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VotW – History of the Mini

There is no way to talk about British cars without talking about the Mini, and who would want to? For our Video of the Week this time we turn to a History of the Mini from the “Great Cars” series. The short film covers the history of Sir Alec Issigonis’s design from beginning to end and even goes so far as to venture into new MINI territory. This is a wonderful video in that it not only captures the mood of the 1950s in which the Mini was developed, but also the 1960s when the diminutive car came into its own. The video continues to follow the development, or lack thereof, all the way through the 70s and 80s up to the very end. You can see how the Mini affected everything from racing to culture to fashion and was in […]

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VotW – Austin-Healey 3000 Buyer’s Guide

This week let’s look at an all-time favorite, one of the big Healeys, the Austin-Healey 3000. This video is from the good folks are Hagerty Insurance and Wayne Carini of “Chasing Classic Cars“.  In the video buyer’s guide, Carini tells you what to look for when buying an Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII and tells you how to spot potential issues — such as rust — that can plague these cars. A bit about Wayne Carini – With a lifetime of experience in automobile restoration under his belt, master car restorer Wayne Carini has a resume that includes body and paint work on rare car collections owned by the likes of David Letterman, tennis great Ivan Lendl and the DuPont family. He’s been featured in the New York Times as well as numerous automobile magazines, and starred in two one-hour television specials. The Austin-Healey […]

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VotW – VARAC Car Profile – The MG

Time for a little vintage racing. Yes, our video this weeks comes from the VARAC. The VARAC, the Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada, is the main Vintage Racing Club in Eastern Canada. All VARAC members share a desire to preserve, restore and race historically significant cars in a form as close to the original specification as possible As for the video itself, it is a profile of MG. Who doesn’t love the MGs? (Don’t answer that. We don’t want to hear it.) Featured in this fantastic video by KarmaComa Studio are three uniquely different versions of the MG. Owned by VARAC members David & Evan Holmes, Dave Good and Gary Allen, these cars have been restored and carefully prepared to race the toughest circuits in North America. More info about racing with VARAC is available at www.varac.ca and about […]

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VotW – What’s The Differential

Our video this week takes a different turn, literally. And we are making that turn easily without a dragging or skipping wheel. This is achieved through the use of a differential. How does that work you ask? Well, that is the subject of our Video of the Week. “Around the Corner: How Differential Steering Works” is a short film from 1937 that explains the basics of how the differential in your rear, or perhaps even front, axle functions. By understanding the basic components that go into our cars we can become not only better drivers, but we can become better custodians of our treasures. If we know the principles of what is going on with the cars, we can feel problems before the get out of control and also understand what is necessary for repairs, even if we don’t do […]

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VotW – Standard Triumph Factory in the Sixties

For the video this week we are going to turn back the clock a bit. Well, a lot. Heck, we are actually having to throw the entire calendar into the way-back machine. We might even have to throw in a bit of Doctor Who‘s timey-wimey travel. Our video this week is of the Standard Triumph factory at Canley in Coventry back in 1965. Think of the Triumph Herald and the Spitfire. For an interesting aerial overview of the Canley factory, take a look at the Canley Triumph Works page over at the Triumph Herald Archive.

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VotW – MG Motoring Memories

MG Motoring Memories is our video of the week this go round. Composed of current and old footage from MG’s heyday, this video from the Magnificent Motorcars series by Green HD Production really does bring back the memories. Part of the real interest in this video is that it documents not only MG’s history, but the brands history in the United States and how that affected cars in both America and Europe. The influence of MG on the Chevrolet Corvette is a primary focus. I also have to say, on a personal note, that the video mentions Clemson University, the college that my son is currently attending. How can a connection like that be resisted?

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VotW – Top Gear in the Beginning

Most automobile enthusiasts love the BBC program Top Gear. Actually, a lot of people who don’t care a wit about cars enjoy the program as well. At least the version of the show from the UK as created by the BBC. We won’t talk about the US version. In fact, let’s forget I brought it up at all. The British version, the real version, of Top Gear is a phenomenon. By many accounts it is the most watched factual, meaning not drama or fiction, program in the world. Though originally a regional program hosted by Angela Rippon, one of the main reasons for the current popularity is host Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson hosts along with co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond. Not only is Clarkson humor, entertaining, and a good driver, he is loud, rude, and prone to get into trouble […]

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VotW – New Morgan Aero 8

In honor of the announcement at the Geneva International Motor Show of the new Morgan Aero 8, our video this week is Morgan’s promotional clip of the new sports car. • Over 1250 Aero platform cars delivered since 1st generation launch in 2000. • New Aero 8 signifies return to soft top motoring within the current Aero range. • Significant changes to the aluminium chassis, suspension and vehicle aerodynamics. • Powered by a 4.8 litre V8 BMW engine producing 367bhp. • Available with 6 speed manual or automatic transmission (with paddle shift). • New Hand sculpted aluminium body and revised interior styling. • Largest options list of any Morgan sports car to date. • The Aero SuperSports and Coupé cease production in April 2015. • Production begins during quarter 4 of this year. For more information on the new Morgan […]

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VotW – Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

We take a look at Jaguar this time for our Video of the Week. In fact, we take a look at one of the newest big cats with the review of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe produced by The New York Times. According to The Times, “The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is as much Rodin as road machine, with performance to match the undulating aluminum panels draped over a bonded and riveted aluminum platform.” Car and Driver said of the F-Type, “As Jaguar’s most powerful and athletic offering, the F-type R coupe—and convertible—combine brute force with gorgeous sheet-metal. Powered by a 550-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 mated to an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, the F-type R can hustle with the best of them. It also heralds its sporting intentions with a cacophony of cracks and pops from its exhaust. The […]

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VotW – MGB The Car’s The Star

After a brief absence, we return with a new Video of the Week. This week MGBs are on the mind and so our video will be one entitled “The Car’s the Star”. It is a documentary on the famous MG which was produced for basically two decades. For those who have been living under a rock and aren’t familiar with the MGB, the ‘B’ as it is known is a two-door sports car manufactured and marketed by MG Cars and its successors as a four-cylinder, soft-top roadster (1962-1980) — along with variants including the MGB GT three-door 2+2 coupé (1965-1974), the six-cylinder roadster and coupé MGC (1967-1969), and the eight-cylinder 2+2 coupé, the MGB GT V8 (1973-1976). Replacing the MGA in 1962, production of the MGB and its variants continued by the British Motor Corporation and its successors, British Motor […]

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VotW – Morgan

This week we are happy to feature the latest video from the Morgan Motor Company. in our VotW (Video of the Week). “This Is How We Do It” takes you behind the scenes at the world’s oldest privately owned car manufacturer. Take an exciting look at the production line of our Pickersleigh Road factory and allow the Morgan craftsmen and women to talk you through how they hand build each Morgan Sports Car. From cutting the first intricate pieces of the ash wood for the frame through to final road test and PDI, this video guides you through the unique production process. Condensing a complex process of manufacture that takes over 4 weeks into just 8 minutes of footage was difficult. For the full Morgan factory experience visit www.morgan-motor.co.uk/tours  

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VotW – The Quality Connection

Our video this week is a little something different. It is a internal corporate video from British Leyland on the importance of quality in building a car. Some may laugh at this now, but it is obvious that the powers that be at British Leyland knew the had a problem and had to do something to address it. “The Quality Connection” is just such an attempt. If nothing else, view this 24 minute video for all the period cars you will see. And try, just try, not to imagine Eric Idle, John Cleese, or any other of the Monty Python bunch coming out to stop the video as “too serious” or something. It really does look almost like a comedy sketch to us these days, but then history and perspective can do that.

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VotW – New Lightweight E-Type

News Release From Jaguar Land Rover about the new, beyond drool-worthy, lightweight E-Type coupe. I don’t even want to begin to think about how much these are going to cost. Or how long the line will be to get one. Jaguar has revealed the prototype of its ‘new’ Lightweight E-type – a further six of which will be built and sold. Jaguar announced in May 2014 that it would recreate six new Lightweights, each built by Jaguar Heritage, part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations division. Each of the six cars will be built to a specification originated from the last Lightweight E-type produced in 1964 and will be hand-crafted at the original home of the E-type, Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry, England. The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for […]

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VotW – Top Gear’s Aston Martin DBS Review

All of our recent weekly videos have been of the more educational and historic nature, but now for something completely different. This week’s VotW (Video of the Week) is a review from a few years ago of the Aston Martin DBS by the fine folks at Top Gear. Don’t know Top Gear? You call yourself a British car fan? If you don’t know them yet, you will after watching this video. Oh, and we of course mean the UK version produced by the BBC, not the rather lame US version. In this review from the BBC series, Jeremy Clarkson test drives the flashy Aston Martin DBS in his unmistakable style, before Top Gear’s tame racing driver, the Stig, takes it out for a spin round the track. And as with all Top Gear segments, be careful about watching this at work. […]

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VotW – Rover – The Long Goodbye

The week we have a video documentary which traces the rise and fall of a great British brand that is largely unknown in the US, Rover. And no, we don’t mean Range Rover. Well, not totally. In the days when Britain’s car industry was the envy of the world, Rover epitomized everything to which the driver of taste aspired, but in 2005 it reached the end of the road. The film explores how Rover cars went from defining their eras to becoming victims of their times, telling the story behind the key models to the controversial joint ventures with Japanese and Indian manufacturers in later years.

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VotW – The Morgan Motor Company

Our video this week is entitled, “Morgan Motor Company: The Most Honest Car Factory in the World”. As you might guess, the video focuses on the Morgan Motor Company in Malvern, England where happy designers, craftsmen and women lovingly create cars for enthusiasts by hand every day. Perhaps this brief history of the Morgan car is best summed up by its inventor, H.F.S. Morgan, who said of his life’s work shortly before he died in 1959, “looking back through the years, seeing both the errors and the triumphs in their correct perspective, I feel I have enjoyed it all. The motor trade has been, so far as I’m concerned, a most interesting business.” Peter Morgan maintained the passion and today, the Morgan Motor Company enjoys continued success, with inspired new designs under the direction of Charles Morgan.

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VotW – The Golden Age of the British Sportscar

We are starting a new feature this week. We have always put a nice little YouTube video over there in the sidebar for your enjoyment, but a lot of folks either didn’t realize it was there, didn’t realize they could blow it up to a larger size to watch, or just generally ignored it because … well, I don’t know. Maybe they thought it was an advertisement or something. Anyway, from now one we are going to feature the video in a post each time we change it, and this should be every week. Hopefully every Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Because it is a pretty boring day in general and we could all use a little something to brighten it up. Maybe a nice little video about some aspect of the British car fascination will do this. Hopefully it will give […]

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British days out: Getting straight into Top Gear at Beaulieu

There’s an official-looking horizontal line about 3ft off the ground as you enter the new exhibition at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The notice alongside says: YOU MUST BE THIS TALL (to be bigger than Richard Hammond). And that sets the tone for the World Of Top Gear section that opened last week, coinciding with the start of a new series of Top Gear today (June 21st). The motoring programme has a huge following in 80 countries but this will be the only place in the world where you can see some of the vehicles that featured in Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s best-known stunts. Cars such as the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle, Suzuki Swift that played ice-hockey and Toyota Hilux driven to the North Pole are almost TV stars in their own right and are expected […]

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Roary, The Racing Car

What’s this, more British anthropomorphisation of mechanical objects, a la Thomas the Tank Engine and Tiny Robots? What’s with the fetish for talking metal? Must be a boarding school thing. Roary, the Racing Car focuses on Roary, a small, cheeky, zippy, red racing car, and all his friends at the race track. I suppose it was entertaining, in a Boy’s Own sort of way. There’s a lot of color and movement, competition, going fast and stuff but where are the princesses, the mermaids, the fairies? Entertaining? Yeah, if you’re a boy.