Thursday 26 October 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – July

For the past few months, Oliver Winterbottom has been keeping a diary detailing the proceedings surrounding the release of his autobiography A Life in car Design. In this third instalment, we take a look back at July. If you have missed the previous posts, you can catch up with May and June here. 

2 July – Party at ex-Lotus Peter Riches (Chief Technical Officer, TOCA), sign his book. 
Patrick Peel (CEO East Anglian Air Ambulance) plans to buy one.

3 July – Siân at Veloce sends the June reviews of the book. correctly spots my incorrect (for 40+ years) spelling of Giugiaro, but totally incorrect, says Sylvia Kimberley was his sister, not his wife. Mike was amused and then spotted he had spelt his name wrong! 

6 July – From Alan at Club Lotus: "We've sold five copes so far, which is pretty good for us, as we know many members will read about the book in Club Lotus News, and then buy it at a discounted price elsewhere."

8 July – A phone call to my room at Chesford Grange is Chris Harris, ex-Lotus, who has arrived 'on spec' from Donington; he lives and works in Paris! Brought book which I sign. Wonderful surprise.

9 July – TVR Big Bad Wedge Fest at Chesford Grange. Sign about 16 books, and get one and sign for Martin Lilley, past owner of TVR company.

17 July – Message from Mark Webb, TVR Weekend organiser: "I'm looking forward to some quality time to start reading your book, a friend called me the other day and said he was three quarters of the way through it and loving it … He said it's quite funny in places, and I thought, well, it would be … Oliver does have a good sense of humour."

Siân from Veloce sends message that Jon Burgess, editor of Classic Car Buyer, would like a chat. I email him that, being a bit deaf, please email me.

19 July – My sister's Norwich financial advisor, Ian Dilks, has book and would like it signed!

21 July – Visited Clive Chapman at Classic Team Lotus. Presented a book, which I have signed using Colin Chapman's propelling pencil, which he still has. This was quite moving. I have seen many very accurate freehand drawings done with that pencil. Clive is interested in stocking the book on his website. I contact Emma at Veloce to ask for them to contact Clive.

24 July – Daughters and Pat come to dinner at Queens Head. Anne brings her neighbours book for signature – another one sold!

25 July – Emma from Veloce responds and includes the 'dropship' process, where Clive could sell the book from Veloce, avoiding stock problems. 

26 July – I contact Ketts Books, Wymondham, RE the September 10 Vintage Day. I have agreed to attend. Emailed them with 'dropship' idea, and offer to provide a book 'on loan' for prospective customer examination.

28 July – Receive email from Tom Smith, owner of Prototype Lotus M90/X100. Says that ReMarque, the magazine for Lotus Ltd USA, has published a book review similar to the Amazon one. Await copy. He has put the prototype on sale, asking price $114,000 (£86,741).

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design via our website, and make sure you don't miss the next chapter in Oliver's diary, coming soon!

Tuesday 17 October 2017

New Release: Powered By Porsche

Just delivered to Veloce HQ is award winning author Roy Smith's latest book, Powered By Porsche. 

Limited to just 1500 copies, Powered By Porsche– The Alternative Race Cars is the first book of its kind, detailing the non-Porsche racing cars that utilised Porsche engines throughout history, illustrated with some never-before-published pictures that will give you a whole new insight into the world of Porsche.

Reviews for this tome have just starting reaching us, and we thought we'd share a few with you ...

"Porsche must be the most over-catered-for marque in motoring literature. However, this makes Roy Smith's stunning 466-page, meticulously researched tome on, in effect, Porsches that aren't Porsches, thoroughly welcome. 
"It takes an unusual decade-by-decade A-Z format, which causes the timelines to ping about a bit, but finds itself dividing naturally into two halves – the Porsche-engined specials from the earliest days of Ferdinand's engineering consultancy and nascent marque, and the further developments of its super successful sports-racers of the Seventies and Eighties.
"In many ways its the American Porsche-based cars that make for the most interesting and colourful reading, and which help to reinforce the understanding that often what were seen as factory efforts by the public owed much to the ingenuity of the likes of Brumos, Kremer and Holbert. There's also plenty of madness in here, with twin-engined racing cars, Porsche-eninged aircraft and road going Group C cars. Limited to just 1500 copies, [it is] beautifully presented and and incredible feat of research."
Classic Cars

"At 468 pages and boasting 799 pictures, the Powered By Porsche – The Alternative Race Cars book is a hardback your coffee table will feel as it lands with a mighty thud. The first book to cover those non-works cars that raced with Porsche engines, the book has been put together by Roy Smith, a man with a passion for historic motorsport tales. Spanning the birth of the hybrid car in the 1890s, to the Daytona Prototypes, it is full of encyclopaedic details. It includes lots of unpublished images, anecdotes and insight you won't have come across before, it might even answer a few burning questions you may have."
GT Porsche

"In his 15 years as an author Roy Smith has differentiated his works by studying areas that other historians have tended to neglect. Now in Powered By Porsche, Smith looks at other racing cars which have used Porsche engines and often chassis and running gear as well.
"Powered By Porsche is an encyclopaedic work unearthing any number of Porsche racing projects and contributes a great deal of background to half a century of Porsche auto racing competition. It will be of particular interest to North American readers, for as the author shows, most of the teams using Porsche motive power were here and he has clearly researched them in considerable detail. Roy Smith's latest offering is a veritable treasure trove for marque historians and an immersive pleasure for general fans."
Kieron Fennelly

Today, we had the pleasure of welcoming Roy to the office once again, to sign some copies of the book for those who helped him compile this impressive work. Complete with interviews with team owners, drivers, and the people from Porsche, as well as answering questions that Porsche fans have always wanted to know, this book is not to be missed, and would make the perfect Christmas gift of any automotive fan!

You can order your copy direct from us, but make sure to be quick, as this limited edition book is sure to be a popular one!

Thursday 12 October 2017

The Louwman Museum

The Louwman Museum in the Netherlands is home to the world's oldest private collection of motor cars. Started in 1934 and complied by two generations of the Louwman family, the collection boasts 250 antique and classic cars.

Architecturally, the museum is astounding. The purpose-built infrastructure was opened in 2010 and was designed by one of the renowned 'New York Five' architects, Michael Graves. Graves specialised in maintaining a pure form of modernism in the buildings he designed, and is the architect behind a huge number of outstanding structures, from the Riverbend Music Centre in Cincinnati, to the Team Disney building in Burbank, with many more credits to his name around the world. 

Our company accountant, Amanda, picture outside the museum

With a plethora of cars in the collection, it has listed its own Top Five cars in order to show the scope of vehicles that they own. So, best take a look...

Jaguar D-Type XKD 606 (1956)

This car happens to be the 1957 Le Mans winner, crewed by Flockhart and Bueb. The XKD 606 achieved a hat-trick of consecutive Le Mans wins, covering a record 4397km at an average speed of 183km/h; a record which remained unbroken for four years. After Le Mans, the D-Type ended up on the club racing scene, and then, following a crash, was split in two: body and rear-wheel suspension and front sub-frame and engine. The museum managed to acquire both halves of the car, and after a lengthy – and historically accurate – restoration project, the car was returned to the condition it was in during it's successful run in 1957.

Lagonda M45R (1935)

This Lagonda M45R won Le Mans in 1935, despite running low engine oil and suffering a collision that damaged the steering earlier in the race. This car is displayed in completely original condition, right down to the upholstery; an impressive feat for a car over 80 years old!

AC Racing Special (1924)

Englishman Gordon Rossiter used money gifted to him on his 21st birthday to convert an old 1924 2.0-litre six-cylinder AC into a racing car. AC stands for Auto Carrier, the name of the three-wheeled delivery van launched by the Weller brothers in 1904. Rossiter set a new class record at the Blackwell hill climb in his converted AC, and, while racing at Donington Park, clocked a top speed of 105mph.

Spyker C4 All-Weather Coupe (1922)

This particular Spyker C4 is upholstered in simulated snakeskin, and the luggage rack has a jagged edge to discourage one from hitching a ride on the back. The reliability and luxurious design of this car led to it being known in England as the 'Rolls-Royce of the Continent.' In 1922, Selwyn Francis Edge headed to Brooklands in a C4 for the 'Double Twelve.' The record attempt was held in two 12-hour stints, and Edge set a new speed record of 2860km at an average speed of almost 120km/h.

Renault 40CV Type JP Touring Wiederkehr (1922)

With a six-cylinder engine that has a nine-litre capacity, this is one of the largest Renaults every built, and the one on display at the Louwman museum is the only one still in existence. The 40CV soon became a firm favourite in high society, and was delivered as just a motorised chassis, with the choice of bodywork being left to the customer. In 1925, a 40CV won the Rally Monte Carlo, and in 1926, a special single-seat bodywork 40CV participated in the Montlhery endurance event. 

Fellow Velocista, Amanda, recently visited the Louwman museum, and brought back with her numerous images of the vast collection. Now, aside from the very conventional looking cars that make the museum's top five, here are five cars that stood out for their unique and striking designs!

Brooke 25/30-HP Swan Car (1910)

Created by the eccentric Scotsman Robert Nicholl 'Scotty' Mathewson, the bodywork represents a swan gliding through water, and on the rear is an elaborate lotus flower design in gold leaf. The swan's eyes are even fitted with electric bulbs! Fully restored by the museum in 1991, the car went on to win the Montagu Prize at the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, held in California.

Fiat 1100 Boat-car Carrozzeri Coriasco (1953)

Despite how it may seem, this is not an amphicar! Coriasco, a bodywork manufacturer in Turin, built this in the '50s to promote the Scuola Nautical Scarani sailing school in Bologna. Lots of nautical details were included, such as portholes, lifeboats and a varnished wooden deck, with the mudguards representing the waves of the ocean.

Lincoln Sedan Delivery Deco Liner & Harley Davidson Sportster Deco Scoot (2008)

Inspired by the bodywork designs of Saoutchik and Figonie et Falaschi in the 1930s, and the art deco movement, Terry Cook and Frank Nicholas of Deco Rides, New Jersey, designed this vehicle based on the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr T. Completed in 2008, the car is powered by an eight-cylinder, 5.7 litre Chevrolet 'small block' engine, and the Chevrolet Blazer four-wheel chassis has an extension to allow for a 1992 Harley Davidson Sportster to be stored in the car.

Taruffi Italcorsa/TARF II

Designed by Italian racing driver and engineer Piero Taruffi, this car is powered by a 1.7-litre 290HP supercharged Maserati engine, and is driven using control sticks, as there is no room for a steering wheel. Achieving a top speed of just under 300km/h on the flying kilometre and flying mile, held on the Via Appia near Rome, it went on to break records over longer distances at Montlhery and Monza over the following years. 

Darracq 12HP 'Genevieve' (1904)

Ah, Genevieve... Those who are regular followers of all things Veloce will recall that we published a book on Genevieve at the end of 2016. Written by Rodney Laredo, A Darracq Called Genevieve is the biography of this 1904 Darracq's life on and off the silver screen. Coincidently, we recently received a review of this fabulous book, which you can read here:

"An enjoyable insight into the Genevieve legend"

"Genevieve, as revealed in the 1953 classic British comedy movie was, and is, a credible tale of veteran motoring mayhem. Veloce has recently published A Darracq Called Genevieve. It's a 154-page hardback detailing the story of the car, the film, and the multifarious and multi-talented characters involved.

"We've got a copy of the book right here in the office and we've been enjoying reading it. New Zealand author Rodney Laredo writes from the heart; this tale reads like a very personal account of his lifelong involvement with the Genevieve story.

"Laredo was just a boy when he became entranced with the film and the 1904 Darracq at the centre. His developing interest led to numerous letters, articles, conversation and finally meeting the late Dinah Sheridan.

"Laredo and family eventually became good friends with Sheridan and other personalities involved in the wider story. Therefore, it was natural enough for the author to also explore the very interesting history of Darracq cars, which is still a largely overlooked- or even unknown- chapter in the annals of motoring history.

"Packed with numerous artifacts from the film, it's hard to see why any hard-core Genevieve fan would not want a copy of this book. But even those with a more casual interest will find this enjoyable.

"If you haven't seen the movie for a while and want to re-view it, you'll be sure to watch it in a much wider light and context after you leaf through this publication. And if you simply want to know something about Darracq cars, here's a pretty good place to start."


All of this just scratches the surface of what the Louwman has to offer! Maybe this post has inspired you to plan your own trip over to the Netherlands to see the museum for yourself, and if so, rest assured you will not be disappointed! Visit the Louwman Museum website:


Thursday 5 October 2017

A Female First at Beaulieu!

The automotive world is a very male-orientated one, and as a woman working within industry, the following story was a great one to come across! The first ever female workshop apprentice has been appointed at the National Motor Museum. For more on this fascinating story, I'll hand over to the people from Beaulieu to tell you all about it.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has appointed a new workshop apprentice as an investment in the future of its historic vehicle collection at a time when few specialist workshops are taking on trainees. The National Motor Museum was founded in 1972, and has a policy of keeping its vehicle collection in the best condition to preserve them, which means that many exhibits are in roadworthy condition and are used throughout the year.

New apprentice Emily Leese, aged 18, joins the museum's experienced workshop team to help maintain and restore its collection of more than 250 historic vehicles. A young woman in an industry traditionally dominated by older men, Emily's training will help to keep alive the essential skills needed to look after and preserve the museum's remarkable machines.

When she completes her apprenticeship, Emily will become the first to do so since Museum Manager and Chief Engineer Doug Hill finished his apprenticeship 40 years ago.

Classic car fanatic Emily, who has been a volunteer at the National Motor Museum since the age of 14, is starting a four-year apprenticeship, which is being generously funded by a small group of Beaulieu One Hundred members. The Beaulieu One Hundred membership is committed to supporting the work of the National Motor Museum Trust to preserve Britain's motoring heritage for future generations.

Emily's training will be overseen by apprenticeship provider Heritage Skills Academy, which specialises in enabling trainees to work towards industry-standard qualifications as part of its Heritage Engineering Apprenticeships programme, tailored to the specialist automotive restoration industry. 
Further to gaining the vital hands-on experience in the workshop, Emily will also study the skills of the trade with Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist P&A Wood in Essex, working towards her Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Classic Vehicle Restoration. Her training will be funded by the Automotive Apprentice Bursary awarded by the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London, a charitable association which promotes excellence in the automotive, aerospace and rail industries.
Draper Tools has generously donated a comprehensive tool kit and chest to Emily from its Draper Expert range, which will be indispensable to her over the course of her apprenticeship.

National Motor Museum Manager and Chief Engineer Doug Hill [editor's note: Interesting Fact! Doug Hill
is the son of Veloce author, the late Ken Hill] said: "Ever since Emily first visited us for work experience four years ago, I have been impressed by her enthusiasm and determination. I was the last apprentice to complete my training here at the National Motor Museum 40 years ago, so it makes me exceptionally proud to offer this opportunity to a new recruit by employing Emily as our apprentice in the workshop. We can make a huge step forward in ensuring our legacy of knowledge is safe for the future."

Motor Museum Trust Chief Executive and Beaulieu Managing Director Russell Bowman said: "We are delighted to welcome Emily to the workshop. In her previous role as a volunteer, she has already proven herself to be a very dedicated and hard-working team member. By learning specialist maintenance and restoration skills from our experienced engineers, she will be helping to safeguard the museum's vehicle collection. We wish her a very long and happy career at Beaulieu."

By assisting and learning from the museum's experienced team of five workshop engineers, Emily will help to maintain and repair a staggering variety of vehicles including prestigious veteran cars, classic racers, luxury limousines, vintage motorcycles, Land Speed Record-breakers and even the famous Beaulieu Monorail.

Emily said: "At school, I chose to study Design Technology Resistant Materials rather than, say, cookery. I was the only girl on the course. Then when I finished school I found the Motor Vehicle Engineering course at Sparsholt College, which gave me a direction to go in although I was one of only two women on the course. My friends aren't into cars but they think my career path is pretty cool.
"It's good fun being in the workshop. Fixing things is my passion. I get involved in whatever projects are being worked on. Recently, I helped to re-fit the engine to our 1930 'Blower' Bentley, helping to steady the engine and to line everything up."

After spending the day working on old machinery, Emily drives home in her own modern classic, a Rover 100 – the later incarnation of the successful Austin Metro. Her true motoring passion lies with the legendary Morris Minor. "Years ago, I saw one and thought 'that's a really nice car'. Then I saw how easy they are to work on and I thought I'd like one of those." When space allows, her plan is to one day have her own Minor to restore. 

Emily is adamant that maintaining and restoring historic vehicles is a viable career. "I don't know what the future of the classic car movement will be or what will be considered a classic in years to come but with so much going on in the workshop all the time, I'm hoping to stay here at Beaulieu for a long time. However, I would like to see more youngsters given the same opportunity that I have."

Emily is launching a blog to follow her apprenticeship. To read the first post with a Q&A with Emily, see

And there you have it! What an amazing – and progressive – step for not only the classic car industry, but for the working climate as a whole. I personally wish Emily all the best in what is set to be a very interesting and rewarding career path! – Siân