Tuesday 28 February 2012

Monday 27 February 2012


The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power (15 to 17 June; www.cpop.co.uk), the UK’s biggest celebration of power and speed, will this year mark the AC Cobra’s 50th anniversary with a major vehicle display and thrilling, high-speed action on the venue’s circuit.

The Pageant will host the largest gathering of the Anglo-American sports car in the UK this year in a special display entitled ‘Cobras at the Castle’. The event is also introducing a special race category – the ‘AC Cobra 50th Anniversary Class’ – that will see the most famous Cobras, including one of only three ‘Lightweight Cobras’ ever built, compete for top honours.

James Hall, Event Director for the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, said: “The first AC Cobra was sold in 1962 and we are proud to celebrate the anniversary of a world-famous motoring icon. This car has earned something of a cult following over the last 50 years, both through its GT racing pedigree and towering on-road presence. The Cobras will make a thrilling addition to the 2012 Pageant.”

When introduced in 1962, the Mark I AC Cobra featured a 4.2-litre V8 engine from Ford Motor Company, upgraded to a 4.7-litre unit in 1963 for the Mark II. Race-derived versions of the Cobra were dominant on the domestic US and international racing calendars.

The fearsome AC Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé won the 12 Hours of Sebring GT class twice in 1964 and 1965, finished fourth overall in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the GT class, and recording victories across a number of other endurance events – often ahead of its main competitor, the Ferrari 250 GTO. The car also won the 1965 International Championship for GT Manufacturers in the World Sportscar Championship, winning 8 out of 10 races.

In the face of rising competition from other manufacturers, particularly GM’s Grand Sport Corvette, the Mark III Cobra (427) was introduced in 1965 with a 420bhp 7.0-litre V8 engine, becoming the most powerful production car in the world at the time.

Now in its fifth year, the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power will take place on the Cholmondeley Estate in Cheshire from 15 to 17 June. A full event schedule and list of participants will be announced over the coming weeks, with Pageant organisers set to reveal some exciting new additions and features for 2012.

To buy tickets or find further information, visit www.cpop.co.uk.

Cobra Replicas - The Essential Buyer's Guide
By Iain Ayre

STOP! Don’t buy a Cobra Replica without first buying this book!

Having this book in your pocket is just like having a real marque expert by your side. Benefit from the author’s years of real ownership experience, learn how to spot a bad car quickly, and how to assess a promising one like a true professional. Get the right car at the right price!

More info.

Thursday 23 February 2012


Mazda MX-5 Miata – The Essential Buyer's Guide iPhone/iPad App (Your marque expert: Carla Crook)

Having this app is just like having a marque expert by your side. Benefit from the authors years of real ownership experience, learn how to spot a bad car quickly, and how to assess a promising one like a true professional. Get the right car at the right price!

• Coverage of the MX-5 (Miata/Eunos Roadster) 1989 – 2001 models including special, limited editions and desirable upgrades
• Where and how to buy an MX-5
• Advice on choosing the right model and condition, including those with modifications
• Key checks – how to spot a bad car quickly
• In-depth analysis of strengths and weaknesses
• Key technical specifications
• Photo illustrations of the important areas to check and foibles to be aware of
• Details of clubs, forums, suppliers and specialists dedicated to the MX-5
• Exclusive videos shot for the app feature the author showing all the things you need to look out for when buying an MX-5/Miata.

Click here for more info about the app on the iTunes app store.

Wednesday 22 February 2012


1: Tales from the Toolbox (Oliver)
2: Land Rover Series I-III (RAC) (Thurman)
3: 4-Cylinder Short Block HP Manual (SpeedPro) (Hammill)
4: The Story of Sprite Caravans (Jenkinson)
5: HT Build Tiger Avon Sportscar (SpeedPro) (Dudley)
6: Meet the English (Bowie)
7: How to Build Motorcycle-engined Racing Cars (SpeedPro) (Pashley)
8: Mazda MX-5 Miata 1.8 (RAC) (Grainger)
9: HT Restore VW Bus Bay Window (RAC) (Paxton)
10: VW Bus EBG (Copping/Cservenka)

Tuesday 21 February 2012


Motor Racing - Reflections of a lost era
By Anthony Carter

A defining era in motorsport documented in words and intimate photographs, both black and white and colour, from the mid-1950s through the 1960s, when motor racing was still accessible to all, and the 1970s when overt sponsorship and television changed the sport for ever.

More info.

BRM - a mechanic's tale
By Dick Salmon. In collaboration with Anthony Carter.

Probably for the first time, criticism is leveled at both Louis Stanley, and the introduction of the H16 engine as contributory factors to the failure of British Racing Motors. Louis Stanley for his freeloading extravagance, and the rather foolish decision by the management to specify such a complicated and bulky power unit. More info.

Motor Racing – The Pursuit of Victory 1930-1962
By Anthony Carter.

Previously unpublished, stunning photographs from motor racing history, in a book that examines the many facets of Grand Prix racing before the dominance of television. A beautiful look at a fascinating time in motor racing.

More info.

Coming soon! Motor Racing – The Pursuit of Victory 1963 to 1972 By Steve Wyatt. In collaboration with Anthony Carter.
Picking up where the first volume left off, this is a beautifully illustrated journey covering a period of ten years in motor sport. Moving year by year, this book is written from the perspective of a passionate motor sport enthusiast of the day. Features many previously unpublished photographs. More info.

Monday 20 February 2012


The XJ220 remains the fastest Jaguar ever produced and when launched in 1992 and, at 213mph, had the highest maximum speed of any production car. Constructed using advanced aluminium honeycomb, the car was immensely strong and, despite its size, weighed just 1,470 kg.

Originally conceived as a concept car, the XJ220 debuted at the 1988 British Motor Show. Designed by Keith Helfet, the car was signed off for production in December 1989 with TWR selected as the partner for the project.

Powered by a 3.5-litre, twin turbo V6, the XJ220 channelled its drive through the 18-inch Speedline rear wheels shod in specially developed 345/35 Bridgestone Expedia tyres via a five-speed gearbox and an AP Racing twin-plate clutch. The XJ220 developed 550 PS and 475 lbs ft of torque to allow it to accelerate to 60mph in under four seconds. Braking was supplied by a set of AP Racing discs and four pot callipers.

Built by hand in an all-new factory in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, prototype 001 was completed in 1990 while car 002 achieved 186 mph at Bruntingthorpe in September of the same year. The first customer car was completed in June 1992 with a retail price of £470,000.

Production ceased in 1994, by which time 275 cars had been built.

The silver car in attendance at the recent Jaguar Experience Day held at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon is chassis 004, one of 10 pre-production vehicles. This example was used for extensive tyre and high speed testing at Fort Stockton, Texas, in 1991. Andy Wallace achieved a maximum speed of 213 mph in the car during the testing process.

Once these duties were completed the car was converted to race specification and was campaigned by Justin Law in the British GT Cup. On being retired from racing it was returned to its standard, road-going specification.

The yellow car is an XJ220 S - chassis '220-803'. This is the very first XJ220 S, built using spare parts from the Le Mans cars, including single-piece carbon fibre front and rear clamshells, revised springs and dampers and a claimed 700 PS. The luxurious interior of the road car was dropped in favour of Kevlar bucket seats and pared down, carbon trim.

The car was unveiled at the Autosport Show in 1993.

Source: Jaguar

Jaguar XJ220 – The Inside Story by Mike Moreton
The Jaguar XJ220 supercar evolved from Jim Randle’s sensational 1988 UK Motor Show concept car. The planned production of 350 limited edition cars, each with a price tag of £360,000, was over-subscribed by a factor of four in a single day! In this book, Mike Moreton, ace director of impossible projects, who was headhunted for the XJ220 project by Tom Walkinshaw, relives the extraordinary inside story of this fantastic, hi-tech car. More info.

Friday 17 February 2012


With spring just around the corner, Mazda has introduced a new special edition of its iconic sportscar – the ‘MX-5 Venture Edition’. Available in Soft-top or Roadster Coupe, this latest special edition of the world’s most popular open top sports car features upgraded luxurious specification, advanced technology, premium interior trim and exterior colours exclusive to the Mazda MX-5 Venture Edition.

Based on the Mazda MX-5 SE and Sport Tech models, the Venture is available as a 1.8 MZR Soft-top (SE) and a 2.0 MZR Roadster Coupe (Sport Tech) - with the world’s fastest powered retractable hard top, up or down in just 12 seconds - with a dozen items of additional equipment over the donor car and priced at £18,995 and £22,285 (OTR).

The Mazda MX-5 Venture Edition’s ‘stand out’ specification features light gun metal 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, chrome front grille, piano black fashion bars and special ‘Venture Edition’ badging.

Inside, the MX-5 Venture has stylish Havana Brown heated leather seats, leather steering wheel and hand brake with contrasting grey stitching, matching door trim, climate control air-conditioning, piano black dashboard accents, alloy pedals, cruise control (a first on 1.8 models) and, for the first time on MX-5, a satellite navigation system. Supplied by Sanyo TomTom, the sat-nav features a fully integrated 5.8-inch touch screen monitor, 4GB SD card based map (45 countries), live services, iPod and Bluetooth® connectivity and complete multi-media functionality.

The Mazda MX-5 Venture will be available in three colours, the popular Metropolitan Grey Mica and two exclusive colours to this MX-5 special edition – Radiant Ebony Mica and Crystal White Pearlescent – free of charge. A genuine special edition, only 250 examples of the Venture Edition Soft-top and 550 of the Venture Edition Roadster Coupe will be available in the UK.

“Special Edition models of the MX-5 have always enjoyed incredible popularity in Britain and now the Venture Edition offers a unique combination of a premium cabin feel, sophisticated exterior and advanced technology, in a sportscar that remains unrivalled as an exhilarating drive that can also be used everyday,” comments Peter Allibon, Sales Director, Mazda UK. “Together with their durability, enviable reliability and our current low-rate finance offer, the MX-5 Venture Edition is a thoroughly modern sportscar that people can buy with their heart and their head.”

The Venture Edition has all the dynamic attributes of the world’s most popular open top sportscar. Featuring a front-engined, rear-wheel drive chassis that delivers perfectly balanced handling and pure driving exhilaration, the MX-5 has been voted ‘Best Roadster’ by Auto Express magazine for six years in a row.

Mazda MX-5 Venture Edition customers have a choice of two powertrains – the 126ps 1.8 MZR with a five-speed gearbox (Soft-top) and the 160ps 2.0 MZR with a smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission (Roadster Coupe). Like other MX-5 models, the Venture Edition combines razor sharp handling with lively performance – sprinting to 60mph in 9.9sec (1.8 Soft-top) and 7.9sec (2.0 Roadster Coupe), and capable of going on to reach top speeds of 121mph and 136mph respectively.

For optimum handling stability, the MX-5 Venture Edition features Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and a Traction Control System (TCS) on both Soft-top and Roadster Coupe models. While the two-litre Roadster Coupe model is also equipped with a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) for enhanced handling precision and side airbags for added protection.

Source: Mazda

Tuesday 14 February 2012


The Danacol 'Heart Car' made by Sculpture Studios.

the little book of microcars
By Adam Quellin

During the middle of the twentieth century, a plethora of small economy cars – often quirky and bizarre – emerged to meet the needs of the cash-strapped motorist. This book charts the history and development of these microcars, from the lean period after the Second World War right up to the present day. More info.

Monday 13 February 2012


Thanks to John Rosamond and Erum Waheed for sending us this photo of Motor Books window display in London. Good to see 4 Veloce books in the window including Save the Triumph Bonneville! - The Inside Story of the Meriden Workers' Co-op.

Wednesday 8 February 2012


Seventy-five years after their first UK appearance, the Silver Arrows racers are to return in action on British soil at the 2012 Goodwood Revival
A once-in-lifetime opportunity to see at least 10 Silver Arrows together, including a high-speed demonstration, driven by top-level racing drivers
Examples of dominant Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union Silver Arrows cars to run alongside contemporary rivals from Italy, France and Great Britain

After much speculation and excitement, Goodwood is now able to confirm the sensational news that 75 years after the first appearance of the legendary pre-war ‘Silver Arrows’ in the UK, the 2012 Goodwood Revival (14-16 September) will stage arguably the most spectacular historic vehicle demonstration of all time.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the famous Silver Arrows Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union Grand Prix cars once again being driven in anger at a British motor circuit for the first time in 75 years will make the 2012 Revival a must-attend event for all motor sport enthusiasts.

The iconic Mercedes-Benz W25, W125, W154 and W165, plus examples of the Auto Union Type C and Type D, will be in action at race-speeds in September, with well-known top-level racing drivers behind the wheels of these awesome and significant cars.   This promises to be the biggest thing in historic motor sport for decades.

Alongside the Silver Arrow racers will be many of the cars that competed against – but were totally out-classed – the dominant Mercedes-Benz and Auto Unions in the late 1930s.  Expect to see examples of ERA, Maserati, Riley, Bugatti and MG on the legendary Goodwood track, alongside the Silver Arrows.

Source: Goodwood

Motor Racing – The Pursuit of Victory 1930-1962
By Anthony Carter

Previously unpublished, stunning photographs from motor racing history, in a book that examines the many facets of Grand Prix racing before the dominance of television. A beautiful look at a fascinating time in motor racing.

More info.


The first show ever to bring full-size and model record breakers together

Land Speed Record breaking cars and motorcycles will be brought together with their model counterparts for the first time at Sandown Park race course on Saturday February 18th in a unique one day show.

The show is being held in conjunction with Barry Potters International Toy Fair, which attracts toy dealers from all over Europe and will include not only the cars themselves but also the people who drive them.

Also on hand will be authors who have written about speed record attempts and artists who have depicted the cars across the last one hundred years.

“This is a one off that is not to be missed,” said organiser Geoff Holden. “It is the first time that we have been able to get everyone together like this and it may not happen again.”

Barry Potter organiser of the International toy fair said: “This is a unique opportunity for anyone who is interested in speed record breaking. It will be a fantastic day out where enthusiasts can combine the real thing with their smaller counterparts. Last year we celebrated with CMC (Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth) and Jaguar Heritage the 50th anniversary of the E-Type now, now we are celebrating speed record holders and it is our intention to bring other exciting opportunities that will enhance the international toy fairs that we have run successfully for many years.”

Amongst the items on show will be:

Bloodhound SSC (SuperSonic Car) show car
The team aims to break the current world land speed record of 763mph in 2013 with a combined jet and rocket powered vehicle on Hakseen Pan in South Africa, and ultimately go on to exceed 1000mph. Previous world land speed record holder Richard Noble heads the project and the car will be driven by current world land speed record holder Andy Green.

Team members will be on hand to answer questions; visitors will have the opportunity to try out the Bloodhound Driving Experience, as well as choosing from a wide range of Bloodhound SSC merchandise and joining the Bloodhound 1K Supporters Club.

Bluebird Electric / 100 Years of Bluebird
The current UK electric land speed record holding car with which the team hope to raise the UK record speed further in 2012 will be on display. It is also hoped that Don Wales, grandson of World Land Speed Record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell and nephew of Donald Campbell, will be able to attend

This is one of many events taking place throughout the year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the naming of the first Bluebird car by Sir Malcolm Campbell.

Angelic Bulldog
A motorbike streamliner being built with the aim of achieving an outright world land speed record for motorcycles in excess of 400mph in 2012. The ‘bike will be on display and driver Gabriel Uttley will be in attendance throughout the day to answer questions, offer sponsorship opportunities and enrol new members into the Angelic Bulldog Supporters Club.

Book Signings
Authors of recently published speed record related books will be signing copies during the show including Mike Varndell, author of ‘The British are Coming’, published by Transport Bookman Publications, and Neil Sheppard, author of ‘Donald Campbell, Bluebird and the Final Record Attempt’, published by The History Press.

Speed Record Art

Arthur Benjaminsis an accomplished artist whose work appears on the dust jacket and flysheets of Mike Varndells book ‘The British are Coming’. Examples of his paintings and prints will be on display, and he will also be on hand to sign copies of Mikes book on request. Arthur specialises in land and water speed record subjects as well as motor racing scenes.

Martin Squires is a young artist with a personal interest in older automotive subjects including speed record vehicles, examples of which will be on display.

The Brooklands Outreach team will be displaying material relating to the famous racing circuit in Weybridge, just a short distance from Sandown Park that is known as ‘The Birthplace of British Motorsport and Aviation’. Visitors will be offered the opportunity to become Brooklands Trust Members.

Master model making from the studios of Autodromo. Examples of very high quality large-scale models from The Autodromo Collection will be on display, alongside a prototype1/12th scale model of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 1935 Blue Bird land speed record car. The finished model will be available in a limited edition later in 2012, and orders for this or other models from the Autodromo Collection may be placed on the day.

The Speed Record Club
Representatives of the Speed Record Club, a worldwide group of enthusiasts interested in speed record attempts of all types both historical and current, will be on hand to answer questions of any nature on the subject. The club display will include promotional items, magazines and club membership offers.

The Bluebird Supporters Club
The objectives of the Bluebird Supporters Club are to keep the Campbell and Bluebird Heritage alive, and to promote any future record attempts by descendants of Sir Malcolm Campbell. Promotional material, club magazines, books and photographs will be on display and new members will be welcomed on the day.

Show Opening Times and Admission
Speed at Sandown Park and the BP Fairs event will both be open for general admission between 10:30 and 15:30, with ‘Early Bird’ tickets available from 08:00.

Admission prices to the BP Fairs event including access to Speed at Sandown Park are Adults £5.00, Seniors £4.50, Children £2.00, Early Bird £10.00

Bluebird CN7 - The inside story of Donald Campbell’s last Land Speed Record car
By Donald Stevens

Records the development, construction and operation of the last wheel-driven land speed record breaking car that the UK produced, and tells how the tragic demise of Donald Campbell prevented it from reaching its full potential. A unique account of a legendary feat of engineering.

More info.

Tuesday 7 February 2012


The 3 Series Saloon is the heart of the BMW brand, responsible for one-fifth of the company’s global sales. The latest, sixth-generation of 3 Series builds on the previous model’s position as the ultimate drivers’ car in its sector. But it is also the most logical business proposition, thanks to new powertrains and additional EfficientDynamics fuel-saving, emissions-reducing technologies.

The new BMW 3 Series Saloon is a car of contradictions: larger and more spacious than the model it replaces, but lighter; quicker in many cases, but more fuel-efficient; and more nimble and agile while even safer. There have been big steps forward in style, quality, comfort and specification for only a minimal price increase.

Source: BMW


BMW E30 3 Series 1981 to 1996 - The Essential Buyer's Guide
Your marque expert: Ralph Hosier

Having this book in your pocket is just like having a real marque expert at your side. Benefit from Ralph Hosier’s years of BMW experience, learn how to spot a bad car quickly, and how to assess a promising one like a true professional. Get the right car at the right price!

More info.