Thursday, 18 January 2018

Here yesteryear, gone tomorrow ...

Now, I'm a 90's kid, so it's nice to see a resurgence of things that I grew up with, such as Blind Date, Nokia reissues, and of course, the revival of the much loved Tamagotchi. It's a shame that the same cannot be said for the cars of this, which are heading the same way as the dinosaurs from that famous 1993 film... 

New research from Honest John Classics shows that the cars we grew up with, that our mums and dads drove us around in, are dying out. To give you an idea, 2613 Rover 400s were taken off the road in 2016 – that's just over a fifth of the total number left. At this rate of decreased use, they will all be gone in five years.

It's a similar story for the Vauxhall Cavalier and the Citroen Saxo. Once beloved of sales reps everywhere, just over 10% of 1990s Cavaliers have been scrapped. While the Saxo, which defined modified motoring for the Max Power generation saw 2505 destroyed – almost a quarter of the total left!

Not even the youngest cars from the 'dot-com' decade are safe. The Ford Focus changed car design forever when it was launched in 1998, but examples are vanishing at the rate of 25% a year – meaning, if they continue to disappear at the current rate, there will be no 1990s Mk1 Focuses left in just four years. It's a similar story for the Ford KA, with 29% of examples disappearing every 12 months.

"Many people think of a classic car as an MGB or and E-type Jag, but the reality is that there's a huge amount of interest in cars from the 1990s. I'm not talking about the supercars that adorned posters on bedroom walls, I'm thinking about the cars that we grew up with. The cars that our dads had – that took us to school, to the cinema, on holiday. These cars were part of our lives every single day – and now they're nearly all gone," said editor of Honest John Classics, Keith Moody.

"The startling survival rates of the cars that you used to see on every street and at every service station means that demand for them is starting to outstrip supply. And while we've seen a lot of 1990s nostalgia in the past few years, with everything from Britpop to Blind Date making a comeback, it's shocking that the cars from this decade in automotive history are on the brink of extinction."

But why are many of the cars our dads used to drive on the endangered species' list? There are several reasons, but one of the biggest is that 2009-10 scrapage scheme. Here, the Government encouraged people to trade-in cars more than ten years old for £2000 off a new car – a discount that you could've got by haggling. In total, 392,227 future classics were taken off the road because of the scrapage scheme.

When does a car become a classic?

While some turn their nose up at 1990s 'bangers', such as the Ford Mondeo and the Vauxhall Cavalier, by saying that they will never be proper classics, research from Honest John Classics shows this simply isn't the case.

Honest John researchers looked at the most recent MoT data to find out when a car made the transformation from cheap runabout to cherished family member. Analysing the data, they were able to see when the rate of cars failing their annual roadworthiness test stopped declining and started to rise again. 

"This is the point at which a car crosses over from a banger that gets run into the ground to something that is appreciated and that the owner wants to invest both time and money in. This is the decisive moment – this is the point where values stop falling and prices start rising," says Keith Moody. 

Currently, cars from the year 2000 have the worst MoT pass rate with just over half failing. After this point, the figure improves for older cars as they find their way into he hands of enthusiastic owners. In fact, cars from 1993 have a better pass rate than cars from 2005, with 56.5% passing the annual roadworthiness test compared to 55.3%. A fact that underlines 1990s cars as emerging classics.

"Petrolheads in their 30s and 40s grew up with these 1990s cars. They learnt to drive in them. They went on family holidays in them. They are the next-generation of classic cars – and they're being bought by enthusiasts who want to be reminded of their connection to times, people, and places who might no longer be with them," adds Keith Moody.

The best selling cars from 25 years ago

A quarter of a century ago, the Mk5 Ford Escort was Britain's best-selling car. It sold 122,002 units that year – but now there are just about 460 of those left on the road. That's a survival rate of 0.37%. It's a similar story with the Mk3 Fiesta, which was second in the best-sellers list with 110,449 finding new homes in 1993. Now just 435 of those are still on the road – a survival rate of 0.39%. In fact, non of the best selling cars from 1993 have a survival rate of more than 1% – that means 99% have been crushed.

Maybe it's time to do your bit for the classic car scene of the future, and start nurturing these soon-to-be-forgotten models! And if any of you want to try your hand at writing an Essential Buyer's Guide to one of these future classics, then get in touch, as we'd love to do our bit to help preserve classic cars! – Siân

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Here's to 2018!

First of all, a very Happy New Year to all of our readers! It's hard to believe that it is already 2018, but there is plenty to look forward to in the motoring world this year – not to mention a fair few milestone anniversaries to celebrate. 

First, let's take a look at some iconic events that will be celebrating big birthdays this year. Goodwood's annual Festival of Speed will be marking its 25th anniversary this July. Over the weekend of the 12th to the 15th, along with the usual incredible displays, the Duke of Richmond (formerly Lord March) will choose his top 25 moments from the event's history.

Next month sees 70 years since the meetings that led to the official formation of the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). To celebrate this, Darlington Raceway, in South Carolina, will be celebrating 'Seven Decades of NASCAR' for its 2018 season, with a specific nod to the landmark birthday with the Official Throwback weekend of NASCAR, which will be held from the 31st of August to the 2nd of September. 

This summer's Silverstone Classics show will see a number of birthdays in its midst. The Jaguar XJ and the Jaguar XK120 will be celebrating their 50th and 70th anniversaries respectively, whilst the Austin Healey Sprite will be turning 60. Also, marking their diamond jubilee, will be the MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), with many events taking place over the weekend of the 20th to the 22nd of July. The celebrations for BTCC's 60th birthday kicks off this weekend at Autosport International, with a stand enabling fans to get up close to the drivers and a selection of the latest machinery, as well as a number of historic cars from the championship's distinguished past.  

Car Celebrations

Hot Wheels and Chevrolet – 50 years

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the brands' collaboration, and to commemorate the occasion, Chevrolet is releasing a special edition Hot Wheels Edition Camaro. Since the debut of the custom Camaro back in 1968, every generation, and nigh-on every variation, of this model has been replicated in 1:64 scale by Hot Wheels – one variation is even included in our book Diecast Toy Cars of the 1950s and 1960s. This car looks to be ideal for automobile fans, and avid toy collectors!

Photo from

The first Lamborghini – 55 years

Marking its first appearance at the Turin Motor Show in October 1963, this year sees the 55th anniversary of the original Lamborghini, the 350GTV. Since then, countless models of the Lamborghini have rolled off the production line, such as the fabulous Urraco and the Murciélago.

Lotus Joins F1 – 60 years

In the Monaco Grand Prix of 1958, Team Lotus made its Formula 1 debut, entering two Type 12s, driven by Cliff Allison and Graham Hill. After placing 6th and 26th respectively, the team took their notes from the race and redesigned the cars based on the success of rival competitors. Two years later, the team entered a Type 18 Lotus, driven by Stirling Moss. Not only is it 60 years since Team Lotus first entered, but it is 55 years since they won their first World Drivers' Championship. Fancy widening your scope of F1 knowledge? Brian Harvey's book Formula One – The Real Score? is just the tome to help you see the sport in a new light. 

Corvette – 65 years

Designed by Harley Earl, this American car was the first all-fibreglass-bodied sports car built in the United States. There have been many changes to the Corvette over the past 65 years, and they are still as popular today as ever. If you're considering purchasing a classic Corvette for yourself, make sure you have to hand a copy of Tom Falconer's Corvette C2 Sting Ray 1963-1967 Essential Buyer's Guide – a model which is, coincidentally, turning 55 this year!

Morris Minor – 70 years

As mentioned back in November, Veloce will be marking the 70th anniversary of the iconic Morris Minor with a new book by Ray Newell, Morris Minor – 70 years on the road, which looks in detail at
the development of the wide range of models during a production run that spanned 22 years in the UK. If you're looking to join those who have a Minor in time to celebrate its platinum anniversary, grab a copy of Morris Minor & 1000 Essential Buyer's Guide, also by Ray Newell, to help you find the perfect example!

Porsche 356 – 70 years

Porsche's first production vehicle will also be turning 70 this year, and Brian Long's The Book of the Porsche 356 will tell you all you need to know about the coupé that helped launch the marque. 

24 Hours Le Mans – 95 years

May marks 95 years since the first 24 hours of Le Mans. Known as the ultimate endurance race, this event is a true test of man and machine, and has been held every year since 1932, except for the war years. 

Ford Model T – 110 years

110 years ago saw a revolutionary event in the motoring world, with the release of the Ford Model T. Generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, and one that helped to get a large number of people on the road, it's not really surprising that it was name the Car of the Century back in 1999. Veloce publishes Ford Model T – The Essential Buyers Guide for those who want to take the plunge today. 

Ford Motor Company – 115 years

Not only will Ford be celebrating the anniversary of the Model T, the company as a whole will also celebrate it's 115th birthday.
On June 16th, 1903, Henry Ford and 12 stockholders met in Detroit, Michigan to sign and notarise the legal documents, which would help to create the Ford Motor Company. We have many great books relating to all things Ford, but a stand out one is Ford Design in the UK, which details the design work undertaken in the UK, with a focus on the Dunton studio in particular. 

For more great facts from motoring days past, make sure you check out This Day in Automotive History. Author Brian Corey has found a fact or two for each day of the year, which will be fascinating for trivia buffs and general motoring fans alike. 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – October and November

It's that time of the year when we all start winding down in time for Christmas. But not Oliver Winterbottom! After a slower end to the summer, things picked up and he has been incredibly busy. Today we have a bumper post, to get you up to speed. You can catch up on May, June, July, August and September's entries here. 

3 October – Siân at Veloce sends three book reviews from September. Quite a detailed and pretty good one from Big End. Graham Robson also wrote one, as did New Zealand Classic Car. Getting fairly widespread coverage now.

6 October – Visit Alexander Boswell, son of Ian, who encouraged me to design cars when I was young. He and his sisters were family friends. I gladly sign his copy of my book.

9 October – Give talk at East Anglia Lotus Club at Tivetshall Old Ram. Capacity crowd and signed a number of books. Message from the Club Chairman: "Thank you very much for your talk and presentation last night. All comments were very favourable, a few members were disappointed that your book was not available to purchase last night, and perhaps you could recommend the most suitable source please." Note: Need to think about the book supply before future events, but don't want to become a 'bookseller.'

10 October – Book air mailed to China reaches its destination.
Discussing presenting a copy to the library of my old school Denstone College.
Create a book 'flyer' with quotes from reviews to help promote the book prior to Christmas. A4 sheet which can be folded for carrying.

11 October – My latest book flyer put on display at the Barnham Broom Bell.

12 October – Lunch at the Larling Angel, they put my book flyer on display. 
Contact Angus Marshall at to discuss pre-Christmas promotional possibilities. 

16 October – Find Jarrolds, Norwich bookseller review dated 1st of August on the web.

17 October – Richard Bond, Hethersett Queens Head, would like a book signed as a special gift. Suggest evening of Tuesday the 24th.

21 October – Go to BRM Association Evening in Bourne. Take a number of book flyers and distribute among potential purchasers. I catch up with various acquaintances and receive some praise from my book readers – much appreciated. Dick Salmon (BRM – A Mechanics Tale), Colin Crabb and Frans van de Camp were fellow authors attending. 

24 October – Another five-star review on Amazon USA.

27 October – Book TVR 1946-1982 by Matthew Vale arrives. Matthew has sent it as a thanks for my co-opertaion with his writing. First impressions are that he has done a first-class job, and the book is a significant addition to TVR history.
Visited Omicron (Lancia specialist) to meet Roger Constable who is in the book. He was away, but Martyn Cliffe (ex-Lotus) proprietor has book, which I happily sign.
Visited the Larling Angel. Two books bought after my last visit – blimey, how about the gift of the gab! Another copy in the offing as well.

28 October – Classic Team Lotus now have my book available from their online shop. Many thanks Team.

31 October – Arrange to present a copy of my book to the library of my old school Denstone College on Friday 10 November. 

Oliver's book flyer

1 November – Receive email from Miss Wu, an ex-enigeering colleague at Wanxiang EV, Xiaoshan, China, giving her latest address.

2 November – Air mail a copy of the book to Miss Wu, who is now working at Geely Automobile Research Institute, Hangzhou Bay New District, Ningbo, P.R. China. I noted that it is ironic that Geely now hold 52% of Lotus, so the book may give her more background that most of Geely management!

4 November – Get a copy of Auto Express with a brief review. God words, but the last comment on wanting more high-quality shots is rather pushing one's luck. The book goes back to 1961, so the pictures are chosen from whatever is available. 
Postman delivers Lotus Letters, the magazine of the Lotus Club of Holland. I met Jan-Bart Broertjies when I visited Clive Chapman at Classic Team Lotus. He has devoted a whole page to the book with four photos. I guess the words are good, but I don't read Dutch! Thanks Jan-Bart. 

7 November – Richard Bond, Queens Head Hethersett, wants a book signed as a gift, but will not get it before we both go away. Shame, it's for a famous person! See November 21 for a change of plan!

10 November – I return to my old school Denstone College, near Uttoxeter, to present a copy of my book to their library. My return was 56 years after I left, and 98 years since my father arrived there. 
Mrs Teather had arranged for me to present the book to the librarian Dr Ireland. I signed a brief message inside the front of the book: "Presented to Denstone College, Threlfall Library, by the author in recognition of the start in life that the college gave him. It is hoped this book will encourage young people to consider careers in the creative world. Oliver Winterbottom. Selwyn House, Denstone College, September 1958 - July 1961."
The Threlfall Library covers a large area that, in my day, included my house Common Room. It was therefore fitting that the shelf assigned to A life in car design was actually within the original room's space. 
Following this, I was invited to attend the school Remembrance Chapel Service. This was supported by the pupils, many parents, staff, and a few old boys, completely filling the large school chapel. The whole service was dignified and very moving. I was privileged to attend. 

11 November – I visit the Lancaster Classic Car Show at the NEC Birmingham. I am a guest of Angus Marshall, principal of the Lotus Elite/Eclat/Excel Owners Clubs ( We meet at the entrance and are joined by Barrie Wills, a contemporary ex-Jaguar apprentice and the last CEO of DeLorean. I was delighted to see so many familiar faces who are so loyal to these cars. The exhibition stand had a full complement of vehicles from the 1970's front engine range. 
Once in the exhibition, I had a superb day meeting lots of people. Starting with the famous, I was delighted to find Martin Lilley, one time owner of TVR Sports Car Ltd, on their club stand. He was with John Bailie – who I had not seen for quite a few years – the famous Bailie who designed the TVR logo! I also saw the redoubtable Andy who provided a Tasmin for the Classic Car shoot in Norfolk last year. On the way to their stand, I called at a Jaguar stand and had a chat with Roger Kemp, who does great works for the clubs associated with the Coventry company.

14 November – Meet John Morgan, ex-Lotus, in the Queens Head. Agree to sign book on a Tuesday, as that is the day I usually visit.

15 November – Send video and flyer to James at Octane Magazine.
Lizzie, the lady who edited and corrected my book, tells me she is leaving Veloce at the end of November. It will be a huge loss for Veloce and myself, as she was a joy to work with. Good Luck Lizzie!

16 November – Angus Marshall, of, sends me a Via Retro Classic Car Show report: "This weekend saw the UK's biggest indoor classic car exhibition, the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2017, held at the NEC in Birmingham. With five big halls and a smidgen above 70,000 visitors during the three days, 257 car clubs took part and 650 trade stand."

Contact "Andy" at TVR Car Club to remark that my book is not listed on the Club web shop!

17 November – James, of Octane Magazine, replied to my message with thanks.
Supply a copy of my book to Brian Stammers, the senior family member at the Larling Angel. 

18 November – Book air mailed to Miss Wu at Geely Automobile Research Institute in China arrives, having taken 15 days. Miss Wu and her husband worked for me at Wanxiang EV in Xiaoshan, China, in 2006-7.

20 November – Denstone College request copies of the library presentation photographs for an article they are preparing. 

21 November – Richard Bond, Hethersett Queens Head, asks me to sign a copy of the book which he is giving as a gift to a VIP classic car collector. We thought we may have missed the opportunity, but his plans were delayed. 

25 November – Visited Kettereingham Hall Piano Tea Room with my daughter Anne. She was born in the Garden Cottage, and I worked in the Hall for Colin Chapman. I left a document explaining my connection, and a copy of my book flyer. After lunch, we visited Garden Cottage and I delivered a flyer to Roger Pestle, who has lived there for 30 years. He does still work for Classic Team Lotus and Lotus Cars. He worked for my projects when at the Hall.

28 November – Lunch with Mike Kimberly and Matthew Vale at Eaton Red Lion. Matthew is writing a book on the Lotus Europe Twin Cam, so we were helping his research. I understand the book will be published by Veloce! Later, I sign Matthew's copy of my book with thanks. 

30 November – Pack the next completed notes and slides for my talk on the book to Club Lotus Avon next Tuesday, 5 December. 

What a great way to round off a very exciting year! You can buy your copy of A life in car design here. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Return of the Romeo!

The prestigious Italian brand, owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), just last week signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team for participation in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season.

The single-seaters will sport the distinctive colours and logo of Alfa Romeo, the team's Title Sponsor, and will be equipped with 2018 Ferrari power units.

The scope of the agreement includes strategic, commercial and technological cooperation in all applicable areas of development, including access to engineering know-how and the expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff. This partnership will provide additional opportunities for the two organisations, in both Formula 1 and the automotive sector in general . 

The official name will be Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

Sergio Marchiane, CEO of FCA, said: "This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years. A storied marque that has helped make the history of this sport, Alfa Romeo will join other major automakers that participate in Formula 1. The brand itself will also benefit from the sharing of technology and strategic know-how with a partner of the Sauber F1 Team's undisputed experience. The Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly-launched models, Giulia and Stelio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 Team. At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history."

Pascal Picci, Chairman of Sauber Holding AG, commented: "We are very pleased to welcome Alfa Romeo to the Sauber F1 Team. Alfa Romeo has a long history of success in Grand Prix racing, and we are very proud that this internationally renowned company has chosen to work with us for its return to the pinnacle of motorsport. Working closely with a car manufacturer is a great opportunity for the Sauber Group to further develop its technology and engineering projects. We are confident that together we can bring the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team great success, and look forward to a long and successful partnership."

The return of Alfa Romeo, one of the major protagonists in Formula 1 history, is expected to contribute significantly to the appeal and future development of the sport. Alfa Romeo brings with it technological know-how and a large and passionate fan base, while participation in the championship also offers benefits for the brand in areas such as technology transfer and road safety. 

Alfa Romeo is known around the world for its racing heritage and technological excellence. The undisputed champion of the pre-war Grand Prix (in 1925, the GP Tipo 2 dominated the first World Championship), Alfa Romeo participated in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1988, both as a constructor and engine supplier. Immediately upon its debut, Alfa Romeo won the first two drivers' world championships, in 1950 and 1951, with drivers Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. From 1961 to 1979, Alfa Romeo participated as engine supplier to several F1 teams. Following its return as a constructor in 1979, Alfa Romeo achieved its best result in 1983, taking sixth place in the constructors' championship. More than 30 years after withdrawing as a competitor from Formula 1 (1985), the brand is returning with the clear intention to make its mark.

If you're a fan of Formula 1, and fancy reading more about the times when Alfa Romeo originally competed in races, then why not take a look at Brian Harvey's book Formula One – The Real Score?, a rewriting of the records of Formula One and its best drivers to include every race of equivalent standard to the official World Championship rounds. And for the Alfa Aficionado, we have Johnny Tipler's recently reprinted Alfa Romeo Giulia GT & GTA, now in paperback!

Friday, 1 December 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – August and September

It may now have been a fair few months since Oliver Winterbottom's autobiography first hit the shelves, but that doesn't mean that his promotional run has started to wind down. Today's blog post recounts how Oliver spent the end of his summer. Make sure you're all caught up with May, June and July's posts first!

1 August – I visit Ketts Books store, Wymondham, to ask for answer to email. Manager not present so message left. 

3 August – Receive email from Tom Smith (owner of Lotus M90/X100) in Texas. He attaches an article from Challenges, a French publication. I ask John Elwin if he knows this publication. It appears to be "copied" from the book, not a review. Sent copy to Veloce for comment.

Warren King (ex-Lotus Accounts Dept.) called, likes the book, asking if I will give a talk to Lotus East Anglia. Answer yes! Arranged for Monday the 9th of October, Tivittshall Ram, 8pm.
A guy I have known for years (don't know his name) from Larling Angel finds me at Farnham Broom Bell for signing his book. He had tried Hethersett Queens first and was redirected!

4 August – French article appears to be a well written independent story on the M90 – John Elwin's thoughts.

6 August – Find Amazon UK has two reviews online:
5.0 out of 5 Stars
A very interesting book and read for anyone interested in car design of the TVR company when the Tasmin was being designed, Lotus or Jaguar in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s to in the great man himself his life and all the cars he designed. Well written with lots of info on what went on in the three companies. Highly recommend.

5.0 out of 5 Stars
An entertaining and wonderful autobiography, providing an informative insight into the critical role Oliver played in the success of the industry.

16 August – Learnt we have sold 235 books by the end of May 2017. (It was available from Veloce from the 26th of April in the UK. In the USA it was available from the 15th of June.)

17 August – Andrew Walmsly brings book for signature.

29 August – Message from Tom Smith, owner of the Lotus X100 prototype, in Texas, that the car is OK after the mighty storms.

2 September – Finalise arrangements to support Vintage Day (10th of September) in Wymondham.
Present at Ketts Books, have a demo copy, shop have a dropship arrangement. I agree to return two weeks later to sign any, if required.

6 September – Thursday. Visit Ketts Books as arranged, but the two gentlemen running the shop had no idea why I had visited! It was pre-arranged and I left a copy of my book as agreed. I wonder how well Sunday will go!

7 September – Wymondham Vintage Day has my attendance shown on it:

10 September – Arrive in Wymondham Market Square 12 Noon. Vintage Day programme does not advertise book signed, indeed bookshop barely mentioned. Get to Ketts Books, Whartons Court about 1:45pm for 2pm start. Shop says organisers have emailed an apology for lack of info. (I agreed to come and sign books in June.) A few people passed, but the shop is not on the main street. Two more books sold and Dave Cutting (ex-Lotus) came in for a chat. Plenty of classic cars around the town, but a very disappointing day for me.

12 September – Dick Salmon, ex-BRM & Lotus, emails to say he is enjoying my book. He is in his 90s and did a good book on BRM himself (see 21st of September). I travel to Newmarket to meet my sister and her financial advisor. He brings a copy of my book, which I gladly sign, despite him driving a Porsche!

13-19 September – Assist Modern Classic magazine with images for their forthcoming feature on the Lotus M90/X100.

17 September – Vintage Sports Car Club meeting at Snetterton. Go with Jane and Ivor, meet a couple of their friends – two more books sold.

19 September – Complete construction of 25-slide show to use with talks about my book to two Lotus clubs this autumn. Script notes well on the way!

21 September – Amazing coincidence in Veloce monthly newsletter On The Grid: Veloce have re-printed Dick Salmon's book BRM – A mechanic's tale, and a very good book it is too. Crumbs, it is over 40 years since we had pints together in the Wicklewood Cherry Tree.

Delighted to find this 'blog' is published on the Veloce website.

Two of my books arrive so that I can send them to friends in China.

24 September – Long-standing family friend brings a book for signature. It is a birthday present for her son, who had one week of Work Experience in my office over 20 years ago, whilst he was at school.

26 September – Check out Amazon UK website. Only 14 left (more on the way). There are five reviews, ALL FIVE STAR!

30 September – Good news that my presentation slides for a talk on the 9th of October have transferred for projection satisfactorily. All my notes are written, so that's ready to go!

It's great to see that the momentum is still there with the promotional run! And it doesn't stop there, as next month's instalment will see Oliver gearing up for the Christmas push... Buy your copy of A Life in Car Design here

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Beaulieu Events 2018

Famous for its collection of veteran, vintage and historic cars, the National Motor Musuem has grown into a spectacular destination for days out. It's also the go-to place for autojumble,  its International Autojumble event winning Tourism South East's Beautiful South Award this year.

The UK's National Motor Museum, is sited on land that was once home to a medieval royal hunting lodge, adjacent to a 12th Century Cistercian Abbey. Set in the picturesque village of Beaulieu, in the heart of the beautiful New Forest National Park, it's a wonderful place to visit, year-round.

Well known amongst auto buffs, it has been a firm favourite for family days out since the 1970s, and today is bigger and more popular than ever. The museum recently released its 2018 events calendar, covering from May, all the way to November. It's a great destination for a family or a solo visit, so why not take a look at what's on offer, and pencil in a date in your diary for next year?

Further details coming soon!
2018 sees the 70th anniversary of the Morris Minor, and the Spring Autojumble will see the Morris Minor Owners' Club attending with its own display. Veloce will be celebrating the Minor's anniversary with Morris Minor – 70 years on the road, coming in April 2018. We'll be releasing more details about this timely book, hailing from Morris Minor authority Ray Newel, over the coming weeks.

If you're looking for some Summer fun, you could do no better than the Hot Rod & Custom Drive-In Day, complete with Vintage Village. Or, if you'd like a retro-themed Father's Day weekend trip, pop along to Simply VW.

Beaulieu National Motor Museum 2018 Events Calendar


April 8
Simply Aston Martin
Back for its third year, Aston Martin owners are invited to start Beaulieu’s events calendar and bring their prized motors for a celebration of the iconic marque, with vehicles of every age and model.

April 22
In its 41st year, search for boating bargains at the largest outdoor sale of maritime items in Europe. Browse hundreds of stands with boating spares, accessories, clothing, tools, as well as new and used boats.


May 6
Simply Ford
This event is one of the biggest and most popular simply rallies when we expect more than 1500 Fords to join the display in the grounds of the National Motor Museum, in the 50th anniversary year of the Ford Escort.

May 19-20
Spring Autojumble
Start the motoring calendar by buying, selling and swapping anything automotive at more than 1000 stands offering everything from automobilia to cars for sale. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Morris Minor.

May 20
Land Rover Rummage at Spring Autojumble
A spares-sourcing opportunity, selling anything and everything related to Land Rovers as part of Spring Autojumble.


June 3
Simply Porsche
Last year a record 1,000 cars roared into the grounds for this event, which welcomes Porsche owners and enthusiasts to the National Motor Museum.

June 10
Mini Cooper Day
Beaulieu is the host venue for the 32nd annual National Mini Cooper Register Rally, attracting thousands of Minis of every age, marque and model to the heart of the New Forest.

June 16
Simply VW
As part of a celebratory weekend, Vee Dubs of every type are invited to join this great day out for Volkswagen fans and visitors. Don’t miss Vintage Village, which will be selling fashions, accessories and homeware.

June 17
Father’s Day
Hot Rod & Custom Drive-In Day
A celebration of colourful Custom, Hot-Rod and Classic American cars and bikes especially for Father’s Day. Featuring live entertainment and Vintage Village nostalgia and bargains.

June 24
Simply Land Rover
In the 70th anniversary year of the Land Rover, this celebration of the legendary 4x4 will attract Land Rovers and Range Rovers of every age, model and condition. Watch out for an extra feature to be announced soon.


July 8
Simply Jaguar
Returning for its third year, this impressive display of treasured machines will range from classics to the latest models.

July 29
Simply Japanese
More than 56 car clubs gathered amongst the 1500 vehicles at last year’s event, showcasing members’ cars from city runabouts to performance sports cars.


August 4-5
Beaulieu Supercar Weekend
A high octane two-day event celebrating the supercar and including iconic models and special feature displays in the stunning backdrop of the Beaulieu parkland.

August 12
VW T Fest
Beaulieu plays host to this family-friendly event which is back by popular demand.


September 1-2 TBC
International Autojumble
Beaulieu’s most famous event and the largest Autojumble this side of the Atlantic, with more than 2000 stands selling classic and vintage spares, plus full-size cars and Bonhams auction.


October 27
Fireworks Spectacular
One of the biggest fireworks displays in the south and choreographed to music, this popular event offers a range of family entertainment.


November 11
Simply Smart
This final rally in Beaulieu’s busy events calendar makes a colourful display of some of the smallest and most characterful cars on the road.

For more information on great days out, and all that Beaulieu has to offer, visit the website, or catch them on social media … you won't be disappointed!


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Plenty of Porsche!

You know how much we love all things Porsche here at Veloce, so today's blog post is a bumper Porsche post, packed with plenty of news, books, and photos to keep you entertained!

First off, at the beginning of last month, members of Porsche Club Great Britain (PCGB) came together at the 2017 Porsche Charity Day, to help raise over £12500 for Chestnut Tree House, a children's hospice based in Sussex. Formed in 1961, PCGB is Europe's largest Porsche club, and organises a host of events throughout the year. 
Held at Goodwood on the 7th of October, the charity event was also supported by PARR Porsche and Vroomphoto, and coincided with the club's popular track day. Thirty-six cars took part in the main event, while 150 gathered for a lunchtime parade around the historic circuit. The combined efforts of the Porsche community, and the extra involvement of PCGB, helped to increase the total from 2016's benchmark of £8000.

"In 2012, when the three of us were sitting at Goodwood Circuit's Aero Club Café and came up with an idea for raising funds for Chestnut Tree Children's Hospice as a one-off event, we never dreamt it would evolve into the day it has." Said Porsche Enthusiasts Jonathan Trees, Tony Clinch and Andrew Wilson. "Each successive year has grown and has now raised over £37000 for the Children's Hospice. This would never have happened without the continued growing support from everyone involved, so a big thank you. We would also like to thank Parr Motorsport, Porsche Club GB and Vroomphoto who have so kindly donated their time and have helped make the event what it is today."

"Porsche Club GB is proud to have supported this year's event and offered sincere thanks to all those who were so generous with their donations," said PCBG general manager Chris Seaward. "We look forward to working with Jonathan, Tony, and Andrew in 2018 to build on the momentum of this year." 

It's always great to see people raising lots of money for charity whilst doing something they love!

Remember a few weeks back when we had Roy Smith join us at Veloce HQ to sign copies of his new book Powered by Porsche – the alternative race cars? Well, the good news is, you can now purchase your own signed copy! Just add that you would like a signed copy in the comments sections when you got though the checkout on our webstore, and we will supply you with a signed bookplate as part of your order.

Roy has also supplied us with this new image of one of the cars that features in Powered by Porsche – the alternative race cars.

Martin Ridehalgh, Keith Martin, and Roy Smith with the Dulon Porsche

The car is the Dulon Porsche, which features on pages 127 and 132 of the book. It dates from the 1970s, and is awaiting the return of its Porsche 906 engine that is currently in build at Autofarm. Martin Ridehalgh was the driver in period of the Dulon Porsche, and its current owner and driver is Keith Martin, well known in Historic circles for racing a Dulon in the Masters series. 

And as if Roy Smith's latest book isn't enough, another new Porsche book has recently been wheeled off the press: Porsche Boxster & Cayman. Written by prolific Porsche maven Brian Long, this book is the definitive history of the 987-series Boxster and Cayman lines. Covering all variants from 2004 to 2012, this tome is packed full of information and contemporary illustrations sourced from the factory, it is the perfect guide for enthusiasts, historians, and those looking for authenticity.

With Christmas just around the corner, either of these books would make an excellent gift for the Porsche fanatic in your life. And, if you fancy going that extra mile for that special someone in your life, you could do no better than Brian Long's in-depth look at the entire history of the air-cooled Porches – The Ultimate Book of the Air-cooled Porsche 911. Limited to just 911 (what else?) copies, this elegant – not to mention hefty – volume comes in its own slipcase; a truly special gift for that truly special person in your life! Available only from the Veloce website.