Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Cool recipes for a hotter camping holiday



If you're an On the Grid subscriber (you're not? Click here to fix that) you'll have seen that our last edition contained a first for Veloce; a recipe book. However, it's not only a recipe book …

Dave Richards, better known in camping and caravanning circles as The Barefoot Chef, has brought together a host of camping and caravanning tips, and combined them with no fewer than 60 camping-friendly recipes, to create a book Dave describes as 'the laid-back person's guide to camping.' Dave has long been a lover of the classic Volkswagen camper (his bright orange VW is a regular at sites and events across the UK), but the beauty of this book is that you don't have to be a VW owner to benefit. Four wheels, two wheels, three wheels — even two legs — whatever your preferred mode of travel, it has plenty to offer every adventurer.


Cool Recipes & Camping Hacks for VW Campers arrives in the nick of time for summer. This year it's no surprise that many of us are desperate for a holiday, but jetting away to sunny climes whilst the anxiety-inducing phrase 'amber list' echoes in our minds isn't exactly encouraging. This year, holidaying is a little different, with many more of us choosing to holiday at home rather than risk a foreign trip.

From camping to glamping

Of course, staycationing is something many of us do already, and nothing says staycation more than camping and caravanning. Whether you're new to it or an old hand, there are always ways to make your hols slicker, easier, and more enjoyable, so why not take the opportunity to learn from a stalwart staycationer? After all, Dave has spent 25 years 'working things out the hard way,' so you don't have to!


Serving up his camping advice with a healthy splash of humour, a light sprinkling of irreverence, and garnished with real-world experiences, the result is not only a really useful guide, but also a fun read. It's a great book to digest before you leave, but an essential one to take on your camping adventures; we can't state enough how helpful Dave's tips, hacks and experience sharing is. And did we mention it's funny … ?

Bye bye trail mix; hello posh nosh

But that's only half the story. Stepping away from pet and portaloo advice, and slipping on his Chef's hat (after thorough hand washing, of course), The Barefoot Chef dishes up no fewer than 60 tried-and-tested camping-friendly recipes. Intended to add a gourmet touch to your al fresco dining, each recipe-for-two uses equipment easily to hand when camping, and ingredients that you won't have to go to the ends of the Earth to find.




Whether it's a camping classic such as SPAM and baked beans (page 87), blinged-up basics like posh Pot Noodle (page 93), or a gourmet dish like smoked salmon barbecued on a wooden plank (page 91), each recipe is designed not only to be easy-to-make, but not too taxing to create after a long day adventuring (or campfire gazing) and – ultimately – tasty. Dave highlights recipes that are vegetarian or gluten-free (or easily made so), and caters for a wide range of cuisines and personal tastes. And, of course, you can adapt a recipe to suit your own palette, or substitute ingredients as necessary.


With so many recipes, it would be unfair not to share one or two, so to whet your appetite for staycation dining, here's a sample recipe, plus you can find a full list of all recipes and another sample recipe (mushroom burger anyone?) over on our website.

Sample Recipe

Chicken fusion tagine (GF)



I've made many attempts at creating a decent Moroccan stew – this is by far the simplest and best, and occurred as the result of a very fortunate freak accident. The chickpea dhal had been in the bus for ages, unloved and unwanted, until one hungry evening when we used it as a filler to go with chicken fillets. Originally that was to be that, but the only rice we had in the camper was Mediterranean. Its addition suddenly moved a nominally Indian dish closer to the borders of the African continent. A note was duly made, and the next time we cooked it, apricots were added and a killer dish was born.


Ingredients

  • A knob of butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1tsp garlic paste
  • 2 chicken fillets, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 can of chickpea dhal
  • 50g dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 pack of Mediterranean rice

Method

This is the sort of dish that can be cooked inside the camper without fear of spitting oil or fat, and minimal chances of lingering smells.


Begin by gently heating up a knob of butter in a pan until it starts to foam. Add the finely diced onion and sweat it over a medium heat before adding a teaspoon of garlic paste. Turn down the heat still further, until the onion turns translucent. Increase the heat slightly, add the chicken and stir everything together. Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken begins to colour. Scrape in the can of chickpea dhal – this drops out in chunks, so stir it all together – and cook for two or three minutes until the dhal is softened and everything becomes as one. Add the packet of rice, loosened as per the instructions, and the dried, chopped apricots.


Give everything a final stir and serve up.


Sadly, one-pot dishes always look a little dull. My food stylist wanted to add a riot of green herbs, which in reality would have added nothing. The dish is spectacularly filling, and given its apparently mismatched ingredients, is a veritable taste sensation!


We've had this book in stock for only a short time, but it's already proving popular with our customers; grab your copy and start planning your gourmet camping experience now! 


Cool Recipes & Camping Hacks for VW Campers is £14.99, but you can pick up a copy for just £9.74 if you use our STAY-INDOORS-AND-READ discount code online or by phone.



Thursday, 29 April 2021

Small packages. Good things.

Although things are looking up, and lockdowns are easing, we are still very much not yet back to normal. We’re seeing side effects still, especially those affecting our distributors and suppliers. 


Supply chains can be notoriously complicated, but even the simplest has been affected by the pandemic. Fortunately, our supply chain is fairly simple, but one side effect we are seeing, is that we are occasionally receiving very small batches of books before our distributors, and before the main bulk of stock arrives at our distributors’ warehouses.


"Great!", you cry. Well, yes, but it does complicate things a little …


Because the numbers received are so small – sometimes just a single box – we can’t send our usual IN STOCK NOW notifications to our subscribers. It’s likely the book would sell out before everyone had had a chance to even see the email.


But we don’t like withholding stock; we want to get our books into your hands as fast as possible. So, if you’ve visited our site recently, you’ll likely have noticed that a few books have appeared without the usual fanfare. Whilst we’re not announcing these books to all our subscribers via email until bulk stock arrives, you can still ensure you get the heads-up first, by using our Notify me feature. We’ve covered this on our blog before, and it’s become one of our’s, and our customers, favourite features.


So far, we’ve received three small consignments of books, all currently available. Let’s take a look …



Ford Cars
Ford UK cars 1945-1995
A Pictorial History


David Rowe brings us our latest addition to our Pictorial History series, and fills a very important gap. Packing an incredible amount of information and detail into a pocket-sized volume is no mean feat, but this book really is an encyclopaedia in your pocket.



With over 300 photos, model variations, special models, specifications, colour schemes, and more, packed into its 160 pages, this is one book Ford fans can’t afford not to own. 




A brilliant – even essential – reference book for Ford fans, marque mavens, and authenticity anoraks!


£16.99 UK • $27.50 USA • $36.50 CAN
SKU: V5642 Format: Paperback • 21x14.8cm • 160 pages • 330 pictures
GET YOUR COPY HERE



Volkswagen Type 4, 411 and 412
The final rear-engined VW cars


Most people, when they hear the word "Volkswagen," think of Beetles, campers, or Golfs. But this latest book from Marc Cranswick is a deep study of Volkswagen’s first luxury model, and the last all new air-cooled car: the Type 4.



It’s also the first English language book dedicated to the Type 4, not to mention the most detailed. With full model histories of the 411 and 412 models, it covers everything from initial concept and design, to the model’s legacy today. 




You’ll find not only detailed specifications and performance tables, but a revealing account of Volkswagen’s search for a place in a changing and challenging global marketplace.


£35 UK • $60 USA • $80 CAN
SKU: V5522 Format: Hardback • 25x20.7cm • 184 pages • 223 pictures
GET YOUR COPY HERE 



Cool Recipes & Camping Hacks for VW Campers


This book is a first for Veloce – a recipe book! Well, not only a recipe book. From the Barefoot Chef, Dave Richards, comes this collection of al fresco dining ideas, perfect for camping with limited resources, and on a budget.


Packed with over 60 tasty camping-friendly recipes, and with dozens of camping tips, and funny tales, it’ll make even the most consummate couch potato want to be a culinary camper … and shows them how. From blinged-up basics, to al fresco fine dining, it’s a reference book one minute, and campfire read the next.




Head over to our website to see a list of the recipes.: you can even try your hand at the Barefoot Chef’s Mushroom Burger recipe. Grab a copy today, and go from camping zero to camping hero with the Barefoot Chef. 



£14.99 UK • $25 USA • $32.99 CAN
SKU: V5745 Format: Paperback • 21x14.8cm • 128 pages • 184 pictures
GET YOUR COPY HERE


Waiting for a certain book?


Hit the Notify me button on the book page at veloce.co.uk, and be the first to hear when a book comes into stock. Or, give us a call and tell us, and we’ll contact you when a book is available.


Monday, 29 March 2021

World Autism Awareness Week

Autism, autistic spectrum, neurodiverse; it’s likely that you’ve seen these terms popping up more and more over the last year or so. But what do these terms mean, and who has it … and why are we posting about it? 


March 29th to April 4th is World Autism Awareness Week. In the UK alone, there are around 700,000 adults and children who have been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD); in the US the number is close to 5.5 million.


As with most things of this nature, the term is firmly rooted in the medical model, so can be a little misleading. Symptoms of ASD are broad – hence 'spectrum’ – affecting communication, anxiety levels, and sensitivity to stimuli, among other things. But it’s not a disease – you can’t catch it, and it’s not something to be cured. There is some debate as to whether it’s a disorder at all, or simply a set of behaviours that are naturally part of the broader spectrum of human behaviours.

Some people’s brains work slightly differently to others (no surprises there), and this causes the symptoms – yes, medical model term again – that’s collectively known as ASD. Neurodiversity is a more inclusive term for people with ASD, and covers a range of conditions, not only autistic spectrum. Whatever term you use, the genes responsible for ASD aren't 'negative'; they have also been linked to increased creativity and heightened problem-solving; many of the things we take for granted today, from technology, to art, and the sciences, were only made possible because the inventors – knowingly or otherwise – had ASD genes or were neurodiverse.

Awareness of neurodiversity and the issues faced by neurodiverse individuals is growing all the time, helped in part by the number of celebrities revealing that they, too, are on the autistic spectrum – from actors including Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, to tech icon and philanthropist Bill Gates, and trailblazing scientist and activist Temple Grandin (a name many Hubble & Hattie readers will be familiar with) – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As is often the case, it seems creativity and neurodiversity are natural companions. There are also more and more adults being diagnosed with ASD, as people recognise their own signs and symptoms.

Depictions of autism, both in literature and film, are also becoming more common, and this has partly helped raise awareness on social media, and levels of discussion. Not only does this mean that there is a much better understanding of the day-to-day challenges faced by people on the spectrum amongst non-neurodiverse individuals, but also that sources of help and advice for neurodiverse people, their families and friends, is more accessible than ever. And that’s a very good thing.


You may be surprised to hear that Veloce has a title that is particularly relevant this week; A Cat to Kill For. This murder mystery (with a healthy dose of rom-com) from G W Miller features a main character with Asperger syndrome: Emily. We won't give away too much here, but Emily, and struggling Watkins Glen classic car dealer Gavin Campbell, are drawn into a world of mystery filled with colourful characters, and shady dealings … and all because of a special Jaguar E-Type! Of course, just as in real life, Emily is defined by her Asperger's; her condition may be reflected in her body language and conversations, but, as you'll find out in the book, she still has the smarts!

If you have children or younger relatives with ASD, Hubble & Hattie Kids! publishes a wonderful series of children's books written by Lucy Martin. Lucy has drawn on her own experiences of living with ASD to create an engaging, colourful, and fun world that helps provide children with real-life help. The stories provide examples of ways to deal with situations that children with ASD may find difficult, but that are relevant to all children. Alice also has a genuinely helpful facebook page, offering tips and advice for neurodiverse children, plus a whole lot more that's educational, enlightening, and just plain fun – and it's not just for kids. We can't recommend it highly enough; 'follow the dinosaur' on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Alice.Aspie1


If you’d like to find out more about autism Aspergers, and other autistic spectrum conditions, the following organisations can help;


National Autistic Society (UK) 

https://www.autism.org.uk/


Autism Europe (EU)
https://www.autismeurope.org/

Autistic Spectrum (AUS)
https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/


Autism New Zealand (NZ)
https://www.autismnz.org.nz/



Thursday, 25 March 2021

A brush with (Book)Authority

When it comes to 'The Best' of something, everyone has an opinion, so where can you go to find impartial recommendations?



The world's leading book recommendation site, BookAuthority, is where. For those not familiar with it, BookAuthority is the world’s leading book recommendation site. Covering every topic, it rates the best books – in this case, the most popular and highly rated – using dozens of criteria, from public mentions on social media, to sales data, popularity, and even recommendations by 'thought leaders' and people in industry, arts, and commerce who know a thing or two about their subjects (we won't drop the big names, but you can see a few here). 



And that's not all; if you sign up at BookAuthority's website, you can create your own curated reading lists, add your own recommendations, and receive recommendations tailored to you. Pretty cool. 


BookAuthority is an Amazon affiliate, which means it receives a small commission for linking to our books on Amazon, but that doesn't affect the objectivity and unbiased nature of the ratings; these are purely based on data, not requests or payments from authors or publishers. 




We highlighted our winners in the 76 Best Motorsport Books of All Time category on facebook back in February, but we these aren't our only winners – we have nearly 40 books across 13 Best of All Time (BOAT) categories, with some winning in multiple categories. The positions and ratings of books in each category can change as more people review and recommend them, so some of our books have already moved higher in the rankings since our initial post. 


For your convenience, we have created a new BookAuthority 'Best of All Time' category on our website, so you can check out the winners at leisure; you'll find it under Miscellaneous.  If you want some recommended reading and some BOAT books as judged by actual data, take a look, or see below for a rundown of our current winners and positions, including a few from our Hubble & Hattie imprint. 



Click the headings below to see the full category lists at BookAuthority, or the book names to visit our store and find precisely why these are some of the Best of All Time. Don't forget to enter our STAY-INDOORS-AND-READ code at checkout (it's very easy) to get 35% OFF the RRP. … and let's hear it for the all brilliant Veloce authors who made it possible.

15 Best Car Electical System Books of All Time

#5 Classic British Car Electrical Systems

#15 Driven


We're frequent BookAuthority visitors – we're always looking for good recommendations – and we highly recommend.. We'll keep you posted should any more Veloce winners appear; sign up to our newsletter On the Grid to be the first to know.


Tuesday, 23 February 2021

New year. New Books


2021 at last. You can't deny that 2020 was a pretty horrible year for everyone. But with a new year comes fresh hope that things will get back to some sort of normal. At some point.


Pandemic and Brexit headaches are still causing a few issues, but we are working harder than ever to get our fine books into your fine, anti-bacterially cleansed hands.


First off, we should say that our customers in Europe could see orders being delayed in some instances. We say 'could,' because there is no pattern to where and what gets delayed; some customers are seeing delays, while their neighbours in the same locality aren't. Generally, delays are short – only a day or two – where they do occur, so please allow a few extra days to receive your orders, just to be safe.


Second, we'd like to mention that we ship direct to the US and Canada from our UK HQ. The US and Canada usually sees stock arrive two or three months after a book’s UK release, so many of our American and Canadian customers are choosing to order direct from us, and receive their orders before a official release in their territory …  and with a thrifty 35% off when using our STAY-INDOORS-AND-READ code, they can make a saving over other sellers. Get ahead of the game and get your copy before 'official' releases in the US or Canada by ordering direct from us. 


Our programme may have been pruned a little, and we still have to deal with a few 'unknown unknowns', but we're keeping calm and carrying on. Let's kick-off our new year books with something you can get right away.


Available now


The Book of the Honda S2000
By Brian Long

A deep-dive into Honda's high-revving naturally-aspirated two-litre roadster. Long-time Veloce readers will know that this book has been promised for quite some time.

We received stock at Veloce HQ between Christmas and New Year, and this book has been selling fast ever since. It's so in demand, it sold out twice at the beginning of the year. With the book now available direct in the US, we're expecting it to sell out fast, so get yours while you still can!




RRP: £30 UK • $50 USA • $65 CAN
SKU: V5214 Format: Hardback • 25x20.7cm • 160 pages • 348 illustrations



Tom Hartley 'The Dealmaker' Paperback Edition 

If you want something positive and uplifting to help put 2020 behind you, you could a whole lot worse than our new paperback edition of The Dealmaker. This is the story of Tom Hartley's journey from rags to riches. Leaving school unable to read or write, Tom set up his own business buying and selling luxury cars. Making his first million by the age of 17, Tom lost it all, and started over, and now runs one fo the most successful independent family-run auto businesses in the world, covering classics, performance, and luxury models.


Tom's is an inspiring story, and just the thing needed to move into 2021 with a 'can do' attitude. Get into the 'can do' spirit by heading over to Veloce and getting your paperback copy today 😁



PAPERBACK

RRP: £15.99 UK • $25 USA • $32.99 CAN SKU: V5720

HARDBACK
RRP: £19.99 UK • $30 USA • $39 CAN SKU: V5567

Format: 14.8x21cm • 240 pages • 179 pictures


AVAILABLE TO BUY NOW IN PAPERBACK OR HARDBACK FORMAT



MADE IN AMERICA
Racing Camaros
An International Photographic History 1966-1986
By Steve Holmes

Hitting our shores any day now, is this latest book in our Made in America series. Following on from Racing Mustangs, Steve's book captures the myriad Camaro road racers in action, across the globe, during a twenty year period. Nearly 300 action shots, and reproductions of posters from the era – many never published before – make this a real celebration, and a unique view, of one of America's most iconic cars.


RRP: $35 USA • £25 UK • $46 CAN

SKU: V5512 Format: Hardback • 20.7x25cm • 176 pages • 292 pictures

DUE NOW



Morris Cars 1948-1984
A Pictorial History
By Ray Newell

Heading back to the UK, Morris Cars gives this beloved British marque the A Pictorial History treatment. Ray, who has impeccable Morris credentials, has crammed his knowledge into this pocket handbook, along with over 400 photos, model identifications, specifications, colour schemes, optional equipment – you name it. You really have to see A Pictorial History book in the flesh to appreciate just how detailed they are … so get your copy today and begin your journey to Morris Marque Mastery.


RRP:
£16.99 UK • $24.99 USA • $32.99 CAN
SKU: V5055 Format: Paperback • 21x14.8cm • 144 pages • 425 colour pictures


DUE IMMINENTLY


BMW M3 & M4

The complete history of these ultimate driving machines

By Graham Robson

Now, given the subject and the author, we expect this book to fly out the door. This is a brand-new edition of Graham's superb book covering the entire history of these M cars. Race, rally (of course!), and road are covered, and the book is lavishly illustrated with photos, cutaways, illustrations, and more. This is bang up-to-date, detailing all models produced from 2013 until 2021, including the new M4.



RRP:
£40 UK • $60 USA • $78 CAN
SKU: V5579 Format: Hardback • 28x23cm • 256 pages • 263 pictures


DUE NEXT MONTH


Porsche 911SC

Experiences & illustrated practical advice from one man's home restoration

By Andrew Clusker

Everyone knows that classic 911s are the bomb – but you don't want to get burned by one. If you've longed to restore and own one, how can you tell if a car is a project, or a pitfall? Andrew Clusker has penned a unique book to help provide just these answers. A fully illustrated record of a '83 911SC Targa Sport, originally a special order for Sir Cliff Richard, this is the book for anyone overwhelmed by the scale of the task. Taking you through his painstaking journey, Andrew shows that this type of restoration is totally possible for any dedicated enthusiast.



RRP: £50 UK • $65 USA • $85 CAN
SKU: V5453 Format: Hardback • 25x25cm • 280 pages • 567 pictures


DUE NEXT MONTH

So, that's just some of the great new books we have coming your way in 21. Don't forget, too, that our regular rolling reprint programme is continuing as usual, so our new books will be joined by a selection of more classic Veloce books throughout the year.

 

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Kawasaki H2 Love by Phil Green




Today, we're handing over duty to guest blogger Phil Green. To say Phil is a petrolhead is a bit of an understatement. From articles delving into the issues of Spitfire carburation (the fighter plane, not the car), to a full Stag restoration (yes, the car), and a smattering of restored motorcycles, Phil's love of things with wheels and engines is obvious.

In this post, Phil takes us through some of his 'adventures' in motorcycle restoration. Whether you're considering a restoration of your own, a classic bike lover, or simply on your coffee break, grab your cup, put your feet up, and read on …

***

It was a key step almost always undertaken by people of my generation when buying a secondhand car or motorcycle ... purchasing The Workshop Manual. Automatically following the act of acquiring a new vehicle came the primeval urge to understand how it worked … and therefore how to fix it!

The one and only time I ever departed from this sacred routine was back in the early 1980s when, quite incredibly, I purchased a Workshop Manual for a motorcycle that I had never even seen due to its rarity in the UK, and actually had no plans to buy at the time. I'd never seen this manual on sale before, but such was my fascination with Japanese two strokes, I went ahead and splashed out on a manual for a vehicle I did not have. The manual was for a Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV. 

My background is engineering and, as I progressed up the managerial ladder, I spent more and more of my time pushing around paperwork, rather than engineering, and problem-solving, which was a cause of much frustration to me. Purchasing a house in 1999 with a tandem garage was the turning point, and a 1971 Triumph Stag restoration was my saviour in subsequent years. A few years ago, I had the Stag on the road (come on, they are never really finished), and my thoughts turned to other possible projects.

I have always been a two stroke freak, and grew up on Yamaha parallel twins, but the large Japanese two stroke triple models were out of production when I passed my driving licence, and seemed unattainable for some reason at the time even though the secondhand option was a possibility.

As the Stag continued to consume less and less of my time, I began toying with the idea of returning to my first love, and decided I should look around for a project bike to restore. Engine capacity had to be as big as possible and definitely a two stroke from the 70s. The ideal candidate appeared to be a Suzuki GT750, or ‘kettle’ as they are affectionately known in the UK. I began researching and scanning advertisements of bikes for sale, and was shocked by the prices these 40-year-old-plus bikes were commanding. It would appear that prices were being driven up by demand from my generation attempting to relive their youth, or (as in my case) owning a machine they could only dream of when younger.

In actual fact, there were two candidate models I had in mind for a new project: either a Suzuki GT750 or a Kawasaki 750 H2, although I felt it very unlikely that I would locate the latter model as relatively few had been imported into the UK back in the 1970s. In fact, even though I had the Workshop Manual tucked away somewhere in my attic, I could not remember ever having seen or touching such a bike, even at the numerous shows and race meets I attended back in the day.

I generated several automated searches online, but the demand for these bikes and the prices paid for them were severe obstacles. I did not want a finished bike. It was essential it was a restoration project as I get such enjoyment from doing the work myself. I had done everything I could on the Stag, even spraying the bodywork in a single-width garage, and I can honestly say it was, well, let’s call it 'character-building,' though I would not have missed every torturous step forward, and occasional step backward, for the world.

Frustratingly, my search continued for several years without success, during which I became aware that many project bikes were actually being imported from the USA where they existed in much larger number than in the UK. Ideally, I wanted a bike that was complete rather than a box of bits. I always felt it was safer to buy a complete bike and take it apart to check that all the parts are present, and there are no difficult-to-source items missing.

After a few agonising near misses with GT750s and one H2, I did manage to finally source a 1976 Suzuki GT750A in January 2020, much to my delight. Incredibly, I found it on eBay, which is hideously competitive, but the stars were aligned that day and I barely hesitated before pressing the ‘Buy It Now’ button. The bike was an unrestored Canadian import that clearly had not run for some time, but would turn over with compression, and appeared complete, apart from lack of an airbox.

The bike came with a NOVA (Notification of Vehicle Arrival) which I have since learnt is essential when importing a vehicle in terms of possible tax liability, but no original ownership documents. This caused a slight problem when I tried to register the bike with the DVLA, but, a quick phone call later, the department was happy with the bike’s history and the dating certificate I had sourced from the VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club), and I was promptly issued a V5. Okay, the first logbook issued was for a Kia 750 (?) which was swiftly corrected, but I did find the whole experience relatively straightforward. I needed a dating certificate for the bike from the VJMC in order to ensure that I received an age-relevant number plate, which would classify the bike as an historic vehicle and therefore free from road tax (and MOT, as it transpires).

Transporting the Suzy through my house to the garage was an experience I do not think my son and I will ever forget (the outside route was not possible because of a 90 degree passageway and single doorway into my garden). Even though I had checked the dimensions of the Suzy, it felt huge when trying to push it up the steps and through my front door. To this day, I am not clear how the handlebars went through the front doorway. I sat astride the bike whilst my son pushed and, suddenly, we were inside! We then transited the living and dining rooms before exiting into the rear garden via French doors. The lack of a working front brake added to the ‘excitement’ going down the garden steps to my small shed where the bike was stored.

So, I had bagged the Suzuki! But I needed to sort out the garage access and better storage. During the first lockdown, I managed to get another set of French doors installed between my workshop and garden, and also removed a wall, allowing a motorcycle to be wheeled straight through from garden storage to the front of the house. Even though Suzy was temporarily in a very small, shed, I did start the restoration process. In all honesty, it kept me sane during the spring/summer lockdown as, unexpectedly, I had to survive lockdown alone! 

I began to consider longer term storage for Suzy whilst she was being restored, and when she was on the road again (hopefully, next spring). As I began to ponder the ideal dimensions of a new workshop/storage shed in my garden, a germ of an idea began to form … why stop at one bike … why not size the storage for at least two?

Many friends and family were shocked when the Suzuki arrived, but a few long-term friends were not surprised at all as they knew my history. A couple of them knew of my fascination with the H2, but even they were completely unprepared by what I did  next ...

Unbeknown to most, I had retained my H2 online searches, just in case. Over and over again, I saw completed, highly-priced bikes for sale, but very few project bikes. I got close once when I became aware of an H2 for sale on the south coast that had yet to be advertised. Ahead of the pack for once! But photos supplied by the seller confirmed that the frame had been cut to make a cafĂ© racer which for me, was a big no-no. I wanted originality of nothing.

And so it went on, with none of my friends really aware of just how serious I was about adding an H2 to the Suzuki. Yes, some knew I still pined for an H2, and sent me links to various relevant photos and videos online, but none realised just what was going on in my head. I had decided to give up on the UK and search overseas, but initial attempts to find an overseas agent were fruitless. Whichever way I looked at it, trying to buy a bike overseas without seeing it, from someone I did not know, and having it shipped to the UK was a huge risk not to be undertaken lightly.

Things suddenly fell into place in June 2020 when a message and photo appeared in a Kawasaki Triple Forum on Facebook. The message read “Anybody fancy a project bike?” and the photo showed two H2s in various states of disassembly on the back of a trailer in New York State, USA. I quickly took the plunge and responded that I was interested, following up with a personal message explaining my desire to find a suitable H2 project.

To his great credit, the seller contacted me again in July to give me first option on one of the two project H2s he had available.There followed several weeks of photos and email exchanges where I questioned everything I could think of. I studied the photos very closely, and I mean VERY closely, blowing them up on the biggest screen I could.

Phil Green and his Kawasaki H2

To cut a long story short, in July I thought 'what the hell!' and agreed to buy the bike. In the meantime, I had realised that the seller was President of the Kawasaki Triple Club, and a renowned expert on all things relating to Kawasaki triples. Even though I did not know him before the transaction, I always felt that he was being very straight with me with everything I asked. But I did  take a big swallow before sending over a deposit – for a bike I had never seen, to a guy I had never met, who lived overseas ...

The purchase price included shipping to the UK, delivery to my home address, and arranging the NOVA and V5. Following payment of the deposit, I tried to relax, but could not help occasionally firing off emails requesting updates. The bike took a long road trip from Michigan to Wisconsin, where it was placed in its container for the journey overseas to the UK.

While all this was going I told absolutely no one at all about what I'd done … well, apart from one friend in Australia and also, strangely Jude at Veloce. Jude had asked why I was purchasing The Kawasaki Triples Bible from Veloce when I did not have a Kawasaki triple … and so I confessed, swearing her to secrecy, but I kept all my other friends and family very much in the dark. Perhaps I was worried it would all go horribly wrong and I would be left with egg on my face.

Come October, I received a phone call from a number I did not recognise, interrupting a work Skype meeting. For some reason I answered the call, even though I did not recognise the number. It was a motorcycle transportation company, advising me that it had an H2 to deliver to me!

And so, on October 13, 2020, I became the proud owner of a 1972 Kawasaki 750 H2 project bike ... boy, did I shock a few people when they finally found out. Would I have done this crazy thing if it hadn’t been for the weirdness of lockdown? Who knows …?

The H2 now sits in my new storage shed patiently awaiting my attention. She will have to wait until after the Suzy is completed, though. 

In the meantime, just where is that Workshop Manual I purchased back in 1980 …?


The Kawasaki H2  
                                                       
***
If you'd like to share your stories of restoration successes – or nightmares – or if you've written a post on a subject you think would make for a good guest spot on our blog, email us with your ideas and we'll take a look!

As you might expect, given that our first books were workshop manuals, we have a great selection for anyone working on their own resto project, from two wheels, to four … even three!

With over 80 to choose from we can't list them all here, so click this link …

https://www.veloce.co.uk/store/Workshop-c35031288

… and you can see all our workshop manuals – everything from busses and bikes, to scooters and Reliant Regals! 



Thursday, 26 November 2020

Jamie Chadwick joins Extreme E with Veloce Racing




Jamie Chadwick is joining Team Veloce for the inaugural season of Extreme E beginning next March, as one of 20 drivers competing in this brand new off-road all-electric SUV series … yep; you read it right!


Extreme E is a new motorsport series, created with climate awareness and eco principles built-in from the ground-up (no pun intended), and promises to offer something truly unique in the world or motorsport. Founded by Spanish businessman and ex-politician, Alejandro Agag, the series already has some big names on-board; Lucas di Grassi (former Formula E champ), Andre Lotterer (three-times Le Mans champ), and Katherine Legge, (seasoned Formula E, IndyCar/ChampCar, and DTM racer), to name a few. And then there’s team X44, founded by a certain Lewis Hamilton … hmm … name sounds familiar …


Alejandro Agag










Jamie is racing for the Veloce Racing team (fantastic name, but we are biased … and no relation, sadly) which was founded by none-other than Adrian Newey and Jean Eric-Vergne. Currently, two other female racers are confirmed; the UK’s Catie Munnings and Sara Price from the US.



The series aims to provide a fantastic spectacle, and one that could, perhaps, be a little more relatable for many people, than some race series. All-electric SUVs help not only to reduce fossil fuel use, but also create a filter-down effect for technology, much as other formulas have led to improvements in consumer vehicles. Using SUVs presents viewers with a more familiar vehicle than the extreme tech of F1 and Formula E, and could help bring a broader range of viewers to the sport. With SUVs being the biggest selling, and biggest growing auto market, bringing down its eco footprint could have a big effect on reducing fossil fuel use.

NOT your typical SUV.










As well as utilising all-electric SUVs, the series consulted experts in the fields of ecology and environmental science to ensure that it has minimal environmental impact. There will even be a team of scientists travelling with the race teams, investigating the effects of climate change in each location.


Further lessening the eco burden, people and equipment will be ferried to each region in RMS St Helena, an ex-Royal Navy cargo vessel modified to act as a floating paddock. And as if that wasn’t enough, the series is drawing up plans to leave lasting legacies in the areas it visits, with tree-planting, clean-up operations, and renewable energy initiatives.


RMS St Helena, Extreme E transport vessel










Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Extreme E – certainly for traditional motorsports fans – is that there will be no track-side spectators. Instead, the entire series will be broadcast on TV and streamed online, with filming carried out by drones.  For viewers, the spectacle promises to be a feast for the eyes. If the trick shots and flyovers made possible by drone cams aren’t exciting enough, each race location will offer a very different environment for racing – from steamy rainforests, and frozen glaciers, to arid deserts, each being a 'poster child' for the effects of global heating and ecological damage.


Last year, Jamie showed her mettle by taking the championship crown in the female-only W Series. Sadly, the Covid pandemic brought a halt to this year’s W Series action, but it’s due back on track in 2021. Extreme E announced in April that there would be an equal number of male and female drivers, making it a rare opportunity to race against the opposite sex; as Jamie told BBC Sport:


"It's huge. It's amazing what Extreme E have done with the format they have chosen. It’s exciting for me because it gives me this opportunity - it's the same for everyone, 100% fair.

"It's such a male-dominated sport. There are so few females, that you have to take that responsibility [of being a female role model]. But I'm always just focused on doing the best job I can possibly do."


Jamie’s involvement in the sport has also had a knock-on effect on her own awareness of ecological issues, already making a positive impact on her own actions:


"I've definitely been made more aware of climate issues, with a lot of stats and things I wasn't aware of before. I try to do everything I can to help in my own life, such as scootering everywhere."


Jamie’s journey hasn’t always been smooth running, but with a W Series championship under her belt, Extreme E on the horizon, momentum continues to gather for Jamie, and with eight W Series races supporting the 2021 F1 season, the opportunity to add vital points to her Superlicence is just around the corner. Heaven knows it’s about time we saw a female racing driver in F1 again; the last to race was Lella Lombardi, in 1976.


We’d like to wish Jamie – and the brilliantly named Veloce Racing – the best of luck in the inaugural Extreme E season. We’ll be watching and cheering come March 2021 – and as they say on social #VivaVeloce !


Find out more about Extreme E and Jamie’s latest challenge, on the BBC at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/motorsport/55061262


Visit Jamie’s site http://jamiechadwickracing.com for all the latest news from Jamie, and the Veloce Racing site https://www.veloce-racing.com


Find out the what, when, and how of Extreme E at https://www.extreme-e.com