Tuesday 27 October 2020

Our new press release archive

While most of our readers will be familiar with our website and online store, there are some aspects of our site that many may be unaware of, unless a trade customer, dropshipper, or media worker. Once such area is press releases, which have just received a major overhaul.

Press releases are the publicity life blood for most publishers, and we have kept and maintained an archive covering seven years of Veloce and Hubble & Hattie press releases, stretching back to 2013. Our press releases have been popular with trade and media partners, but are not so well known to our customers, newer partners and dropshippers. 

Timed to coincide with a book's release, or with a newsworthy story, releases are invaluable in letting the world know about our latest books and news. To give easy access to our releases, old and new, and for trade partners and customers alike, we have corralled two years of releases together, in one place, on our website.

Covering 2020 to-date, and the whole of 2019, each press release includes assets such as images and text files – perfect for trade partners publicising our books, and super fans wanting to know more. Now anyone can access the information that press and media bodies see, direct from our website.

You can find our press release pages under More at veloce.co.uk, or you can view via our dedicated subdomain at https//media.veloce.co.uk.

All the releases are arranged by date, with year and month index pages, and each includes the following downloadable assets:

  • A high resolution cover image in JPG format
  • A plain-text file containing the full press release text
  • A ZIP press pack, comprising of a number of press pics, plus the cover and text files mentioned above

In addition, a link to each book’s product page is included, pointing to Veloce or Hubble & Hattie websites, where relevant.

We will be adding new press releases to the site as they appear, and we hope to add releases from our extensive archive, as we are able: we still receive requests for information on many books in our back catalogue, even for those that have been out of print for some time.

We hope these pages will be especially useful to our trade and media partners – don’t forget that you can use any information from our website product pages, as well as our from press release pages, so long as it is specifically to help publicise, market, or review our books. 

As mentioned above, we have made available 2019 and 2020 press releases online, to start with. We aim to add pre-2019 titles as we are able (sometimes, there's just not enough hours in the day), but, in the meantime, if you would like press releases or assets for one of our pre-2019 titles, please do email us, and we will see if we have something for you.

Also, before a book is in print, we are often required to make a wide range assets for internal, social, and marketing purposes, many of which can be made available upon request, and can include product mockups, spreads, and themed graphics. 

Of course, not all books have such assets, but we may have something for a particular book that suits your needs. So, if you’re advertising, marketing, or reviewing one of our books, head over to our press release pages, and product pages, to see what’s available; you’re welcome to contact us if you have a specific query about a book, or what assets are available.

Click here to visit our new press release archive.

Friday 16 October 2020

The Cars of Eddie Van Halen

October saw the loss of an icon of rock music, and an inspiration to generations of guitar players. Eddie Van Halen passed away at age 65. Eddie Van Halen burst onto the music scene in 1978, with the eponymous album Van Halen. The group was formed in 1972, by Eddie and brother Alex, and continued with varying lineups – including with son, Wolgang – until the present day.

As someone who grew up listening to Van Halen, learning riffs and songs that I still play today (albeit at a fraction of the volume and with a fraction of the talent), I can vouch for the huge effect he had on music, then and now. I may have been a little late to the Van Halen party, but I can still remember the first time I heard the blistering guitar tones: a modded Strat, rewound PAF pickups blasting through a Marshal Plexiglass powered by a Variac (yeah – I’m a guitar nerd). 

Eddie's iconic home-made 'Frankenstrat.'

That sound was to become Van Halen’s trademark 'brown sound,' and partnered to his fluid two-handed playing style, became the defining tone for a generation of guitarists. The song was Mean Street, and the album was Van Halen’s fourth, Fair Warning; it was a hair-raising 'eureka' moment for millions of wannabe Guitar Gods the world over. At that moment, I knew that I was going to be Van Halen one day. Of course, without the skills or ability, that dream never materialised (although I do play an authentic Drop Dead Legs).

Whilst the guitarists among you will be familiar with Eddie’s techniques, tones, and guitars, you may not be so familiar with his love of cars. Along with his fellow bandmates, Eddie loved high-speed driving, almost as much as he loved high-gain playing. His extensive collection changed much over the years, working through a selection of Lamborghinis and Ferraris, to what was to become his last favourite (more on that later). Today, we pay tribute to one of the most influential guitarists of all time, in a manner befitting Veloce – with a look at some of his stunning car collection.

Eddie's 'Van Hauler' C1500 pickup. (Courtesy Hemmings.com)

Possibly one of Eddie’s most well known cars, is this custom Chevrolet C1500 pickup – or Van Hauler. Despite a fairly understated appearance, this beast was built by Hot Rods by Boyd and designed by none other than Chip Foose

Sporting subtle Frankenstrat inspired paint, with mods including a rear rollpan, and billet grille, it also sported a not-so-subtle 6.2-litre V8 LT1 engine swap, and independent rear suspension from a Corvette. The truck fell into disrepair, but was restored by Hot Rods by Boyd in 2009, and was auctioned in 2010. A second truck with a more extensive paint job was built for Sport Truck magazine, as a giveaway car.

Staying with trucks, Jim Bassett’s Bones Fab Hot Rod and Muscle Car shop built and maintained the gorgeous Dodge COE, above. Already modified when purchased, coming with a 6.9-litre diesel and four-speed manual transmission, it was further 'improved' with a 7.3-litre turbo diesel, ZF five-speed 'box, and overdrive. 

EVH’s collection features a number of cars by Bones Fab, and the next example is a fine 1970 Chevrolet Nova. As with most things EVH, the car is modded, featuring a 454 LSX motor, good for 650hp, completely revised rear suspension and brakes, and carbon fibre bonnet and boot. It also looks pretty fine in the Cali sunshine in Tang Yellow Orange paint.

1970 Chevrolet Nova …

… looks good from EVERY angle.

Chevrolet features predominantly in Eddie’s collection, with a 1957 Chevy Nomad, perhaps one of his more 'sedate' cars. It is, though, a beautiful example of period styling, stock air and power steering, and V8 power. Stock and steady it may be, but it still fetched a staggering $930,000 at Barret-Jackson’s 2009 Scottsdale auction. A Chevy with 'a little more gain' than the Nomad, was Eddie’s 1955 210, a 408cu-in small-block shoebox Chevy, which Eddie kept until 2016.  

Edie's Nomad. (Courtesy Barret-Jackson)

1955 210. (Courtesy Mecum Auctions)

When he wasn’t getting his adrenaline rush on stage, Eddie loved to race on track. He was known to push his cars as hard as his guitars and amps, and the latest car to become his favourite was an eminently pushable Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 

Sporting '5150' plates (the name of his recording studio, and 1986 album), when asked about the car by Car and Driver magazine, he said;

For one, it’s just so light. But really, it’s the handling. I don’t know how Porsche did it. We raced in the rain at Buttonwillow, which is my favorite track. We raced in the fucking rain and we never lost it, never spun out. BBI [Autosport] did my suspension. I set it up so you can feel it go and you can actually slide the damn car. It’s the first time ever I’ve been able to four-wheel-drift a Porsche. Every other Porsche I’ve ever had, I’ve spun them all. Well, every 911, anyway.

To borrow from Spinal Tap, Eddie liked to turned things up to 11, in stereo, so what better than a pair of Audi R8s to help the volume? The R8 proved to be a firm favourite with Eddie, owning V8 and V10 versions – both six-speed manuals, and both supercharged. Both pretty quick with EVH behind the wheel, too.

For me, though, the car in Eddie’s collection that shows his true petrolhead credentials, as well as a deep appreciation for the spirit of driving – and trailblazing – is his 1972 Lamborghini Miura S. The car – or rather the engine sound – even made an appearance on the track Panama, from Van Halen’s album 1984; the car was backed into the studio, hooked-up to the microphones, and given a good dose of Eddie’s right foot. Fast forward to 2:54 in the video to hear the unmistakeable tone of a Van Halen V12! 

The Lamborghini Miura S. Sounds good too.

Fittingly, the Miura was the first mid-engined production car, the first modern supercar. More than anything, it set the tone for everything that followed … just like the great man himself. 

Carl Lender / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Eddie Van Halen
A tribute by Kevin Atkins

Monday 12 October 2020

Getting back on track

To say 2020 has been difficult year, for pretty much everyone, is an understatement. There will, no doubt, be further obstacles to navigate before we can say we’re through the worst of the pandemic, but we’ve fought-on with distance, masks and hand gel, and we’ll continue to do just that.

During the pandemic, we have tried our utmost to keep our books, both old and new, flowing, and to bring new projects to fruition. It’s not been easy, but we’re now starting to get our programme back on track, and new books are starting to come online at a gathering pace. There is still much uncertainty, and some supply chain disruption; we’ve even seen highly unusual instances of new books selling out before we can restock.

So, whilst things aren’t back to normal yet, we can at least whet your appetite and reveal just a few of the brilliant reads we have coming your way over the next few months – and more will follow.

First, though; let's catch up with a book that came into stock between editions of On the Grid that you may have missed, and that you can get your hands on today …

FIAT 124 Spider & Pininfarina Azzura Spider
(AS-DS) 1960 to 1985

These 2-seater sporty convertibles have been entertaining drivers with an engaging ride since they debuted at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. From 1981, the car carried the Pininfarina badge, and the name was even used again, admittedly for a very different car, for 2016’s MX-5-based FIAT.

If the call of open-top motoring is too loud for you to ignore, then this is the book for you. This Essential Buyer’s Guide is dedicated to helping you buy your perfect classic 124 Spider, giving you essential information and tips, direct from marque expert Campbell Robertson. With  this, you’ll be able to confidently assess a 124 Spider for purchase.

As with all our Essential Buyer’s Guides, you’ll discover what it’s like living with a Spider, where and how to buy, advice on the most suitable model, and in-depth analyses of the Spider’s strengths and weaknesses. There’s also coverage of suppliers, and the social scene around the cars, including clubs and organisations worldwide.

The heart of each of our guides is our unique 60 Minute Evaluation chapter, with points scoring system, taking you through each part of the car and the issues  you look at for. Score each section as you go, tot-up the result, and you’ll get a score that will reveal whether you’re looking at a prime candidate, or a lemon.

The FIAT 124 Spider & Pininfarina Azzura Spider Essential Buyer’s Guide is ready and waiting for you at https://bit.ly/Fiat-124-Spider-and-Pininfarina-Azzura-Spider-EBG

Coming soon

Keep your eyes peeled, or request notification, for these fantastic books – all should be here before Christmas.

Chevrolet ½-ton C/K-Series Pickup Trucks 1973-1987 – “Built to Stay Tough” by Norm Mort

First up, we have a new book by Norm Mort in our Those were the days…™ series. This is a detailed look at the history and development of the 3rd generation of the popular Chevy ½-ton C/K-Series pickups. 

These subtly styled trucks were produced from 1973 to 1987, more than holding their own in a competitive market, against the likes of the Ford 150, as well as various Dodges, Jeeps, and International Harvesters.

Beginning with a brief history, it includes a detailed look at the evolution of the 3rd gen models, with year-by-year descriptions. As well as detailing production models, with specifications and options, you’ll also find industry facts and figures, rarely seen cutaway images, and previously unpublished photos of fully restored C/K trucks, and customisations by Chevy enthusiasts.

This is a wonderful record of a much loved classic American pickup, and even covers the market demands which often led to the introduction of niche models, intended to broaden the market base. Definitely one for all American truck fans.
  • Engine & chassis specifications included
  • Covers all optional equipment
  • Detailed close-up of all engines offered
  • 3rd generation ½-ton Chevrolet pickup truck production facts and figures from 1971-1983
  • Focus on all of the Chevrolet ½-ton C/K-Series models offered
  • Previously unpublished images of fully restored ½-ton C/K-Series pickups
  • Many images sourced from period advertisements and brochures
  • Images of rarer performance versions
  • Descriptive, detailed text on annual model changes, period road tests & references when new
  • Highlights distinctive styling cues and increasing market focus on luxury features
£15.99 UK • $25 USA • $32.99 CAN
Paperback • 20.5x19cm • 96 pages • 112 pictures

Lotus Elan and Plus 2 Source Book by Matthew Vale

Lotus is a name that needs no introduction to Veloce readers, but Matthew Vale’s Elan and Plus 2 Source Book is the perfect volume for owners and wannabe owners.

The Elan was the first 'affordable' – and successful – road car from Colin Chapman and Lotus, a replacement for the more expensive (and less reliable) Elite, and carried the brand through the 60s and into the 70s.

This is a practical, warts-and-all guide to owning and running one of these British classics, crammed with pictures and advice. If you’ve dreamed about getting and Elan or +2, whether to restore, as a daily driver, or as a project car for upgrading, and want to know what it’s really like to live with one, this is your first port of call. We also have your second … more on that later.

From a brief look at the history of the Elan and +2, to a detailed originality guide, it’s an eye opener. You’ll find engine specifications, gear ratios, dimensions and capacities, and discover the design changes made by Lotus across the lifetimes of the models.

The real gem of this book is an 'owners section,' providing a window on real-world ownership and maintenance, revealing common faults, and showing how to keep an Elan or +2 in top condition. There’s also information on worthwhile upgrades, and a section on restoration (or rescue), for all those who want to push their Elan to new heights … or maybe bring one back from the dead.

  • Useful, practical, warts-and-all guide to owning and running a Lotus Elan or +2
  • An invaluable source of real-world advice for existing owners
  • Packed with up-to-date data
  • Details Elan and +2 product history and chronology
  • Guide to original features, and changes, through the life of all models
  • Highly detailed specifications for all models
  • Engine, transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, and dimension specifications
  • Comprehensive restoration, renovation and preservation section
  • Illustrated with high quality photos throughout
  • The perfect guide for all Lotus owners, buyers, and restorers!

£45 UK • $60 USA • $78 CAN
Hardback • 25x25cm • 208 pages • 300 pictures

Once you’ve read Matthew’s Elan and +2 Source Book, and if you decide to take the plunge into Lotus ownership, then your next step will likely be buying your very own Elan or +2 … and we have just what you need …

The Lotus Elan Essential Buyer’s Guide is designed to give you all the technical details – and all the skills – needed to make buying a good example as straightforward as possible. Covering the S1 to Sprint, and +2 to Plus 2S 130/5 cars made between 1962 and 1974, it’s the perfect companion to Matthew’s Source Book, and with its unique 60 minute evaluation chapter, with points scoring system, assessing a car like a pro is now something you can do yourself.

Checkout the Essential Buyer’s Guide here: https://www.veloce.co.uk/store/Lotus-Elan-p135968916

Motorcycles, Mates and Memories – Recalling sixty years of fun in British motorcycle sport by Bill Snelling

We take to two wheels next, as we look back over sixty years of motorcycle sport, with Bill Snelling. Bill was born into a family for whom a motorcycle combination was a way of life. Working at Arthur Lavington’s Velo shop at the age of 15, Bill rode long-distance trails, with some success, before branching into racing, has worked as a columnist for Motorcycle Weekly, and is a photo archivist and TT/MGP historian. 

Bill’s book is a look at the social history of motorcycle sport, as seen from the saddle. It’s an entertaining biography, recounting a lifetime spent at the heart of the British motorcycle racing scene, and living on the Isle of Man.

You’ll read of the decades of mayhem, mud and madness that have characterised Bill’s 70-year life – 'living the dream' - as Bill says! From his early days at Lavington’s Velo shop, to long-distance trials, and the many race circuits he has ridden.

The book is also a personal account of the golden years of the TT, and features original photos from the TT archives, capturing the thrill of the races. Sharing his passion and experiences as a rider and Manx GP competitor, this is a book from a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, competitor, author, and historian.

£16.99 UK • $29.95 USA • $32.95 CAN
Paperback • 14.8x21cm • 160 pages • 202 pictures

Morris Cars 1948-1984 – A Pictorial History by Ray Newell

Joining our popular A Pictorial History series, is Ray Newell’s much anticipated book on Morris cars. A prominent marque since its 1913 inception, postwar cars were exported around the world, with many assembled overseas, and despite production ending in 1984, many models have an enthusiastic following today.

Ray has had a long association with Morris cars, has been the Secretary of the Morris Minor Owners Club since 1963, and was a founding member of the Morris Vehicles Association in 2013. Ray has packed his knowledge into a book bursting with colour photos, detailed information on colour schemes, optional equipment, and technical specs – even dash diagrams and gearchange gate patterns.

Morris Cars – A Pictorial History is fine addition to the range, and a brilliant record of Morris cars, no matter where your interest lies. Inside you’ll find: Morris Minor, Series MM, Series ll, Morris 1000; Morris Oxford Series MO; Morris Six MS; Morris Oxford Series ll, Series lll, Series IV, Series V, Series VI; Morris Cowley 1200  Morris Cowley 1500; Morris Isis; Morris Mini; Morris 1100/1300; Morris 1800 Morris 2200; Morris 18/22; Morris Marina; Morris Ital; and the Morris Metro Van (The last Morris Model).

£16.99 UK • $24.99 USA • $32.99 CAN
Paperback • 14.8x21cm • 160 pages • 202 pictures

Find out more at: https://www.veloce.co.uk/store/Morris-Cars-1948-1984-Pictorial-History-p187271811

So, that's it for our look at some of the books we have coming your way. Stay up-to-date by signing up to our newsletter, On the Grid, and get notified when the book is in stock by clicking the buttons on the book pages (see our last blog entry for more details).

Watch this space for more books coming soon.