Wednesday, 1 October 2014


Can you name what this car outline spotted in Bridport, Dorset might be? We think it could be from the art deco 'Aero' car era. There's free copy of Art Deco and British Car Design – The Airline Cars of the 1930s by Barrie Down for the correct answer! Click here to enter.


Porsche 924 Carrera GT, owned by Roy Smith is a fitting 'me and my car' subject with Roy's exciting book on the 924 Carrera coming soon.

"It is a source of great satisfaction to be the lucky owner of an original Carrera 924 GT, one of the rarest of Porsche products – most of the marque's cars had much longer production runs. That mine is one of 400 homologation specials built so Porsche could run the car in the GT class at the 1981 Le Mans 24 Hours adds a special pleasure.

"All the road-testers at the time rated the 924 Carrera GT as one of the best-handling cars produced by Porsche. With 210bhp, a top speed of 148mph, and near 50/50 weight balance, it is something special. No less a figure than Jurgen Barth said: "It is a special car and can hold its own in the handling department, as well as many of today's super Porsches." That it is over 30 years old, still turns heads, runs 100mph+ with ease (though with respect to its age I don't push the original engine too hard), is unmodified, and looks like a million dollars in the shiny stakes, are all the reasons I own it. It is easy to live with, uses little fuel, starts first time, and just look at the way the values are rising – all the reasons why I like it so much! If you get the chance, don't hesitate. Buy one."
Roy Smith

Do you have an interesting vehicle with a story to tell? We want to see it! Email photos & description here & we'll pick one a month to feature in our monthly newsletter & here on the Veloce Blog.

Available November 2014!
The Porsche 924 Carrera - evolution to excellence

By Roy Smith
Forewords by Norbert Singer, Jürgen Barth & Derek Bell.

The 924 Carrera was a homologation model built to qualify the 924 model to race in Group 4. One of the great supercars of the 1980s, the 924 Carrera was considered by many to have better handling characteristics than Porsche’s flagship 911. The book features interviews with many of those involved with the car at the time together with race stories, statistics, and a unique exposé of component failures during racing. More info.


James Hale is the author of seven Veloce books. His most recent is a completely revised edition of his first book, The Dune Buggy Handbook.

James Hale has been a devotee of Dune Buggies from an early age, and has driven, built, manufactured, photographed and written about them in the years since. He is the leading authority on Buggies for many British and American magazines, and his most recent features have appeared in TKC under the title ‘The Buggy Guru.’ He is also a member of the Society of Automotive Historians in Britain, and contributes to their publications.

Long before James could drive, he had a great interest in all forms of vehicles, including traction engines, veteran and vintage cars, and marketingmobiles (vehicles shaped like the product they advertise). The quality of engineering was the thing that captured his imagination, but, other than that, he had no strong opinions regarding different makes and models of vehicle.
In 1970, at the tender age of 13, the day came that changed everything. James was watching a local news programme on TV, called Scene South East, when they ran a feature on beach buggies, and showed two wildly outlandish (to a teenager) GP buggies being driven across a sandy beach somewhere in Kent. The rather fusty presented concluded the piece with the comment: “Cars on the beach; whatever next?!” For James, ‘next’ was already decided. He wanted a buggy, and wanted to know how to build a buggy as soon as possible. He started finding out more about these fun vehicles, collected magazines and requested manufacturer’s brochures, visited workshop premises to see them being made, and even got a few free rides in demonstration vehicles through sheer persistence.

James & Hustler Buggy in 1977.

James & Hustler Buggy in 1979.

Years later, having passed his driving test, James finally acquired his first car – an EPC Hustler buggy, bought for the princely sum of £250. It had an asthmatic 1200cc VW Beetle engine, 6-volt electrics, balding tyres, and tired brakes. Having got the buggy properly roadworthy, James ventured much further from home to take part in national buggy conventions (the furthest journey was from the south coast up to Middlesbrough, during which the engine grenaded itself, sending hot oily piston and crankcase bits across the road, and necessitating an engine transplant at a friend’s house en-route). At most of the events James took a Pentax camera, and this resulted in him building up an unrivalled photographic archive of the 1970s and 1980s British buggy scene. It also led to him contributing photos to magazines and publications of the day – the first being The Fun Car Explosion by Peter Filby.

James on a VW chasis in 1985.

James with a VW Van in 1986.

James & Beetle in 2004.

James became a contributor to various motoring magazines, whilst also pursuing a professional career in marketing and public relations. The launch of Volksworld magazine gave James the opportunity to produce technical features on Volkswagen maintenance and technical upgrades, and his monthly features appeared for over ten years. The concept of upgrading humble air-cooled VWs led to the writing of two books – How to modify VW Beetle suspension, brakes & chassis for high performance, and a similar one for the VW Bus. These two books are in print to this day, due to the enduring popularity of the air-cooled VW marques.

Besides the buggies and VWs, James has also researched and written the only book ever produced on marketingmobiles. This was launched at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu in 2005, with the museum itself holding a major exhibition of promotional vehicles (called ProMotion) in 2010, opened by Lord Montague’s son, Ralph. The exhibition featured vehicles including the Outspan Orange car, the Cadbury’s Creme Egg car, the Duckhams Q car, and the Worthington’s bottle lorry.
As well as writing his original and revised editions of The Dune Buggy Handbook, which has become the bible for buggy devotees, James has also acted as a consultant on Top Gear, built promotional buggies for Coca-Cola and Liptons Iced Tea, and been interviewed in magazines and on radio in England and abroad to talk about his involvement with the buggy scene. His unique and extensive collection of toy buggies was also featured on a TV programme hosted by Sarah Greene.

James has owned a number of VW Beetles throughout his motoring career, plus a few VW Variants, a split-screen VW Bus, and a few more mundane foreign saloons. But it is the buggies that have always mattered most, and his friendship with the buggy originator, Bruce Meyers, resulted in James owning an exact replica of the Corvair-powered buggy driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair. Bruce Meyers also wrote the foreword for The Dune Buggy Handbook, in acknowledgement of the work James has done to document and preserve the history of his own most famous creation – the Meyers Manx buggy.

James & Bruce Meyers in California.

James & Mini Outspan Orange

MarketingMobiles book launch at Beaulieu.

GT Coca Cola Buggies.

Friday, 26 September 2014


Voting is now open for the 2014 International Historic Motoring Awards’ Car of the Year.

From suggestions received from historic motoring enthusiasts around the world, eight superb cars have been chosen for the shortlist. All are equally deserving of the title of Car of the Year, which was last year won by the remarkable Bugatti 57SC Aerolithe recreation. In 2012 the coveted title went to the Birkin Bentley while in 2011, the Awards' first year, the winner was the Porsche Type 64 Rekordwagen.

The choice of which candidate will take the 2014 Car of the Year title is down to the general public, with votes being cast through the International Historic Motoring Awards' (IHMA) website Voting closes on November 1st.

This year's candidates are:

Mercedes 18/100 - the winner of the 1914 French Grand Prix (car number 28) has been wowing the crowds on its centenary tour.

The first Ferrari 250 GTO to come to auction since 1990 sold for a world record $38 million at Bonhams.

The 1954 Ferrari 375MM Scaglietti that this year became the first post-War car since 1968 to win Best of Show at Pebble Beach Concours.

Jaguar's E- type Lightweight Continuation cars - all six of them!

Lotus Type 56 Chassis 3 - this groundbreaking 1968 gas-turbine Indy 500 car has emerged from restoration and been demonstrated at the first Indy Historic, The Quail and The Jet Center.

Following a rebuild by Heritage Motor Centre volunteers, the Rover-BRM, Rover's entry for the 1963 and '65 Le Mans 24 Hours, ran successfully at this year's Le Mans Classic.

Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX2287 - this prototype broke 23 records at Bonneville in 1965 and in 2014 became the first car to be accepted into The National Historic Registry of the United States.

Maclom Campbell's record-breaking 150mp Sunbeam 350HP, unused since 1962, came gloriously back to life this year at the National Motor Museum.

Still time (just!) to nominate in the Awards

Nominations are still open in the other IHMA categories. Classic motoring enthusiasts have until October 1st to suggest candidates for:

Museum or Collection of the Year
Restoration of the Year (sponsored by Redd Europe)
Specialist of the Year
Publication of the Year (sponsored by Hortons Books)
Club of the Year (sponsored by Footman James)
Rally of the Year
Race Series of the Year (sponsored by Lister Cars)
Motorsport Event of the Year (sponsored by Jaguar Cars)
Motoring Event of the Year (sponsored by EFG)
Personal Achievement of the Year (sponsored by HERO Events)
Tour of the Year
Industry Supporter of the Year
The International Historic Motoring Awards are presented in association with EFG private bank and Octane magazine.

Celebrate with the best

The winners of the International Historic Motoring Awards 2014 will be announced at a gala dinner in London on Thursday 20th November at the magnificent St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Tickets for this prestigious annual fixture on the international historic motoring calendar cost £180 per person. They can be bought via

Monday, 22 September 2014


The West Midlands branch of the VMCC hold their monthly meetings in the fabulous Hall 1 of the National Motorcycle Museum; a more appropriate setting is difficult to imagine.

Bob Badland the Club Secretary invited John Rosamond along on the evening of Wednesday 17th September to provide his talk "Reminiscences of the Triumph Meriden Factory", which is a companion to John's book Save The Triumph Bonneville! The Inside Story of the Meriden Workers' Co-op, that remains as popular as ever.

70 VMCC members and their guests found John's talk both informative and entertaining as an introduction to an evening discussing club business.

The Museum stocks John's book, copies of which were on sale on the night, suitably signed by the author.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


Maserati continued its centenary celebrations in glamorous vintage style at one of the premier events on the British automotive calendar; the Goodwood Revival. As well as marking the Italian car maker’s 100th anniversary, Maserati also honoured 60 years of a Formula One legend; the Maserati 250F.

The iconic Maserati 250F, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, took centre stage in the paddock in a recreation of the 1954 pit lane from the famous Italian race circuit, Monza. 16 examples of the legendary race car were assembled for the event and a large number took part in high speed demonstrations on both Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, 10 of these racing cars took part in the Richmond Trophy – a 15 minute race for front-engined 2.5 litre Grand Prix cars.

On display in the ‘Monza’ pits as well as racing on track was the single-seater Maserati Tipo 420 M 58 ‘Eldorado’, raced by Sir Stirling Moss in the 1958 Monza 500, and on loan from the Panini Museum Collection in Italy.

Large crowds converged on the sunny Goodwood estate this year where Maserati was able to demonstrate not only its past but also its future within the art deco Earls Court Exhibition Centre, reminiscent of the London Motor Shows of the 1950s and 1960s. A 1961 3500 GT Vignale Spyder and a 1969 Ghibli Tipo AM115 took centre stage alongside two examples from Maserati’s current range – the GranCabrio MC and new Ghibli executive saloon. As part of an immersive experience, visitors watched screenings of original Maserati motorsport footage in a miniature vintage cinema alongside the car display.

Available now from Veloce!
Maserati 250F In Focus
By Anthony Pritchard.
The Maserati 250F raced against Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Vanwall for Grand Prix supremacy during the 2500cc Grand Prix Formula years of ’54-’60. Period photographs, including contributions from Tom March, are presented, along with engine cutaways, drawings, technical descriptions, and the chassis and race numbers of every 250F to have competed during this period.
Stories from leading drivers who raced the 250F, including Sir Stirling Moss, Juan Fangio, and Mike Hawthorn, along with Anthony Pritchard’s lively text, helps bring the racing story of this iconic model back to life. More info.

Friday, 12 September 2014


The Goodwood Revival takes place this weekend, and once again there will be a mouth-watering selection of iconic cars from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Here is just a Top 10 taster of the many rare and legendary cars on display and in action on the track:

1. Jaguar D-type – A staggering 20 D-types will be racing in the Lavant Cup, with a record 33 examples parading on the Goodwood circuit to celebrate 60 years of this iconic Jaguar race-winning car.

2. Maserati 250 F – The rare sight of 11 racing 250 Fs in the Richmond Trophy is set to stir the soul of any enthusiast, with a total of 16 examples parading to mark the first 100 years since the revered Maserati marque was founded.

3. The trend-setting Ford Mustang celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and to capture the event, 18 examples will battle in a special Shelby Cup race, racing wheel-to-wheel with contemporary American muscle.

4. The Manx Norton is THE iconic British racing motorcycle. An example contested the Isle of Man TT from 1907 right through to the 1970s. A total of six will take part in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy, named after Britain’s late two-time 500cc world champion. Included among them is an example of the legendary ‘featherbed’ chassis, to be raced by US legend Kevin Schwantz.

5. Four racing examples of the lusty Ferrari 250 GT SWB/C will be competing in the ‘must see’ two-driver Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration race, along with other desirable and exceedingly valuable cars from Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus and others.

6. An ultra-rare 1953 Cunningham C4R will bring some American glamour and excitement to this year’s Freddie March Memorial Trophy race.

7. Sir Jackie Stewart’s 1969 F1 Championship-winning Matra-Cosworth MS80 will form part of a tribute to this versatile and talent Caledonian World Champion, along side Ford Escorts, BRMs and Grand Prix Tyrrells.

8. ‘The Versatile V8’ will be the theme for this year’s Earls Court Concours display, including around 25 exceptional V8-powered passenger cars, including this pioneering rear-engined 1946 Tatra T87.

9. The wonderful 1959 Aston Martin DBR1 makes a welcome racing return to Goodwood for the exciting Sussex Trophy race.

10. Pre-War racing thrills are guaranteed on the Goodwood Trophy, with this thundering 1935 ERA A-Type R4A competing against other ERAs, Bugattis, Aston Martins and other great 1930s racers.

Have you got a favourite from this list? Leave a comment here on the blog.