Marking Territory - Louts Celebrates 70 Years
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Lotus Marks 70th Birthday by Marking Their Territory

In a stunning new film launched today, Lotus Cars celebrates its anniversary in manufacturing outstanding sports cars, ahead of its 70th birthday event, by creating a unique logo on the test track at its HQ in Hethel. Leaving a 70–themed mark on the test track’s skidpan using just two of its most celebrated models, no CGI and more than a few pairs of tires, the precise driving required is a fitting tribute to the precision engineering that the marque is world famous for. Rather than rely on artificial aids or electronic trickery, the new video perfectly reflects Lotus’s approach to sports cars by showing the action on the day as it unfolded, with the final aerial shot proving the cars’ and drivers’ ability. Piloted by Gavan Kershaw (Head of Attributes) and Daniel Peck (Vehicle Dynamics Engineer), the duo is part of […]

VotW - MG 1100 and Indy Liquid Suspension Race
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VotW – MG 1100 and Indy Liquid Suspension Racer

Most folks who own a television set are familiar with Dennis Gage and his show My Cassic Car. Well, our video this week is from a show he shot at the McPherson College C.A.R.S. Club show. It just so happens that two of the cars he featured in this episode are a 1967 MG 1100 and a 1964 Indy car racer featuring MG 1100 liquid suspension. The cars belong to Richard Morrison who has painstakingly restored them both. The footage of these cars starts at 5:40. For the 1964 Indianapolis 500 Kjell Qvale, who imported and distributed several British Marques, asked the head of his racing department, Joe Huffaker, to build 3 cars incorporating the hydrolastic suspension from the MG 1100 Sports Sedan. The cars raced at Indy as the MG Liquid Suspension Specials in 1964 and 1965. A. J. Foyt […]

Vauxhall Heritage Centre Visit by Viceroy
Classic Cars

VotW – Vauxhall Viceroy Returns to Luton

Our video this week comes from our friends over at Take to the Road. In fact, the featured car, a Vauxhall Viceroy, belongs to the site’s own Niall Julian. He told me this about his car and the video: I own a 1982 Vauxhall Viceroy, a car that I doubt many in N America have ever heard of, despite the General Motors connection. It was a mid range luxury saloon, based on the Opel Commodore C from West Germany. The car was first registered to Vauxhall UK in Luton and a couple of weeks ago I took the Viceroy back to where its journey first started. I went to the Vauxhall Heritage Centre and also got some shots outside the factory in Luton. How could I resist a car going back to its home? In the article on Take to the Road, […]

VotW - 1975 Jaguar XJ6 Coupe - Jay Leno's Garage
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VotW – 1975 Jaguar XJ6 Coupe – Jay Leno’s Garage

In our video of the week, Christopher Glancy’s tastefully refreshed Jaguar XJ6 Coupe makes Jay Leno envious with its lack of B pillar, comfortable seats, and British racing green styling. The XJC’s, otherwise known as the XJ Coupes, are a rare two-door version of the standard four-door saloons. When Sir William Lyons began styling exercises for the new XJ models in the mid-1960’s, it was clear that he had the notion of a two-door coupe in mind for eventual production. They were first shown in 1973 at the International Motor Show when it was announced that both 4.2 liter six cylinder and 5.3 liter twelve-cylinder versions would be available for the 1974 model year. However, production was delayed until the 1975 model year due to a combination of labor disputes at the Brown’s Lane factory and engineering troubles with the coupe […]

VotW - 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 Britain’s Fervent Feline
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VotW – 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 Britain’s Fervent Feline

Our Video of the Week this go-round comes from our friends over at Petrolicious and features the story of the Jaguar XKR-15. In their “Made to Drive” episode from Januar of this year, they fold themselves into the cockpit of Jasbir Dhillon’s 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 to experience one of the rarest and rawest supercars built in the 20th century. Aimed at transferring the Le Mans-winning XJR experience to the road, just 53 examples of the XJR-15 were produced with the help of Tom Walkinshaw under the banner of Jaguar Sport, and only 27 were optioned for road use. Powered by a beautifully shrill six-liter V12, it’s a lesser-known but no less sexy staple of 1990s supercardom, and one of the finest examples of a “race car for the road,” of any decade. See the photoshoot and further info here: http://petro.li/JaguarXJR-15

VotW - Sports Car of the Year 1955-56
Classic Cars

VotW – MGA: Sports Car of the Year 1955-56

For our video of the week this time, we have an MG factory publicity video that comes to us via Pathé.  This film, Sports Car of the Year 1955-56, focuses on the newly introduced MGA. Starting with competition films from Le Mans, the Alpine Rally, and the Mille Miglia. The MGA, as most readers know, replaced the MG TF 1500 and represented a complete styling break from MG’s earlier sports cars – that styling having been developed for racing and records cars. Announced on September 26, 1955, the car was officially launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. A total of 101,081 units were sold through the end of production in July 1962, the vast majority of which were exported. Only 5869 cars were sold on the home market, the lowest percentage of any British car. While now what one would call “impartial”, […]

Classic Cars

VotW – Linwood and The Hillman Imp

Our video this week features a car you rarely see anymore, especially in the US, the Hillman Imp. The video takes a look at the production of the Hillman Imp at the plant in Linwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland. The program includes interviews with past members of the Linwood workforce. It also examines the wider workforce, trade union, management and government relationships which existed throughout much of UK manufacturing in the 1960’s and 70’s. The Hillman Imp was a small economy car made by the Rootes Group and its successor Chrysler Europe from 1963 until 1976. It was made in many different forms and in addition to the Hillman marque was also marketed as both Sunbeam and Singer. Unveiled in 1963 after much advance publicity, it was the first British mass-produced car with the engine block and cylinder head cast in aluminum.

VotW - Valve Cover Racing
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VotW – MG Vintage Valve Cover Racer

With Spring coming and car show season starting, we wanted to feature some car show activity, but maybe something a bit out of the norm. So, this week’s video features that British car show favorite rocker or valve cover racing! Yup, that’s right, our video this week comes from Doug Pelton at From The Frame Up and covers the finer points of vintage MG Rocker Racers. In valve cover racing, competitors must construct a vehicle using a valve cover from a car’s engine. In the case of British car events, the requirement is normally that this be from a British car. Additionally, the norm is that the racer must have four wheels. It can be decorated or modified within the rules set by the organizing body. The valve cover is powered by gravity. In a valve cover race, two or more racing valve covers […]

VotW - RAC Rally 1964
Classic Cars

VotW – RAC Rally 1964

Let’s hit the road! Our Video of the Week this time goes all the way back to 1964. Part of me honestly wishes that wasn’t so long ago, and part of me finds it hard to believe that 54 years have passed since then. But anyway, our video is of a RAC rally from ’64 and features some great cars. From Minis to MGBs, you will find them in this video. There is also an Austin Healey, a Rover, and a host of other cars of the period both British and non-British. One of the things that always strikes me when I watch these old films is how safety standards have changed. These days you would never get as close to the actual racing as spectators used to do. Also helmets and other protective gear just don’t figure into the […]

VotW - Starting An Engine After a Lengthy Period
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VotW – Starting An Engine After a Lengthy Period

Our Video of the Week this time comes from Moss Motors and their “magic hands”. Since winter is hopefully drawing to a close soon, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about starting up an engine that has been sitting for a while. Of course, the procedure will vary depending on where that time is just a few months or maybe a few years.  So, as always, your mileage may vary.  

VotW - Know Your Bugeye Sprites
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VotW – Know Your Bugeye Sprites

Bugeye Sprites. Who doesn’t love them? They capture all of the fun and tradition of a British Sportscar in a package that is both adorable and adaptable. You can do anything with them from take a leisurely drive in the country to run full out in vintage racing. And, as many have said, you can have more fun going 50 to 60 miles per hour in a Sprite than you can by going 120 miles per hour in a larger car. Our video this week comes from the BugyeyeGuy and goes into the identification of the differences between the very first 1958 Bugyeye and the later models.

VotW - Hydrolastic Suspension
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VotW – BMC’s Hydrolastic Suspension

Let’s get bumpy this week!  Our Video of the Week this time is going to be a Morris 1100 television commercial from New Zealand featuring the car’s hydrolastic suspension. Made for the New Zealand British Motor Corporation (BMC) distributor Dominion Motors. If you don’t know, hydrolastic suspension was used on early Minis and the full line of BMC 1100 / 1300 cars, collectively known by their factory designation of ADO16. The ADO16s include the MG 1100, Austin America, Morris 1100, Vanden Plas Princess 1100, Riley Kestrel, and many more. At this point, BMC was huge into badge engineering. Hydrolastic suspension cars, at least in this form, use liquid-filled dampers at each of the four wheels instead of shocks and springs. Those dampers, which are basically large heavy rubber bladders, are connected front-to-back by hoses. This means that when the front left […]

VotW - A Man and His Morgan
Classic Cars

VotW – A Man and His Morgan

How about something a bit more eclectic? For our Video of the Week this go-round we are going to feature some early footage with Bill Fink of Isis Imports describing his love of the Morgan car. This video also features footage of Bill in his Morgan SLR, one of 3 Morgan racing coupes built. The SLR name was actually short for Sprinzel LawrenceTune Racing, noting Lawrence’s collaboration with John Sprinzel, who is best known for creating and racing the Speedwell Sprites. The lightweight body’s rough lines were penned by Chris Spender. His design was further refined by Charlie Williams of coach-builder Williams and Pritchard. The final product looked nothing like any Morgan that came before. Isis Imports, now changing its name to Morgan Cars USA, is the work of Bill Fink.  Named for the river on which Bill rowed while at Oxford, Isis […]

New Video - History of the MGB & C by the MG Channel
Classic Cars

History of the MGB & C – New Video by the MG Channel

According to many, the last “real” MG was the MGB series which included the MGC — a very important part of the MG history. With over a half million built from 1962 thru 1980, the “B” was certainly the world’s best selling sports car until very recently being surpassed by the Mazda Miata. In this new video put out by Shelbourne Films and available on the Youtube MG channel restoration expert Tom Metcalf, North American MGB Register’s Alan Magnuson, and John Rogers of the North American MGC Register provide interesting and insightful information about these cars. In this new video put out by Shelbourne Films and available on the Youtube MG channel restoration expert Tom Metcalf, North American MGB Register’s Alan Magnuson, and John Rogers of the North American MGC Register provide interesting and insightful information about these cars.

Highlights

VotW – Last MGB Returns to Abingdon

Our video this week deals with the last production MGB made and its continued travels. On October 23rd, 1980 the very last MGB Roadster rolled off the production line at the MG Car Company in Abingdon. After a while, this final specimen ended up in The Heritage Motor Center alongside 300 other classic, vintage, and veteran British cars. In fact, The Heritage Motor Center in Gaydon is the world’s largest British sports car collection. However, recognizing the importance of MG’s to the people of Abingdon, the Center was kind enough to loan that last MGB to Abingdon County Hall Museum for an indefinite period of time. There was only one problem with the loan – the display area at the museum is on the second floor of a historic building with winding stairs and no good way to get a full-sized car, even […]

VotW - Jaguar Factory Tour 1961
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VotW – Jaguar Factory Tour 1961

In 1961, a young man takes a tour of the Jaguar factory in Coventry. He sees how the cars are built and gets a ride in a brand new XK-E. The video also features the Jaguar Mk 2 which was in its third year of production at this point, having been introduced in 1959.

VotW - Mini Cooper - Everything You Need to Know
Austin

VotW – Mini Cooper – Everything You Need to Know

Let’s look at Minis. Our Video of the Week this week is a brief history of the Mini Cooper. And in this case, we mean the class Mini Cooper, not the more modern version from BMW. The video comes from the guys over at Donut Media and is, shall we say, irreverent. To quote Donut: It’s the most Iconic British car of all time: The Mini. It was an engineering marvel that revolutionized economy car design and became a motorsport legend along the way. Join us as we explore the Mini’s rich history and design quirks that made it one of the best selling cars in the U.K.

VotW - How a Heritage MGB Door is Made
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VotW – How a Heritage MGB Door is Made

In this video we go behind the scenes at British Motor Heritage Limited, to show you the processes of manufacturing an MGB door. I knew that there were multiple layers of an MGB door but never realized how much actually goes into it. The way these reproduction doors are made in the video is exactly the same way they were made by the factory back in the day.

VotW - British Model Trains for Christmas
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VotW – British Model Train Sets for Christmas

I teased it last week but to my surprise, you reacted with encouragement so this week our Video of the Week is about British model trains. The video we have below is one part of The Joy of Train Sets. Don’t worry, the other parts are linked further down. This 2012 documentary is from BBC Four’s Timeshift series. Fully titled The Model Railway Story: From Hornby to Triang and Beyond, this documentary explores how the British have been in love with model railways for more than a century. What began as an adult obsession with building fully-engineered replicas became the iconic toy of the 1950s and 60s childhood. With unique archive and contributions from modelers such as Pete Waterman, this is a celebration of the joys of miniaturization. Just don’t call them toy trains.