Friday, 21 October 2016


To celebrate Veloce's 25th anniversary year in style, we're giving one lucky winner the chance to bag up to 25 Veloce books* of their choice up to a total value of £1000. We'll be announcing the winner at the beginning of 2017, so there's plenty of time to enter.

Entering the competition is easy. Let us know your favourite Veloce book from the past 25 years, or quite simply what you like best about Veloce books. Perhaps supply a photo or video with your favourite Veloce book ... email to

Additionally, you might like to spread the word about Veloce on Facebook or Twitter, and don't forget to use the hashtag: #velocebooks25

Remember to register your entry before 31 December 2016. We'll announce the winner in January 2017.

Spread the word about Veloce's anniversary, and you could be in with a chance of scooping the grand prize!


*One winner will be contacted via email or social media and given the chance to select up to 25 Veloce books, not exceeding a total RRP value of £1000, with no duplicate books, and excluding leatherbound editions, eBooks and apps. Competition closes 31 December 2016.


With a legion of fans across the world, TV’s Wheeler Dealer Mike Brewer is used to rolling up his sleeves and bringing classic cars back to their best. However, for his latest project, which is to be revealed at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, he’s taking a different approach.

“I wanted to show people you can still buy a viable classic and, if you do your research, find a specialist to turn around a car” says Mike.

The car in question is a 1972 Citroen SM – a car from the height of Citroen’s most eccentric and turbulent period. “It’s a car that would send a lot of people running scared – they’re very complex, but I wanted to show that if you do your research you can find the right people to turn a car around” he adds.

The SM launched in 1970 and in ’72, the year Mike’s SM left the factory, it was voted Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. Citroen was in the midst of disastrous partnership with Maserati, a marriage that Mike says brought together two of the most eccentric, and most fragile manufacturers.

Despite that, the SM continued Citroen’s fine reputation of creating cars that were beautifully designed and intelligently engineered.

As TV’s Wheeler Dealer, Mike gets plenty of emails from people asking him to take on a car as his latest project and that’s how he found the SM. “I got an email from a guy about the car – it had been in the same family from new and had been used regularly, up until about 20 years ago,” notes Mike.

“One day it just stopped – the family didn’t really know the best way to sort it, so it was rolled into a garage and left.”

With less than 40,000 miles on the clock and an impressive history file behind it, Mike’s interest was piqued and he soon agreed a deal.

Mike then turned to the internet to look for the right specialist to bring the Citroen back to life. “I looked online, I read reviews and I asked for recommendations. It’s about doing your research” says Brewer.

Mike’s research led him to Paragon MoT and Service Centre in Northampton and their near neighbours Cosmetic Autocare. “I didn’t know either of the companies, but I did my research – I wanted to show that anyone could do it, not just a Wheeler Dealer!”

While Paragon have been charged with the mechanics, Cosmetic Autocare have been looking after the body. “It’s getting a full respray in the original Vert Agenta green so will look as good as it did 40 years ago.”

When it comes to restoration projects it’s easy to let the costs spiral, but again, Mike is keen to keep things grounded. “The budget’s not endless – I wanted this to be a realistic project. I reckon by the time I’m done the car would have cost me somewhere around £10-£12,000 and the result will be a car that I’ll use and enjoy and one that’ll be worth considerably more than that on the open market.”

Mike’s plan is to have the car ready for this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at Birmingham’s NEC from the 11th to 13th November. “We want to have it on the stage at the show, so we’ve only got a few weeks to get it finished.”

As well as showing the car, Mike is running a very special competition via his website, offering two tickets to this year’s show and a lucky punter the chance to join Mike for a test drive in the SM, hitting the mean streets of Birmingham, straight from the show.

“It’s going to be great – I’m saying to whoever wins to bring their phone, their camera, whatever, because the test drive will be brilliant – it’ll be the first time I’ve taken the car out on the road, and well, I won’t shut up!”

For more information on the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, the various ticket prices and booking details, visit

Available from Veloce!
Mike Brewer’s The Wheeler Dealer Know How!

Millions follow Mike and Edd's collectable car adventures on Discovery Channel's Wheeler Dealer series, now in its ninth year and shown all around the world. Here's the book to accompany the series.

More info.

Friday, 14 October 2016


Veteran cars planning to tackle the annual journey from Hyde Park to Brighton this November will need to be in more than just top mechanical condition … they will need to look the part, too.

On the day before the Bonhams Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox leaves London’s Hyde Park (that’s Saturday 5th November with the Run itself starting at first light on Sunday, 6th November) more than 100 veteran cars will take part in a Concours d’Elegance. The glittering showcase is a major highlight of the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show, an annual event staged in one of the world's most prestigious shopping and lifestyle destinations situated right at the heart of the nation’s capital city.

Exhibiting in front of a panel of expert judges, including TV motoring pundit Edd China, the veterans are all more than 112 years old, with the youngest built in 1904 and the oldest in 1898. While most are petrol-powered, the Concours entry also includes an American-built Cleveland electric car from 1900.

They will be competing for a number of awards including the Concours d’Equipe for the best turned-out team in period costume and the overall Concours d’Elegance.

However, not every car has to be polished to within an inch of their lives, as one of the most sought after gongs will be awarded to the best original or unrestored car.

One special prize involves members of the public voting for their favourite veteran car in the popular ‘Spectator’s Choice Award’, sponsored by Renault. The French company is one of the backers of the Veteran Car Run and an enthusiastic Run entrant with an open four-seater built in 1900 from its own heritage collection taking part in this year’s event. One lucky voter will also be in with a chance of winning an incredible prize and voting is already open – just follow the links at A name will be chosen at random to win £2,000 to spend on Regent Street; dinner at the Brasserie Zedel; and an overnight stay at the nearby Cavendish Hotel.

Among the cars entered are last year’s winners, back to defend their titles. A 1903 Pierce will be contesting the Concours d’Equipe award; a 1903 Mors will be aiming to wow the spectators again, while no fluffy duster has been anywhere near an unrestored 1903 Oldsmobile in the past year.

Last year’s overall winner, a 1904 De Dion Bouton tourer, will also be back hoping to collect top honours again, before its annual 60 mile trip from capital to coast.

First held in 2005, the Regent Street Motor Show – a Royal Automobile Club event – has gone from strength to strength. Last year, the event welcomed a record 450,000 visitors and even more are expected this year.

Regent Street is closed to through traffic during the day and as well as the veterans, the latest generation of low and zero-emission cars (with short test drives on offer) plus classic cars and bikes, supercars and historic competition machinery will be on display.

There’s entertainment from the Steve Colley Stunt Bike display team, the Top Gear Mercedes F1 simulator and street theatre performances from the West End Kids. And, of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to get a little early Christmas shopping done, too.

Visitors can find out more – as well as vote in the Spectator’s Choice award – by downloading the Regent Street app (available on both iOS and Android) which also allows visitors to explore London’s most iconic shopping and dinning destination.

About the Regent Street Motor Show:

The annual Regent Street Motor Show is a unique free-to-view London motor show held from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday 05 November, and which previews the famous Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox with the Veteran Car Concours d’Elegance. The event attracted no fewer than 450,000 visitors in 2015.

For more details and all the latest news, visit the official Regent Street Motor Show website:

About London Motor Week:

The Regent Street Motor Show is an integral part of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week, which in 2016 incorporates the following events:

Monday 31 October to 6 November – The Art of Motoring Exhibition
Monday 31 October – Royal College of Art - Design Presentation Evening
Tuesday 1 October – The Royal Automobile Club Motoring Lectures
Wednesday 2 November – Dewar Trophy Presentation Lunch / Motoring Book of the Year Awards
Thursday 3 November – Royal Automobile Club Motoring Forum
Friday 4 November – Bonhams Veteran Car Run Auction
Saturday 5 November – Regent Street Motor Show
Sunday 6 November – Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox
For further information on London Motor Week, go to:

– Veloce Book Launch News –

Veloce Publishing will launch A Darracq Called Genevieve - Veteran Motoring's Most Famous Car at Bonham's Veteran Car Auction on November 4th between 5pm and 7pm. Author, Rodney Laredo, will be on hand to sign copies. We'll be next to Genevieve for the Regent Street Motor Show on the 5th and, again, Rodney Laredo will be on hand to sign copies of his new book.
Veloce is grateful to Bonhams for hosting the launch and to the Louwman Museum, The Hague, Netherlands for the presence of Genevieve at the event, when Genevieve is normally on display.

The life and times of the world’s most famous veteran car!

Genevieve is the first definitive, documented, ownership history and cinematic record of the 1904 French Darracq motorcar. This car was propelled to international fame as Genevieve, in the record breaking 1953 film that centred around the annual London to Brighton run for veteran cars pre-1905.

A Darracq called Genevieve is the story of the car that starred in the Bafta award-winning Genevieve, Best British Film of the coronation year 1953 with an Oscar nominated music score by harmonica player Larry Adler. The film became the catalyst for unprecedented interest in veteran motoring worldwide.
Genevieve’s participation in the annual London to Brighton run for veteran cars, alongside her rival, a throaty, bright yellow Dutch Spyker, has become a legendary tale. But what of this 1904 French Darracq’s life before and after it’s film career?
Rodney Laredo’s in-depth biography of Genevieve is the first of its kind. It charts both the public and private life of this famous identity within the old car industry.
For more than forty years the author has collected an extensive pictorial and documented archive of material, through his own personal association with Genevieve and her respective owners and restorers in England, New Zealand, Australia, and Holland. Much of the material is new, and made available here for the first time.
Intriguing recollections – from those who starred in the film Genevieve, who were involved in its production, and who became friends of the author over a long period – are likewise included.

A Darracq called Genevieve is available now! Click HERE for more information about the book!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Kevin Turner, author of the Hapless Biker series of travel books, will be donating his royalties to Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes (SSBB), his local group of life-saving riders, for all book sales from 1 November 2016 to 30 April 2017. Kevin’s publisher, Veloce Publishing, will match the author’s sales royalties, essentially doubling Kevin’s donation.
Kevin’s books, Bonjour! Is This Italy? and From Crystal Palace to Red Square tell of his adventures throughout Europe, Scandinavia and into Russia, first riding a Suzuki SV650S and then on his ’02 Kawasaki Ninja.
Explaining why he’d chosen to donate to this worthwhile cause, Kevin said: “I really wanted to do a charity ride or a sponsored adventure, but I have twin boys that have just turned two and finding time for a big ride was out of the question. But I realised I could essentially recycle my past journeys in the sense of donating the sales from my books; it’s not quite as exciting as getting out on the road but at the end of the day, it’s about supporting my local Blood Bikers, not going on holiday.”

SSBB is a volunteer service, providing emergency transportation of blood products, for free, to NHS hospitals across Shropshire, Staffordshire and South Cheshire.
Nigel Howells, Fleet Manager at SSBB said: “Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes rely on donations to maintain our machines and support our riders. Our riders embark on mini-adventures every time they head off on a potentially life-saving journey; although we like to think we’re a little better prepared than Kevin seems to be! We’re delighted to accept this donation; we’re sure readers will enjoy Kevin’s entertaining books while at the same time supporting our life-saving work.”

If you’d like to support Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes and enjoy a good read in the process, Kevin’s books and e-books, Bonjour! Is This Italy? and From Crystal Palace to Red Square are available to buy from Amazon. You can find more information about them on Kevin’s website

As part of our new series of Classic Veloce extracts, we'd like to share a short passage of From Crystal Palace to Red Square ...

The border
Finland came and Finland went and I didn’t see a great deal of it. It was a sad reality of this manic adventure, part sprint, part marathon, that I could only do so much with the time I had; something had to give, and unfortunately that something was Finland. So I carried on along the E18, on a monotonous journey that I can’t remember a thing about. It’s strange; when I think back to almost any other part of that trip, vivid images spring to mind of roads and bridges and streams and service stations. But when I recall the ride from Turku to the border, there is nothing, just a big mental blank; even my notes are limited to the road numbers and the fact that I stopped for a sandwich.
Scenery and incidents aside, the one thing I do remember is the quiver of excitement that passed through me the first time I saw a sign to ‘St Petersburg.’ That got to me; I really was going to Russia. But St Petersburg was 200km from the Finnish border and for some reason that fact had not registered. In my mind – which to be fair was still clouded with hangover and slightly numb from the day’s ride – I still had that distance to cover in Finland before I reached the border; so it was a surprise when, about 100km sooner than expected, the traffic started to back up and I found myself queuing to enter the Russian Federation.
I joined a long line of cars and buses and began sorting through my paperwork: I divided my cash by currency and placed it into different wallets, hiding the majority of my roubles to avoid losing the lot when the Russians tried to scam me. I knew they would do so; I had been told by enough people along the way. I checked my Visa, my driving license, my insurance, my entry voucher, my international driving permit and the bike documents (MoT, insurance, tax, V5); everything was there, filed orderly in my tank back.
Actually, not quite everything; I hadn’t purchased a third-party insurance document which was apparently a prerequisite for entry, or exit, one or the other. I hadn’t bought it because I didn’t really know what it was and finding out seemed an unnecessary hassle because I’d read somewhere that you could purchase it from Finnish petrol stations near the border. I’d decided to ask someone just before Russia, but the border had sneaked up on me sooner than expected, leaving no time to do so.
I figured I had two options; I could turn around, ride back into Finland and find somewhere that could help me, or I could chance it and hope everything would be okay. ‘Fuck it,’ I thought, ‘it’s only the Russians.’ I took off my boots and lay down on the grass verge; it was too hot to worry about paperwork.
An hour or so later I pulled up to the little hut where the border guard sat waiting impassively.
“Passport please.” He spoke reasonable English and his formality seemed contrived, as though he was really a nice guy but had to play the part of a pitiless monster. I handed over my passport with a smile and then resumed a detailed inspection of my fingernails, concentrating awkwardly on anything that didn’t involve absent documents.
“Who do you think will win the Grand Prix today?”
“What?” I replied. I was too startled to be polite.
“Kimi, huh? I think Räikkonen for the championship now, the Lotus is looking strong,” said the fellow with my future in his hands.
For a while I just stared at him. What cruel strategy was this? These Russians were more devious than I’d anticipated. Should I just hand over my cash now? Give him everything and beg for mercy. ‘No’ I thought, ‘let’s at least make a sport of it.’
“Maybe,” I replied. “It’s a shame Petrov isn’t racing.”
Yeah, name check the only Russian driver; get him on side and remember this the next time someone tells me I watch too much Formula One.
The guard laughed.
“Tell that to the guys up the road.”
“Will do,” I replied enthusiastically, wondering what on earth he was talking about. Still, I didn’t care; this chap was about as far removed from the impression I’d been given of the savage Russian border guards as you could get. I’d had more trouble entering France. I was so relieved by his conviviality that I decided to chance my luck and ask about my absent insurance document.
“Oh I don’t know about that,” he said with a frown, “You’d better ask the Russians when you get there.” And that’s when I realised: I wasn’t entering Russia, I was leaving Finland.
I will remember that moment for a long time. I will remember the sickness that materialised in my stomach, the pang of sorrow which overcame me and which manifested itself in an audible and pitiful groan.
It had been far, far too easy. Foolishly, I had allowed myself to believe the unbelievable; you don’t just ride into the former Soviet Union with a nod and a smile and hearty “Good day sir.” In my haste to enter Russia I’d forgotten that I needed to leave Finland first. Now the worst was still ahead of me and my resolve had been sapped by this crushing disappointment. And I still didn’t have that damn insurance.
In between Finland and Russia there are three ‘phoney’ border stations, small wooden sheds where guards check your passport for no discernible reason. This transitional zone is tense, quiet and empty, and the space creates a deep sense of unease. You are completely exposed as you traverse this no man’s land, watched from a distance by many cameras and, I have no doubt, many marksmen as well. A lone biker on a bright green motorcycle must have made for a curious spectacle and I wondered whether curious spectacles made for itchy trigger fingers. Were they laughing at this oddball on their monitors, or preparing to react with lethal force if I made a suspicious gear change?
Probably the latter; the Russians didn’t seem to laugh at much. Not those wearing uniform anyway. It was chaos at the border and nobody was smiling. Between the lines of cars and busses and vans there was barely room for all the people who’d left their vehicles to mill around aimlessly, dragging suitcases and dropping passports, stewing in resigned frustration under the blazing mid-afternoon sun. I parked the Kawasaki and removed my crash helmet. ‘This is more like it,’ I thought.
Asking for help in these circumstances was pointless, partly because I didn’t speak a word of Russian, but mainly because in this chaotic free-for-all, I suspected pity would be quite thin on the ground. I decided to sit tight, stay out of people’s way and let the madness play out until somebody officious noticed me and sent me in the right direction. As it happened, that didn’t take long, and a chap with a gun, who looked like he didn’t want to shoot me but would if he had to, ushered me toward a kiosk, where a lady gave me some forms to fill out and then left for the day. At least, I assume she did. I took the papers from her, filled out my name, but when I looked up to ask what the next question meant she was gone and never returned.
Which was a shame, because of all the people at the border, she had seemed the most willing to help me. She even grinned when I cut my arm on the metal edge of her booth, her mouth creasing into a smile as she decoded my crude capitalist language. She regained her composure quickly, resuming a stiff formality and bringing a stern finger to her lips, warning me to be quiet; but I didn’t miss the discreet wink that revealed she was human after all.
For about 15 minutes I stood waiting for her, dripping with sweat, frustrated, but no longer afraid. This was an experience to be savoured, because I knew, absolutely, that I wouldn’t be doing it again. When it became clear that my standing outside an empty shed wasn’t going to facilitate my entry into Russia, I traipsed across to another station, pushed my way into the queue of people and handed my half completed form to a character far better suited to the stereotype. He glanced at the crumpled paper, looked annoyed and shouted “Documents” at me.
“Which documents?” I asked holding up a handful of paperwork.
He leant forward, as one might when addressing someone really stupid.
“Doc...u...ments,” he repeated, slowly and with not a little menace. I handed him my passport but he pushed it back at me without opening it. I tried my driver’s licence, but that was dismissed with an irritable shake of the head before it had even left my hand.
Next came my hotel voucher, which received equally short shrift, followed by my international driving permit; this was my favourite because it had an old fashioned feel to it and looked like it had been forged to aid my escape from Nazi-occupied Berlin, so when the guard practically threw it back at me I felt the hold on my temper give a little.
I held his glare for a second or two, just long enough to realise I was fucked if I didn’t produce something useful soon. My mind turned to that non-existent insurance form; was that what he wanted? It seemed a distinct possibility, but I had no way of knowing for sure and no intention of revealing its absence voluntarily.
The guard began to get annoyed; I was holding up the queue, creating difficulty and turning his refined chaos into a messy shambles. I understood his frustration; understood too that I was the sole cause of it, but I wasn’t exactly having the time of my life either and I certainly wasn’t going to let a loud clerk in a fancy hat bully me all afternoon. ‘You want documents?’ I thought. ‘Fine, take the bloody documents.’ I rummaged through my rucksack and smiling politely, dumped every bit of paperwork I had in a disorganised heap in front of him.
“Documents,” I said.
For a moment it seemed the Cold War would resume. But surprisingly, my action seemed to provoke a begrudging respect from a man clearly bored with humility and reverence. To my amazement, and I think to that of the people behind me who had actually stepped back a little, he began examining the pile in front of him, wearily handing each wrong document back to me until he chanced across my V5 vehicle registration form. It was the one document I was sure I wouldn’t need, and it turned out to be the single most important thing I had on me.
That one hurdle had taken about three quarters of an hour to overcome and it was just the start of a long afternoon spent incorrectly filling out forms and being shouted at. The detail was impossible: was I carrying indivisible goods weighing over 35 kilos? What was the value of my belongings in the currency of the state members of the Customs Union? It was utterly bewildering, until at last I began to realise that it didn’t really matter what was on the forms, as long as something was there to hide the white spaces. The Russians didn’t care that I had 15 T-shirts and two pairs of jeans, or that I had written down 75 euros when I was actually carrying 84; if the boxes were ticked the paperwork could be processed, and if the paperwork could be processed it meant everything was okay. I felt like Winston Smith watching the war unfold from the high windows of the Ministry of Peace. Here was Stalin’s legacy being played out right before my eyes; an astonishing mess of bureaucracy and officialdom that had no obvious purpose other than to perpetuate itself.
Through a process of elimination and luck I eventually managed to complete the paperwork, finally gaining those precious stamps that would free me from this dreadful purgatory and enable my journey to continue. I was pulling on my crash helmet with the Ninja ticking over next to me when another guard strolled over, wearing the relaxed demeanour of a man with too much authority. He asked to see my papers and began studying a form that had already been stamped twice. He considered it for a moment, then he stamped it again and handed it back to me.
“It’s okay. You go. It’s fine,” he said.
I didn’t tell him I was going anyway, but I was suddenly struck by the thought of what might have happened had I simply ridden off without that final stamp. Would my back protector have saved me from a high calibre bullet? I began to realise that in Russia there was no such thing as a simple mistake.
It was a valuable lesson; one that had cost me three and a half hours, immeasurable stress, a bloodied arm and a very tangled brain, but I was finally – and almost entirely legally – free to enter Russia. The missing insurance form was never mentioned.