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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.” […]

Highlights

MINI Family Growing. Again.

While it may receive a name change before taking a bow at dealerships, the Paceman will be the seventh MINI model in showrooms, following the debut of the MINI Roadster in 2012 and the MINI Cooper Coupe this October. The Paceman is based on the same underpinnings as the MINI Countryman crossover, and will be produced in the same assembly plant in Graz, Austria. The new concept was displayed at the 2011 Autoshow in Detroit. “If MINI keeps releasing cars at their current pace, we’re going to have to expand our showroom,” said Tim Parker, general manager of New Country MINI, a Hartford, Connecticut MINI dealer. “The Paceman packs the capability of the Countryman into a sportier package, which is the right recipe for a lot of Connecticut MINI fans that want a fun ride when the weather is cooperating […]

Highlights

Team RLR and MG Head to Silverstone

Planet LeMans is reporting that boosted by a new driver and a major sponsor, Team RLR will enter the 6 Hours of Silverstone determined to impress in front of a home crowd at the penultimate round of the 2011 Le Mans Series next weekend (September 9-11). The mid-season break proved to be a productive one for the Lancashire-based squad as it added former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Warren Hughes to its line-up alongside regular drivers Barry Gates and Rob Garofall, and also confirmed famous British car brand MG Motor UK as an official sponsor. Read the complete story over at Planet LeMans.

Auctions & Sales

Auction of British Vintage Racer Estate

As reported by Bring A Trailer, an auction will be held on September 24th in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania that will liquidate the 5-acre property and British car collection of the former owner. It is rare to find such a sale that includes restored cars and vintage racers in what looks like pristine condition. They are shown parked in a finished display area with hardwood floors! Find more info and photos here via AuctionZip.com. A brief (?!) inventory listing of the auction…. Cars – 1966 Austin Healey 3000, 1962 Triumph TR4 vintage race car w/race history, Land Rover Series IIA, Morris Minor 1000, 1979 CJ5 Jeep & P/A plow, off road ATV like new buggy, Areins 14 hp Hydrostatic garden tractor & cart; Lucas items; hundreds of  vintage oil cans & oil & gas station items; British car parts; grill badges & rally plates; […]

Classic Cars

Frontline Drags MGB Into 21st Century

This in from the TopGear site…  To be honest, the presenters weren’t that impressed with the new MG6 during the show on Sunday. Or its recycled-racing-horse badge adhesive. However, this latest old-car-new-tech offering from Frontline Developments seems like a valiant use of the brand. And a rather more affordable alternative to the Eagle Speedster. Each car uses a new British Motor Heritage MGB shell, into which Frontline shoves a 2012 2-litre VVC MX-5 engine. It’s got billeted con-rods and crankshaft, forged fully-skirted and Teflon-coated pistons and it’s been hopped up with a 45mm direct injection throttle body and closed-loop Lamda set up. That equates to 215bhp and 170lb ft at 4000rpm. That means 240bhp per ton (it only weighs 900kg). 240bhp. IN AN MGB! But don’t worry, the sixties shell’s been uprated to cope with the 130bhp power boost (the B […]

Highlights

Land Rover Considering Grande Evoque

While Mercedes calls its cars “uber” internally when they want to give them steroids, the British marketing teams at Land Rover are currently considering a “Grande Evoque”, which will fill the gap in the lineup between the compact Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. Once again, this is a car that’s being analyzed from a marketing point of view first and then from an automotive perspective, but we’ll let it slide because we like the new design direction the British firm has. According to Autocar, inside sources say that a final conclusion on whether to give the go-ahead or not is close to being reached. Land Rover wants to bridge the gap in price between the range-topping Evoque and the entry-level Sport. The Grande Evoque could be a five-door machine that takes the recently introduced shape and blows […]

Highlights

Robbie Williams Can’t Drive

Robbie Williams has admitted he still can’t drive a car at the age of 37. The British singer struggles to get around Los Angeles, where he lives with wife Ayda Field, because he has never passed his driving test. He said: “I don’t have a driver’s licence. In London you just don’t drive because the traffic is terrible, so you get cabs to go everywhere, which has left me being 37 and still without a driver’s licence in Los Angeles.” Although he can’t drive, the Take That star – who has teamed up with country music star Bob Paisley to record ‘Collision of Worlds’ for the forthcoming ‘Cars 2’ movie – is fascinated by cars and loves watching motor racing on television. In an interview organised by Disney and posted on Robbie’s official website, he said: “We have Formula 1 […]

Monterey Poster 2011 - Jaguar E-Type
Classic Cars

Artwork Pays Tribute to Jaguar E-Type 50th Anniversary

The speed and elegance of one of motoring’s iconic cars of all time — the sleek Jaguar E-Type — reveals itself as the inspiration for the official poster art of the 2011 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Jaguar is this year’s featured marque and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E-Type at the annual gathering of historic race and sports cars to be held August 19-21 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Monterey Classic Car Week. Renowned artist Bill Patterson, who is the official artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, says the E-Type is true art on wheels. “Having fallen in love with racing and fast cars in the ’60s, the E-Type represented the perfect blend of design, technology, performance and sex appeal. It still looks fantastic today, 50 years after it was first produced. And to have been […]

Corporate Business

MINI Production Plan is Second Lift

A beleaguered British motor industry delivered its second boost to the economy in as many days yesterday as BMW announced plans to build its next generation Mini in country. The German car giant said it will make a fresh investment of £500 million to build the new Mini coupe and Mini Roadster models in the UK. The news followed an announcement on Wednesday by Nissan that it was investing £192m to build the next version of its Qashqai model in Britain. Both announcements safeguard thousands of jobs. Business leaders, unions and the government welcomed the development, which the Prime Minister said was a “tremendous vote of confidence” in BMW’s UK workforce. The Mini coupe will be launched later this year and the Mini Roadster in 2012, both produced in Oxford, where more than two million Minis have been built since […]

Highlights

Lotus To Build Own V6 and V8 Engines

Lotus is doing a bit of rearranging in their kitchen now that plans for the Elan sports car have been placed on the backburner. Apparently, the British manufacturer is using the money that had been set aside for the Elan to develop their very own lineup of V6 and V8 engines. During an interview, Project Boss Dany Bahar said: “This is a big [financial] hit because it’s expensive to do 
an engine,” says Bahar. “But 
because the Elan is not happening now we have got capital expenditure headroom 
for engine development.” The first engine cooking is a V8 that will set up the competition for Ferrari’s V8 engine as seen in the 458 Italia. The new Lotus V8 will deliver between 550 – 570 HP and will undergo testing in July 2011. It will be dropped in the new Esprit […]

Corporate Business

Over £3 Million In Orders For New MG

Longbridge’s first all-new MG for 16 years has drummed up over £3 million of business in just two weeks – with 180 cars sold. The MG6 has got off to a flying start since the official VIP launch in April, with buyers facing a waiting list of up to six weeks as dealers cope with a flood of orders for new MG model. Sales of the new MG6 follow the relaunch of volume car-making at the Birmingham car factory six years on from the collapse of MG Rover in April 2005, when 6,500 jobs were lost. MG Motor UK PR and Events Manager Doug Wallace said the Chinese-backed company was delighted with the response to the MG6, which sells for between £15,495 and £18,995. “The value of MG6 GT fastbacks sold or ordered is just over £3 million – we […]

Highlights

Art Deco and British Car Design

You may think of the French as producing the most strikingly streamlined cars of the 1930s, in lyric teardrop bodies hammered out with doses of Italian style and German science. But in his book “Art Deco and British Car Design: The Airline Cars of the 1930s“, Barrie Down reminds us that streamline design was the rage among car buffs everywhere in the ’30s, even in upright, country-house, Evelyn Waugh Britain. Mr. Down reminds us that at the same time streamline cars were going on the market, ocean liners and trains were being streamlined, the better to compete with the nascent airline industry. His book also reminds us that the automobile industry of the time in Britain had yet to embrace mass production. Cars were sold to the few, and the sellers were coachbuilders as much as chassis or engine makers. […]

Corporate Business

Jaguar Land Rover Profits Rise Above One Billion Pounds

The company, which only two years ago attempted to seek Government support as global car sales collapsed, said pre-tax profits rose from £15m last year to £1.1bn in the year to March 31. The increase has been driven by a huge rise in Jaguar and Land Rover sales in China and emerging markets, where the middle classes see the British cars as a status symbol. JLR sales rose 51pc in the year from £6.6bn to £9.9bn, which was also aided by new models such as the Jaguar XJ and favourable foreign exchange rates. “Jaguar Land Rover is now a strong, profitable and innovative competitor in the premium car industry,” said Carl-Peter Forster, chief executive of JLR’s parent company Tata Motors. Indian company Tata bought JLR from Ford in 2008, but initially suffered heavy losses as the recessions struck. Read the […]