Wednesday, 14 January 2015

ROY SMITH SIGNS HIS NEW BOOK ON THE PORSCHE 924 CARRERA – HELPING TO REVIVE A LARGELY FORGOTTEN SUPERCAR

Award winning motoring writer and member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, Roy Smith has personally signed a limited quantity of copies of his brand new book The Porsche 924 Carrera – evolution to excellence at Veloce Publishing’s headquarters in Poundbury, Dorset this week.


The end result of several years of Roy’s own original research and world travels to interview those involved with the 924 Carrera, this brand new book was created with the full support of Porsche AG's archive centre in Stuttgart. A limited edition large square-format hardback, the book contains 408 images, many never published before, full racing statistics, and first hand interviews from those central to the 924 Carrera’s development & history, including input from Derek Bell MBE, Jürgen Barth, Norbert Singer, Tony Dron & Walter Röhrl.


Until now largely overlooked by history, the 924 Carrera was widely reported at the time as being one of the greatest of the Porsche ‘specials’ and a true supercar, but has since been overshadowed by other models.

Here, for the first time, is the definitive story of the Porsche 924 Carrera. Roy’s work covers the 406 Homologation models, built to qualify for Le Mans, and the 59 very special competition models, as well as the 17 GTR racing models. With race details covering Europe and the USA, from the Sports Car Club of America production D racers, to the GTO and Trans Am class 924 GTRs of the mid-80s, this is the first time that the full history of this rare supercar has been told.

Veloce has published an exclusive video interview with Roy Smith and Derek Bell on YouTube.



Personally signed copies of the book are only available direct from Veloce Publishing, on a first-come first-serve basis, by requesting at checkout here.

Friday, 2 January 2015

BRITAIN’S GREATEST TEST DRIVER NORMAN DEWIS RECEIVES OBE IN HER MAJESTY’S NEW YEAR HONOURS

Living legend former Jaguar test driver and works racer Norman Dewis receives an OBE in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours List.


In a career spanning 33 years of testing and developing many seminal and celebrated Jaguar cars, the exceptional achievements of legendary 94-year-old former test driver Norman Dewis have been recognised and rewarded in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours List, with Norman receiving the award of an Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Norman Dewis OBE developed no less than 25 significant Jaguar cars and is widely regarded as Britain’s greatest test driver. His automotive CV is remarkable: he developed the multiple Le Mans-winning C-type and D-type racing cars, the pioneering XK 140 and 150 sports cars, the classic 2.4/3.4 and Mk II saloons, plus the Mk VII and Mk VIIM models, the legendary E-type (including the Lightweight E-type), the XJ13 mid-engined prototype, the world-class XJ saloons, the XJ-S and the ‘XJ40’ models.

Dewis was also co-driver to the British racing hero Sir Stirling Moss in a C-type in the 1952 Mille Miglia and, in 1953, set a 172.412 mph production car speed record in a modified Jaguar XK 120 on a closed section of the Jabbeke highway, Belgium. He also drove a 190 mph works D-type in the dramatic 1955 Le Mans 24hr race and competed in the famous Goodwood Nine Hours in the 1950s.

At 94 years old, Dewis is one of the last living links to the golden era of the British motor Industry; those post-World War II years when Jaguar rebuilt itself into a champion sports car maker.

During his 33 year career, Dewis completed more than a million test miles at an average speed of 100 mph-plus and survived high-speed crashes in the days before seatbelts, without ever breaking a single bone. He also played a vital role in developing the revolutionary Dunlop disc brake.


During 2014, Dewis spearheaded Jaguar’s 60th anniversary celebrations for the race-winning D-type. Wherever Jaguar was during the year, Norman was present too, chatting with fans and friends, wearing his distinctive bootlace tie and cowboy boots. At the 2014 Goodwood Revival, Dewis drove one of the D-types, his speed illustrating that he hadn’t lost his touch behind the wheel.

Of all the cars he worked on, Dewis considers the D-type to be the best. “I got that car up to 192 mph on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans,” he says. “Well, I had to pass [Karl] Kling in the Mercedes.” Jaguar’s star driver at the time, Mike Hawthorn, had such faith in Dewis that when he was asked to attend a test session and saw that Dewis was already there, asked the team manager: “Why am I here? If Norman’s satisfied with it, I’m satisfied.”

Dewis is working with Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations’ newly established Jaguar Heritage Business organisation to help showcase its capabilities and vision. He is supporting the opening of the new Heritage workshop at Browns Lane, the extensive classic Jaguar parts offering, the launch of the new Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience in Warwickshire, and the brand-new Lightweight E-type, which he helped develop originally in the early 1960s.

John Edwards, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, and Chairman of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, said: “Jaguar owes a huge debt to Norman Dewis. His incredible skills have resulted in some of the finest cars this company has ever made – whether they were designed for the road or the racing circuit. The Norman Dewis of today is the same quietly confident and modest man of the 1950s – he remains a world-class Jaguar ambassador. It is fantastic to see his contribution to Jaguar, and to British engineering, recognised in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours List, with the award of an OBE.”


GET READY FOR A CLASSIC ARGUMENT

James May has chosen the 13 most significant cars of all time for The London Classic Car Show… but is he right?


It’s bold, controversial and bound to cause arguments… and that’s just the way BBC Top Gear’s James May wants it.

May has stuck his neck on the line and has chosen what he regards are the 13 most influential cars of all time.

The result is The Cars That Changed The World and it’s one of the star exhibits at the London Classic Car Show taking place at ExCeL in London’s Docklands from 8-11 January 2015.

May is convinced he’s got them right… but hopes that others will disagree and that his choice will cause arguments in every pub in the land.

He has split the Baker’s Dozen into two groups of six, the first half dozen being displayed in what May calls ‘The Halls of Obviousness’ with the second half dozen found in ‘The Chambers of Bloody-mindedness’. The 13th – the most significant car ever made – has its own special display area.

“You could probably guess the identity of the six in the Hall of Obviousness without reading another word,” said May, “but the other six are less well known. I believe they are just as significant historically but they’ve simply been forgotten or misunderstood.

“But the 13th is certainly the car that looms largest in my motoring life – the biggest inspiration.”

And May will open the exhibit personally on the show’s opening evening, Thursday 8 January, as well as attempting to get #the13thcar trending on Twitter. Tickets to see May reveal his 13th car as well as Adrian Newey being interviewed about his own special selection of significant race and road machines are still available, too.

The six ‘obvious’ cars (plus James’ comments) are:

1886 Benz Motorwagen. “People will argue about this, but the Benz Motorwagen was the first true car as we would understand it.”

1908 Ford Model T. “The brilliance of the Model T is the way that it was made, rather than the car itself.”

1938 Volkswagen Beetle. “It became the world’s best selling single-platform car, even though the early models were pretty horrendous to drive.”

1959 Austin Mini. “An original Mini is incredibly uncomfortable and a bit hairy if you crash it, but also fantastic to drive.”

1964 Ford Mustang. “In the first six months of its life it was the fastest selling car in history. It’s the car that democratised style and performance.”

1997 Toyota Prius. “It was the first mainstream car of my lifetime that caused people to rethink the basics of how a car should work.”

And the six Bloody-minded choices are:

1901 Waverley Electric. “At the beginning of the 20th century, electric car outsold petrol-powered cars in parts of America. They were clean, quiet and didn’t make ladies’ skirts grubby.”

1906 Cadillac Model K. “The real hero of the mass-produced car story isn’t Ford’s Model T but the Cadillac Model K.”

1933 Standard Superior. “It is widely accepted that Josef Ganz, a respected Jewish engineer, came up with the basic layout and philosophy of the Beetle.”

1972 Honda Civic. “The original Civic was a compact, lively and fuel efficient car that was well made and almost faultlessly reliable.”

1980 Lada Riva. “The Russian-built, Fiat 124-derived, Riva did more than any other to put communism on wheels.”

2009 Bruno ExoMars Rover. “Autonomous, self-sustaining and suitable for use on other planets, it is surely the world’s most advanced all-terrain vehicle.”

And the 13th? “I’m not going to give that away,” said May. “You simply have to visit the show and indulge me through my halls and chambers to get to it.”

The London Classic Car Show is the latest creation from Brand Events, the company behind all-action car shows like Top Gear Live, and is full of innovative features. It promises to be unlike any classic car event yet staged.

May will be joined by two other show curators who have both created their own special displays with cars that mean the most to them.

Legendary Formula 1 designer Adrian Newey charts his motoring career not just with some of his winning F1 cars, but also with cars and bikes that hold a special place in his heart. These include his own Ford GT40, his Ducati 900SS and the scale model Grand Prix cars he built from kits as a schoolboy.

TV chef James Martin, meanwhile, will not only be displaying his private collection of classic Ferraris and Mini-Coopers but will also be running the James Martin Classic Café offering up ‘good, simple, grub’ to visitors.

The centrepiece of the show, however, is The Grand Avenue in association with Motoriety, a moving motoring runway , the like of which has never been seen at an indoor show before.

It will give visitors to the show the chance to see and hear rare motoring icons in action… everything from a 1920s Bugatti Type 35B to a 1990s Bugatti EB110, and from a 1930s Jaguar SS1 to an ultra rare Jaguar XJ220 supercar.

There will be cars from the dawn of motoring – like a 1902 Curved Dash Oldsmobile – to competition cars like a Gp 4 Lancia Stratos from the 1970s. Great marques include Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Bentley and iconic model names include Miura, E-type, 288 GTO, 959 and Ghost.

There’s even a quartet of genuine Formula 1 cars from the 1950s to the 1980s, all of which will be started and driven along The Grand Avenue in a spectacular display of sound and fury.

The 60th anniversary of the dramatic Citroën DS will be celebrated with many examples of ‘The Goddess’ – as well as a first look at the new DS brand – on show, and there will also be displays from leading classic dealers and specialists.

Tickets are now available from the show website – www.thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk – where early bird discounts reduce the on-the-door standard entry price from £25 to just £22.

Also available are family and group tickets, premium entry packages and access to the exclusive Preview Evening on the opening night.

Premium Tickets – which have limited availability and are already completely sold out for Saturday 10 January – will give visitors access to the premium enclosure overlooking The Grand Avenue, a drink and complimentary cloakroom plus a free copy of the official event handbook.

Source: London Classic Car Show

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

PORSCHE 924 CARRERA FULL LENGTH INTERVIEW WITH ROY SMITH & DEREK BELL

New video added to the Veloce YouTube channel!



Available December 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.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

DRIVING IN EUROPE COMPETITION

With the winter nights drawing in, memories of those long summer drives across Europe in your favourite car are probably fading away ...

At Veloce, we'd like to help you to recall some of the highlights – and maybe the not-so-good moments – from your travels abroad. Share your experiences with us (either here in the blog comments on our Facebook page) and we'll send a fabulous prize book bundle* (worth over £40!) to the reader with the best story to tell.


Here are a few questions that might jog your memory ...

1. Which country in Europe have you most enjoyed driving in, and why?
2. What is your best memory of driving on the Continent?
3. Which country in Europe did you find it most difficult to drive in, and why?
4. What is your worst memory of driving on the Continent?
5. What do you most wish you had known before you made your trip?

We'll announce the winner and publish a selection of your anecdotes in the January 2015 edition of On the Grid.

*The prize book bundle consists of Roads with a view – England's greatest views and how to find them by road, A Drive on the Wild Side – Twenty extreme driving adventures from around the world & Mini Minor to Asia Minor – There & Back.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

FIRST LOOK! ADVANCE COPIES OF THE PORSCHE 924 CARRERA BOOK BY ROY SMITH

Advance copies of the eagerly anticipated new book The Porsche 924 Carrera – evolution to excellence by Roy Smith arrived at Veloce House this week.

A limited edition of 1500 copies, this is the first in-depth study of this rare homologation supercar. The story of a forgotten star from the Stuttgart portfolio: a car that is truly worthy of carrying the proud Porsche badge. Here are a few photos of the finished book ...


Watch the trailer video with award winning motoring writer Roy Smith & Le Mans legend & Porsche 924 Carrera GTS owner Derek Bell.



Available December 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.