Friday 29 August 2008


The 1961 Formula One World Champion Phil Hill passed away last night in a California hospital due to complications from Parkinson's disease. Hill still remains the only American-born driver to win the championship, although Italian-born Mario Andretti triumphed 17 years later. He started his Formula One career in a Maserati at the 1958 French Grand Prix, and later moved to Ferrari. Hill also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12-hours of Sebring, both on three occasions. He also took two victories apiece in the 1000km of Buenos Aires and the Nurburgring. Often described as a reserved gentleman and a true professional, Phil Hill will be sadly missed.

Thursday 28 August 2008


Nautical-themed wooden decking on new VW concept.

The VW Caddy Topos Sail Concept will be on show at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles stand at Europe’s largest recreational vehicle show, which starts in Düsseldorf, Germany this weekend. The design features a wooden sun deck on the roof, accessed via a set of steps on the back of the vehicle. This is complemented by wooden trim along the side of the Caddy and on the rear bumper.
Although the Caddy is very unlikely to float, it could be parked up down by the docks, and once climbed aboard, bring the boating life to land.

This isn't the first time wooden panelling has been incorporated in the design of vehicles. Wooden-bodied shooting brakes, station wagons and estate cars, collectively known as Woodies, were the original SUVs (sports utility vehicles).
New! British Woodies from the 1920s to the 1950s by Colin Peck.

While they were initially created for a specific purpose, their versatility, adaptability and load-carrying abilities meant that they quickly found favour with British buyers from all walks of life. In their heyday, they were built on virtually every make of car and light commercial chassis, and could be seen on every road in Britain.
Sadly, today they are a rarity, due mostly to the fact that their wooden bodies were not built to last – and most didn’t! Thousands were built by hundreds of coachbuilders, both large and small, and with the passage of time it may never be possible to record all of their details with total accuracy.
The work of hundreds of small coachbuilder firms is highlighted in this book, and illustrated with 99 rare and previously unpublished photos of these wooden wonders.

click here for more info about the book

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Jaguar XF - The Female choice

The motoring website for women - has named the Jaguar XF 'Best Executive Car' in its 2008 honours list. The editor of - Alex Jenner-Fust said: "For a car that will take you seamlessly from school gates to boardroom, look no further. The Jaguar XF combines cutting-edge technology with a classic British feel. Driving it is a real pleasure, whether you're on the school run or cruising to the south of France. The stereo system is easy to use, while the seats are so comfortable you won't want to get out."
The XF has also won the Auto Express and What Car? award for 'Car of the Year'. Not only does the female market appreciate the XF's combination of of style and practicality but sales for the Jaguar range in July were up 29.2% versus the same month last year, with X-TYPE performing well.

New and coming soon from Veloce Publishing!
Essential Buyer's Guides for many types of Jaguar. Visit the Veloce website to find out more..

Friday 22 August 2008

Convoy to celebrate the life of Colin McRae

A total of nearly 1300 Subarus will congregate on Sunday the 31st of August at Prodrive in Banbury. McRae’s 1996 Impreza 555 rally car will lead the convoy on the M4 which will stretch nearly 20 miles long. Two official Guinness World Record attempts will be made. The first being the total of 1300 Subarus on parade, and secondly, the cars will write out ‘COLIN MCRAE’ in a sign nearly half a mile long and visible to passengers landing at Birmingham airport. Subarus will be participating from all over Europe, from Poland and the Ukraine to France and Spain, while some fans are flying in especially from Australia and Argentina to be part of this occasion.
For more information on the event visit For more info on the convoy route visit
Colin McRae features heavily in the Veloce book Subaru Impreza (Rally Giants Series) By Graham Robson. This book describes the birth, development, and rallying career of the turbocharged, four-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza in the 1990s and early 2000s, providing a compact and authoritative history of where, when and how it became so important to the sport.

A lesson or ten in tyre safety

Motorists now have access to a set of ten easy-to-follow, digitally animated tyre safety lessons which can be found on the TyreSafe website. Findings from the organisation revealed that nearly 80 percent of cars on British roads are running with incorrect tyre pressures. The set of animations cover problems associated with poorly maintained or neglected tyres, such as premature wear, increased stopping distances or additional fuel costs. As well as giving a clear explanation of how to measure tyre pressure and tread depth, together with advice about tools and cost implications.

Thursday 21 August 2008


The iconic 500 supermini has just been crowned Best City Car in the 2008 Auto Express New Car Honours. This ended a four-year run for the Fiat Panda in the same award category. The 500 was said to have won the award because of its combination of compact dimensions and tempting price making it perfect for urban living. 11,000 models of the car were sold in the UK this year.

STOP! Don’t buy a Fiat 500 or 600 without buying this book first!
Fiat 500 & 600 – The Essential Buyer's Guide by Malcolm Bobbitt, published by Veloce Publishing.
• Identifies the different Fiat 500 & 600 models
• Gives clear and succinct advice when considering a car
• Your own pocket-size marque expert
• Instills confidence when examining a potential purchase
• Explains values
• Includes all the vital statistics you need to know
• Prepares you for a 15 minute evaluation of a car
• Provides for an in-depth appraisal of a vehicle
• Unique points scoring system to score a potential purchase
• How to buy at auction
• Spend a few pounds, potentially save 1000s!

click here for more info

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Peugeot Design Competition 2008

The final straight of the competition has begun as all submissions are now in for the successor to the Flux project (pictured left), the last winner of this prestigious contest. This is the 5th Peugeot Design Competition which launched at the Beijing Motor Show on 20 April 2008 and invited young designers to imagine the Peugeot of the metropolises of tomorrow. This concept car should be designed to be driven in the large urban cities of the future, while exhibiting key values of the 21st century. Projects, while conveying Peugeot’s stylistic qualities, must incorporate four criteria specific to this design competition: environmental friendliness, social harmony, interactive mobility and economic efficiency.
From mid August 2008, Internet users will be able to log on to to discover all of the 30 projects selected for this 5th edition of the Design Competition.

Currently available from Veloce! Peugeot 205 T16 by Graham Robson.
Packed with illustrations, technical details, facts, figures and successes of the innovative Group B rally car

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Kwik-Fit fitter returns to our screens by popular demand

Nearly a quarter of a century since the legendary Kwik-Fit fitter first landed in our living rooms on September 11th, 1984. The company says that the fitter has grown up during his absence and that he now represents the face of a new Kwik-Fit.

This time Kwik-Fit has scrapped the dance routines and jumpsuits. Instead the company is trying to highlight the increased technical expertise and broader product offering available at a modern day Kwik-Fit - such as its MOT and servicing capabilities. Crucially however, he still retains the same approachable sense of humour that customers may recall.
There are seven fly-on-the-wall style TV adverts in the campaign which was first shown last night (18th August).

click here to browse through Veloce Publishing's range of repair and restoration manuals.

Monday 18 August 2008

Octavia at the Olympics

Did you know? Škoda is the official vehicle partner of the Beijing Olympics and the Beijing Paralympics. A total of 650 Chinese versions of the Octavia - known as the Octavia Mingrui - are being used by the Beijing Organising Committee for transporting sportsmen, guests and staff. China plays a crucial part in Škoda's future development due to the country's rapidly growing middle class. Since 2007, Škoda has sold nearly 32,000 vehicles and grown its retailer network to over 100 outlets. Also, Octavia was the 2007 Auto Express Driver Power survey 'Car of the Year' and the brand was number one overall in the 2006 Top Gear Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Friday 15 August 2008

Lamborghini Miura Bible - Desktop Wallpaper and Screensaver Downloads

Want to add a bit of class to your computer desktop? Why not choose from this dazzling array of 10 pictures taken from the exciting forthcoming Veloce book - The Lamborghini Miura Bible by Joe Sackey.

click the images below to download the screensaver or desktop wallpaper images..

click here for more info about the book

Thursday 14 August 2008

New review of Forza Minardi! in autoXCHANGE

autoXCHANGE website
click here for more info about the book.

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Scooter sales on the up

Many people who live in a busy city and are sick of trains, tubes and buses have turned to the scooter to get about.

With today’s petrol prices and our need to feel we’re doing more for the environment, scooters have increased in popularity. This has been shown in sales which have risen 65.7 percent in the first half of 2008, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. Its not just London and the busy cities of England that has taken to this trend. Its also apparent in many smaller cities, and also further afield in New York where sales are rampant.

There is a vibrant used scooter market in the UK, and most dealers and classified listings will have quality second-hand models for under a grand.

Most 4-stroke scooters use unleaded petrol, and deliver a very economical fuel consumption, between roughly 50 and 70 miles to the gallon. Scooters also produce low emissions, making them an economically-sound choice.
Not only only are they better for the environment, they are cheaper to insure and easier to park.

For an in-depth look at one of the world’s greatest scooter marques, including detailed information on the main Italian-built models, the Lambretta Concessionaires machines and British dealer specials - Check out the Veloce book The Lambretta Bible By Pete Davies.

• Complete model history for each Italian machine
• New, previously unpublished photographs
• Frame number information
• Anecdotal information (where relevant)
• 1960s British dealer specials covered
• Coverage of specially prepared machines from Lambretta Concessionaires
• Full machine specifications and production changes
• Paint code information included
• Publicity & promotional material used where relevant
• Detailed information from dealer special staff and Lambretta Concessionaires staff

click here for more info

London congestion charge

The latest report from Transport for London states that despite 70,000 fewer cars a day entering the central zone and 30,000 fewer in the Western Extension, congestion in both of these areas is every bit as bad as it was before the charge was introduced.
It had been suggested that Ken Livingstone's transport scheme was a deliberate policy to obstruct traffic. The report seems to show just that. It was claimed that by paying even more money to use the roads, drivers will benefit from lower congestion. However, on the face of it, an increase in traffic lights and reduction of available road space means that drivers are just paying through the nose to sit in the same jams as before.

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has drawn up a set of proposals on the matter. These include a review of all bus lanes to ensure that they do not restrict overall road capacity, and the removal of at least 20 per cent of the traffic lights in central London by identifying those which do nothing but obstruct traffic flow.

Boris Johnson has made a start by reviewing the flow implications of all proposed schemes, and announcing the death of roadspace-eating bendy buses.

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Number plates don't register with motorists!

An interesting survey by British Car Auctions (BCA), in partnership with, has revealed that a third of over 1,200 respondents can't tell the age of a car by its number plate. The results suggest that many motorists are either unaware or confused by the current registration plate system. The survey found that three-quarters of motorists were not aware that there are three number identifiers in circulation each year - in 2008, for example January and February plates were identified by ‘57', followed by ‘08' for March to August, then ‘58' will be used for the rest of the year. Although the new registration system has been in place since 2001, it would appear many drivers have still not got to grips with it. A staggering 23% of respondents were not even aware that the registration number reflects the age of a car, potentially leaving them vulnerable to losing money when selling or buying a vehicle.

Friday 8 August 2008

Outsmarting the opposition at the Cannonball Run

It was a Union Jack emblazoned smart fortwo that came out victorious at the Cannonball Run – a 3,000-mile dash across Europe inspired by the famous 80s film starring Burt Reynolds.
David Ward and Adrian Hull, from Essex, beat a long list of six-figure supercars in their five-year-old, second-hand smart fortwo BRABUS, which was the smallest car in the 40-vehicle field. The duo were awarded first place for completing the route at the exact stipulated requirement of an average of 61mph. It was the smart’s impressive fuel economy that really provided the edge over an opposition of larger cars thats main downfall was the fact they had to keep stopping to fill up.

It just goes to show, good things do come in small packages, just like the Veloce book the little book of smart By Paul Jackson.
What started off as an idea from Swiss watchmaker Swatch eventually evolved into the successful launch of the smart brand, now an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz family and – in its first ten years – achieving sales of more than three quarters of a million cars around the world.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for smart, though. Well publicised financial woes, the launch of at least one inappropriate model range and the subsequent rationalisation of the entire product line-up meant plenty of problems along the way. But throughout it all, fans of the smart concept have remained loyal to the brand and sales of the fortwo city car continued to prosper.
These days, the future looks rosier. An all-new fortwo model range was launched in 2007, along with the announcement of the long-awaited debut of the smart brand into the American market for 2008. The latest model is more sophisticated and more in tune with today’s buyers’ tastes, while losing none of the inventiveness, practicality and sheer chic appeal of its predecessors.
In the little book of smart, author and smart fanatic Paul Jackson guides us through the entire history of the brand, its highs and lows, its successes and failures, and on to today – with the very latest fortwo line-up promising major sales worldwide and, of course, helping to pave the way for a future for smart in the USA. It’s a fascinating tale, told succinctly and in an entertaining style, and complemented by full colour photography throughout.
click here for more info

Thursday 7 August 2008

Volkswagen unveils sixth generation Golf

Nearly 35 years since the original went on sale, the sixth generation of the VW Golf is unveiled. Advancements include an instantly noticeable, more sharply defined look that draws on the design direction established by the Scirocco. It also promises to be the safest, most technically advanced and dynamic Golf yet. The car will boast a new 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS common rail diesel engine and Volkswagen's Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC). The new Golf goes on sale January 2009.

The book VW Golf - Five Generations of Fun by Richard Copping depicts the history of the Golf prior to its brand new sixth generation model.
The combination of model history, coupled to hot hatch performance, all comprehensively illustrated through major photo shoots and detail pictures, make this the complete guide to the five Golf generations. With all models, including Golf spin-offs, assessed, enthusiast-driving opinions shared and marketing policy discussed, this book is a unique hot Golfology!

Also! Forthcoming from Veloce Publishing: VW Golf GTI – The Essential Buyer’s Guide By Richard Copping and Kenneth Cservenka.
While old MkI Golfs have by now largely rusted away, the availability of MkII models at giveaway prices is plentiful ... that is until three magic letters – GTI – appear on the car’s front grille and hatch. Find a good example of the MkI with the aid of this guide and you are in clover! The Buyer’s Guide carefully charts all the models that an enthusiast just has to own, from the iconic late model MkI with its pocket rocket 1.8-litre engine and 5-speed box, through to the exclusive, extremely powerful and much sought-after limited edition Rallye Golf.

Wednesday 6 August 2008

World First - Nissan Eco Pedal

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, today unveiled the Eco Pedal - a world-first technology scheduled for release in 2009, designed to assist drivers in becoming more fuel-efficient.

The Eco Pedal is designed to act as a counter push-back control mechanism on the accelerator if the system detects excess pressure, helping to inform the driver that they might be using more fuel than required. Reportedly, it could improve a drivers fuel efficiency by 5 to 10%. An eco-driving indicator integrated into the instrument panel feeds the driver with real-time fuel consumption levels to help improve his/her driving behaviour.

Nissan is taking a three-pronged approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, comprising improvements in vehicle technologies, driving behaviour and traffic conditions. It could be argued, however, that the ECO Pedal has the potential to compromise safety in the name of fuel efficiency – but if this how an individual motorist views the technology, it can be turned off.

For the definitive history of Nissan's Z-cars, see the Veloce book Nissan 300ZX & 350Z - The Z-car Story

click here for more info

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Autumn Italian Car Day

With the forthcoming release of Veloce's The Lamborghini Miura Bible in mind, the annual Autumn Italian Car Day at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon serves as a timely way to whet your appetite for the book. The event takes place on Sunday 14th September 2008, and promises a strong Lamborghini element. The Lamborghini Club UK (LCUK) is holding its Car of the Year Awards at the event, and expects a large number of classic and modern Lambos to be in attendance.

A number of trophies will be awarded by the LCUK for the best pre-1991 and post-1991 Lamborghinis, the best V8-engined model (including Urraco, Silhouette and Jalpa), the best Gallardo, the furthest-travelled and the most well-used cars.

Lancia ClubSport will also be arriving in convoy as part of its own two-day event, driving as a collective that has been 150 cars strong in the past, when the club took part in the London to Brighton Run.

As well as Lamborghinis and Lancias, the gathering is expected to be made up of other Italian cars such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, and many more exotic Italian marques.

Check out Veloce Publishing's exciting forthcoming title The Lamborghini Miura Bible by Joe Sackey, or visit for a wide variety of books currently available on Italian motors.


The ONLY book on the Lamborghini Miura to be published in the past twenty six years – and enthusiasts agree it is long overdue. Written by a world-renowned authority on the subject, featuring, among other things, a never-before-published factory chassis production register, technical illustrations, studio-supplied images and exclusive interviews with the designers of the car. This is essential reading for any Lamborghini fan.

click here for more info

Monday 4 August 2008

Ray Newell - Celebrating 25 years as secretary of the MMOC

Ray Newell, author of Veloce Publishing Morris Minor books, interviewed in this Months Classic & Sports Car magazine.

What drew you to Morris Minor?
My first car was a peat brown Morris 1000 two-door saloon. I learned to drive in it and used it as my everyday car for two years. I was attracted to the Morris Minor because of its reputation for economy, reliability and ease of maintenance. That was in 1974 and i haven't changed my mind since.

How did you get involved with the MMOC?
I joined the East Midlands Branch in 1981 before being invited to help out at national level as events co-ordinator. I then became secretary and the rest, as they say, is history.

Which is your favourite event?
The NEC Classic Car Show. I enjoy the camaraderie that exists between the exhibitors, and the public seem to have a soft spot for our cars. There can't be many people who can say they've been arrested by the singing policeman!

Which event are you most looking forward to?
Minors Are Forever at Stanford Hall on 21-22 June. The international dimension is an exciting prospect, with all vehicles and members coming from all over the world.

Your best Minor moments?
Both came in 1998. I was privileged to be allowed to drive the first Minor to roll off the production line in '48. I also got to meet its designer Sir Alec Issigonis.

Something to surprise members
My early life was spent in Northern Ireland... when told, people invariably say: 'I would never have guessed.'

Your dream car?
It's always been my ambition to own a jaguar Mk2, but I'm more than happy with my pride and joy, my 1949 Morris Minor Tourer.

Morris Minor – 60 years on the road
By Ray Newell

The Morris Minor, designed by Alec Issigonis, was one of Britain's most popular cars, and 2008 will mark 60 years since the first production models rolled off the production lines at Cowley in Oxfordshire. In this celebratory publication, Ray Newell looks in detail at the development of the wide range of models produced during a production run which spanned twenty two years in the UK. Using mainly contemporary materials covering four decades, he transports the reader to an era when the pace of life was much slower and the marketing of vehicles considerably different to the slick advertising of today. Issigonis' sketches of the prototype cars, sales brochures, promotional materials, and rare and unusual photographs make this a fascinating story.

Also available from Veloce Publishing: Morris Minor & 1000 – The Essential Buyer's Guide By Ray Newell.

Jeep® launches new Cherokee

Jeep® has given its off-road icon, the Cherokee, a complete makeover inside and out. The changes make it just as capable off-road as on.

The all-new Cherokee takes on the rugged design people associate with the original Cherokee, but brings it completely up-to-date. A new suspension and steering system help make the Cherokee more refined on the road, while on the inside, the Cherokee moves more upmarket with a leather interior, heated front memory seats, climate control, electric windows, and cruise control all as standard.

Other new additions include the optional Sky Slider™, full-open canvas roof, and the Selec-Trac® II full-time four-wheel drive system.

Nigel Land, Marketing Director of Chrysler UK Ltd, believes “This mid-sized 4x4 has the right look, is the right size and is the right price for customers in the UK."

For a fact-filled, colorful history of Jeeps, the following books are available from Veloce.
Click covers for more info.

Jeep CJ 1945-1986
By Robert Ackerson

Jeep Wrangler
By Robert Ackerson

Friday 1 August 2008

Automotive Art

These images are taken from A must-see blog called Car-A-Day which features automotive art by Rob Ijbema. Updated daily with contemporary artwork from the 2008 racing season and also imagery from the past.
Although there is some very impressive automotive artwork scattered on the web, very few books have been actually been published on this subject. Currently available from Veloce is the book How to Draw & Paint Cars By Tony Gardiner.

This book is not about learning how to draw and paint fashionable cars, super cars, tarted-up street or cool cars, but is about drawing and painting all types and ages of cars. The author has endeavoured to distill his experience from many years of creating images on this subject into a book that will help and encourage those keen to draw and paint cars for pleasure or as a career.
With c.135 illustrations and its step-by-step technique, this is a must-have for any budding automotive artist.

click here for more info about the book

Safety Camera Detector Warning !

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) is this month warning motorists to dismantle or remove their safety camera detectors when driving abroad to avoid serious penalties.

A recent survey showed that only two countries in Europe - the UK and Hungary - permit the use of both camera detectors and POI (points of interest) sat nav systems.

Camera detection equipment actively detects radar or laser signals from a safety camera or speed gun and alerts the driver to its presence. The IAM Trust has always supported the banning of such equipment because its main use is to allow drivers to speed without fear of detection.

Neil Greig, Director of the IAM Motoring Trust said: "There have been incidents when camera detectors have been literally ripped out by local police. The best thing to do is check if detectors are permitted in the country you plan to visit or simply don't take one with you."

In Germany, for example a fine of €75 is levied if the sat nav POI function is not switched off. In Switzerland and Ireland your sat nav could be confiscated.