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!

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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.