at the car’s Oxfordshire plant. The iconic British vehicle began production ten years ago following a successful relaunch and a large amount of public anticipation. Over 1.5 million cars have been exported by Mini, owned by BMW, while the company’s latest expansion plans to cater for the latest generation of the vehicles takes it total UK investment to £1.5 billion. “The two millionth Mini to be made here in Oxford is a fantastic symbol of the UK’s strength in the global automotive industry,” said the prime minister, adding that the car represents a great British manufacturing success story. Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW board member responsible for production, added: “The most essential factors in the success of Mini are the skills, passion […]

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Classic Cars

World’s Most Ridiculous Hybrid

UK auto site Autoblog.com has a great, and hilarious, story on what must me one of the oddest match-ups since Oscar and Felix in the Odd Couple. Actually, I guess this predates them, but you get the point! What we have then is a hybrid Jaguar Morris Minor Traveller. Well, to be precise, a Jaguar XK120 Morris Minor Traveller; that is also probably full of fur. The car was created to haul the owner’s dogs. To make matters even worse, they named the car the “Foxbat”. What? What the heck is a “foxbat”? Quoting from the original article, “it was stitched together by chemist and Jaguar enthusiast/butcher Geoffrey Stevens. To give him some credit, it’s claimed the XK was in pretty horrendous condition when he started, so he’s done a decent job making the front end look good, at least.” […]