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People

Champion Driver Donna Mae Mims Dies

BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. — Donna Mae Mims, the first woman to win a Sports Car Club of America national championship in 1963, has died. She was 82. Mims died Tuesday of complications following a stroke, said Aaron Beinhauer, director of Beinhauer Family Services, which is handling the arrangements. Per her wishes, Mims’ body was seated behind the steering wheel of a 1979 pink Corvette for visitation hours at the funeral home in McMurray, Pa., Beinhauer said Sunday. Known as the “Pink Lady” because of her preferred color for cars, Mims worked for Yenko Chevrolet and the company’s sports car division and started racing in 1958, according to Beinhauer Family Services. Mims’ association with the car company led her to race cars, including the Camaro, Austin Healey, MG, Corvette and Corvairs. Mims participated in the original Cannonball Run, where her 1968 Cadillac […]

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People

Frank Gardner, Motor Racing Legend, Passes

Motor sport legend and raconteur Frank Gardner never aimed to be the fastest racing driver of all time. He just wanted to be the oldest. After an international driving career blazing the circuits of Europe and Australia, surviving the most exciting yet dangerous era in the history of the sport, Gardner largely achieved his ambition and eventually retired happily with his wife Gloria on the Gold Coast, where he has died after a long illness, aged 78. The multi-talented Gardner was one of Australia’s greatest motor sport exports, winning more than 100 international races and numerous European titles as a driver, heading development programs for major manufacturers as an engineer, and taking out Australia’s biggest races as a team owner. Long-time friend, employer and rival Sir Jack Brabham said Gardner “could drive anything”, and British ace Vic Elford – who […]

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People

Three classic MGs stolen in one week

According to The Reading Chronicle, thieves have escaped with three classic cars from a garage forecourt in the space of just a week. There are fears that the MGB sports cars could have been stolen to order and have already been sold on to either an unscrupulous collector or unwitting buyers who think they have a bargain. A white MG B Roadster worth £10,000, a black MG B GT worth £4,500 and a red MG B GT worth £4,250 were all stolen from Beech Hill Garage last week. The Roadster (RJW2 00F) and black GT (SKU2 26J) were both taken between 6.15pm on Wednesday July 29 and 8.15am the next morning, and the red GT (OCK6 37K) some time between 6pm on Wednesday, July 22 and 8.15am on Monday, July 27.

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People

Peter Wheeler, TVR owner dies at age 65

Peter R. Wheeler, the former owner of the quirky sports-car maker TVR and a maverick of Britain’s car industry, died June 11 in England. He was 65. His death, after a struggle with cancer, was confirmed by Ben Samuelson, a friend of Wheeler’s family and a former TVR employee. In 1981, when Wheeler bought TVR, a maker of fast and relatively inexpensive sports cars with a passionate fan club, the only thing that linked him with TVR was that he drove one. Wheeler, a chemical engineer from Sheffield, England, with no experience in the car industry who had made his money supplying specialized equipment to the North Sea oil industry, started designing and overseeing the production of several car models, including the Tuscan and the Chimaera, which were known for their finely tuned engines and extra-light bodywork. The company then […]

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MINI

New Mini Owner’s Site

MiniMania, the supplier of parts for both classic and new Minis, has launched a new social networking site for Mini owners. MiniOwners aims to be for Mini enthusiasts what FaceBook is to … well, to the rest of the world. According to the site, “MiniOwners.com connects you with other people who share a common love for the Mini! Keep in touch with your Mini friends, and make new ones! MiniOwners.com is an expansion of the Mini Mania’s already popular forum. We’ve added new features to take it to the next level of Social Networking. Amoung the many features of MiniOwners is the ability to create your own profile page, upload images to galleries you create as well as create profiles of your cars! Create a network of friends to share your latest projects with. Post status updates to let your […]

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Corporate Business

Dom Joly stars in Made In Britain

One man… stripped of everything he owns and challenged to just buy British… Join award-winning television comedian Dom Joly on an epic road trip around Britain in an attempt to fill his house from top to bottom with British-made products in the brand new series Made In Britain. As part of this unique experiment, Dom will have his family home turned upside down and stripped of everything he owns that’s not made in the UK. He’s then challenged to go on a remarkable shopping trip, travelling the length and breadth of the country to try and replace all his foreign goods with British-made products. Before the inspectors arrive, Dom’s quaint country cottage in the Cotswolds is a safe haven for foreign merchandise: the Italian coffee machine, a television manufactured in Japan and pants made in Taiwan. In no time at […]

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Corporate Business

Doubt over jobs at MG car plant

Around a fifth of the workforce at the MG plant in Birmingham could lose their jobs, the car manufacturer has said. MG Motor UK Ltd said 30 employees were at risk of redundancy following a review and restructure of business operations at the Longbridge site. The company, previously Nanjing, said it could not make assurances of long-term employment stability for staff due to the current economic climate. Production of the MGTF sports car restarted at the factory last year. A statement from MG Motor UK said: “The unique trading conditions we are currently operating in make any assurances of long-term employment stability difficult to predict. Following a review and restructure of its business operations the company has abided by the statutory consultation process and placed a number of employees ‘at risk’ of redundancy. “MG UK has always maintained that its […]

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Classic Cars

Safety Fast! Celebrates Golden Anniversary in 2009

Safety Fast!, the MG Car Club’s iconic monthly magazine, is celebrating its Golden Anniversary in 2009. First published in April 1959 it has enjoyed 50 glorious years and continues to provide the MG Car Club’s worldwide membership with a comprehensive overview of all things MG. As a fitting tribute to the longevity of the publication, the cover image from the April 1959 edition will once again feature on the front of the April 2009 issue. To further celebrate the magazine’s Golden Anniversary, the April edition of Safety Fast! will be available to view online free of charge via the MG Car Club’s website for a four week period. Commenting on the anniversary, editor Andy Knott, said, “This is a great time to be involved with the magazine which has evolved and developed over the past 50 years into the ultimate […]

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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 […]