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VotW – One Leap Ahead – Jaguar Factory Tour

Our video this week takes us all the way back to the Jaguars of 1961. Back when the E-Type was just rolling off the line and the Jaguar Mark II was still a new car. “One Leap Ahead” is a tour of the Coventry factory. It is amazing to see so many of these cars in one place, much less in production and in perfect condition. For big cats that are so seldom seen in the wild today, they seem to be plentiful in their natural habit in this video. Certainly does make one wish for a TARDIS. If the behind the scenes story of manufacturing like this is your thing, you might also want to check out the book “Jaguar in Coventry: Building the Legend” by Nigel Thornley. This illustrated history offers a fascinating insight into the company and […]

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VotW – A History of Lotus

The Lotus brand has long been synonymous with small, quick, and agile sports cars. Our Video of the Week this week features a history of the car through the 1980s via a show and rally of dedicated owners. The company was formed as Lotus Engineering Ltd. by engineers Colin Chapman and Colin Dare, both graduates of University College, London, in 1952. The four letters in the middle of the logo stand for the initials of company founder, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman.

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VotW – The Mini Cooper Story: The Original

The Mini. The giant killer. The original automotive bottle rocket. Our video this week tells the story, especially of the Cooper S. “The Mini Story: The Original, the Cooper, the Legacy” is a 20 minute look into the history of this fantastic little car. This original Mini, of course, was designed for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Motor_CorporationBMC by Sir Alec Issigonis. It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park / Zetland British Motor Corporation (Australia) factory in Sydney, Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy (Innocenti), Malta, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major UK updates – the Mark II, the Clubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations, including an estate car, a pick-up truck, a van and the Mini Moke – a […]

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VotW – Top Gear Looks Back at the Triumph TR7

Often maligned, but seriously undervalued these days, the subject of our Video of the Week this week is the Triumph TR7. What we have here is a look back at the TR7 via an early episode of Top Gear. So while this is a contemporary view of the wedge, it is not a strictly historical one either. The Triumph TR7 is a sports car manufactured from September 1974 to October 1981 by the Triumph Motor Company (which was part of British Leyland) in the United Kingdom. It was initially produced at the Speke, Liverpool factory, but production moved to Canley, Coventry in 1978 and then finally to the Rover Solihull plant in 1980. The car was launched in the United States in January 1975, with its UK home market debut in May 1976. The UK launch was delayed at least […]

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VotW – Classic Car Rescue MGB

It is Spring, a time of rebirth and renewal, and time to revive a venerable classic, the MGB. The Video Of The Week for this first Wednesday in May is from the series “Classic Car Rescue”. Classic Car Rescue, a series produced by Blink Films, has entrepreneur and car specialist Mario Pacione teaming up with automotive manager and technical engineer Bernie Fineman to restore six iconic cars, including a Jaguar, Porsche, Mini Cooper and Mustang. In each episode, Pacione and Fineman search scrapyards, wastelands and backyards for broken-down rust-buckets with potential. The pair go to work to bring each car back to its former classic car glory. With a deadline and a tight budget, they work tirelessly in order to impress an expert valuer for a glittering price tag at the official presentation. In this episode, the 3rd in the […]

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VotW – Land Rover’s 50 Year Adventure

An old friend always used to say that “Jeeps are famous, but Land Rovers are legendary.” I know some Jeep fanatics who might disagree with that, but many of us have been fond of the Land Rover, and its entire family tree, for many years. Our video this week looks back over Land Rover’s history through the eyes of some of the men who were there. This is the story of Land Rover – from its inception as a way to save the Rover company to its becoming the SUV of choice for the landed gentry. The design for the original Land Rover vehicle was started in 1947 by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the Rover Company, on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey. It is said that he was inspired by an American World War II Jeep that he used […]

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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. […]