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People

TVR Founder Trevor Wilkinson

Trevor Wilkinson, the founder of TVR, the small British carmaker known for nimble little sports cars that early owners often assembled from a kit, died Wednesday in Minorca, Spain. He was 85. His death was confirmed by Marshall Moore, president of the TVR Car Club of North America. The soft-spoken Mr. Wilkinson built his first car in 1947 as a race special and incorporated TVR Engineering (later simply TVR) the next year. The company name was a shortened version of his first name.

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Corporate Business

Another Manufacturer Sold

Yes, another famous name in the manufacture of British cars has been sold – although this time on a much smaller scale. Model railway maker Hornby is continuing its expansion in the hobby market by buying up toy-car firm Corgi. Hornby, which originally made its name with model railways, paid £7.5 million for the model car firm, which though originally a British brand was owned by a US company. “We are pulling together the hobby elements of the British toy industry,” Hornby chief executive Frank Martin told the Guardian. The firm also owns Scalextric, a brand that has been making a come back with Formula 1 and film tie-ins. It has also bought plastic model firm Airfix and Humbrol paints. Martin hopes to use the formula that has worked for Scalextric for the Corgi models, hoping that not only will […]

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Corporate Business

Geoff Polites, CEO of Land Rover and Jaguar, Dead at 60

DEARBORN, Mich., April 20, 2008 – Geoff Polites, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover, has died peacefully in his home country of Australia. He was 60. Mr. Polites, who is credited with leading the team that returned the Jaguar Land Rover business back to profitability and successfully steering it through its ongoing sale process to Tata Motors, had been battling serious illness for the past two years. “Geoff’s untimely passing robs his family and friends of a man who was a real inspiration to us all,” said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company. “His drive and determination, combined with his clear sense of vision for the business, played a huge role in turning round the business at Jaguar Land Rover and returning it to profitability. Geoff ensured that Jaguar Land Rover was not distracted and […]

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Corporate Business

Cabinet Replacing Jaguars With Prius?

While I am as green as the next person, or maybe even more so, this just seems wrong on so many levels. The British cabinet is debating replacing their Jaguars with the hybrid Prius. As the Financial Times reports, “Gordon Brown’s cabinet clashed yesterday over whether to replace British-built ministerial cars with Japanese Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles, amid new evidence that the government is failing to live up to its green rhetoric. John Hutton, the business secretary, led the criticism of the plan to import more cars from Japan rather than use traditional British vehicles, saying it sent out a bad signal to domestic manufacturers.” Sad, very sad. You can read the full article at the Financial Times site.

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People

Stirling Moss to Host TV Series

He won 66 grands prix and was runner-up for the world championship four times in his brief racing career. Sir Stirling Moss is a motor sport legend — so who better to narrate a British TV series on car racing? Roary the Racing Car may not be the type of story Moss is used to telling, but the 78-year-old says he has had a lot of fun being the voice-over man for the new children’s show. “My agent called me, about two years ago, I think it was, and asked if I wanted to narrate a kids’ show,” he says. “At first I thought they (the kids) won’t even know who I am, they don’t know my name as the show is aimed at kids who are two to six years old. But he said their grandparents would hear (my) […]

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Aston Martin

British Marques Top List of Dream Cars

Almost three quarters of UK consumers would buy British if given a £100,000 budget to spend on a new car, according to new research from online insurance company swiftcover.com. Sweeping aside their German and Italian rivals, British marques emerge as unanimous favorites amongst UK car buyers, with 69 per cent claiming they would opt for a British brand if they had the money to do so. Topping the ‘Dream Car’ list with almost a quarter of the votes is Aston Martin (24%), followed by Range Rover (19%), Bentley (16%) and Rolls Royce (10%). German and Italian luxury marques faired badly by comparison – with just one per cent opting for a Lamborghini, 9 per cent for a Ferrari, 9 per cent for a Porsche and 2 per cent for a Maserati. The top ten swiftcover.com “Dream Cars” for 2008 are: […]

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People

Passed On – Brian Griffin

It is with regret we have to inform you of the sad passing of Brian Griffin. Brian passed away in Cheltenham Hospital during the early hours of Sunday 5th January after a short illness. Over the years Brian’s contribution to the British Car Industry, especially the MG marque, has been truly enormous. Starting in1960 with the British Motor Corporation where he served a five-year apprenticeship at Longbridge he remained with the company in all it’s guises until the closure of MG Rover, and MG Sport and Racing, After this Brian remained active around the MG scene and with his wife Marion, ran their own business, X Power Products. He always had a smile on his face and time to talk. So many times Brian has made the seemingly impossible happen for MG and he will be greatly missed by all […]