Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Time for a T at Veloce House

Personally, I always think of Veloce as a 'multi fuel' company: petrol and diesel are always present, of course, but tea and coffee are just as vital in keeping the cogs and wheels turning. I'm more of a coffee person, but there's one type of 'T' I'm particularly fond of … the Ford Model T!

The business end of an automotive icon.

Last month, and just a few days before National Tea day (see our previous blog post), we had a visit from author Chris Barker, who came to meet the team at Veloce House, and collect a few copies of his Model T and Sunbeam Alpine Essential Buyer's Guides … so he came in his Model T, of course!

Chris is no stranger to classic and vintage cars. He began his career with Rootes Motors, has owned a Sunbeam Alpine since 1973, and is the owner of this rather splendid 1926 Model T Coupe. Chris worked for Westland Helicopters until his retirement, and was the Chief Designer for the Lynx and AW101 Merlin helicopters, so he's ideally placed to care for a car with such history and pedigree.


Becky, Chris, and Lizzie … it's behind you!
First on agenda was to meet Lizzie Bennett and Becky Martin, the Velocisti who edited and laid-out the Model T and Alpine guides. Chris had also brought clear blue skies with him, so a camera was quickly brandished …

The Coupe still cuts a fine figure.

Us Velocisti do like to appreciate every aspect of a vehicle, so passenger rides all round were called for! If you've never been in a Model T, you may be surprised to hear that it's a surprisingly refined ride. It may not be the speediest of Fords, and the two-seater cabin could be described as 'cosy,' but it has excellent visibility, and on a fine spring day, it's a wonderful way to get from A to B (and back again, of course). 

Two Fords: Model T, and a Focus, behind – separated by 77 years. The newer Ford might be an estate car, but the Model T's boot has almost as much room!
The Model T's 'difficult driving controls' myth was also thoroughly debunked: the controls may not be the same as a modern car, but they're certainly not harder (hey – there's only two forward gears … how hard can it be?). Admittedly, stopping probably takes more skill than moving a Model T, hence the saying "if you can stop a Model T, you can drive a Model T."

Inside the T. A very pleasant place to be.
Coming from an engineering background, Chris undertakes all the work on the Model T himself, and with around 15 million models built between 1908 and 1927, parts old and new are surprisingly easy to come buy. Chris is ideally qualified to talk about the more technical aspects of the T's construction, and was more than happy to provide a guided tour …


Top: the engine features a Giant Power Head cylinder head, for a few more horses.
Bottom left: a very steampunk-looking trembler coil … or 'inductorium,' as they were once known.
Bottom right: wooden wheels … still going strong after 91 years!

We'd all like to thank Chris for giving us an opportunity to get up close to a genuine automotive icon … and we encourage him to visit as often as possible with his cars! Ford Model T and Sunbeam Alpine Essential Buyer's Guides are available now: if you fancy owning a T, or an Alpine, why not pick up a copy? Who knows: you too could become a proud owner … and, yes, you're more than welcome to pop in and say hello (although we might pester you for photos) …



The Essential Buyer's Guide

Ford Model T

All models 1909 to 1927

The Model T Ford is unique. In 1920, more than half the cars in the world were Model Ts, and when production ended in 1927, 15 million had been built. Thousands survive to this day, and there’s a worldwide community of enthusiasts who enjoy the Ford's simple practicality, robustness, and affordability. What’s more, availability parts for cars and trucks is excellent.

This book has been written by two expert enthusiasts with more than 50 years' and tens-of-thousands of miles combined experience of the Model T. It describes all the many variants and changes, and even explains how to drive a Model T – different, but not difficult. It helps you decide exactly what sort of Model T you want, and what to look for when you go to examine one.

More than 70 contemporary and modern photographs accompany and support the text and tables.

V4991 • Paperback • 19.5x13.9cm • £12.99 • 64 pages • 90 picture
• ISBN: 978-1-845849-91-7 • UPC: 6-36847-04991-1

Click here to buy

The Essential Buyer's Guide

Sunbeam Alpine

All models 1909 to 1927

Rootes’ Sunbeam Alpine sportscar was the flagship of its car range. Here, all the various models and production changes are described and illustrated in detail, along with what it’s like to own, drive and live with an Alpine – one of the best engineered, stylish and practical cars of its time, and still satisfying to drive today.

If you’re thinking of buying an Alpine, this book will help you decide which model you really want, and learn exactly what to look for when you go to view a car. By using a thorough points-based assessment, you can decide with your head – not your heart – so you can make the right decision, and pay the right price.

Benefit from Chris’ forty years’ of Alpine ownership experience and engineering expertise, all in one book!

V4925 • Paperback • 19.5x13.9cm • £12.99 • 64 pages • 100 pictures
• ISBN: 978-1-845849-25-2 • UPC: 6-36847-04925-6