Tuesday, 31 March 2015

MEET THE AUTHOR: JON YATES

A chance to meet Jon Yates, the author of The Real Way Round – 1 year, 1 motorcycle, 1 man, 6 continents, 35 countries, 42,000 miles, 9 oil changes, 3 sets of tyres, and loads more ...

The event wil take place at Argyll Hotel Inverarary, Scotland on Friday 24th April 2015. Tickets £6.50 per person. Ticket price includes light finger buffet. All proceeds raised over the cost of the event will be donated to Kirsty's Kids Charity.


A pictorial diary of a once-in-a-lifetime motorbike trip across 35 countries, and a practical guide to motorcycling round the world – what to do first, what to plan for, and how to cope with the unexpected.



Click here for more info about the book.


GOODWOOD FOS TO MARK DEREK BELL'S MAIDEN LE MANS WIN


This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will mark the 40th anniversary of Derek Bell’s maiden Le Mans 24 Hours victory with an incredible line-up of cars that have played a major part in the sports car legend’s racing career.
Bell made his race debut at Goodwood in 1964 and has remained intrinsically linked with the venue ever since, through a career that has included five wins at the world’s most famous endurance race, as well as World Sports Car titles in 1985 and ’86.


Bell’s success behind the wheel will be celebrated with a Hillclimb class exclusively for cars associated with his career. More than a dozen cars are already confirmed for the June 25- 28 event that celebrates the theme ‘Flat-Out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge’.
Pride of place will go to the Mirage GR8-Cosworth in which he and Jacky Ickx won at Le Mans in 1975 to begin an incredible run of results at La Sarthe for the Sussex racer.
Two Porsches with which Bell is synonymous are also set to feature: a Gulf 917 of the type in which he raced in 1971, and the ‘Rothmans’ 962C in which he scored his final victory at Le Mans in 1987, alongside Al Holbert and Hans-Joachim Stuck.
Bell’s career was both long and varied and this will be represented by the inclusion of an example of the Ferrari 246 single-seater in which he raced in the 1969 Tasman Series , and the Tecno PA123 in which he raced in Formula 1 in 1973.
A BMW ‘Batmobile’ 3.0 CSL similar to the one in which he won the 1973 RAC Tourist Trophy and an example of the Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12C he raced in the European Touring Car Championship are also set to appear.
The latter part of Bell’s career will be represented by the Kremer K8 Spyder he raced at Le Mans in 1994 and by the ‘Harrods’ McLaren F1 GTR in which he finished third in France the following season with his son Justin and Andy Wallace.


Derek Bell, five-time Le Mans winner, said: “Goodwood means an awful lot to me, so for Lord March to celebrate my first Le Mans win in 1975 with the Gulf Mirage, having done a heck of a lot of the testing here, is very special. When I was younger, all I wanted to do was race at Goodwood. I’d be on the farm pitching the hay and I’d hear the Formula 1 BRMs testing with guys like Juan Manuel Fangio and Ken Wharton behind the wheel. I never dreamed I’d go on to race other places and achieve so much success. And it all started here at Goodwood.”



Available from Veloce!
Gulf-Mirage 1967 to 1982
Ed McDonough

Details the origin and history of the Mirage sports cars, designed by the British-based John Wyer Automotive firm to contest the various versions of the World Sports Car Championship.

More info.

Monday, 30 March 2015

THE GOODWOOD 73RD MEMBERS’ MEETING
By John Mayhead


For a few years now, some people have criticised the Goodwood Revival for being too much of a fancy dress party and less of a race meeting. Then last year the Members’ Meeting arrived on the scene- the critics are now well and truly silenced.

The 2015 Members’ Meeting- entitled the ‘73rd’ to carry on the tradition of the BARC meetings that took place from 1949 to 1966- took place last weekend and provided something for pretty much everyone who likes cars. With his finger ever on the pulse, Lord March has given the public two things they want: accessibility and special cars, lots of them.

The accessibility is superb. There are very few restricted areas and no VIP enclosures. Drivers, mechanics and the public mingle freely and all the paddocks are open- with the single exception of the modern Mercedes F1 car. Whether that says more about the nature of modern F1 or the fragility of the car, I’ll let you decide.

Then the cars themselves will cater to almost every taste: pre-war single seaters, ‘60s GT cars, ‘70s and ‘80s touring cars and my own favourite, the high air-box F1 cars of the Hunt/ Lauda/ Peterson era.


With so much to report on, we have chosen a few of our favourites from the weekend. First, we spoke to Anthony Reid, ex- British Touring Car ace and captain of the winning Methuen house. “It is a real privilege to be appointed by Lord March as one of only four House Captains for this unique event. The idea of having four Houses competing for honours is a great way of engaging all the members of the Club their families and friends whether they are Racers or Spectators.”

Reid’s own on-track contribution to the event was by driving a Triumph Dolomite Sprint in the Gerry Marshall Trophy. “It was really competitive through the field with very close racing and a bit of paint trading just like in the day.” With a field containing names such as Rob Huff, Emanuele Pirro and Tiff Needell, the scene was set for an epic battle, but it was the Mini of Nick Swift and David Clark’s Chevrolet Camaro that set the pace, with the latter coming out on top.

The Aldington Trophy, for pre- ’67 Porsche 911s and 901s was a highlight for many. Although BTCC’s Andrew Jordan took an easy win, the battle for second between Mark Bates and Phil Hindley was epic and thoroughly enjoyed by all watching.

Well known VSCC racer Julian Majzub was a pre- race favourite to win the Earl Howe Trophy for pre- 1935 Formula Libre cars. Unfortunately a recurring ignition problem plagued his 1927 Bugatti 35B, and despite dashing up to fourth place by the end of the start/ finish straight, the issue re-emerged and Julian sadly had to limp home.

The high speed demonstrations were also superb. The high air-box F1 cars included Lauda’s championship-winning 1975 Ferrari 312T, Hunt’s Hesketh 308C from the same era, a brace of Lotus 72s and Fittipaldi’s 1974 McLaren M23, to name just a few. As they screamed through the chicane and along the start/ finish straight, I was transported back to my childhood. My ears bled from the noise, but I savoured every second. Later, the biggest ever gathering of McLaren F1 GTRs took to the track, and then Mercedes let us see what their ex- Lewis Hamilton F1 car could do in the hands of Anthony Davidson.

In the car parks, we ran the first Hagerty UK Car Park Concours. We’ve noticed how many lovely cars are parked in the public areas of classic car events, and decided to acknowledge them. We took photos of our favourites from both days, then posted our shortlist on our social media. Our followers then decided which won best in show: a superb AC Aceca was judged to be the winner. Look out for our teams at shows later in the year!

Being Goodwood, there is still a ‘fancy dress’ element to the Members’ Meeting- on the Saturday night the place transforms into a street party, complete with circus performers and a fun fair. A huge hangar had been transformed into a communal meeting hall and lavishly decorated in the manner of a Hogwarts-esque public school. This won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s not central to the event- that is firmly left to the cars and racing. If you can afford the £80 day ticket cost, this is a superb meeting where you really can get closer to the action than pretty much anywhere else.

Text and pictures courtesy of Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. If you enjoyed this, there's more at www.hagertyinsurance.co.uk/Articles-and-Resources.


Friday, 13 March 2015

CLASSIC & SPORTS CAR – THE LONDON SHOW

An all-new global historic motoring celebration coming to Alexandra Palace this autumn.




More than 300 of the world’s rarest, most desirable and valuable classic cars will descend on one of London’s most dramatic and famous venues this autumn thanks to an all-new, must-attend historic motoring event: Classic & Sports Car – The London Show.

Brought to you by the experts behind the world’s best-selling classic car magazine, Classic & Sports Car, this all-new show will feature the world’s most prestigious and glamorous historic cars thanks to contributions from world-famous collectors, motor manufacturers and classic car retailers.

Running from 30th October to 1st November 2015, the home of Classic & Sports Car – The London Show will be one of the capital’s most scenic and well-known venues, Alexandra Palace. Birthplace of the BBC’s first television broadcast and with panoramic views of London, Alexandra Palace provides the perfect majestic backdrop to this celebration of the world of the classic car.


Embodying the values of Classic & Sports Car magazine, Classic & Sports Car – The London Show will bond together all enthusiasts like no other show before it. James Elliott, group editor, Classic & Sports Car magazine explained: “Classic & Sports Car – The London Show is the essence of our magazine written large on the international stage and broadcast from one of London’s most dramatic venues.

“We are putting everything we know about classic cars into this show – and as a result it’ll be a must-attend event. At Classic & Sports Car, passion counts for everything, so whether you’re one of the world’s richest collectors, a classic car dealer or simply a classic car enthusiast, you’ll be warmly welcomed at Alexandra Palace.”

Reflecting London’s place at the centre of the global classic car community, Classic & Sports Car – The London Show has been timed to coincide with all of the key motoring events in the capital – The Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, Regent Street Motor Show and Bonhams Veteran Car Auction – when London is a magnet for collectors and enthusiasts from across the world.



Sir Stirling Moss OBE said: “To me, London is the centre of the world and it is essential that it has a top-quality classic car show. Alexandra Palace is the perfect venue and, with Classic & Sports Car being the world leader in its field, it is an event people should definitely add to their diaries.”

A huge range of attractions will be on offer both inside and outside the spectacular venue, including an automotive art gallery, displays of historic racing cars and a special tribute to one of the greatest names in car design showcasing both his most popular and most outlandish designs.

Most prominent in the halls, however, will be some of the world’s leading classic car dealers, drawn by the knowledge that Classic & Sports Car - The London Show will attract a high quality clientele through its doors.

There will be other activities for all the family to enjoy too, and enthusiasts who arrive in classic cars will be able to take advantage of a classic-only car park, close to the exhibition halls and itself providing an attraction for visitors.

The quality of this groundbreaking event is guaranteed thanks to the team behind it. Masterminded by Classic & Sports Car and Haymarket Exhibitions, the award­winning powerhouse behind the huge Autosport International and Clothes Show Live events, the new show will be supported by Haymarket’s other influential and market­leading motoring titles, including Autocar, Autosport, F1 Racing, Motorsport News, PistonHeads and What Car?.

John Surtees, the only World Champion on two and four wheels, said: “With events such as Goodwood, Britain has established itself as the centre of the classic car world. It therefore seems only fitting that the capital, though rich in world-beating veteran events, has so far been starved of a fixture showcasing post-war cars that reflects its status. Now it’s getting one.

“Having previously worked with the Classic & Sports Car team track testing a wide variety of cars, I’m sure we have something really special to look forward to, with Classic & Sports Car deciding to put on a show.”

Alain de Cadenet, racing driver and television presenter, commented: “Great Britain has in many ways been a father figure to the veteran, vintage and classic car movement. Race, rallies and even the idea of auctioning older cars stems from the UK, so it's hardly surprising that the capital should also host a top-notch classic car show to rival anything else from around the world. Alexandra Palace is a magnificent, classic venue for our number one show and will provide an experience that you do not want to miss. Ink in the date: 30th October to 1st November.”

For more information, click here.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

PHILIP YOUNG DIES AGED 67

We are deeply saddened to learn the news from The Endurance Rally Association that Philip Young, Rally Director, founder of the ERA and author of two Veloce books has died following complications arising from a motorcycle accident in Burma. He was 67 years old.


A prolific ambassador of the historic rally movement, Philip was a larger-than-life character who pushed motorsport boundaries, organising marathon and endurance rallies all over the globe. A founder of the Historic Rally Car Register, Philip set a world record for driving from Cape Town to London in ten-and-a-half days, and is best known for one of his greatest achievements – the revival of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, one of the world’s most epic motoring adventures. His final milestone was gaining permission for 70 rally crews to be the first to cross the land border from Thailand into Burma.

Philip died in hospital in Bangkok on Wednesday 11th March. Details of a memorial service will be offered in due course.


Veloce Publisher, Rod Grainger commented:
"This is very sad news. Philip Young was at the very forefront of the international classic rallying scene, and was responsible for some incredible diplomatic breakthroughs to allow his rallies to cross the globe. I am particularly proud that Philip chose Veloce to publish the official illustrated record of the centenary Peking to Paris rally."

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BULLI! PRODUCTION OF CULT VOLKSWAGEN VEHICLE BEGAN 65 YEARS AGO


It all began in 1947 with a pencil sketch: the Dutch car importer Ben Pon saw a simple flat-bed vehicle at the Volkswagen plant and, taking it as a basic idea, he sketched the outlines of a Transporter with Beetle DNA in his notebook.

Two years later, Volkswagen Plant Manager, Heinrich Nordhoff, presented four prototypes: two panel vans, a kombi and a small bus. Nordhoff promised that the Transporter would be as uncompromising and robust as the Beetle: ‘These vehicles won't be handled with kid gloves, rather they will be treated roughly.’

Designers used the engine and axles of the Beetle. Instead of a central tubular frame of the popular family car, the bus had a unitized body that was mounted on a ladder frame. The 1.1-litre engine produced 18 kW (24.5PS) at 3300 rpm. The bus could transport up to eight people and the two rear seat rows could be removed easily to free up load space for around 750 kg of payload.

Alfred Haesner, Head of Technical Development of Volkswagen GmbH from 1948 to 1952, said: ‘Accordingly, this type of commercial delivery vehicle can be used for all branches of business, for rush deliveries and freight, e.g. as a small bus, a special-purpose vehicle, postal vehicle, ambulance or mobile station.’

Production began on 8 March 1950, in Hall 1 of the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, and ten vehicles were manufactured per day.


By the end of 1950, 8001 Transporters had already been built. Demand was enormous, especially since its affordable price made it an attractive option to tradesmen and retail businesses. The unique vehicle quickly became an export hit as well. Volkswagen buses could simply transport anything and everything: rubble and debris, mortar and building stones, breakfast rolls and bees wax, cigars and newspapers.

A Volkswagen bus with a camping box made its appearance in 1951 at the automobile exhibition in Berlin. The delivery van with a rear engine suddenly held the promise of an entirely different type of travel. For the first time, it travelled over the Alps. Later, it was driven to India when hippies discovered the ‘Bulli’ for themselves.

Four years after its production launch, the 100,000th Volkswagen Transporter came off the assembly line in Wolfsburg in 1954. By this point, there were 30 different models of the vehicle. Daily production in Wolfsburg was at 80 vehicles but it couldn’t produce more because the plant was already filled to capacity with Beetle production. It became clear that the Transporter needed its own plant.

Construction work began in early March 1955 in Hannover-Stöcken, and the plant was built from the ground up in just one year. In March 1956, the first "Made in Stöcken" Transporters come off the assembly line. This was the beginning of a future symbol of the ‘economic wonder years’. Today, a total of 11 million T-series vehicles spanning five generations have been produced worldwide.

Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: ‘The production launch of the T1 represented the beginning of a long success story that has lasted right up to today. In the past, as well as the present, there is market demand for extremely reliable, versatile and individual vehicles. We deliver them in top quality and precisely tailored to every need – whether the vehicle is for trades work, a retail or service business, family or recreation.’

Production of the new generation model, the T6, launches this year. Along with the T-series, the Hannover-Stöcken plant also produces the Amarok pick up. The successful California recreational vehicle is built not far away in Limmer. Around 12,200 people are employed at the Hannover business site of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The Poznan plant in Poland (5,700 employees) produces the Transporter and the Caddy, and another plant is being built in nearby, Wrzesnia for the new Crafter. Today, a total of around 19,500 employees work for the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand.

Click here to browse VW Bus books from Veloce.

Monday, 9 March 2015

BEAULIEU SHOWCASES THE STORY OF MOTOR SPORT IN STUNNING NEW DISPLAYS


On Thursday 5th March, motor racing legend, Sir Stirling Moss, opened A Chequered History, a new display section in the National Motor Museum celebrating the adrenaline-fuelled world of motor sport, devoted to two stories, Grand Prix Greats and Road, Race & Rally.

Sir Stirling was joined in a ribbon cutting by veteran F1 commentator, Murray Walker, after they had taken a nostalgic look back at Sir Stirling’s glittering racing career, in front of an invited audience of guests.

In opening the display, Sir Stirling said: “I am delighted to be opening Beaulieu’s new motor sport displays featuring fabulous cars from both F1 and rallying, including several that I had the privilege to drive during my own racing career. It brings back many happy memories for me.”

Grand Prix Greats tells the story of Grand Prix motor racing from the Edwardian pioneers through to 21st century F1 cars, exploring the engineering excellence of these phenomenal machines and the men who drove them to their limit. Among the iconic racing cars on display are the 1912 Sunbeam Coupe de L’Auto, the 1924 Bugatti Type 35, the 1950 BRM V16, the Lotus 49, famously driven by Graham Hill in the 1967 F1 season and the Lotus E20, driven during the 2012 season by Kimi Räikkönen.

Road, Race & Rally features competition cars from many different disciplines displayed alongside historic road-going sports cars and honours the courage of their fearless drivers. Vehicle highlights include the 1981 Ford Escort rally car driven by Ari Vatanen and the 1983 Audi Quattro driven to victory by Stig Blomqvist in the 1984 Rally of Argentina, the pioneering British Allard Chrysler dragster of 1961 and road-going sports cars as diverse as the tiny 1930 MG M Type Midget and the 1974 Ferrari Dino.



Complementing the displays are two Fords, a 1970 GT70 and 1984 RS200, on loan from the Ford Heritage collection, a BMW 320i Super Tourer, driven to victory by Steve Soper, Joachim Winkelhock and Peter Kox in the 1995 24 Hour Race at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium,the 1997 BRM P301 and a 2009 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport. One of just 150 built, it is recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest roadster in the World with a top speed - with the roof down – of 229mph!

Accompanying the vehicles are displays of some of the museum’s vast collection of historic photographs and objects associated with motor sports, supported by items from McLaren and the Williams Heritage Collection. Unique memorabilia from the titans of the track includes trophies, race suits worn by Graham Hill, Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard and Kimi Räikkönen as well as a display of helmets including those worn by seven F1 world champions.

There is rolling film footage from the 1930s onwards, a Grand Prix Leader Board for the start of the 2015 F1 season and interactive photographic panels which include contributions from BBC F1 commentator, Murray Walker, and motoring authors and journalists, Graham Robson and Doug Nye.

In the Start-Up Area, visitors will be able to watch the Beaulieu engineers at work and hear some of the iconic vehicles roar into life.

The National Motor Museum’s Chief Executive, Russell Bowman, said:“We are very pleased to be opening this latest phase of our re-development programme. A Chequered History will bring to life the excitement of motor sport in all its forms, something at which this country excels. This follows the great reception received by our new Land Speed Record gallery in 2014.”

Lord Montagu added: “This new chapter in the life of the Museum covers two of the most electrifying and glamourous genres of motoring which have a wide appeal. I’m sure they will be very popular with all our visitors.”

A Chequered History can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction, which includes the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and gardens. Click here for more information.

The new motor sport displays have been generously supported by the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.