Friday, 25 April 2014


Britain’s favourite classic sports car name reaches its 90th anniversary this year and to celebrate the occasion MG will be the featured marque at Simply Classics & Sports Car being held at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, on Sunday 24 August.

MGs of all ages will be on show from early VAs and TAs to the ever popular MGB and Midget as well as modern classics such as the MGF and MG TF plus the current MG3 and MG6 models, with displays from regional MG clubs and individual owners plus trade stands.

During the afternoon there will be a parade of selected notable MGs and a poll to find visitors’ favourite MG – the winner will receive a special Beaulieu Trophy.

Advance booking for the event guarantees MG clubs their own dedicated area with space for cars and a gazebo or event shelter, while individual MG owners can reserve their place in the special MG Paddock. Gates open from 9.30am on the day.

Entry for MGs and their owners, which can be paid in advance or on the day, is £10 per adult, £5 child – which is less than half the normal admission price.

In addition to Simply Classics & Sports Car, entry also gives access to the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, displaying vehicles used in the popular BBC television show, On Screen Cars with vehicles from TV and film, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and Palace House and its gardens.

Source: Beaulieu

Available from Veloce!
Don Hayter’s MGB Story

The story of MG Design & Development department, by MG’s Chief Engineer, Don Hayter, this book covers models and prototypes from 1956 to the close of the factory in 1980. Featuring behind the scenes anecdotes and personal accounts MG in its heyday. More info.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


In 2014, the Alpine A450 will be shared by Frenchmen Nelson Panciatici and Paul-Loup Chatin, plus Britain’s Oliver Webb to defend the 2013 the 2013 European Le Mans Series crown.

Thirty-five years after withdrawing from motorsport following its win in the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours, Alpine made its eagerly-awaited return to circuit racing in 2013 – and promptly triumphed in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

With an ambitious programme ahead as it prepares for the launch of the new ‘Berlinette of the 21st Century’ (due to go on sale in 2016), Alpine is looking to defend its title this season. Three men will share the driving during what will be longer, four-hour races this year, with the outgoing ELMS champ Nelson Panciatici joined by Paul-Loup Chatin (Alpine’s ‘Junior’ driver in 2013)and ex-Formula Renault 3.5 Series runner Oliver Webb.

This year’s campaign, which is structured around the Le Mans 24 Hours, with the ELMS as its backbone, will also herald the arrival of new partners, such as Dieppe Maritime, a conglomeration of urban districts in the Dieppe region, long-time home of the Alpine brand. The Team keeps on working with Michelin, a long standing partner, which was involved in Alpine’s previous successes during the 1960’s and ‘70s.

“Humility has always been a hallmark of our brand and it continued to underpin our approach when we returned to endurance racing last season,” says Alpine Director Bernard Ollivier. “The objective of the programme’s first year was to reacquaint ourselves with the discipline. This season, our aim is to defend our European title right from the opening round at Silverstone, whilst the other key target will be to showcase our potential and performance in the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

“As defending champions, it would be inconceivable not to want to retain our ELMS title,” notes Signatech-Alpine Team Principal Philippe Sinault. “Our team received tremendous support throughout 2013, and it was fantastic to be able to share our success with everyone. In 2014, we need to confirm that promise as we continue to lay the foundations for Alpine’s renaissance. Season two ushers in a number of changes, including the promotion of our ‘Junior’ driver Paul-Loup Chatin to the main squad and the arrival of Britain’s Oliver Webb alongside Nelson Panciatici. We will similarly reveal some aesthetic modifications at Silverstone that are sure to please Alpine’s fans.”

The season got underway at the beginning of April with two days of testing at Paul Ricard, France. Notwithstanding a collision in the first session – which gave the technical staff a chance to demonstrate their talent as they restored the Alpine A450 to full health – Signatech-Alpine posted the fourth-fastest lap time and, crucially, completed a high number of laps.

The 2013 ELMS Champion Nelson Panciatici recalls the horrendous weather that marked last year’s visit to Silverstone: “We were fast, but the race was interrupted for a long time and ultimately halted early because of the rain. It was the most frustrating event of the season. This time round, we’re out for revenge. The target is victory and a big points haul!”

Source: Alpine

Available from Veloce! Alpine Renault – The fabulous berlinettes
By Roy Smith
The berlinettes were fragile, beautifully designed, lightweight road rockets. For the first time, Alpine Renault enthusiasts around the world can read the complete history of these cars in English.
This important new book is not just for owners of Alpine Renaults, but for all those interested in rallying and its spectacular period of rapid development in the late 1960s and early '70s. Hear from the men who built the cars, some of the great drivers who became famous driving them, the team manager, the Rédélé family – creators of the car – and the mechanics who kept the cars going. The story covers the concept, the first cars, the early road cars, and their entry into competition on the European rallying circuit, with full charted documentary details.
The Alpine A110 berlinette was a car born to compete, born to win. This is its story.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Your complete guide to buying an Audi TT

Looking to buy one of these iconic cars? Then this app is for you! It will help ensure that you avoid the main pitfalls and end up with your very own dream coupe on the driveway.
The app includes expert advice, with images and videos, on all aspects of buying an Audi TT. Included is a unique Evaluation Calculator so you can assess the true quality of a potential purchase, and make sure you don’t forget to check any of the important areas. You can store key information and notes for easy reference later.

Available from: Google Play Store, from the App Store, for iPhone, for Android phones and tablets / Microsoft Store for Windows phone. / Amazon Apps for Kindle Fire, and Android devices.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Over the last fortnight we were joined at Veloce by Tyler on her work placement for school. Here's what she had to say about her experience ...

"When they told us at school that work experience was going to be hard and quite possibly scary, I was nervous to say the least. On the drive here on Monday morning I was petrified, worried that no one would like me, I wouldn't have anything to do and that it might put me off my career plans, taking me back to square one. But I was wrong.

I arrived to a warm hello from Kim before I was even through the door, we made a cup of tea (I think I've drunk more tea in the past two weeks than I've had in my whole life), and I was immediately put at ease. I had a tour of the whole office, was introduced to everyone, and then I was set to work.

During my time here I have been given an overview of all the aspects of publishing, from author submissions to sending off the final draft for printing. I was given the opportunity to sit in on meetings, meet some authors, use the still baffling VCR that contains every detail you would ever need to know about any book Veloce has ever published (wow …) produce my own sample chapters, and even create an interactive eBook. I was shown how a picture that isn't the right resolution can literally ruin the whole look of your book, and the lengths that the people here will go to to make it look perfect (I spent a whole afternoon scanning over 60 photos that may not even be used in the final layout (I think by the end of the day people were close to dying from the sound of the scanner,) I've seen how all the admin and accounts are done, how books are promoted, and even how they are packaged in the warehouse.

Here's the interactive eBook I made using iBooks Author.

I now know that the publishing business is definitely not as simple as it seems, and that pieces go through check, after check, after check, by all the different people, back and forth between editor and author for weeks on end until both are happy. And surprisingly this hasn't put me off! I am even more determined to get an English degree and open my own publishing firm.

The friendly production team at Veloce.

I can honestly say that the people here are genuinely some of the nicest people I have ever met, they have welcomed me into their place of work and helped me to realise that my dream of becoming a publisher can be achieved, so thank you! Especially to Kim who has looked after me during my time at Veloce, and really did an amazing job making sure I always had something to learn and do. Another big thank you to Rod and Jude for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity. Can't I just stay here and not go back to school?"
Tyler-Nicole Graham

I sat in on an interview video with the author Kevin Turner.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


New Zealander Des Hammill spent his childhood in Auckland surrounded by car enthusiasts, and took a keen interest in the subject from a very early age.

His first real thrill in a car was being taken for a spin around the block, aged 9, in a friend’s uncle’s 1.5-litre Brooklands Riley Nine-derived home-built sports car. The second was being taken for a ride in the same person’s 1956 D-Type Jaguar, aged 12.

Educated in Papatoetoe, South Auckland, Des went on to study engineering at Otahuhu College and the Auckland and Manukau Technical Institutes, while serving a four-year toolmaking apprenticeship at top Auckland contract Toolroom.

In his early twenties Des went travelling, staying for varying lengths of time in Australia, Asia, England, Southern Rhodesia, and South Africa, finally returning to New Zealand after seven years, where he settled into volume production factory work specialising in injection moulding phenolic products – plastic mould design, manufacture and maintenance. However, after about seven years he was no longer happy doing this type of factory work, and took the decision to turn his hobby of building racing engines into a business, concentrating on 'the difficult things to do,’ such as the precision machining of parts for different competitors over a wide range of racing machinery. This was soon expanded to include suspension work, which led to innovations for several regular customers’ off-road and speedway cars, all in the name of better vehicle handling.

In 1980, Des began building his own 221ci small block Ford V8-powered sports car, with which he eventually enjoyed some racing success and, above all, learned a lot about car design – specifically, what not to do! Over five years, this car went through several redesigns due to errors and discoveries. He intends to rebuild it a final time, and make it go better than ever!

In 1995, Des began writing automotive books for Veloce Publishing quite by chance, and now has a total of 25 titles to his name. His first publication, one of the 'How To' series on Weber and Dellorto side-draught carburettors, is now in its third edition, and remains a best seller. In the late 1990s he turned his attention to writing car history books, starting with Coventry Climax Formula One engines of the 1950s and 1960s, and within four years had compiled a very detailed account of Cyril Kieft, called The Definitive History Of Cyril Kieft And His Racing Cars 1949-1955 – an obscure study, perhaps, but interesting nonetheless. His BRM equivalent of the Coventry Climax book has recently been completed – a long, complicated, drawn-out research process if ever there was one.
Although he built many types of engine over his working life, two dominated his career and remain of great interest: the English Kent four-cylinder Fords, and the small block Ford V8. Over the last few years, as it has remained his favourite since his teens, Des has concentrated mainly on writing the history of the latter.

When not writing, Des enjoys nothing more than tinkering with his cars – which include a red 1995 SN95 Mustang GT convertible, a 1967 Ford Anglia, a 1976 Escort, and a 1983 Thunderbird V8/John McKenna Thunderbird lookalike – and assisting friends with their similar projects in New Zealand and the UK.

Des Hammill's Ford Falcon.
Click here to view all Veloce books by Des Hammill.