VotW - The Letter - With Love From Land Rover
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VotW – The Letter – With Love From Land Rover

Our video this week is a kind of birthday card love letter from Land Rover. I have to admit that I am a sap for these kinds of videos, and yes, I have been known to cry during Hallmark commercials. Seems this video, though nothing to do with Christmas, is perfect for this holiday week and remembering our families and the good times. The Land Rover Experience centre in Solihull recently welcomed a very special guest. Geoff, a lifelong Land Rover fan, celebrated his 80th birthday with a special surprise organized by Land Rover and his daughter. Getting behind the wheel of our latest vehicles, Geoff got some tips on off-roading from Phil Jones, our Land Rover Experience instructor. The surprises didn’t stop there as Mike Bishop, Product Manager of Land Rover Reborn, brought along a very special vehicle. Watch […]

Classic Cars

VotW – The House of Rolls-Royce, Chapter I: The Spirit of Ecstasy

Our Video of the Week this week comes by way of Rolls-Royce. The House of Rolls-Royce premieres the first in a series of fascinating short films today, telling how it became the world’s leading and most respected luxury house. Kate Winslet, the Academy Award winning actress, will give voice to the Spirit of Ecstasy in this first film for the House of Rolls-Royce as she retells luxury’s most fascinating and enduring story. The British actress will recount the story of the muse that guides the world’s most celebrated luxury house.

VotW - Classic British Cars in America
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VotW – British Cars in America

Our Thanksgiving Video of the Week (VotW) comes to us by way of the fine Canadian folks of Men & Motors. Titled “Classic British Cars in America”, this is obviously a subject we can all be thankful for. In this video from just over three years ago,  the M&M folks make their way to English Motors in Macomb, Michigan, which I believe is now closed, to look at some great British cars and talk about the fascination Americans have with them. Adrian Bell is in Detroit, Michigan talking about classic British cars. He meets British car enthusiast Sue Snyder who shows him her 1980 MG MGB which she has owned since it was new, plus Don Ensloe shows Adrian around his car garage which specialises in maintaining and restoring British cars for their American owners.

VotW - The Standard Triumph Story
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VotW – The Standard Triumph Story

Our video of the week this time is a preview of an amazing new DVD set, The Standard Triumph Story, that I was given the honor of reviewing. This is two DVD set with over 230 minutes of footage on the history of Standard Triumph from the early days to the very end. Yup, it’s almost four hours in total so it’s a rather extensive look at one of Britain’s most beloved producers of cars. It is crammed full of great interviews with the men who were responsible for the cars in the factory, on the racetrack, and just about everywhere else in between.

VotW - Dual S.U. Carburetor Tuning
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VotW – Dual S.U. Carburetor Tuning

For our Video of the Week this go round I want to go back to something that gives folks a lot of headaches – tuning a dual S.U. carburetor setup. We are also going back to an old friend for this, John Twist of University Motors. While this video specifically addresses the HIF4 carbs of the MGB, the same basic principals of tuning and balancing apply to all dual SU setups. We covered the basic theory and operation of the S.U. side drafts in the past, but this video is more specific to their actual tuning. [Corrected, see below] By the way, do you know what the “I” in the “HIF” stands for?  It means “integrated”, as in the float bowl is in-line with the carburetor itself, in this case directly under it. If the float bowl is to the side […]

VotW - Racing Legends - Stirling Moss
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VotW – Racing Legends Sir Stirling Moss

For our video of the week, we have uncovered a great one. Sir Patrick Stewart hosts this documentary where he spends time with motorsports legend Sir Stirling Moss in order to discover and learn more about the great man and his life. Not much we can really add to this one other than if you are a Stirling Moss fan, and who isn’t, make sure to check out the new biography from Philip Porter, “Stirling Moss: A Definitive Biography – Volume 1“.

Allard J2X - Video of the Week
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VotW – Allard J2X

Our Video of the Week the Wednesday features a car we don’t talk about often, in fact, I don’t think we have ever mentioned an Allard here before.  And that is quite a shame actually, as they were handsome cars that combined British style with American power into a fearsome competitor. This video on the rare Allard J2X comes via the folks at Fifth Gear. Although made in England with a Cadillac powerplant, the Allard was always aimed at the American market. Production began in 1949 and lasted no more than a decade.  For a few short post-war years an Allard was often the car to beat, but by mid-1950s Allard found it difficult to keep with the ever more sophisticated products of larger rival manufacturers and in 1959 finally stopped making cars. These days, there are probably more Allard replicas […]

VotW - National Triumph car convention attracts hundreds
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VotW – National Triumph car convention attracts hundreds

Our Video of the Week this time actually isn’t from YouTube! I know, amazing isn’t it? It is actually from the KXII Channel 12 television news station in Texas, and is a video of the 2016 Vintage Triumph Register National Convention. Quoting the story, which can be found in its entirety here, Triumph car owners from all over gathered at Tanglewood Resort this week for the 2016 Vintage Triumph Register National Convention. Dave Pilcher, who helped organize the convention, said he hasn’t met a stranger. “I met a guy today from England who drove my car over to the airport for me – and I just met him,” said Pilcher. “We’re all one big family.” Pilcher said he owns four Triumph cars, all of which he brought to share with 250 people. Eight even came from England all the way […]

VotW - Singer Nine Sports 1933
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VotW – Singer Nine Sports 1933

The subject of our Video of the Week this week is a Singer Nine from 1933. The Singers are cars that most people don’t know much about, if they know they exist at all. And yes, cue the sewing machine jokes. And the confusion that they are not MGs. Singers are gorgeous and fascinating cars in their own right with their own storied history. This example is a 1933 Nice Sport. To quote the video, Singer’s first sports car was introduced at the end of 1932. It featured cut-away doors, louvered bonnet and scuttle and distinctive helmet-type front wings. Under the bonnet was the classic 972cc single overhead camshaft engine and close ratio four-speed gear box making it especially suited to trials work. A Sports Nine achieved a notable success in June 1933 at the Le Mans 24 hour race. […]

VotW - Camel Trophy Land Rover Years
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VotW – Camel Trophy Land Rover Years

Our Video of the Week this time around focuses on The Camel Trophy and the Land Rover participation in that event. The Camel Trophy was held yearly from 1980 and 2000 was an extremely challenging off-road trial. Quoting from the Wikipedia entry on the Camel Trophy … The Camel Trophy began in 1980 with a transit of the Trans-Amazonian highway, subsequent events have been called “the Olympics of 4×4”. They were all about adventure and exploration. Over the next eight years, the expeditions crossed Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, Zaire, Brazil, Borneo, Australia, Madagascar (the first north-south crossing) and Sulawesi before returning to the Amazon. These grueling tests of human endurance brought together teams from around the world in the hope of triumphing in some of the most treacherous off-road conditions imaginable. Teamwork and camaraderie were crucial. The competitive element came […]

VotW - 1954 MGTF at Palmer Motorsports Park
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VotW – 1954 MGTF at Palmer Motorsports Park

Our Video of the Week this go-round comes from the vintage racing circuit. Vintage racing is great, and classic British sportscar racing is even better. So take a look at the new racing course in Palmer, Massachusetts, from the view of George Pardee racing his MGTF there. For a brief overview of historic MG racing, make sure to check out the MG Vintage Racers website. We were unable to get to Waterford Hills, but did try out the spectacular new course at Palmer, MA with VSCCA/VRG. The video from our street equipped TF1250 stars Peter Ross and Jim Warren (MGA) two true gentleman drivers, and features a brilliant start by Mark Sherman. — George & Nick Pardee This video is from the The Whiskey Hill Classic at in July of 2016.

What it means to own an MGB or TRIUMPH SPITFIRE
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VotW – Owning a Triumph Spitfire or MGB

Our video this week is a quick, very quick, look at what it means to own a Triumph Spitfire or MGB. Both of the people and cars in this video are unique, but even with the choices and differences, they hit upon some of the common threads of classic British sportscar ownership. I will admit to finding this video interesting partially for the reason that I have both an MGB and a Spitfire in the stable at the moment. The Spitfire is my daily driver and the MGB is undergoing a very slow version of a restoration. In a short period of time, with either car, you become intimately familiar with their quirks, charm, and personalities. And yes, unlike a lot of modern cars, the little roadsters have a ton of personality and no two – even of same year […]

VotW - Triumph Stag British Leyland Training Video
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VotW – Triumph Stag British Leyland Training Video

Compiled from the original 35mm filmstrip and vinyl LP record soundtrack, this is a training film from 1970 which introduces the BL salesmen to the new Triumph Stag. Well, new to 1970. I love using our video of the week to look back at how cars were viewed in the period versus how we think of them now. OK, I will admit that it is also fun to view the world pre-PowerPoint. Even though Time lists the Stag as one of the “50 Worst Cars of All-Time“, I have always liked them. And, they have a pretty good following these days. The issues can be sorted out these days, the wrongs set right, and then you have a very stylish, comfortable, touring sports-car. Sure, the Stag should have gotten the Rover V8 that went into so many other cars of […]

VotW - Six-Cylinder Austin Healey versus Triumph TR6
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VotW – Six-Cylinder Austin Healey versus Triumph TR6

Our video this week represents a comparison of classic British six-cylinder roadsters – the ‘big’ Austin Healey 100/6 versus the Triumph TR6. My only wish is that the MGC were included in this matchup. Yes, there were other six-packs out there, most notable may be the Jaguar E-Type. But, it was always in a different league than the common-man roadsters of Healey, Triumph, and MG. This video, coming by way of AutoWeek, features European spec cars which were a bit different, especially in fuel delivery, than their US shipped counterparts. Oh, and yes, the video starts off in non-English, but most of it is actually in English. So stick with it. Plus the visuals are beautiful.

William Medcalf featured in stunning Petrolicious film Living Life as a Bentley Boy
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VotW – William Medcalf – Living Life as a Bentley Boy

World-renowned vintage Bentley specialist William Medcalf is proud to be the subject of one of the latest films to be released by celebrated film-maker and car magazine Petrolicious. The evocative film perfectly captures the spirit of William Medcalf and gives an insight into what drives his passion for vintage Bentleys while entertaining the viewer with fantastic cinematography that shows exactly how these cars are best used. The 10-minute piece was filmed in the beautiful Sussex countryside, in the areas surrounding William Medcalf’s workshop and headquarters in Liss. This area not only provides the perfect driving roads but also shows England at its very best. William tells the story behind his life-long passion for vintage Bentleys, and how he feels the cars should be driven today. “Anything with wheels should be raced. Everything with wheels should be driven to the limit,” […]

VotW - Unipower GT
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VotW – Unipower GT

Our video this week is of a rarely heard of, and even less seen, Mini-based beast, the Unipower GT. Not a kit, but a true production sports car in the vein of TVR and Marcos. To quote Wikipedia, because I honestly didn’t know much about the cars… The Unipower GT was a British specialist sports car first shown at the January 1966 Racing Car Show, and produced by truck maker Universal Power Drives Ltd in Perivale, Middlesex and later by U.W.F. Automotive in London until production ceased in early 1970, by which time around 71 cars are believed to have been made, including about 15 built by U.W.F. Originally the brainchild of Ernie Unger and Attila sports racing car designer Val Dare Bryan in the early 1960s the design of Unipower GT was actually said to have been penned by […]

VotW - 1977 Triumph 2500S
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VotW – 1977 Triumph 2500S

In their latest video, our friends over at Take to the Road test drive a fine example of one of the last big Triumph saloons, a 1977 Triumph 2500S. This car came up at Classic Central Auctioneers May sale and they had great fun driving it. Watch their film to find out how they got on. Quoting from their article, “The Triumph 2500S was the last in a long line of Triumph and Standard-Triumph big saloon cars. Launched in 1963 at the Earl’s Court Motorshow, the new saloon replaced the ageing Standard Vanguard and arose from Triumph’s failed Zebu project. With fresh investment from new owner Leyland, who rescued Standard-Triumph in 1961, the new saloon promised much for the future of the company. And when it was launched it was well received by the motoring press and the general public. […]

VotW - My Good Old MG Song
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VotW – My Good Old MG Song

Our video this week is something I don’t think we have ever had here before, a song. Yes, a music video. Kind of, well, I guess it really is. Anyway, here is Mark Evenchick performing his song “I Wish I’d Never Sold My Good Old MG” at the Le Michele Ange Coffee Cafe, Ottawa, at the Spirit of Rasputin’s “The Next Stage” in May, 2012. This comes from Youtube by way of Kate Morgan of ConstantSoundStudio.com. So, does anyone know of any songs for Jaguars, Triumphs, Healeys or perhaps even TVRs?

VotW - Austin Healey Bug Eye Sprite at Silverstone
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VotW – Austin Healey Bug Eye Sprite at Silverstone

Call them ‘frog eye’ or ‘bug eye’ either way, this is the first version of the venerable Austin Healey Sprite. Our video this week is from when the car was still brand new to the roads in 1958. This old British Motor Corporation publicity video shows the still wet behind the ears, and tires in this case, Sprite driven at Silverstone by famed English racing driver Roy Salvadori. The Austin Healey Sprite, here in the guise that would become known as the Mk I, was a marvel in its day. Cheap, quick (not fast), and easy to maintain. What it didn’t have in speed, power, or creature comforts it made up for in charm and smiles per gallon. These were, and still are, simply fun cars.  These days though they are becoming much more scarce in solid, unmolested condition, and the […]

VotW - Bullet Run 2016 - Gordon Birtwistle
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VotW – TR Bullet Run 2016 – Gordon Birtwistle

Our Video of the Week this week is of the TR Drivers Club Bullet Run, which we featured yesterday. The video itself comes by way of our friend John Clancy at TriumphDVD. June 2016 saw the inaugural Bullet Run hosted by the TR Drivers Club. The event commemorated the life of Tony Lee (Standard-Triumph’s Chief Development Engineer) who sadly died in September 2015. The Bullet Run re-traced the old Standard-Triumph test route which saw all the new and forthcoming models taken down to Bwlch y Groes in Wales. Gordon Birtwistle worked for Tony for over 20 years at Triumph as High-Speed Development Engineer and did an extensive interview with me in front of an audience of about 60 after the Saturday dinner. This video is the opening ten minutes.