Articles

VotW – Jay Leno’s Lotus Elan

This week we have decided to feature a video from one of most any car guy’s heroes, Jay Leno. This episode from Jay Leno’s Garage is entitled “Restoration Finished: 1966 Lotus Elan 26R”. As might be expected, it features a walk-through of the magnificent Lotus elan that Jim Hall rebuilt – this ultimate Lotus of his dreams is a tribute to one of the most wonderful eras in racing. The original Elan was introduced in 1962 as a roadster, although an optional hardtop was offered in 1963 and a coupé version in 1965. The two-seat Lotus Elan replaced the elegant, but unreliable and expensive to produce Lotus Elite. It was the first Lotus road car to use a steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. At 1,600 lb (726 kg), the Elan embodied the Colin Chapman minimum weight design philosophy. Initial […]

Articles

VotW – The Big Drive 1966

Our Video of the Week is entitled The Big Drive and features the 1966 London Motor Show with its push for export of British cars to help the economy. In addition to the fabulous cut-away rotating BMC 1100 in the first few seconds, this video also features such innovative cars as the Triumph GT6, Singer-Rootes Chamois, and the Ford Executive. Competing cars from makers such as Ferrari and Honda are also briefly shown. These cars displayed as new nearly 50 years ago in 1966 is an amazing sight, and the film footage is very clear. But just as amazing is some of the commentary and the displays themselves. Take a look, and be wonder and maybe chuckle – hindsight is a wonderful thing.

VotW Matchbox Cars
Articles

VotW – Matchbox Cars

We all started somewhere. That is fairly obvious, but where a lot of us started is with little cars. Very little cars – as in Matchbox and Hot Wheels toy cars. And quite frankly, I, like many of you, still have a nice collection of these wonderful miniatures. In honor of the toys of our youth – no matter the age – our Video of the Week this week is a 1965 piece on Matchbox cars. In the world of little cars, Matchbox were always the more authentic and real-to-life cars, while Hot Wheels were the concept, far out, and fantasy cars. What’s more, at least when I was young, Matchbox more often featured British motors while Hot Wheels had a distinctly American slant. Matchbox was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953 and is now owned by Mattel, Inc. The […]

No Picture
All Marques

VotW – Classic British Cars Part 1

OK, so we have had Jaguar and MG and Triumph and Healey and Aston Martin and even Sunbeam. Oh wait, Morgan and Morris and Rover too.So this week we are going to do a more general video. This week we are going to turn our attention to our general love – Classic British Cars. This video is part one of a multi-part series that covers the full range of British cars, from the sports car to the touring saloon. There are many classics in this video that you just don’t see anymore – for better or worse. Some of these cars have gone on to become valuable collector’s items, while some of them have disappeared into obscurity.  How I would love to see a full range of these at a British car show. Not that I don’t love row upon […]

No Picture
Articles

VotW – Wheeler Dealers Jensen Interceptor

For our video this week we are going to turn to a more rare, perhaps even esoteric, car but one that is highly desired by most enthusiasts. The Jensen Interceptor is a stylish combination of British sports car design, American muscle car power, and Italian bodywork. So, our Video of the Week (VotW) this go round is another episode of the television show Wheeler Dealers with Mike Brewer and master mechanic Edd China. The Jensen Interceptor was a sporting GT-class car. Interceptors were hand-built at the Kelvin Way Factory, West Bromwich near Birmingham in England by Jensen Motors between 1966 and 1976. The Interceptor name had been used previously by Jensen for the Jensen Interceptor made between 1950 and 1957 at the Carters Green factory. Jensen had extensively used glass-reinforced plastic for the fabrication of body panels in the preceding […]

No Picture
Articles

VotW – Jaguar XKR and XJR Road Test

Things seem to come in cycles here, and this current go-round seems to be a Jaguar one. So, for this week’s Video of the Week we are going to feature a road test of the Jaguar XKR and XJR by Vicki Butler-Henderson from 2000. For those of you who don’t know, Vicki Butler-Henderson is a former racing driver, so very well qualified to evaluate high-performance cars. The XK8 was launched in 1996 to replace the XJ-S. Two body styles were produced – a coupé and a convertible. The car was the first in the Jaguar line-up to use Jaguar’s newly developed V8 engine – the AJ-V8. In 1998 the supercharged XKR was added to the range. However, both the XK8 and XKR are limited to a maximum top speed of 155.4 mph (250.1 km/h). As for the Jaguar XJR, well we all know […]

No Picture
Articles

Video of the Week – Discover Aston Martin DB9

Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as ‘Bamford & Martin Ltd’, Aston Martin has developed into an iconic brand synonymous with luxury and elegance. 1914 saw the birth of the name ‘Aston Martin’ following one of Lionel Martin’s successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire, England. Within a year, the first Aston Martin had been built and registered with the name, and an icon of the automotive world was born. Obviously, our Video of the Week this time around focuses on the iconic favorite of James Bond, Aston Martin and the DB range in particular. The DB9 is a true automotive icon. A badge and bloodline which represents all that is great about Aston Martin – and British supercars in general. Each Friday during January 2014 Aston Martin released an exclusive film exploring the design, engineering, […]

No Picture
All Marques

VotW – British Sports Cars in San Luis Obispo, California

A little something different this week. Our Video of the Week this time is of a great looking British car shop on the US West Coast. Unfortunately, I have never been there, but I have been in enough other shops to recognize and impressive setup when I see one. In this video, Justin Jurgens takes you on a tour of British Sports Cars in San Luis Obispo, California. You can check out the shop’s website at http://www.britishsportscars.com. As I said, I have never been to the shop and have never met anyone associated with them. However, I think that the video and the website are both top-notch, and the type of quality we need more of. If you know these folks and or have some experience with the shop, please let us know about them in the comments below.  

No Picture
Articles

VotW – Austin Morris Range Comedy Ad

British comedy, who doesn’t love it? Well, maybe a few people don’t, but there is no accounting for them. From Monty Python and Fawlty Towers to Graham Norton and Wallace and Gromit, British comedy just seems to hit the funny bone of those of us with British cars head on. So, in the vein of British humor, or Video of the Week, VotW, this time is an ad for British Leyland by “The Two Ronnies“. The Two Ronnies wass a BBC television comedy sketch show created by Bill Cotton for the BBC, which aired on BBC1 from 1971 to 1987. It featured the double act of Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett, the “Two Ronnies” of the title. The advertisement for the Austin Morris range of cars, including the Mini, the Marina, and the Allegro, is titled ‘The Great Range’ and […]

No Picture
Articles

VotW – Old School Versus New School on Top Gear

Video of the Week is for fans of old school seat-of-the-pants sports cars in the form of a TopGear challenge between an Austin Healey Sprite and Peugeot 306. At this time – We can call this challenge – Old School vs. New Generation car culture. Richard Hammond and James May argue about the state of modern-day driving, which sparked a time trial showdown at Prescott Hill Climb Course, pitting a Austin-Healey Sprite representing a mostly middle-aged classic car owners club, versus a modified Peugeot 306 backed by a more youthful group. The Stig takes the two around, with the Sprite, on a serious race-focussed diet, defeating the showy and stereo-laden 306 by one second.

No Picture
Articles

VotW – Triumph at Le Mans 1961

Our Video of the Week this time around is a great classic from the Standard Triumph publicity archives entitled “Triumph at Le Mans”. A great video for it not only features the Triumph team with the TRS, but also shots of MG, Cooper, Sunbeam, Ferrari, and many more. The commentator’s sly asides are quite entertaining, especially as the apply to the “other interests” of the drivers and other such matters.

No Picture
Articles

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 […]

VotW – A History of Lotus
Articles

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.

No Picture
Articles

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 […]

No Picture
Articles

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 […]

No Picture
Articles

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 […]

No Picture
Articles

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 […]

No Picture
Articles

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 […]

No Picture
Articles

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 […]

No Picture
Articles

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 […]