Wednesday 25 April 2012


On the evening of 23rd April 2012 John Rosamond provided his "Reminiscences of the Meriden Factory" talk for the Lincolnshire branch of the TOMCC.

Branch members are also known as the "Missing Links", however there was no sign of this when over 30 members packed Club HQ - The Ebrington Arms, Kirkby on Bain, Near Boston, Lincolnshire.

The talk builds on his book Save the Triumph Bonneville! The Inside Story of the Meriden Workers' Co-op expanding further upon some of the most shocking Triumph developments. See attached picture of a very sober audience listening to what led up to the 1973 closure of the Meriden factory and Denis Poore's scrapping of the Bonneville.

John Rosamond also wishes to thank Branch Chairman Reginald (Chippy) Wood (pictured above) for his organisation of the event. Enthusiastic members purchased signed copies of John Rosamond's book at the end of the evening.

Written by the ex-Chairman of the workers’ board of directors of the famous Meriden co-op, this is the real story of the last bastion of British motorcycle production following the collapse of the industry. It’s also the story of a workforce’s refusal to let the Triumph Bonneville die ... More info.

Monday 23 April 2012


Autoglym shows you how best to wash your car during the hosepipe ban.

Coming soon! Caring for your car’s bodywork and interior
By Simon Nixon

Cars can be expensive things, and deserve to be cared for properly. A clean and well-tended car will look better, be more pleasurable to drive, and have a superior resale value. This book is a step-by-step guide to the various elements of car care, from washing, waxing and polishing to engine cleaning and leather maintenance. Featuring illustrations and product recommendations, this is a must-buy for all car lovers. More info.

Friday 20 April 2012


A new entry this month straight in at number 1!

1: Le Mans Panoramic (Ireland)
2: Gulf-Mirage 1967-1982 (WSC Giants) (McDonough)
3: Sleeping Beauties USA (Marek)
4: Jaguar XK8 & XKR EBG (Thorley)
5: Meet the English (Bowie)
6: How to Build Motorcycle-engined Racing Cars (SpeedPro) (Pashley)
7: Mazda MX-5 Miata 1.8 (RAC) (Grainger)
8: Motor racing at Thruxton in the 1980s (TWTD) (Grant-Braham)
9: Tales from the Toolbox (Oliver)
10: HT modify retro or classic car (SpeedPro) (Stapleton)


John Rosamond gives talk for the Rother branch of the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club.

On the evening of 18th April 2012 John Rosamond provided his "Reminiscences of the Meriden Factory" talk for a packed meeting (see above photograph) of members of the Rother branch of the TOMCC. The venue was the conference centre of the excellent Hasting's White Rock seafront hotel.

This is the first this year of a series of talks John is providing to TOMCC to help celebrate the 110 glorious years of Triumph motorcycles.

As the talk is at times "shocking", "humorous" and "thought provoking", building upon extracts from John Rosamond's Veloce book Save the Triumph Bonneville! The Inside Story of the Meriden Workers' Co-op; very lively Q&A sessions took place following each section.

Enthusiastic Rotherites purchased signed copies of John's book at the end of what they said had been a very enjoyable evening.

Thursday 19 April 2012


Independent Peugeot specialist offering updates to iconic 205 GTI.
Up to 195 bhp available & chassis dynamics to match.

Produced from 1984 to 1993, the Peugeot 205 GTI is rightly regarded as the definitive hot hatch from its era. Fast forward to 2012 and thanks to effective corrosion proofing from the factory and robust mechanicals, the 205 GTI is still a popular sight on the UK’s roads – and racing circuits – where it continues to be a trackday favourite.

However, with a maximum of 130 bhp on tap from its 8-valve, 1905cc XU9 engine the 205 GTI can struggle to keep up with the performance demands of 21st century motoring, particularly for the discerning enthusiast.

Advances in suspension and braking technology in the intervening period open up similar scope for dynamic improvement on the 205 GTI, enabling it to potentially punch above its weight and beyond its years.

However, the challenge is to achieve a wholesale performance upgrade without undermining the cohesive, involving nature of the 205 GTI’s driving experience. Answering this challenge requires comprehensive expertise on the 205 GTI and the Peugeot range in general, which is where Pug1off comes in.


In this spirit Brackley based marque specialists Pug1off embarked on a comprehensive update program for supplied customer 205 GTI’s, based around a number of key components sourced from later Peugeot models.

The core of the Pug1off conversion is an engine transplant using the free-revving and reliable 1998cc, DOHC, 16-valve XU10J4RS powerplant from the 1990’s 306 GTI-6 / Rallye.

Aside from a slight amount of clearance relief on the 205 GTI’s slam panel this powerplant is a straight swap into the engine bay onto the car’s original 5-speed BE3 transmission. And with 167 bhp available in car weighing just 895 kilos, this delivers sparkling performance, producing a 205 GTI with a power to weight ratio of 186
bhp per ton.

Supplied and installed with a new clutch, cambelt and water pump, Pug1off charges £2220.00 for the XU10J4RS engine transplant on a drive in / drive out basis into customer supplied 205 GTI’s, including 12 month / 10,000 road mile warranty.

However, because each Peugeot 205 GTI is an individual, Pug1off offers a number of optional extras to upgrade performance yet further:-


Pug1off can also source Peugeot 205 GTI base cars for customers on request.

Source: Pug1off

Stop! Don’t buy a 205 GTI without buying this book first!

Peugeot 205 GTI – The Essential Buyer’s Guide

By Jon Blackburn

The Essential Buyer’s Guide carefully describes the 205 GTI models that enthusiasts love to drive and own, from the pioneering 1.6 GTi, through various developments to the 1.9 GTI. The CTI cabriolet is also covered. When you consider a potential purchase armed with this book, it’s just like have a Peugeot 205 expert by your side. Buy the right car at the right price.

More info

Tuesday 17 April 2012


MINI inspired by Goodwood limited edition at world’s most famous store

The MINI Inspired by Goodwood is the most ambitious and luxurious special edition model the brand has ever launched. To celebrate delivery of the first customer cars, a single example is going on display in prime position at Harrods, the world’s most aspirational shopping destination.

The MINI which takes inspiration from the design team at Rolls Royce Motor Cars, forms part of a specially created window display. It is also visible from inside the iconic Knightsbridge store, allowing shoppers, pedestrians and drivers on the busy Brompton Road to see it.

The window features a beautiful manor house and gates, providing a quintessentially British backdrop to showcase the MINI. Inside Harrods, display screens provide information about the car, with a selection of swatches and samples of the premium interior trims used in the cabin. A member of staff from MINI’s flagship Park Lane showroom will be on hand so customers can find out more or even place an order.

Highlighting the exclusive and limited edition nature of the MINI Inspired by Goodwood, the MINI logo and the words ‘1 of 1000’ will be projected on to the pavement outside the window every night. The scene will be on display for two weeks starting from Easter Sunday, 8 April.

Guy Cheston, Harrods Director of Media Sale commented, “Harrods is delighted to be showcasing such an iconic British brand. The store attracts an average of 42,000 visitors every day from over 130 different countries every month. What better place than Harrods to showcase the most luxurious production MINI has ever built to a truly global audience.”

The MINI Inspired by Goodwood is a special edition model like no other. Announced at last April’s Shanghai Motor Show, it brings together the unparalleled fun and character of MINI with the outstanding quality of materials and bespoke workmanship that come as standard with any Rolls-Royce Motor Car

The dashboard, centre console, air vents, carpets, heated leather seats, roof lining, doors and interior cladding are all finished in the exclusive Rolls-Royce colour Cornsilk. The dashboard and door handle surfaces are of Walnut Burr, a premium wood trim bespoke to Rolls-Royce.

No expense or attention to detail has been spared on the car. The roof linings, sun visors and rear storage tray are all made of luxurious cashmere, with deep-pile lambs wool used to make the floor mats.

Power comes from MINI’s acclaimed l.6-litre 135 kW/184 hp four-cylinder petrol engine with Twin Scroll turbocharger, direct petrol injection and variable valve control. The unit, which also powers the MINI Cooper S, is the most efficient in its displacement class.

The exterior of the MINI Inspired by Goodwood is finished in the exclusive Rolls-Royce colour Diamond Black metallic, and the car rides on 17-inch light alloy multi-spoke wheels. It is only available in MINI Hatch body style.

Standard equipment includes Bi-Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, automatic air conditioning, an onboard computer, MINI Navigation and the MINI Radio Visual Boost audio system, which includes a Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system.

Source: BMW Group

Coming soon!

New Mini – The Essential Buyer's Guide

By Martyn Collins

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

More info

Thursday 5 April 2012


Today Jaguar confirms that it will bring an all-new sports car to production; the F-TYPE.

Speaking at the New York auto show Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar Cars, confirmed: "We showed the C-X16 concept in September 2011, and the reaction to it has been so positive that we've accelerated our development of an all-new Jaguar sports car.

"That car will be called the F-TYPE, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year. The core appeal of Jaguar's cars is their sporting heart, and that heart will beat stronger than ever before in the F-TYPE. Its development is a vivid representation of the confidence and ambition of the Jaguar brand, and the desire amongst our engineers and design team to produce a world-leader in a market segment that we have been absent from for too long. But no longer – the F-TYPE is coming."

Utilising Jaguar's industry-leading knowledge of all-aluminium construction, the F-TYPE will launch as a convertible, and a strict two-seater with the focus uncompromisingly on delivering driver reward. A range of petrol engines will be available – including a new powerplant family – and all will deliver stunning sports car performance.

Today also marks the point that the F-TYPE's rigorous development schedule moves to final on-road testing, with engineering prototypes now leaving Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant – the same plant at which the production cars will be built.

Ian Hoban, Jaguar's Vehicle Line Director said: "The engineering development of the F-TYPE has focused on delivering a heightened level of dynamic driving reward. We are excited about our progress to date and are looking forward to soon being able to demonstrate what we have achieved."

Ian Callum, Director of Design, said: "A true sports car needs to be pure in both its purpose and its form; to have the opportunity to produce such a car for Jaguar has been a privilege both for myself and for my team. The C-type, D-type and E-type Jaguars were all sports cars that held true to this principle in their era, and the F-TYPE will hold true to that same principle in its time, a time that is soon to arrive."

The F-TYPE will join Jaguar's existing range of cars – the XF saloon and Sportbrake, XJ saloon and XK coupe/convertible. Full F-TYPE technical and range details will be announced later in 2012. It will go on sale in mid 2013.

Source: Jaguar


Veloce imprint Hubble & Hattie is publishing Miaow! Cats really are nicer than people! by Sir Patrick Moore this month.

In this video, recorded only a week ago, we see a completely different side to Sir Patrick Moore. Miaow! reveals a personal and far less serious side to the famous astronomer. Not only is this a rare interview with the great man, but we also take a look around his fascinating house in Selsey, West Sussex. Check out Patrick's cat impression!

"Given a choice between the average person and the average cat, I would go for the cat any time, and my book will explain why ..."
Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS

This little book is about cats; cats of all shapes, sizes and colours, and specifically those who have shared their lives with the great and well-respected astronomer Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS, over a lifetime of nearly 90 years.
This is Patrick's very personal account of the cats who have been part of his family, beginning with Smudgie, who died at the grand old age of twenty, through to Jeannie and Ptolemy, his two most recent beloved felines.
Taken from the mantelpieces and walls of his home for use in the book, personal photographs of Sir Patrick -- in his younger days and more recently -- his late adored mother, Gertrude (also a cat-lover), and the many cats that have filled Patrick's life with love and companionship complement the intimate and enchanting text, written in the author's inimitable style.
Believing that cats are highly intelligent (and certainly more so than dogs!), Sir Patrick has devised his very own 'cat quiz.' Jeannie and Ptolemy passed this with flying colours, and it is included in his book so that others may test their own cat's intelligence!
The pages of this unique book reveal the delightful and charming side of a man who has attained international status as a writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter, and who is credited with having done more than any other to raise the profile of astronomy.

"Jeannie and Ptolemy are under the impression that they have me precisely where they want me. They have!"

The UK's longest-serving media darling, host of The Sky at Night, which was launched in 1957 and has recently aired its 700th episode, Patrick Moore is an astronomer, former spy, and, best of all, a cat-lover. A heart condition meant that Patrick was tutored at home, so had little contact with children of his own age. However, loneliness was not a problem for him: "My boyhood was unusual. I can't recall a single friend until I was 15. But I always had my cats."
And he still does. Although, sadly, Jeannie died recently, Ptolemy still lives with Patrick in a house with a notice on the door that proclaims: 'The house is maintained entirely for the convenience of our cat.'


The first of a new feature dedicated to Splonk!

Splonk is the mascot that joined Nicky West & Rob Stacey in their adventure to Asia in a 50 year old 850cc Mini Minor. The subject of forthcoming Veloce book Mini Minor to Asia Minor - There & Back.

A quick studio shot of me for my passport. Yup, even small donkeys need travel documents. Cool jumper is courtesy of my good friend Wendy. Hmmm... might be a bit too warm for Egypt though.

You know what it’s like, publicity. Photographer says “Hey how about the cute donkey holding onto the roof rack?” and here I am. Just glad I’ve got a decent seat for the journey itself. Now will someone get me down from here? Pplleeaase???

Only two weeks to go until we leave and Tunisia descends into turmoil. Can’t we just drive to the seaside, park up the min and photo shop the pyramids in later? No-one would know! Honest! Could even maybe meet up with a few donkeys...? Now THAT sounds like a PLAN!

Beautiful BBC Reporter (and “babe” extraordinaire) interviews me LIVE for Three Counties radio just moments before leaving Hatfield House on a whirlwind adventure to the Pyramids. Do y’think she wants my number? Nope, guessed not L

OMG we’re doing almost 60mph! No wonder I’m strapped in. By the way have you noticed I’m in charge of the in flight catering!

If things didn’t go too well - we’d have to blend in, disappear (so to speak); luckily us donkeys speak a dozen languages, know every local custom...... but just in case, I got myself an outfit to suit. Us donkeys plan ahead you know.

Pictures & captions kindly supplied by Nicky West.

Forthcoming! Mini Minor to Asia Minor - There & Back
By Nicola Susanne West

This is the story of an independent trek in a 50-year-old Mini – all the way to the Great Pyramid and back – with no assistance or support crew, to provide much needed funds and publicity for the Willow Foundation.
Inspirational to others, the book includes practical advice on the car preparation and documentation required for such marathon drives, along with photographs of the Mini’s preparation and the amazing journey itself. More info.

Wednesday 4 April 2012


Hilarious Misadventures in the Classic, Collectable & Exotic Car Biz
Wild and completely true stories involving some of the most extraordinary cars ever built, and a hobbyist who got in way over his head.

Click image to view full size

Many different stories, each involving a great automobile (or automobiles) and the trouble the vehicle(s) caused for the author, a self-described ‘gearhead' who tried to turn his passion into a business, and failed — miserably! Possessing far more cajones than skill, he has driven everything from bathtubs with wheels to some of the most advanced road-going machinery on the planet. Although it's his dream is to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, reality dictates that any car owner who may let him drive is a complete fool! This unique, hilarious book proves wholeheartedly that just because someone knows about cars doesn't mean they should start trying to buy and sell them for profit ...

EBOOK AVAILABLE NOW on iBookstore, Kindle, Waterstones & Kobo