Thursday, 20 September 2018

Bye Bye Beetle!

Another iconic car is set to become a thing of the past, as it was announced last Thursday that Volkswagen are to stop producing the Beetle in 2019.

The move comes as Volkswagen plans to focus more on what consumers are looking for in a new car, such as electric cars and larger family-orientated vehicles. Although there are no plans to replace it, there is a 'Never Say Never' attitude towards it, just like when the company decided to unveil a revamped Volkswagen Bus last year. 


"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans." – Heinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group America.


Volkswagen will finish the run by adding a pair of Final Edition models – the Final Edition SE and the Final Edition SEL – to the line up, available in both coupé and convertible body styles. Along with colours such as Pure White, Deep Black Pearl and Platinum Grey, these models will feature two unique colours: Safari Uni, a reinvention of Harvest Moon Beige, a colour from the New Beetle, and Stonewashed Blue, which pays homage to the 1970 Jeans Bug, as well as being more recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim. Convertible Final Edition SEL models will be available in all colours (expect Safari Uni) with a unique Brown soft top.



A timely publication, Richard Copping's Volkswagen Beetle – A Celebration of the World's Most Popular Car charts every aspect of the original Beetle's lengthy history – from Porsche's design for Hitler to it's successful move to South America. Written by an enthusiast, this tome contains a wealth of archive imagery, including some rarely seen photographs of the Beetle across the decades. What better way to help commemorate the end of an era than with this excellent book.




The third generation Beetle is set to become a collector's item with this latest announcement. It really is a shame to be saying goodbye to such an iconic model. 


Friday, 31 August 2018

An old classic gets a modern makeover

One of Jaguar's most iconic cars, the E-Type, is set to make a comeback with a new electric version approved to go into production, and available to buy from summer 2020. 


No doubt spurred on by the fact that Prince Harry whisked his new bride, Megan Markle,  to their wedding reception in an E-Type Zero back in May, Jaguar Land Rover announced that Jaguar Classic – a unit of the firm that specialises in restoring vintage models – will convert E-Types to electric power at its Classic Works facility in Coventry. 

"We've been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-Type Zero concept. Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. The E-Type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-Type, and the expertise and craftsmanship of Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover's dedication to creating Zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic."

– Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director. 

For those hoping to turn their classic eco-friendly, an EV conversion service for existing E-Type owners will also be offered. To preserve the authenticity of the base vehicle, the EV conversion will be fully reversible.



The concept

The idea behind the Jaguar E-Type Zero is that not only will it drive, handle, ride, brake and look like an E-Type, it will also offer quicker acceleration than the original Series 1 E-Type. Jaguar Classic plans to target a range in excess of 170 miles for all-electric E-Types, helped by the car's low kerb weight and aerodynamics. The concept vehicle is powered by a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged in six to seven hours. 

An electric powertrain with single-speed reduction has been specially designed for the E-Type, utilising many Jaguar I-PACE components. Its lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimension, and similar weight, to the standard E-Type's six-cylinder petrol XK engine, and is in the same location.  The electric motor lies just behind the battery pack, in place of the E-Type's gearbox. 

An electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means that the car's structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed. This simplifies the conversion, keeping the driving experience in line with the original vehicle. 

We're still quite a way off from these environmentally friendly E-Types, so to tide you over until then, why not check out our latest book on the model? Jaguar E-Type Factory and Private Competition Cars takes a detailed look at the racing E-Type: an exciting and important aspect of Jaguar's history. And who knows, maybe an E-Type Zero will be seen at races of the future? 


Thursday, 16 August 2018

Monterey Car Week

This weekend sees the start of Monterey Car Week, a special automotive week that is full of exciting events, auto shows, rallies, concours and car auctions that culminates at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on the 26th.


There are two major motoring bodies that will be unveiling new models that piqued our interest, and in today's blog post, we bring you details on these latest cars. 

The new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ will have it's official unveiling during Monterey Car Week. The newest super sports car form the famed Italian marque recently set the lap record for production cars at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, in a time of just 6:44.97 minutes. 

The Aventador SVJ is made of lightweight materials that contribute to the excellent weight-to-power ratio of only 1.98 kg/hp. Furthermore, Lamborghini's patented ALA 2.0 active aerodynamics system with aero vectoring guarantees handling and downforce. 

"Its tenure as the Nürburgring lap time record holder, even before its unveiling [this month], endorses Lamborghini's competence in applying superlative design engineering and ground-breaking technologies. The SVJ is a super sports car at the zenith of performance, while also ensuring unrivalled driving pleasure." – Stefano Domenicali, Automobile Chairman & CEO. 




It may cover an older model, but we have an impressive new tome! Our newest Lamborghini book, due for release in October, is all about the Lamborghini Murciélago. This book, written by Dr Thillainathan Pathmanathan, a lifelong Lamborghini enthusiast, examines the Murciélago in detail, while casting a look back through the marque's troubled history, to understand how the Murciélago came into being. This exceptional work touches on the people and organisation involved in the production of this iconic car, before examining each of the model variants, and discusses the joys and tribulations of ownership. 




BMW are another marque set to reveal a new car this week – rumour has it, it's a redesigned Z4. Monterey would be a meaningful venue, as BMW has a pattern of revealing concepts and production cars at this event; last year they showed 8-series and Z4 concept cars. 

So far as is known, the new Z4 will pull plenty of its design from the concept cars displayed last year, with a more forward face, and sweeping lines at the rear. As for power, BMW confirmed that a Z4 M40i will use the company's 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-6. Engineers also focused on reducing the car's mass; despite the car being nearly 3 inches wider than its predecessor, the new Z4 will weigh nearly 50kg less. 

BMW's mystery reveal is set for August 23. In the meantime, if you are interested in owning a Z4, then you should first invest in our newest Essential Buyers Guide, which covers the Z4 E85 Roadster and E86 Coupe 2003-2009 – including the M and Alpina Roadster models. Packed full with loads of good advice from marque expert David Smitheram, and described as a "must have" by the Z4-forum and the BMW Car Club GB, this is the complete guide to choosing, assessing and buying the original BMW Z4. 




Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – May, June and July

With the summer show season just beginning, things are picking up for Oliver Winterbottom. In today's blog post, we'll get you right up to speed with what he's been up to of late. 

2 May – Amazon UK now have six books (more coming), so thats four gone since 19 April.

4 May – I attend the dignified Service of Thanksgiving for John Miles at Hingham Church, Norfolk. Very sadly missed. A privilege to have known and worked with him. He had the unusual trait of being totally non-political. This was a chance to say farewell and to catch up with many old Lotus faces.

5 May – Complete the slides and text notes for talks for the Bourne Motor Racing Club and the North Yorkshire Lotus Owners Club. No dates yet, but at least they are done!

7 May – Rob Ford from Club Lotus Avon opens discussion on my giving the club a talk in 2019. Happy to do so! Date being planned.

8 May – Meet an ex-Jaguar apprentice (10 years after me!), in my sister's local pub. He brought up so many names from those days that I had long forgotten. He was with an acquaintance who would bring his copy of my book for signature the following evening.

9 May – After a fascinating visit to Bletchley Park with my sister, I am myself with a signing pen. The gentleman arrived in the pub, but the book did not – it was elsewhere! OK, next time perhaps.

10 May – Arrange to give Club Lotus Avon a talk next year. Tuesday, 5 March 2019 date agreed.

11 May – The first edition of Absolute Lotus magazine arrives through my postbox. Richard Heseltine has done me (and Veloce) proud! A mention on the front cover, then in the Editorial, availability of the book in the "book & model" section, and then four pages with pictures of an in-depth interview. I wish this beautifully produced publication the very best acceptance.

Amazon UK have now re-priced the book again. It's gone down to £24.37.

15 May – Veloce monthly newsletter On The Grid informs that there are two new Jaguar books. Jaguar from the shop floor – Foleshill Road and Browns Lane 1949 to 1978 by Brian James Martin, and Jaguar E-type Factory and Private Competition Cars by Peter Griffiths. Both are of great interest to me. I don't seem to remember Brian Martin although we were in the same place at the same time! I plan to acquire these in due course.

18 May – An old colleague and friend, John, who lives in France, tells me he is buying the book. I await any (useful!) comments.

21 May – Another "free read" advertised on the internet by a different website to the two previous offers. I alert Veloce. Kevin Atkins at Veloce responds (edited below):
"The download doesn't contain a PDF, but a file in Apple Pages format, with a load of blurb and buttons to lure you into clicking. As is usual in these instances, I've submitted a DMCA take-down request, both to the WordPress site's author, and to WordPress themselves."

24 May – I like having an internet search for my book as it turns up all over the world. Today I have found it in Windsor (UK) Public Library and Toronto Public Library. On sale in Sydney Australia, New Zealand, Hamburg Germany, Singapore, and Galway Ireland. I do hope everyone enjoys it around the world. Amazon UK have sold another one, so that's five in stock.

29 May – My daughter Jane tells me she met two gentlemen last weekend who would like me to sign copies of the book for them. While not telling me who they are, she is organising it.

Stacey at the Barnham Broom Bell pub intends to buy the book. She says that Amazon have it at £24.37, but want money for shipping. Seems one needs to be lucky when using this source, as the price seems variable.

30 May – I visit Ketteringham Hall, the scene of happy days years ago in my early time at Lotus. These days, there is a tearoom overlooking the lake. I met someone whom I didn't remember but remembered me (this happens far too often). We had a good chat about old times, and he says he will get my book.

31 May – Amazon UK now have the price back at £37.50. I hope Stacey has brought hers at the price advertised on 29 May.

1 June – Daughter Jane identifies her two gentlemen as the chaps we met at Snetterton last September (see May 29).

4 June – Set out to drive to Dijon Prenois for the Grand Prix De L'Age D'Or historic races. Take a couple of new books but do not find any buyers.

8 June – Nice to meet up with an old favourite – Lotus Europa Twin Cam special, outside Chateauneuf en Auxois Chateau. I had forgotten how low slung they are! Photo courtesy of my sister.



9 June – Meet Tony Poll, British Lotus owner at the Club Lotus France classic car stand at Dijon. Sadly, I failed to meet up with Venice Thiebolt from the club. I signed a copy of my book for him last year. Although I had a couple of new copies with me, I did not get to sell them.

12 June – Met up with John Elwin in Montreal sur Mer. He is now a French resident, but ex-Lotus Cars and Team Lotus. He brings his copy of my book for signature, happily given! He gives me the news that the Lotus CEO has moved on.

13 June – Met up with Stuart Elliott at the Heathcote Arms for more information on the Hinckley Classic Motorshow (16 September) at which I may have a booth to sign books. Lotus and TVR most welcome.

16 June – My daughter Anne tells me that a 1970s Lotus Elite starred at the Sheringham Classic Car & Bike show. Seen here outside The Lobster pub.



18 June – Amazon UK have changed the book price again, its now down to £24.37. They say they have three left in stock, so thats at least three gone in the last month. Keep it up, chaps!

20 June – Contact various Lotus and TVR Clubs to judge support for the Hinckley Classic Motorshow. LotusExcel.net post it on the web, immediately.

22 June – Amazon UK £24.37 and have six in stock (so assume they have restocked since 18 June). Amazon USA $41.19 with two in stock. Amazon Japan Yen 3368, it was Yen 3459 on 13 February.

24 June – Club Lotus have listed the Hinckley Motorshow on their website; thank you. Nothing on the forthcoming events page of the TVR Car Club as yet.

25 June – I am a guest at the East Anglian Lotus Club barbecue at the White Hart Inn, Roydon near Diss, Norfolk. I enjoy picking the winner of "The Car I Wish to Take Home." It was very difficult, as the quality of cars attending was very high. I selected a beautiful red Lotus Esprit S4S. I was delighted to sign three books and had good feedback from those who had read it. Thank you Ben Needham and the EALC.



3 July – My publisher, Veloce creates a monthly newsletter On The Grid. This is primarily to notify subscribers of the latest releases. They also publish my Book Diaries, and this month's edition celebrates thus:



4 July – I receive a number of warm messages regarding my book's first birthday. Thanks, appreciated.

"Young" Ken Evans, ex-Lotus visits for a book signature. He also brings a copy belonging to John Freeman, also ex-Lotus and Topelec for signature. Had a good chat catching up on past times.

I was unhappy to hear that Ken had visited the local bookstore who did not have or recognise the book. I had spent an afternoon there, less than a year ago, to promote and sign books. I am a local author, after all. I will speak to them upon my return from the TVR weekend.

6 July – I arrive at Unchurch as a guest of the TVR Big Bad Wedge Fest 2018. This is an annual gathering of TVRs that I designed, and it is a great privilege for me to be invited.

7 July – A great convoy of TVRs drive to Rockingham Motor Speedway at Corby. They are there to support The Children's Trust, a leading charity for children with brain injuries. All the cars enter the paddock and park in the centre. The day is supported by many families with children, who can pay to have track rides. I take a number of book advertising flyers which get circulated. In the evening, I start circulating flyers for the Hinckley Classic Motorshow. I was pleased to hear some folk had already heard of it.

The green coupe was a stunning colour, in my humble opinion.


8 July – The TVR's gather at the Church End Brewery, Nuneaton. This ex-Village Hall emerged as a venue in which my late wife and I had catered for a wedding in 1969! Now a fine microbrewery, we had a good lunch and fascinating factory tour. Some kind ladies distributed all the remaining Hinckley adverts to the attending cars. The brewery honoured my presence with a beer named Winterbottom's Revenge! Thanks to all at the TVR Big Bad Wedge Fest!

11 July – I visit Ketts Books in Wymondham to understand why Ken Evans (see 4 July) was unable to get my book. The staff were most apologetic, explaining it was probably one new recruit who did not know of the book. They have assured me they have good relations with Veloce and can get the book rapidly when requested.

A quick search on the internet shows that Amazon UK have the book at £31.68 with four left in stock – more coming. Among their foreign outlets, Amazon France have it at €33.80, Amazon Germany €34.01, Italy €38.90, Amazon Japan 4695 Yen (it was 3470 Yen on 23 March!) and Amazon Brazil R$136.69.

Amazon UK have another customer review. It criticises the lack of DeLorean information. As the book explains on page 98, "I was not involved in the DeLorean project" and, indeed, not even at Lotus when most of it was done. It also suggests there are too many persons' names used, but I don't know how to avoid that.

14 July – Enjoying dinner with my family, at the Wrenningham Bird in Hand, when the conversation turns to the author Sir Ryder Haggard, a Norfolk domiciled man. A lady, dining on her own, comes over to tell us she has a number of his (very valuable) first editions, which she will leave to Norwich Library. I tell her I have my own first edition of my book and that a copy is in Norwich Library. After giving her details, she tells me she knows Sir John Egan. I explained that I left Jaguar, a company that Sir John saved from closure, 10 years before he became its Chief Executive. Naturally, I recommend my book to him – now I must read his book, Saving Jaguar.

Interestingly, Amazon UK has now put the price up to the publishers price of £37.50. It seems to vary considerably, making purchases from them a bit of a lottery!

17 July – Phil "Nobby" Clarke (Barnham Broom Bell customer), who restores old caravans, bought my book and brought it for signature on 23 February. He tells me he has read just enough to leave it open under his dining table leg to stop it wobbling. Thanks Nobby!

18 July – I get to hear that there is to be a 70th Anniversary Festival at Lotus, Hethel on 29 September. I can get no details; nothing on the company website at this stage. I contact Lotus for details.

Message from Richard Wollaston, a Lotus Elite owner who wishes to put my name on his car! On a trip to the Austrian Grand Prix:
"PS I should have mentioned in my email of yesterday that there was a lot of interes on the Elite, and admiration for its design during my trip. I bumped into a retired airline pilot in Luxembourg who said it embodied the futuristic spirit of the 70s – I think he got it spot on. There certainly seems to be growing admiration for the wedge designs these days, even amongst Lotus traditionalists." 
Thanks Richard, its great to get recognition.

19 July – Angus Marshall of LotusExcel.net suggest the NEC Classic Car Show in November should be an opportunity to celebrate Lotus First 70 Years. Mike Kimberly and I agree and consider supporting it.

22 July – Walk into the Barnham Broom Bell to find an elderly couple relaxing in the bar. The gentleman used to work at Lotus in Powertrain and Quality, but retired a long time ago. Using my advertisement still on display, I could explain my book and confirm that Jerrold's bookshop in Norwich should have a copy.

23 July – Lotus PR Dept tell me that the details for the Lotus Festival are not yet formally announced, but they will let me know when they are.

25 July – Emailed the TVR Car Club advising them of the Hinckley Classic Car Show and my book. It would be nice if they could put my book in the online club shop.

28 July – Weekend spent with my sister near Hinckley, so took the opportunity of checking out the location for the September Classic Car Show. Saw Stuart Elliot and discussed the car show. He will provide a kiosk and can store books for sale in the boot of his MG at the display. I must get final plans in place!

30 July – Contacted Jaguar ex-apprentice and a JDC contact about the Hinckley Show.

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to keep checking the Veloce blog for the next instalment of Winterbottom's diary!


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Summer Tyre Safety Checks

In our little tourist trap corner of Dorset, we are very accustomed to heavier traffic on the roads at this time of year. Coupled with the current heatwave, checking your tyres before setting off is even more important. 


As the summer holidays commence and multiple road user groups take to setting off on planned travels, Continental is urging motorists to be prepared for trips abroad or as part of the staycation trend, stressing the importance of tyre safety for all motorists.

As a corporate partner of TyreSafe, the UK road safety charity, Continental is supporting its summer campaign to raise awareness of the need for driver diligence over the summer. In the UK, a third of all tyre related incidents happen during the summer. With 57% of Britons 'staycationing' in the UK this year, TyreSafe aims to minimise tyre caused accidents – helping the UK public enjoy the sunshine this summer. Department for Transport data shows in the month of July tyre-related incidents are at their highest.

A combination of factors, from unexpected bad weather and drivers unfamiliar with country roads, to long journeys with fully-laden cars, means that summer driving carries with it a number of additional risks.

Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said:

"As part of our Vision Zero initiative which aims for zero accidents, injuries or fatalities on our roads – we are keen to make motorists aware of the small steps they can take to make their journey safer this summer.
"With a spell of good weather, it is easy to get a little complaisant in a way motorists might not be in the winter when they are braced for rain, snow and ice.
"It is vital that, whatever the season, people remain alert to changes in conditions and ensure that their tyres are in top condition.
"With school's now broken up for the holidays, and more than half of Britons planning on taking their 2018 summer holiday in the UK, these simple checks can help reduce the risk of an unwanted disruption."

While temperature records have been broken this year, in the UK it rains an average 156.2 days of the year, meaning drivers risk being caught off-guard when braking in a critical situation. On summer tyres, braking distances on wet roads at 60mph increase by as much as 15m – making it vital that drivers remain vigilant, checking they have adequate tread depth and correct inflation.




Thursday, 26 July 2018

Lamborghini Miura Restoration

There seems to be a motoring anniversary for most every marque this year, and Lamborghini is no exception! The first model was launched 55 years ago, and there have been many models since. In today's post, we bring you all the details of a recent restoration project, as well as details of a new book ... 


Lamborghini Polo Storico has completed restoration of one of the most famous Miuras ever built: the Miura SVR. On the occasion of its delivery to Japan, the car was exhibited at the Nakayama Circuit.

As is well-documented, only 763 Lamborghini Miuras were produced, between 1966 and 1972, at the company's plant in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy. The number of Miuras built outside of Sant'Agata, however, is much greater, as numerous car manufacturers have created scale versions of what is one of the most iconic vehicles in automobile history.

Among these was Japan's Kyosho, which produced 1:18 scale models of both the Miura SV and Miura SVR. The Kyosho SVR, in particular, has achieved legendary status among collectors, since it depicts one of the most astonishing Lamborghinis ever built: a race car evolution of the fabled Jota developed by Lamborghini test driver Bob Wallace, which was even featured in the Japanese manga "Circuit Wolf."

After Wallace's Jota was lost in an accident, unrelenting customer demand in the years following led Automobile Lamborghini to build a few Miura SVJ models and – remarkably – a single Miura SVR. The latter was eventually sold in Japan, where it served as the 'model' for both the vehicle used in the comic book and the Kyosho toy version. The car is Miura SVR chassis number #3781, which has been returned to its former splendour by the Polo Storico specialist, and exhibited during an event organised in its honour at Nakayama Circuit in Japan.

This Miura, with engine number 2511 and body number 383, was born as an S version painted in trademark Verde Miura with black interior. It was originally delivered to the Lamborauto dealership in Turin, Italy, on 30 November 1968, following its display at the 50th Turin Motor Show.

After changing hands eight times in Italy, the vehicle was bought in 1974 by German Heinz Straber, who took it back to Sant'Agata in order to have it transformed into an SVR – a job that required 18 months of work. In 1976 the car was sold to Hiromitsu Ito and made its way to Japan, where it caused quite a sensation, not least as the inspiration for the 'Circuit Wolf' comic book series.

The vehicle's legend was further cemented when it was chosen by Kyosho as the base for its renowned scale model, whose lines and colours made this SVR an indelible part of model car lore.

Paolo Gabrielli, Lamborghini Head of After Sales and Director of the Polo Storico, said:

"The full restoration took 19 months and required a different approach to the way we normally work. The original production sheet wasn't of much help, as we relied mostly on the specifications from the 1974 modifications. The challenge for the Polo Storico team was even more daunting as the car arrived in Sant'Agata in pieces, although the parts were all here, and with considerable modifications. The only variations on the original specifications were the addition of 4-point safety belts, more supportive seats and a removable roll bar. These were expressly requested by the customer and are intended to improve safety during the car's racetrack exhibitions."

Later this year, we'll be publishing our new book on the Lamborghini Murciélago. This will be the first book solely on the model, and is a unique dedication to the marque's flagship. With it's V12 Bizzarrini-engine, space frame chassis, and scissor doors, this car is magnificent, and you won't want to miss a chance to get your copy! Sign up to be notified of it's release on our website


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Goodwood Festival of Speed

This year's iconic festival takes place from the 12th to the 15th of July, and this year's event is extra special, as the festival is celebrating it's Silver Jubilee!


The first festival, held in June 1993, redefined what a car event could be, and, in the years since, it has firmly established itself as the world's greatest celebration of motorsport and car culture. To commemorate this milestone birthday, the Duke of Richmond, the event's founder, will be picking his 25 favourite moments from the first 25 years.

It's not just the festival's anniversary that will be celebrated, as two iconic marques will be commemorating their own significant Jubilee in West Sussex this weekend. The central focus of this year's event will be the Porsche 356, which is celebrating it's 70th anniversary. The 356 was the original rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive sports car of the Stuttgart marque, staring a lineage that survives to this day with the 911. The Central Feature, designed by Gerry Judah, will be erected in front of Goodwood house, making the German marque the first manufacturer in history to be commemorated with the Central Feature for the third time.

Land Rover's Platinum anniversary will also be celebrated at Goodwood, with a parade of 70 vehicles heading up the famous hillclimb. Featuring in this parade will be an original Range Rover, and one of the last Defenders to roll of the production line. 

"It's a great occasion for us to be able to bring two iconic British institutions together in anniversary years. We're honoured to be able to host the Land Rover 70th parade up the hill for our Silver Jubilee." – Duke of Richmond. 



The festival is renowned for attracting the rarest and most exciting road and race cars and motorcycles ever created, with this year being no different. Here are some of the standouts that will be making an appearance this weekend.

Special Edition Ford Mustang GT and Ford Mustang Bullitt

A special edition Ford Mustang GT paying tribute to the US fighter pilots who served in the RAF during World War II will be making it's world debut. This one-of-a-kind Mustang GT takes inspiration from the RAF Eagle Squadrons that flew over the fields of Goodwood nearly 80 years ago, so it's fitting that it makes its first appearance here. This car will be piloted up the hill by world champion Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr on Thursday 12 July, and will be on static display throughout the rest of the festival.

Ford Eagle Squadron GT Mustang


Accompanying this unique car is the all new Ford Mustang Bullitt, along with the iconic 1960s original Mustang GT Fastback, made famous by Steve McQueen in the film, Bullitt. Ford revived the Bullitt name with an all-new model launched at this year's Detroit Motor Show, to mark the film's 50th anniversary. Both cars will be taking on the hillclimb over the course of the four-day festival.

Mustang Bullitt '68 and '19


Goldeneye Aston Martin DB5

One of the most famous Bond cars is going to be going up for auction at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale at Goodwood on Friday 13 July. The Goldeneye Aston Martin DB5 is expected to sell for between £1.2 and £1.6 million. When bought by the current owner back in 2001, the car became the most valuable piece of Bond memorabilia ever sold. It has previously been on display at both The National Motor Museum and the Bond in Motion exhibition at Covent Garden.

"The DB5 is the Ultimate Bond car. Every fan remembers Pierce Brosnan tearing through the hills in this car, and it must be up there as one of the most thrilling Bond car chases in history." – Sholto Gilbetson, head of Bonham cars.

Roborace

Roborace will be attempting the first-ever fully driverless hillclimb when the firm's autonomous race car, Robocar, takes on the 1.16-mile track, guided only by automated systems. The vehicle will be tasked with navigating hay bales, flint walls and forests on the Goodwood estate, using a variety of sensors that give it 360-degree machine vision. In addition to this historic run, visitors will also be able to enjoy the hillclimb from the Robocar's point of view, in a custom, fully immersive VR experience in the Roborace booth, located inside Future Lab.



Tesla

The new Tesla Model 3 will make its European and UK debut, when it appears on the Telsa stand alongside the larger Model S Saloon, the Model X SUV and Tesla's home charging Powerwall. The Model 3 is proving to be popular in the States, with around 5000 cars rolling off the line a week – a milestone that was hit at the end June, just meeting Tesla's own quota target for the end of the 2nd quarter for 2018. According to tests carried out by the American Environmental Protection Agency, the Model 3 can cover 310 miles on a single charge. It's estimated that this car will cost around £30,000 when it hits the UK market in a year or so, and that's after the £4500 government grant for zero-emissions vehicles is applied.

All of this, and much more, will be on show at this weekend's festival. It's sure to be a great 25th anniversary for this iconic event!


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

New exhibition at the Louwman Museum

Here at Veloce, we are rather fond of Mercedes Benz, having published many titles on this iconic marque. This summer, the Louwman Museum, in the Netherlands, will host a special exhibition dedicated to a racing classic. 


Following the successful 'Silver Arrows 1934 - 1939' exhibition held in 2012, the Louwman Museum, in close cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Classic in Stuttgart, Germany, is proud to host an exhibition of the legendary Mercedes-Benz racing cars from the 1950s during the summer months (July 7 to September 2). The seven unique cars represent one of the most heroic periods in the history of motor racing. 

All the cars have earned their place in the motor racing history books. However for Dutch enthusiasts, the No. 8W 196R featured in the key visual of the exhibition is extra special. 



Then reigning Formula One World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1955 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in this car, finishing just 0.3 seconds ahead of his teammate Stirling Moss. This was just one month after Moss' and Fangio's legendary one-two victory with the 300SLR racing sports car in the gruelling Mille Miglia. Film footage will be shown to illustrate these epic races. 

Probably the most valuable car in the world, the 300SLR 'Uhlenhaut-Coupé', will be on display in Holland for the first time. 



This coupé version of the 300SLR (W196S) never actually took part in an official race, but it is regarded as the first supercar of the era: a two-seater thoroughbred racing car featuring a roof and gull-wing doors. Based on the extremely successful W196R Formula One car, it had a top speed of almost 300km/h (186mph): a sensational speed – not only at the time. 

Just as special is the 'Blue Wonder', the racing car transporter, which was built in 1955 to transport and service the Mercedes-Benz racing cars during long-distance races. This ultimate service vehicle was based on both the 300 S and 300 SL and had a top speed of 170km/h (105mph): the fastest racing car transporter ever. 



The 'Silver Arrows, Mercedes-Benz Racing cars of the 50s' exhibition includes Formula One cars and sports cars that won not only Grand Prix events, but also long-distance races, such as the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio within the sports car championship. The link between racing and series production is demonstrated by two 300SL 'Gullwing' exhibits: the W194 racing car from 1952 and the W198 production car which was derived from it. All of the cars have an extensive racing history, involving such famous racing drivers as Juan Manual Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann. 

The cars in this temporary exhibition are without exception first class exhibits from the permanent collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic in Stuttgart, Germany. 


Robert Ackerson's limited edition book Two Summers – The Mercedes-Benz W196R Racing Cars explores the Mercedes-Benz W196R's historic roots, development, and its place in Grand Prix racing, detailing its triumphs, struggles and disappointments, as well as the spirited challenges from Maserati, Ferrari, Gordon and Lancia. If you can't make it over to the Louwman Museum this summer – and you really should, as it is an excellent place, full of a huge array of fantastic cars! – then this book would be perfect for those who want to learn more about this historic icon.




Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Land Rover World Record Attempt This Weekend!

2018 is a big year for Land Rover – and Land Rover publications from us – but it may be about to get even bigger with a World Record attempt in the works ...

Land Rover Monthly magazine is partnering with the Billing Off Road Show in a bid to set a new World Record for the Largest Parade of Land Rovers/Range Rovers, at the annual show taking place from the 30th of June to the 1st of July. 

Held by Germany, the current record of 632 was set on the 30th of May this year, in Bad Kissingen, but the organisers of the show, along with the LRM team, are out to bring it back to the UK. The attempt will take place on Saturday the 30th of June at 5pm, with registration on site at 1pm.

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the invention of the Land Rover, which was created in Britain in 1948 and launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show on the 30th of April that year. 

This World Record attempt is part of the Billing Off Road Show weekend, where people from all around come to drive the Billington off-road tracks and legendary mud run. For further details of the attempt, you can visit its website.

Sarah Arrowsmith, Organiser of the show said:

"This is a momentous year for Land Rover as they turn 70. We want to celebrate it by bringing the record back to Great Britain. Land Rovers are British icons and if anyone should hold this record if should be Great Britain. We are calling on all Land Rover owners to help us smash the German held record."


The rules for the world record attempt state that the vehicles taking part must never be more than two car lengths away from the car in front, that the parade exceeds two miles, that no driver takes a toilet break, and each vehicle must have a Land Rover badge to qualify.

All those that want to take part must register on the day, and pay a small fee of £5, but each participant will receive a plaque to put on the front grille as a memento.

Over the coming months, we have a number of new Land Rover titles coming into stock, including a couple of our highly successful Essential Buyer's Guides – Land Rover Discovery Series 1 1989 to 1998 and Land Rover Discovery Series 1998 to 2004. These easy-to-follow, pocket-sized books are made to help you choose the right car – or motorbike – for you and your budget. Written by marque experts from all over the world, you'll know your in safe hands.

We have three other Land Rover books coming soon, and they cover a range of topics:

Land Rover Design details the personalities involved in the various projects from the late 1940s up to today: the designers, the modellers, and studio engineers. This book is a fitting tribute to the spirit and ethos of Land Rover design and engineering.

Land Rover Emergency Vehicles is a historic and nostalgic look at the role of the Land Rover in the emergency services. The agility and size of these vehicles made them an immediate hit with fire services, and Police forces were attracted to the cross-country ability and versatility of Land Rovers, especially outside of Britain.

Land Rovers in British Military Service is a unique and extensively illustrated book that describes and illustrates British military use. This book is perfect for anyone interested in the coil-sprung Land Rovers that have served – and still serve – with the British armed forces.


Be sure to let us know if you plan on taking part in this World Record attempt, and don't miss all of our great new Landy books!

 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Driving in Europe: do you know?

Summer is officially here – although the weather is taking it's time to decide – and for many of us, our summer holidays are just around the corner. Have you got a Euro-trip planned? Do you know the road laws on the Continent? If the answer is no, you're not alone ...


Many Brits are left baffled when driving around the continent, as four in five struggle to correctly identify foreign road signs whilst driving abroad, according to a new study conducted by easyjet and Europcar. Other common aspects holidaymakers find challenging are: driving on the right-hand side of the road (59), identifying foreign traffic signs (44%), understanding foreign rules and regulations (51%), and knowing the difference between kilometres and miles per hour also stresses a quarter of Brits out. 



The majority (89%) of those surveyed admit to having little to no understanding of foreign regulations and road signs, and 87% conduct no research into a foreign country's Highway Code before taking to the roads. 

A lack of knowledge discourages Brits to take to the road, as 72% of Brits admit to feeling apprehensive when driving abroad and over half of Brits (58%) admit to have driven on the wrong side of the road. In addition, eight in ten admitted that they would be unlikely to pass a driving test in another country. 

This new research also revealed some of the quirky road laws. Of those surveyed, Brits weren't aware of the following European driving rules and regulations: 

  • Filling your tank while your radio is still on in Spain could lead to a €91 fine
  • Legally, you cannot wash you car on a Sunday in Switzerland
  • In Romania, you'll be fined if you're driving a dirty car
  • In Germany, you can legally drive nude as your car is considered a private space
  • Drivers in Denmark must check for sleeping children underneath their cars before they set off

It's estimated that 35% of Brits are planning on driving abroad this summer, and it's quite shocking to find that most of us aren't as clued up as we should be. Luckily, we may have just the answer. Julian Parish's The Essential Guide to Driving in Europe has recently been revised and updated, just in time for the summer season! Better still, its compact size means that it can easily fit into your glovebox, so there's no excuse not to get a copy!

Whether you're planning a long touring holiday in your own car, or hiring a car locally on a business trip or holiday, this guide will give you all the information you require. Whatever your destination in Europe, you'll find everything you need to prepare for your trip and to cope with the unfamiliar. There are sections on dealing with everything from winter driving, to towing a caravan, from travelling with pets, to taking a classic car overseas. And – should the worst happen – there's also a clear guidance on what to do in the case of a breakdown or accident. 



With chapters covering Western Europe (including France), Southern Europe, Northern Europe, and Central & Eastern Europe – 50 individual countries – all the information is based on extensive local research, and includes comprehensive details on speed limits, drink/driving rules, motorway tolls, mountain passes, and other local regulations. Extensive illustrations help you recognise and understand unfamiliar signs, whilst more that 25 port maps guide you safely to and from terminals in the UK and on the Continent.

So, before you head out on your European travels, make sure that you pick up a copy of The Essential Guide to Driving in Europe!


Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – March and April

Can you believe that we've been following Oliver Winterbottom's promotional run for A Life In Car Design for a year already?  Momentum is still going strong for this insightful book, and in today's blog we'll be getting you up to speed.


1 March – Upon my snowy return from Leicestershire, I am delighted to receive the Veloce Publishing Catalogue Spring 2018. Very much appreciated is that my book is featured on the Contents page. It also is the first book listed under Biographies – but having a title beginning with "A" helps! Thank you, Veloce.

2 March – Amazon email me again, offering me my book for £21.91. Generous of them!

4 March – Write to renew my membership of the Bourne Motor Racing Club, and attached the background to my BRM connections. I also offer to give the club a talk centred around my book, if they desire. 

6 March – Three copies of my book arrive from Amazon – the price was too good!

8 March – I receive a response from the Bourne Motor Racing Club to my offer to give a talk based on my book. A possible date exists in November if the planned speaker is unable to make it, or it will be after March 2019. I am told the audience always likes the opportunity to buy speakers' books.

13 March – Delighted to see a new advertising idea when washing my hands at Hethersett Queens Head. A copy of my book flyer is posted directly above the hand dryer where you cannot avoid seeing it. It had been in the pub foyer – and still is – but folk don't linger there.

15 March Absolute Lotus magazine due today. On 13 February, I gave permission for a review in this new publication and the first issue of this new magazine (six per year) was due 15 March. However, just like my book, it has been delayed until 11 May.

16 March – Google at it again: Free Download A Life in Car Design.

A quick look at the web shows Amazon UK have 13 books left with more on the way. WH Smith have two in stock. 

19 March – It's a Monday, and the Google download has been removed.

20 March – Car goes in for a Service, so I visit Norwich. Jarrold's book shop recognise my book, and have it on the shelf. I slightly rearrange it to a more prominent position, alongside some Lotus books. Jarrold's motoring book selection is far larger than rival shops. Waterstones have a tiny Transport section despite being a huge shop; a few railway books, plus half a dozen motoring ones. WH Smith have a good motor sport selection, but no road car books at all, however, they have a fairly small shop in Gentleman's Walk.

22 March – A welcome email from the Authors; Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), and a small payment in my bank. 

23 March – Cannot help but check out Amazon UK. The price now £24.34 (£2.43 increase) and they have 12 left – so they have sold one! Meanwhile, Amazon Japan have it for 3470 Yen (an 11 yen increase) – a 7.4 English pence increase!

26 March – Siân of Veloce asks if there is any news on the potential programme for Only Motors TV. I tell her "not yet."

27 March – I email Only Motors TV to ask if they have any more details of when they may wish to film for their show, #Petrolheads.
Reply: We would still love to feature you on #Petrolheads. Unfortunately, at the moment, we have difficulty getting crew that can travel to Wymondham, but I believe this may change so I can keep you updated when it does. 

28 March – Bruce Kirkham, a past colleague in the USA, writes to say he is getting my book. I wish him every enjoyment reading it!

I see on the internet that the book is on Pinterest, whatever that is. To get any information, I would have to sign up to an organisation that I would not personally agree with. As a result, I don't know what they think!

I find Amazon Germany has a review of the book, which seems very positive. This is the Google online translation:

A life for the automobile led Oliver Winterbottom in many different companies and countries of the world. It was the wish of the Young Oliver reality to take care of the design of automobiles. From time to time some of the side-war scenes also played a role, which he filled with just as much devotion. The biography is a great and interesting journey through the history of the automobile, especially English, of course. Most of the lyrics are very entertaining and you almost feel like talking directly to Winterbottom. In addition, some barely published drawings and pictures are shown, which underline the work with emphasis. Again and again, the people around him are presented and the financial situation is assessed.  For the equivalent of just over 40 euros, the reader can travel through the past with Winterbottom and clearly understand his or her way of doing business. The working title of the automotive designer provides a great template for a book and is very worth reading, especially since it is always first-hand information that makes it all the more valuable. 

29 March – Visit Wymondham Public Library, and I am delighted that Norwich Millennium Library have a copy of my book listed on their stock computer. A quick search suggest Norfolk is possibly unique in stocking it. Thank you Norwich and Norfolk.

30 March – Good Friday: Classic & Sports Car online Newsletter features a reprint of the 2009 article "Designers pick the most beautiful classics ever." I am happy to be reminded that I was listed with the Maserati Boomerang as my choice. The 21 designers are featured including most of the household names of the time.

5 April – Message from Veloce Publishers: We received a message to our Facebook page, requesting a signed copy of your book. I reply directly to the woman asking for the signed copy; we arranged a date to meet.

Amazon ask me, as a previous customer, to review my book!
"5.0 out of 5.0 stars. In-depth story inside the business. I think this is an absolutely brilliant book from inside the motor industry. I wholeheartedly recommend it."

Amazon now only have six left in stock – six gone since 23 March!

8 April – Amazon only have five left, keep it up!

9 April – Hear the sad news that John Miles has passed away after a stroke. I have great respect for John, and all our dealings were a pleasure. Definitely a gifted driver and engineer.

12 April – Breakfast at Elevden Courtyard to sign my book for Terry Hunter, as organised with his ex-secretary from the Facebook message on 5 April. He is about to turn 80, and this reminder is a good memory for me. Terry was a formidable rally competitor in Porsche and as a works Triumph driver about 48 years ago. I hope he enjoys the book – and yes, he is in it!
Meeting his secretary after a gap of about 45 years, I was flattered (well, I think I was) to be told "I had not changed a bit!" – apart from some hair loss! It was interesting to learn that the lady found a reference to my book when reading a magazine in the dentists waiting room. She then remembered me.

14 April – Bruce Kirkham enjoying my book, good! It's interesting because the USA does not have the Aprentice system I started with. Bruce was a senior manager at GM Inland Division when we first put airbags into Lotus. A great help and enthusiast.

17 April – Go to the BRM Association Test Day at Blyton Park. At least four strangers said they looked forward to my talk to Bourne Motor Racing Club. I explained I had agreed to talk but there is no date yet. Most had read the book and enjoyed it. It was talked about a lot! Sold one copy as well.

A special day: one year since I stopped smoking!

18 April – Email from a TVR Tasmin owner in New Zealand. Enjoyed the book and asked some tech questions. Will point them at TVR Club. Its nice to know that it is around the world.

19 April – Amazon UK now have 10 books – more coming, so thats at least another five gone. Amazon USA have four left.

22 April – Visit the VSCC Historic race at Silverstone. Recognised by a VSCC member from the BRM event one week ago. A club official Hamish McNinch, with whom I had a long chat, also knows the book.

Evening meet with Stuart Elliot, who organises the Hinckley Classic Motorshow (16 September). Discuss possibility of having a stand to sell and sign books.

24 April – Write to Lotus and TVR Clubs about the Hinckley Classic Car Motorshow: I have had an idea, that would possibly be of me more good than anyone else – but that seems a good reason to support it! Sunday 16 September 2018, Hinckley, Leicestershire are holding their 8th Classic Motorshow. I know that some LotusExcel.net members attended last year and I hope that TVR "Wedge" cars could be put alongside the Lotus models. As I had a hand in the creation of both vehicles, it has been suggested that the organisers could provide a "tent thing" so that I could sell and sign copies of my book. I know many of you have already purchased it – for which I am ever grateful, but have I reached absolutely everyone? I circulate you all for your comments.

Response from Angus Marshall at LotusExcel.net: Well, I know at least one Lotus Wedge owner who also owns a TVR and is fairly local to Hinckley. Unfortunately, neither of his cars are in a drivable state at the moment, but I know that none of the Lotus owners would object to being located close to our NW cousins.

25 April – Following the meeting with Terry Hunter's ex-secretary, I have received this message from her as she had brought her grandson to the book signing: On returning to school after the Easter holiday, my grandson's class were asked if they did anything exciting over Easter. He replied that he went to meet (and have breakfast with) a "real live author" for a private book signing.

26 April – Response from Andy Hutcheson, re TVR at Hinckley: I will pass on the event details to the relevant person in the TVRCC who covers that area, etc. I will also publish the event in the TVR Wedge Owners and Enthusiast UK Facebook group, so maybe some of my fellow wedge owners may go along.

The 26th of April, 2017 was the day my book arrived at Veloce Publishers.



29 April – Richard Heseltine sends a message to say the first edition of the new magazine Absolute Lotus has gone to press. It should be with the publisher around 6 May. As it contains a review of my book, I await a copy with excitement!

Sunday 30 April, 2017, I was at the Donington Historic race meeting with LotusExcel.net to sign the first copies of my book. This year it is due 4-6 May; lets hope the weather stays fine.

30 April – Mike Taylor contacts me regarding the VARI moulding process used on Colin Chapman's boats. He is researching this for a magazine feature. I reply that I am happy to help, although I was not involved with the boats in the latter part of their production life. It's nice to be reminded of things so long ago! This all dates back to the mid/late 1970s.

Amazon UK celebrate the first anniversary of the publication of my book by suddenly increasing its price from £21.91 to the publishers full £37.50. They also appear to have sold another one since 19 April.


You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to check back on the Veloce blog for the next instalment! 


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

BTCC 2018 at Thruxton

This year, the MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The last event took place at Thruxton on the weekend of the 19th-20th of May, and our director Jude went along to take in some of the action!

Thruxton held its first BTCC race back in 1968, and with 11 corners over 2.36 miles, this track sees the highest average speed of any circuit visited by the BTCC. 2018 saw new records set for the circuit, with Matt Neal setting a new fastest qualifying lap with a time of 1min 15.612s (112.17mph), and Tom Ingram setting a new fastest race lap with a time of 1min 17.060s (110.06mph) – beating Yvan Muller's 2002 longest standing lap record recorded on the BTCC calendar. 



Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport's Adam Morgan moved to the summit of the BTCC standings with victory in the final race in front of a record crowd, following on from points scoring finishes in the first two bouts in Hampshire. 

Matt Neal claimed the early bragging rights as he converted pole position into a race win, before Josh Cook scored his second victory in as many meetings with victory in the next contest. Halford Yuasa Racing's Neal produced a commanding lights-to-flag performance in the opening race, after seeing off race-long pressure from team BMW's Colin Tarkington.

Despite the season so far largely being dominated by a number of young drivers, it was the multiple BTCC champion duo of Neal and Turkington that fought back at the UK's fastest circuit. Neal took a maiden pole position for the all-new Honda Civic Type R during qualifying on Saturday, and he duly converted that advantage into a 62nd career victory. Turkington pulled his BMW 125i M Sport alongside the Honda off the line, but Neal hung in at the Complex as all 32-cars made it through for the first time. Turkington kept Neal honest throughout the 16-lap duration, but their positions remained the same until the finish. 

The Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus of Sam Tordoff hounded down Dan Commish's Honda for the final place on the podium, but the latter fended off every advance, and grabbed the second outright rostrum of his debut season. Power Maxed TAG Racing's Cook then followed up his recent Donington Park success with another stellar display at the Hampshire speedbowl. 

Pole-sitter Neal couldn't hang on off-the-line as Turkington's BMW blasted ahead of the Honda Civic Type R on the run down to the Complex. Commish's Honda bogged down at the start, which allowed Tordoff's Ford Focus and Andrew Jordan's Pirtek Racing BMW by in a tussle for third. 

Progress was soon being made behind, however, as the Power Maxed TAG Racing duo of Cook and Senna Procter slipped past Team Shredded Wheat with Gallagher's Tom Chilton. Procter's advances were halted at that point but teammate Cook was on a charge as he saw off Tordoff and Jordan in quick succession. 

Cook's Astra then surged around the outside of Neal's Honda at the final chicane and by lap 10 the local hero was challenging for the lead. The moment of truth came at the end of the next tour as the Bath driver pulled an almost identical move on Turkington's BMW 125i M Sport.

Team GardX Racing with Motorbase's Tordoff held onto fourth from Jordan and Procter. Morgan's second win of the season came in dominate fashion as he commanded the final race from start-to-finish in his Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The Lancastrian driver got a good getaway from pole position and he was able to defend well from an early attack from the Vauxhall Astra of Procter. 

Morgan's job was made slightly more comfortable when a charging Jack Goff hauled his Honda onto the back of Procter's Astra, and a squabble for second ensued. Goff made his move stick on Procter in the final third of the contest, but it was too late to make any inroads into Morgan's advantage. The 29-year-old took the chequered flag and with it the lead in the overall driver's standings. 

Tordoff completed a solid day for Team GardX Racing with Motorbase by taking fourth, whilst team BMW's Turkington fired himself back into championship contention with another top five finish, following on from his double podium earlier in the day. 

Morgan leads the standings by just a point from Cook, with previous championship leader Tom Ingram a further ten points in arrears. Speed works Motorsports' Ingram endured a challenging day after a non-finish in the opener, but the Toyota star provided some respite with a seventh place and a brand-new lap record in the finale.

Results

Round 7

  1. Matt Neal (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 16 laps
  2. Colin Turkington (GBR) Team BMW +0.860s
  3. Dan Commish (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.699s
  4. Sam Tordoff (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +4.040s
  5. Tom Chilton (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.290s
  6. Andrew Jordan (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +8.922s
  7. Senna Procter (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +9.361s
  8. Brett Smith (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +9.725s
  9. Josh Cook (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +14.929s
  10. Chris Smiley (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +15.436s
Round 8
  1. Josh Cook (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing 16 laps
  2. Colin Turkington (GBR) Team BMW +1.325s
  3. Matt Neal (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.285s
  4. Sam Tordoff (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +6.287s
  5. Andrew Jordan (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +6.595s
  6. Senna Proctor (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +7.005s
  7. Adam Morgan (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +7.419s
  8. Jack Goff (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +7.816s
  9. Tom Chilton (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +9.114s
  10. Chris Smiley (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +10.203s
Round 9
  1. Adam Morgan (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport 16 laps
  2. Jack Goff (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +2.433s
  3. Senna Proctor (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +3.147s
  4. Sam Tordoff (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +5.045s
  5. Colin Turkington (GBR) Team BMW +5.994s
  6. Josh Cook (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +6.544s
  7. Tom Ingram (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +6.922s
  8. Matt Neal (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7.722s
  9. Chris Smiley (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +12.985s
  10. Rob Collard (GBR) Team BMW +13.205s

The next rounds of the BTCC take place at Oulton Park, on the weekend of the 9th-10th of June. 


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Think Bike!

A little change of pace now, as today's blog is all about motorcycles. 

Of course, we love all things motorcycle related here at Veloce – a number of the Velocisti regularly ride their bikes into work – so road safety is paramount to us. Sadly, a large number of motorcycle riders around the globe are involved in serious accidents annually, and with the weather getting warmer, it's even more crucial that we all THINK BIKE whilst out on the roads.

Locally, Dorset Police have launched a new campaign in order to encourage motorists to THINK BIKE on a more regular basis. This has involved putting up posters in 'hot spot' areas around the county where serious collisions have occurred involving motorcycle users. It is hoped that these signs will highlight that road users need to pay more attention to motorcycle users. You can see these posters on the following roads:

  • B3059 Somerford Road, Christchurch
  • A354 Weymouth Way
  • A354 Portland Beach Road
  • B3073 Christchurch Road between Dudbury and Wet Parley
  • A30 Babylon Hill
  • A31 just west of lake gates roundabout to just east of Merley roundabout
  • A348 Ringwood Road near Langham
  • A351 Sandford to Holten Heath



Further afield, Autotalks, the global leader in V2X (Vehicle to Everything) communication chipsets, has joined the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC). Autotalks will work with other CMC members to help realise the vision of a uniform motorcycle platform for V2M (Vehicle-to-Motorcycle) communication. Specifically, Autotalks and other CMC members will work together to enhance Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) applications in motorcycles in a way that will help minimise motorcycle accidents.

Autotalks' V2M solution is based on a second generation V2X chipset developed by the company, which allows motorcyclists and other drivers to receive alerts on life threatening situations, in order to avoid road accidents. The V2M enables detection of motorcycles that are not visible to the human eye, cameras, or other sensors. 

To highlight the importance of being aware of motorcycle users on the road, Autotalks' CEO Hagai Zyss points out:
 "Motorcycles have higher chances of being involved in a road traffic accident, meaning motorcycle users are at a greater risk of fatality. Studies show that in approximately one third of motorcycle accidents, the motorbike is not visible to the car driver. Autotalks is committed to minimising motorcycle accidents until there will be zero accidents on our roadways."



Whether you are a motorcycle rider or not, be sure to Think Bike when you are out on the roads!


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

New MOT comes into effect

There are big changes coming to the MOT as of this Sunday, so are you aware of what these could mean for you and your vehicle?



There are three main areas where the MOT is changing, and these include:
  • New defect types, and new items to be tested
  • Stricter rules for diesel car emissions
  • Change of circumstances for certain cars over 40 years old

From the 20th of May, any defects found while the testing is being carried out will be classed as either dangerous, major, or minor. Any fault classed as dangerous or major will be an instant fail on the MOT, where as a minor fault would still be a pass. Further details on there faults are as follows.

Dangerous faults mean that there is a direct and immediate risk to road safety, or a serious impact on the environment. You will not be allowed to drive the vehicle until the fault has been repaired. 
Major faults mean that they may affect the vehicle's safety, put other road users at risk, or have an impact on the environment. You will be advised to repair a major fault immediately. 
Minor faults will be those that have no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. You will be advised to repair any minor faults as soon as possible.

MOT testers will also tell you of any advisory problems, which could become more serious in the future unless monitored and repaired when necessary. However, there have been concerns that this new way of classifying faults can be too confusing for motorists. Simon Williams, a spokesman for the RAC, said that the new classifications "will surely be open to interpretation which may lead to greater inconsistency from one test centre to another."

In addition to the new defect types, there will be a number of new items that will be tested for during the MOT. The main ones include:
  • If the tyres are obviously under inflated
  • If the brake fluid has been contaminated in any way
  • If there are any fluid leaks that pose an environmental risk
  • The brake pad warning light and if brake pads or discs are missing
  • The reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
  • The headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009, if they have them
  • The daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018; most of these vehicles won't have their MOT until 2021


Limits for emissions are getting stricter for diesel cars with diesel particulate filters (DPF). If your car's exhaust emits smoke of any colour, or if the tester finds evidence that the DPF has even tampered with, it will be classed as a major fault and will fail the MOT test. 

There is good news if you have a classic that was first registered in 1978, as cars, vans, motorcycles, and other light passenger vehicles that are 40 years old or more will no longer require an MOT – so long as they have not been substantially modified. However, each time you tax your historic vehicle, you will need to declare that it meets the rules for not needing an MOT certificate. 

So, what do you think of these changes? Do any of them work in your favour, or will it strike up a lot of confusion? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

What a race!

Here's hoping we aren't in for a Bank Holiday washout, as this year's Donington Historic Festival will be celebrating an iconic Formula 1 race ...

One of the most memorable events in the history of Donington Park, the rain-soaked 1993 European Grand Prix will be celebrated at this year's Donington Historic Festival – which runs from the 4th to the 6th of May – with on-track F1 car demonstrations on the Saturday and Sunday, plus static displays on all three days. In addition, DHF visitors will be invited to get involved by sharing their own memories of the race before and during the Festival.

The 25th anniversary activities add a further exciting dimension to the event, where visitors can enjoy three days of world-class historic motorsport from an outstanding line-up of grids featuring an incredibly diverse range of racing machines spanning nine decades!

The Festival's anniversary theme celebrates that unforgettable day in April 1993, when the crowds flocked to Donington Park as the circuit played host to its first Grand Prix in 55 years – and the first European Grand Prix in eight years. Torrential rain made the track treacherous, as, starting from 4th position, Ayrton Senna battled it out with Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher to win by an incredible 80 seconds.

The F1 cars on show pay tribute in particular to Ayrton Senna, and were either driven by him or against him during his career up to 1993. They include:
  • The Toleman TG-184-01 Hart Turbo in which Senna caused a sensation for Friday practice at the 1984 British GP
  • A Camel Lotus/Judd 101/3 campaigned in 1989 by Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakajima
  • Gerhard Berger's 1992 Canadian GP-winning McLaren MP4/7A-8 (courtesy of the Donington Collection museum)
  • A 1993 Benetton B193B raced that year by Michael Schumacher and Riccardo Patrese
  • The McLaren MP4/8 was Senna's test car for the 1993 Donington Park race (courtesy of the Donington Collection museum)

The McLaren MP4/8


DHF visitors will be invited to share their memories of that famous race on display boards at the Festival and, prior to the event, motorsport fans will be invited to send in their own images and memories of the race, which will be printed out and put up on a 'scrapbook' board for everyone to enjoy. 

Do you have fond memories of that race on Easter Sunday, 1993? Be sure to share them with us in the comments below!