Tuesday 26 July 2016


The inaugural Hillclimb Formula Ford Fest, supported by Veloce Publishing, took place at Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb over the weekend of July 23rd/24th.

As part of the Gurston Down and Midland Hillclimb Championship event, a bumper class of 15 drivers in 10 cars took to the track for some close competition over the two days. Among the entrants were the 1997 British Hillclimb Champion Roger Moran from Ludlow in a Swift FB91 and former British Touring Car Championship race winner and current ITV4 BTCC commentator Paul O’Neill from Merseyside, guesting in the similar Swift FB91 of friend Mark Alley from Wells. However, the winner was the 2015 Formula Ford class Gurston champion Veloce author Simon McBeath from Sturminster Newton aboard his Swift SC92F with a class record setting time of 36.30 seconds. Second place went to Richard Summers from Tenbury Wells in his Van Diemen RF80 on 36.80secs, and third was Tony Wiltshire from Newton Abbott in his Swift SC93 on 36.83secs. Paul O’Neill finished in seventh place on 37.04secs and Roger Moran was ninth on 37.43secs.

The organisers are already looking forward to repeating the Hillclimb Formula Ford Fest in 2017 at the same event, and the building on the success and popularity of the inaugural event the entry is expected to go from strength to strength.

Simon's new book Competition Car Composites - A Practical Handbook (Revised 2nd Edition) is available now!

Friday 22 July 2016


The annual VW Camper & Bus Show takes place at Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Ledbury, July 29-31.

One of the must-attend events of the Volkswagen calendar is set to take place on the last weekend of July, with fun and entertainment promised for VW Camper and Bus enthusiasts of all ages.

The Volksworld VW Camper & Bus show, sponsored by VW parts suppliers Custom & Commercial and specialist insurers Carole Nash, takes place from 29th – 31st July 2016 at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Ledbury, Herefordshire and is a family and dog friendly event.

Among the weekend’s attractions will be one of the show’s traditional highlights, the Soapbox Challenge, with teams of up to four entering their home-made gravity-propelled four-wheelers in a downhill run against the clock. Entries are still open and anyone wishing to participate should email camper.show@kelsey.co.uk if they fancy a laugh-a-minute budget motorsport challenge.

In addition, the show promises live music all the way, with a mix of bands performing on stage throughout the weekend and a bar on site. The Friday night will be a Sixties themed event, with Sixties tribute band the Del Sharrons and Elvis tribute act Gordon Davis, plus a live DJ, while on Saturday the daytime will be taken care of with an Oompah band and fire performers, followed by an Eighties-themed tribute band and live DJ.

There will be prizes on offer for enthusiasts exhibiting their vehicles, be them Beetles, split-window campers, early and late bay-window vans, Type 25’s, T4’s, T5’s and other VWs. On Saturday, the awards will be in the Rust-and-Prime category for the not-so-shiny examples that are loved among the vee-dub scene, while on the Sunday there will be a more traditional Show’n’Shine.

Dogs are more than welcome at the Camper & Bus Show – indeed, they will be invited to participate in competitions of their own! Events will include dog agility, best looking pooch, doggy fancy dress and dog/ owner look-a-like competitions.

Meanwhile, family fun will be taken care of by the VW Bouncy Bus – a large inflatable ‘bouncy castle’ in the shape of the iconic van. Along with dedicated kids’ rides and entertainment, including the magical entertainer Van Man, the children’s attractions will all be free of charge.

There will be other family-themed events throughout the weekend, along with a thriving retail village offering all sorts of VW and camper themed goodies.

There’s still time to take advantage of Early Bird ticket offers, including a weekend adult ticket for just £39* to include an entire weekend’s camping (Under 16’s go free). More info.

Click image to browse books.

Thursday 21 July 2016


Recent research by leading classic car insurer, ClassicLine has revealed that a number of once popular British classic cars are facing an extinction crisis.

The list of top ten most endangered cars in Britain has been published by the insurance specialists as part of it’s new ‘Save our Classics’ campaign.

Taking the top spot on the endangered list is the British Leyland built, Morris Ital. The new figures revealing that with only 35 registered examples left they are now rarer than a Javan Rhino.

Built at Cowley and then later Longbridge between 1980 – 1984, the Ital was the last production car to wear the Morris badge. In the past decade, a shocking 150 Itals have disappeared from Britain’s roads, and today, the youngest car in the Morris family is on the very brink of extinction.

“Once common 1970’s and 80’s cars are disappearing at an alarming rate and this new list is evidence that a serious extinction crisis is mounting”, said Ian Fray, managing director at ClassicLine. “Tens of thousands of Itals were built during the 1980s, they are a proud part of our British manufacturing heritage so it is very sad to hear that so few now remain”.

The new data also highlights the decimation of the iconic Ford Sierra. Often seen roaming across the British landscape in vast numbers through the Eighties and Nineties they are now in a worrying state of decline. With over 64,000 being lost in the last decade, less than one per cent of the total built now remain.

Other cars high on the Save our Classics endangered list include the 1980’s best seller, the Austin Metro, the once popular Ford Cortina, the Austin Allegro, the Vauxhall Victor and the Hillman Avenger.

Fray added, “It is a tragedy that such huge numbers of these cars have been lost in the last decade. Through our new campaign we aim to raise awareness and support for the plight of these once common and much loved British classics that are being recklessly driven to extinction”.

The new Save our Classics campaign, launched earlier this month by ClassicLine encourages the preservation of British classic cars and has called for a number of incentives such as reducing the current UK road tax exemption from 40 years to 30 years to help enthusiasts maintain the dwindling stock. Drivers and enthusiasts can pledge their support to the campaign through the ClassicLine webpage and join the growing community of ‘spotters’ who are being encouraged to share sightings of the endangered cars when they see them out on the road.

For more information about the campaign and to pledge your support visit Save Our Classics.

Top 10 endangered cars in the UK

Thursday 7 July 2016


Scotland's missing Jaguar E-type discovered in rural parish.

A ‘missing’ Jaguar E-type, one of the most sought-after early examples of the model, has been recently discovered in the depths of Scotland and will be offered at auction by Silverstone Auctions at the Silverstone Classic on 30th and 31st July.

The whereabouts of the 1961 Jaguar E-type Series 1 Roadster, chassis #62, one of the first 92 right-hand models produced, has been a mystery to classic car historians for decades. With most of the first 20 cars produced being allocated for competition use, the very first road cars, distinguished by their outside bonnet locks, were supplied in July 1961 to Jaguar dealerships to be used as demonstrators. These early cars are considered to be the 'Holy Grail' of E-types, and arguably of all collector's cars.

Speaking ahead of the sale, Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, commented, “This is a really exciting discovery. Not only was this car believed to be lost, it is one of the most sought after E-type examples attainable. Just like works of art and antiques, it’s the rarest and best quality items that attract collectors and investors. Chassis #62 is just that, and offers a rare opportunity to enjoy the thrill of ownership inherent in one of these special, rare, early cars. Not only that, early E-type prices are soaring and are now achieving six-figure sums once reserved for Italian exotica. Quite simply it’s the right time to buy.”

This car was dispatched to Scotland in July 1961 via Henleys of London for use as a demonstrator vehicle in the Edinburgh area. It was expressly forbidden that the car be sold until September of the same year, when the car was indeed purchased by its first owner and registered on 8th September 1961 with its ‘3122 SR’ registration.

Passed from owner to owner over the years, all within the Edinburgh area, the car travelled north, deeper into Scotland. The car was acquired by its fifth and current owner in 2013, resident of the small parish of Deskford, Moray, who was unaware that he was in possession of this ‘Holy Grail’ car.

Now to be offered on the open market for the first time, and reinstated as a surviving, early example with its Jaguar Heritage Certificate, an excellent history file that details much of the cars life dating back to 1975, Chassis #62 will go to auction with a sale estimate of between £140,000 and £170,000.

The car presents today in exceptional condition having been sympathetically restored and maintained by its owners over the years. Finished in Carmen Red with a black interior, the car still retains a whole myriad of original, specific, early features, such as the much revered 'flat floor', the split-link throttle linkage, thicker screen chrome mouldings and smooth cut-away groove at the top of the A-post cappings.

“This is possibly the definitive Jaguar connoisseur's dream collectible” continues Nick. “This lovely E-type is in fabulous yet not over-restored condition and deserves no less than to be offered for sale at the world famous Silverstone Classic, where it joins a stunning line-up of best of breed classics.”

More info: Silverstone Auctions.


New! Jaguar – All the Cars (Fourth Edition)
By Nigel Thorley

The established encyclopedia of all SS and Jaguar production models.

This significantly enhanced Fourth Edition of Jaguar – All the cars, brings the Jaguar model story right up-to-date. The only publication available covering the entire range in precise detail, with a revised engine chapter, updated chapters on existing models, and new chapters on the very latest Jaguar models.
More info.

Friday 1 July 2016


Twenty brightly-coloured Lamborghini Miuras from all across the world came to Italy for a 500 km journey, taking in the cities of Bologna, Parma, Portovenere, Viareggio, Lucca and Florence.


The Lamborghini Miura Bible (eBook edition) by Joe Sackey.

Named after the Spanish ranch famed for its ferocious bulls, the Lamborghini Miura’s flamboyance and engineering wowed the public when it was unveiled in the mid-sixties. Yet despite its devoted following, there has been no authoritative publication on the car for over a quarter of a century ... until now. Written by a world-renowned authority on the subject – who has himself owned, maintained and restored five Miuras – this unique book features everything the enthusiast would want, from a specially commissioned studio shoot capturing the historic homologation prototype USA Miura SV, to production statistics, specification information, paint charts, and much more. With over 400 photographs and illustrations, this is the definitive guide to an iconic supercar.


On Friday, June 24, Fangio would have been 105 years old.

Juan Manuel Fangio Déramo, one of the world’s greatest racing drivers, came to the world’s attention when Formula One races first took place in Argentina as part of the Argentine Temporada series. Fangio would go on to win the World Championship five times.

We've picked out 5 of our favourite photos of the Argentinian great from the The Argentine Temporada Motor Races 1950 to 1960, to celebrate 'El Maestro' in his home country.

All images taken from The Argentine Temporada Motor Races 1950 to 1960 by Hernan Lopez Laiseca.

This beautifully illustrated book captures the entire history of the Argentine Grand Prix and the Argentina International Temporada Series, covering all the great races of the golden age of motor sport – when danger and passion defined racing.

The annual Temporada (racing season), held in the 1940s and 1950s, were a time of transition in Argentine motorsport, progressing from racing circuits on rough tracks to more refined venues in Argentina’s public parks. After WWII, the Temporadas were organised in the Torreon in Mar del Plata, Parque Independencia in Rosario, Palermo, Constanera and Retiro in Buenos Aires, and Sarmiento in Córdoba. Thanks to these races, Argentina began to be seen as a suitable destination for a Formula 1 Grands Prix, and for the World Sports Car Championship, the Buenos Aires 1000km. The circuits hosted the likes of Villoresi, Varzi, Farina, Wimille, Ascari, Moss and Prince Bira, and arguably taught Juan Manuel Fangio how to drive race cars.
Wonderfully illustrated with 220 contemporary photographs, including many that have never been published before: images that will take you back in time, to the unique atmosphere of top motorsport in South America from 1950 to 1960. More info.

Was Fangio was the greatest racing driver of all time?