Monday 28 May 2012


Brits have won for the third year running and have won five of the last eight Indy 500s!

Dario Franchitti slipped the wreath over his head and took a healthy sip of cool milk in the 91-degree mid-afternoon heat in Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. First, however, he donned a pair of white cardboard sunglasses -- a tribute to longtime friend, teammate, competitor and fellow Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon.

"Now my face on the Borg-Warner Trophy will be on either side of Dan's," Franchitti said of the 2011 race winner who died in October from injuries suffered in a racing accident.

Franchitti became the 10th driver with three or more 500 wins, holding off charges from Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan over the final five laps following a restart.

Franchitti, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion, won under caution as Sato's No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing car made slight contact with the left side Franchitti's No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car while running side-by-side for the lead on the white flag lap. The contact shot Sato's car up the track and into the Turn 1 SAFER Barrier, bringing out the yellow flag.

Franchitti led teammate Scott Dixon and Kanaan under the twin checkered flags to cap a wild race featuring the new car-engine package. There were a record 34 lead changes among 10 drivers.

A few minutes later, in Victory Circle, Franchitti looked to the sky as a salute to Wheldon.

A few minutes afterward, he and wife Ashley Judd were joined on the victory lap by Susie Wheldon, who earlier in the weekend accepted the Champion of Champions ring and "Baby Borg" trophy on behalf of her husband.

Kanaan, seeking his first victory in his 11th 500 Mile Race and driving the No. 11 car ("my favorite number") for KV Racing Technology, had taken the lead on a Lap 184 restart.

Oriol Servia jumped from the 27th starting spot to finish fourth and pole sitter Ryan Briscoe was fifth. James Hinchcliffe, who started from the middle of the front row, finished sixth and Justin Wilson also had an Indy-best seventh-place finish. Charlie Kimball overcame a practice crash a week earlier to finish eighth, and Townsend Bell was ninth. Three-time winner Helio Castroneves was 10th and Rubens Barrichello was the highest finishing rookie in 11th.

Dario Franchitti of course wrote the foreword and dominates the cover of The British at Indianapolis by Ian Wagstaff!

The British at Indianapolis follows the format of the author’s award winning The British at Le Mans. It recounts the history of the Indianapolis 500 race through the eyes and actions of those British born or British citizens who have driven in it, or been involved in any other way – be it as a designer, mechanic, or official. It also examines the British built cars that have won the Indy 500 and the significance of the rear engined revolution brought to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by Cooper in 1961, and elevated to success by Lotus and Lola. It includes such names as Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Nigel Mansell. In addition to the 500 it includes other races at the IMS, notably Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Formula One Grand Prix there. It is a story that goes back to the first 500 in 1911, when London-born Hughie Hughes became the first British-born driver to race in the 500, to the present day, with more British than ever competing in the race and British drivers winning twice in the last four years. More info.

Wednesday 23 May 2012


Le Mans Panoramic by Gavin Ireland is reviewed in TrackDriver magazine!

Click here for more info about the book!

Tuesday 22 May 2012


Recent survey by Mobil 1 revels three-quarters of UK motorists don’t know how to check their car’s oil – a vital element in basic vehicle maintenance.

A staggering three out of four Brits don’t know how to check the oil in their car, according to new research from Mobil 1. More worryingly still, almost half of the drivers questioned were oblivious as to why oil is even used in their vehicle’s engines.

The research also found 94% of motorists were unaware that using the correct oil can significantly prolong the life of their engine, as well as potentially improve fuel economy. All of which means that at a time when British car owners are feeling the pinch like never before, they could be driving blindly towards expensive engine problems in the future.

Mobil 1 commissioned the survey in order to gain insight into motorists’ habits, specifically in the areas of engine maintenance and servicing. The study discovered that although as a nation Britons are typically on the lookout for ways to save money, they are significantly less savvy when it comes to understanding how to cut their motoring costs.

“It’s clear from this research that drivers are largely unaware of the benefits of using synthetic motor oil – and in some cases people don’t even have a basic understanding of the fundamental role played by engine lubrication,” said Dan McGoldrick, Field Marketing Advisor UK, Nordic and Benelux for ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialities, makers of Mobil 1. “Using the right oil for your engine can potentially improve fuel economy, reduce engine wear and save lots of expense in the long run. Our aim is to help make drivers aware that checking oil is essential for keeping cars running smoothly and efficiently.”

Source: Mobil 1

This book pays for itself in one oil change!
Caring for your car - How to maintain & service your car
By Trevor Fry.
Aimed at the driver who wants to do his or her own basic car maintenance and servicing without the need for in-depth mechanical knowledge, or a technical manual. It covers areas such as oil, brakes, tyres, transmission, electrics, etc, allowing the owner to address the most regularly serviced items without forking out for additional costs. Illustrated with full colour photographs throughout, and featuring clear, easy-to-follow instructions, this book is a must-have for all drivers. More info.


Classic vehicles will be exempted from the MoT test, Roads Minister Mike Penning announced today.

Classic and historic vehicles are often very well maintained by their owners and have a much lower accident and MoT failure rate than newer vehicles.

The current requirement to undergo an MoT test goes over and above the obligations set out in European legislation. Following a public consultation which showed high levels of support for the proposals, vehicles manufactured before 1960 will be exempted from the MoT test from 18th November 2012 reducing costs for owners.

Owners of affected vehicles will still be able to take exempt vehicles for an MoT test on a voluntary basis.

Mike Penning said:

"We are committed to cutting out red tape which costs motorists money without providing significant overall benefits. Owners of classic cars and motorbikes tend to be enthusiasts who maintain their vehicles well - they don't need to be told to look after them, they're out there in all weathers checking the condition of the engine, tyres and bodywork.

“Owners of classic vehicles will still be legally required to ensure that they are safe and in a proper condition to be on the road but scrapping the MoT test for these vehicles will save motorists money.”

The response to the consultation can be found here.

Source: Department For Transport


1: Caring for your car's body work and interior (RAC) (Nixon)
2: How to Restore Classic Car Bodywork (Thaddeus)
3: VW Bus EBG (Cservenka/Copping)
4: How to Build Motorcycle-engined Racing Cars (SpeedPro) (Pashley)
5: Gulf-Mirage 1967-1982 (WSC Giants) (McDonough)
6: Le Mans Panoramic (Ireland)
7: How to Restore VW Beetle (Tyler)
8: Porsche 911 (993) EBG (Streather)
9: Porsche 993 Essential Companion (Streather)
10: Jaguar XK8 & XKR EBG (Thorley)

Monday 21 May 2012


Celebrating its 10th anniversary the The British Sports Book Awards will take place today at the Savoy Hotel in London.

The event will celebrate the very best in sports book publishing from the last year with two new awards (Golf and Motorsport) being added to the line up.

Veloce has two books shortlisted for the Motorsport category! Audi R8 (WSC Giants Series) by Ian Wagstaff and Driven by Desire - The Desiré Wilson story by Alan Wilson.

The history of the world’s most successful endurance racing car: the Audi R8. Featuring reports of all of its 80 races, plus profiles of the 35 drivers who raced the car between 2000 and 2006 – as well as the Audi R8R and R8C of 1999. With individual chassis details, results and observations from significant individuals involved with the R8, and iIllustrated in colour throughout with many previously unpublished photos, this book is a must for all endurance racing fans. More info.

The story of the driver rated by many as the best woman ever to race cars, and the most capable ever to have driven in Formula One. Her 50-year career began at the age of five in South Africa, moving to Holland and England and then the USA, before gaining renewed life at the famous Goodwood Revival historic race events. This fascinating story shows that a woman can, and did, fight her way to the top of motorsport.
More info.

Friday 18 May 2012


Recreation of famous Italian road race for historic racing cars with a 1,000 mile course from Brescia to Rome and back from May 17 - 20.

Porsche 550 Spyder at the Mille Miglia 1955

Porsche Type 356 Coupé, 1954

Hans Herrmann driving the Porsche Type 550 Spyder, 1954

The legends are under starter’s orders: from May 17 - 20, the Porsche Museum is covering the legendary thousand miles of the Mille Miglia with its most impressive entry to date.

Porsche enjoyed great success in the famous Italian endurance road race throughout the 1950s and during the recreation event that starts today in Brescia, the German sports car manufacturer will celebrate these achievements by demonstrating two examples of the Porsche 550 Spyder, a 356 Speedster 1500, 356 Speedster 1600, 356 Speedster 1600 S and a 356 Coupé with V-shaped front windscreen, the so-called “Knickscheibe” (bent windscreen). The Mille Miglia follows the course of the most beautiful roads from Brescia to Rome and back and is among the most important events in the calendar of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. The classic event, which is open only to cars of a type that competed in the race in period, remains a challenge for vehicles and drivers to this day because the 1,600 kilometre course is covered in only three days and typically in changeable weather. The numbers 550 and 356 represent notable Mille Miglia successes for Porsche. The first Porsche drivers to taste victory were the two-man team Prince von Metternich and Count von Einsiedel in 1952 in a Porsche 356 1100. The first three places in the 1.1-litre class were taken by sports cars from Stuttgart, impressive testimony to the early potential of the Porsche 356. In the following year, 1953, a phalanx of no fewer than 18 Type 356 sports cars took their place on the starting line in Brescia. The most successful Porsche teams were Hans Herrmann and Erwin Bauer, who took first place in the 2-litre sports car category, with Hans Leo von Hoesch and Werner Engel winning the 1.3-litre class. The 550 Spyder in 1954 experienced probably the most spectacular exploit. To avoid losing valuable time, works driver Hans Herrmann drove the low-slung mid-engine sports car under a lowered railway barrier. The duo of Hermann and Herbert Linge ended up winning a class victory and finishing in an impressive sixth place overall. Porsche managed to emulate this success in 1955 as well: this time it was Wolfgang Seidel and Helmut Glöckler who clinched victory in the 1.5-litre sports car class in their 550 Spyder; followed by Richard von Frankenberg and Peter Oberndorf together with Rainer Günzler, who won the GT classes for up to and above 1.3-litres in their Porsche 356 Coupés. In 1956, heavy rain denied victory to the Porsche 550 A piloted by Hans Herrmann, but Porsche claimed two class victories all the same thanks to Olof Perssson and Gunnar Blomquist (356 1500 Carrera) and Harald von Saucken and Georg Bialas (356 1500 Speedster). At the last Mille Miglia in 1957, victory in the sports car class up to 1.5-litres went to the Italian Umberto Maglioli in the Porsche 550 A Spyder. Paul-Ernst Strähle and Herbert Linge bagged the hotly-contested class victory in the Gran Turismo category for 1.3 to 1.6-litres, which was occupied almost exclusively by examples of the Porsche 356. The Porsche Museum maintains and demonstrates around the world priceless exhibits from its Stuttgart collection, participating in historic motorsport events and often reuniting iconic cars with famous drivers of the era. The next major event on the Porsche Museum calendar is the Goodwood Festival of Speed, in Sussex, on June 28 - July 1, which will once again see a stunning selection of historic Porsche racing cars brought to the UK from Stuttgart. Source: Porsche

Porsche Racing Cars - 1953 to 1975 By Brian Long Follows Porsche's year-by-year progress in top flight racing, and looks in detail at the pure competition cars which brought the German marque such immense success and worldwide acclaim on the tracks. This particular volume starts with the story of the giant-killing 550 Spyders of 1953 vintage, and takes the reader, car-by-car, through all of the subsequent racing models. More info.
Porsche Racing Cars - 1976 to 2005 By Brian Long Follows Porsche's year-by-year progress in top flight racing, and looks in detail at the pure competition cars which brought the German marque such immense success and worldwide acclaim on the tracks. This particular volume begins with the story of the pure racers of 1976 vintage, and takes the reader, car-by-car, through all of the subsequent racing models, including the glorious 956 and 962, up to 2005. More info.

Tuesday 15 May 2012


The countdown has started to Italian Job 2012! A car rally in aid of children's charities.

Registration has opened for The Italian Job Touring Event 2012 (one the most colourful events ever to be staged in the name of charity), which is set to raise as much money as possible for the children's charity Variety Club. Rally enthusiasts in the UK, Europe and further afield are being encouraged to sign up. The long-running event is an essential fixture in any classic car enthusiast's calendar, and this year takes place between 25 October 25th to 2 November. The event epitomises all that is great about "social motoring", promising and delivering many varied surprises along the way for its lucky participants. Every year, over 100 Mini and classic car enthusiasts head for the start line in Italy; this year, Rome will flag the cars off. Jobbers (as participants are known) spend eight adventure-filled days driving well off the beaten track through beautiful, unspoilt scenery, avoiding major roads and motorways and sticking to roads which their cars love best. They will enjoy a lap or two on the Mugello racing track, drive on the Ferrari circuit in Imola and will also visit Turin - famed venue of the Italian Job movie heist - where they go for a spin on the famous Lingotto rooftop test track used in the film. Along the way, teams participate in an Italian Automobile Club sanctioned event, a navigational rally which puts their driving skills and navigational ability to the test, with penalty points awarded for any errors of skill, precision or timekeeping. Jobbers approach these trials variously as either an enjoyable bit of fun or with a more honed competitive edge! The winning team is that which receives the fewest number of penalties. Mike Cooper - son of the legendary F1 constructor champion John Cooper and Patron of the Italian Job event - who participated in a Mini in 2005, says: "This brilliant event is a must for anyone mad about Minis, like me. It's fun, it's challenging, but most of all, it's a great way to raise money for the vital work the Variety Club does with children and young people across the U.K." Places are limited to 100 cars - Minis and any cars featured in the 1969 film with Michael Caine. Inclusive cost per person sharing a double/twin room is £995pp. To sign up for this year's event, or for more information, please visit the website:

Forthcoming! Mini Minor to Asia Minor - There & Back
By Nicky 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.

Friday 11 May 2012


Kevin Turner came to Veloce House last week to record this video interview about his new book!

Bonjour! Is this Italy? - A Hapless Biker’s Guide to Europe
By Kevin Turner

Following his dismissal from a job he never should have had, the author packs a tent, some snacks, and a suit, and sets out on a two-wheeled adventure across Europe. With no idea where he’s going, and only two very large and confusing maps to rely on, he heads out to prove that planning and forethought are the very antithesis of a motorcycle adventure.

More info.

Wednesday 9 May 2012


Andrew Jenkinson, author of The Story of Sprite Caravans, made an appearance on BBC1's The One Show on Friday 4th May. The feature, which coincided with the May bank holiday weekend, included a brief history of the Sprite Caravan and founder Sam Alper OBE. Andrew chatted to Phil Tufnell beside a fully restored Sprite Caravan. Well done Andrew!

The story of Sprite Caravans
By Andrew Jenkinson

This book tells of the story of Sprite caravans, from early primitive designs to the sophisticated Sprite of today. It describes how one man – Sam Alper OBE – was driven to provide the caravanning public with cheap affordable holidays, by bringing the VW/Ford mass-production ethos to the caravan industry. More info.

Thursday 3 May 2012


In the first of a new feature dedicated to vehicle owner's with a pride in their motor, Veloce co-founder and publisher Rod Grainger shows off his 1929 Chevrolet AC International Roadster.

"A six for the price of a four!"

That was Chevrolet's sales slogan when they took the fight to Ford's then market-leading 4-cylinder Model A with the introduction of the 6 cylinder AC International series cars of 1929. The 1929 Chevys were just $10.00 more than the 4-cylinder 1928 models they replaced. Styled by Harley Earl, the new 1929 Chevrolets not only looked good, but undercut the prices of other makers' 6-cylinder models by around $100, leading to sales of 600,000 cars in the first five months of production! The new 6-cylinder engine was a very clever piece of design. Featuring overhead valves in the Chevrolet tradition, the new unit produced more power than Ford's Model A 4-cylinder, yet didn't cost much more to make than the 4-cylinder unit it replaced due to a simple engine oiling system and the use of cast-iron pistons - the latter leading to the sobriquet "Cast-iron wonder." The engine was also known as the "Stovebolt six" due to the use of slotted-head quarter-inch bolts like those found on American cooking stoves of the era. Incredibly, this engine remained in production through various evolutions until 1984 in the USA and even the late 1990s in Brazil, it also appeared in British Bedford trucks and Vauxhall cars.

Why did Veloce's automotive book publisher, Rod Grainger, buy a 1929 Chevrolet AC International Roadster?

Rod had wanted a car from the vintage era for a long time but really didn't have deep enough pockets to buy a quality British car from the period, so when he spotted the Chevrolet on an auctioneer's website with a very realistic reserve he saw a rare opportunity. Compared with European cars in the same price range, the Chevy has a fantastic specification - 3.2 litre 6-cylinder engine, four wheel brakes, overhead valves, a fuel pump, electric starter, lots of chrome and fantastic presence. Better still, as this is the Roadster model, it has a fold down top and windscreen and a dicky (rumble)-seat so can carry four passengers. But the real icing on the cake is that this car is right-hand drive! Why? Because it was assembled in Australia from a CKD kit by the Holden company. Intriguingly, the car was imported to Britain in 2004 by a Mr R F Holden suggesting that the car may have been retained/restored by the Holden company, something that, so far, Rod has been unable to verify. Once used to the centre throttle and vintage brakes, this iconic car is a delight to drive and has excellent performance for an octogenarian.

Do you have an unusual car/motorcycle with a story to tell?
We want to see it! Send photos & description to
We will pick one a month, and any we feature will win an Essential Buyer's Guide (worth £9.99 / $19.95) of your choice.
Click below to browse the whole series.


The fascinating, funny, sometimes controversial autobiography of Stuart Turner, one of the leading motorsport figures of the past 50 years. In this book, one of motorsport's most engaging and enthusiastic characters writes frankly, revealingly and above all modestly about guiding BMC and Ford to rally glory.

EBOOK AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle & Waterstones

Wednesday 2 May 2012


In this second part of this feature, Splonk visits Monaco!

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.

Follow Splonk on Twitter!

Ah, Monaco. After three days driving time for people watching... Celebrity? Moi?

Okay! You may be quick but Morris does 40mpg

Wow... sell the mini, let's get a yacht!

This F1 thing is all go go GO!

Here's my new friend Paddington, says he’s from darkest Peru...

Let's go! The ferry to Greece is boarding NOW!!!

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.