Millers Oils For Your Classic Car

When you own a classic motor, it’s critical to select an engine or gear oil that has been specifically formulated for a classic vehicle and its components, rather than a standard modern oil. This is because classic vehicles have unique features not found in modern cars, such as lower revving, hotter engine temperatures and greater metal-to-metal tolerances. They can also feature rope or cork seals, and might have excess carbon build up making their lubrication needs unique.

One of the things that makes classic oils different is that they have a higher viscosity. This means it is more resistant than modern oils, offering improved oil consumption and a lesser chance of the bevel gears and cross shafts flinging it off. Furthermore, oil seals are less likely to leak when the oil is of a high viscosity, saving you from a possible major problem.

The other important feature of classic car oil is the anti wear additives. Historically, car oils contained a zinc and phosphorous compound known as ZDDP, but due to its effects on exhaust emission systems, the mixture was phased out and engine designs were altered so that it was no longer required. Unfortunately, the newer oils can cause substantial damage to classic vehicles which is why it’s critical to use an oil based on the original formula.

If you’re wondering which classic oil brand to go for, we recommend Millers Oils.

Millers Oils was founded all the way back in 1887 by John Watson Miller, although at the time it was called Millers Bros. It was, and still is, very much a family run business, and has played a major role in transportation lubricants over the years. In fact, Millers Oils were the first producer of long drain interval oil for trucks, and also produced the first diesel specific engine oil for cars!

What we offer

We currently stock three types of Millers Oils – Engine, gear and worm steering wheel.

Engine Oil

Pistoneeze mineral oil is a monograde oil designed for veteran and vintage cars built up to the 1960s, but can also be used on cars built up to the 1930s if you feel confident that no dirt or debris has accumulated in the crankcase. Featuring moderate amounts of detergent, this mineral based oil provides excellent engine wear and anti oxidant protection, and remains at the right consistency even in the higher temperatures often seen in classic engines. We currently stock SAE 40 and 50.

Gear Oil.

High viscosity gear oils are essential for protecting your gear system from wear. We offer a number of different gear oils, including EP 140 GL4 which is designed to stand up to extreme pressure thanks to special high performance additives. We also stock a selection of vintage green gear oils which are formulated to prevent rust and ensure the longevity of your gearbox.

Worm Steering Box Oil

This is a high viscosity, low friction mineral oil for worm steering wheels designed to lubricate and preserve the steering system, creating an easier and superior driving experience.

To see our full range, head over to our dedicated Millers Oils page.

Selecting The Right Toggle Switch For Your Classic Car

At Holden Vintage & Classic we offer a range of toggle switches for your classic car, including both Lucas and reproduction Lucas varieties.

If you are less familiar with the purpose of a toggle switch, we’re happy to explain.
Almost every function performed by your classic vehicle involves a switch – whether it be a lever switch, push button or a toggle switch. A toggle switch in particular is manually operated by moving a short handle and has a ‘springing’ action, giving you the ability to control the flow of electricity through a circuit. They are more commonplace within classic cars than modern vehicles and can handle a large voltage.

Lucas toggle switches come in licensed and reproduction varieties but there’s very little difference between the two. Lucas toggle switches feature copper terminals as opposed to steel and the reproduction is very slightly thinner. Having said that, they’re both rated at the same ampage and are built to the highest standard, often used by many of the top international motor sport teams including McLaren, Prodrive and Williams.

In the above video, Julian Parker, Managing Director, explains how to use toggle switches to meet the particular requirements of your classic car. Some of the most common toggle switches available on our website include long level toggle switches, Lucas levers and stainless toggle switches.

To see our full range, click here.

Frazer Nash Alpine Trial – The Final Two Days



Last week we told you about Jeremy’s adventures on the Frazer Nash Alpine Trial, which concluded on Friday. Now that he’s back from his exhilarating trip, we thought you’d like to know how the final two days of the trial panned out.

On Thursday and Friday Jeremy and Julian Rodway (who owns the Super Sport) took on the Southern route, which brought about just as many surprises as the Northern route did!


As you can see from the above picture, Thursday required an early start from their base in Valloire. In one day Jeremy and Julian drove 267 miles where they ended up at the Chalet Hotel Montana in Le Sauze, France. The route passed through the Col du Galibier, a 8399 ft mountain pass in the southern region of the French Dauphiné Alps, as well as Briacon, a commune in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. A particular highlight on Thursday was the special stage at Colle delle Finestre, a mountain pass in the Cottian Alps, consisting of 9.9 miles of unmetalled road.

While (against some expectations) the car ran smoothly for the entire 267 miles, the long drive must have got to Julian because he left his passport and a number of other valuables in Briacon! Luckily, he was able to retrieve them the following day on the route back.

As you can imagine, once the pair arrived at the hotel, they enjoyed a couple of beers during early evening servicing followed by a well deserved kip before rising again for another 5am start on Friday.
Friday saw some minor issues for the old Super Sport, but again, nothing Jeremy and Julian couldn’t handle. For one, the car was experiencing some fuel starvation due to the heat. However, they overcame this by simply rolling down the hills – in fact, they predict that one of the hill rolls spanned 11 miles before they turned on the engine! Another issue was that the pair got a little off track somewhere around Col d’Esischie. After asking a local farmer for directions, Julian and Jeremy were sent off down a long and dusty road. The only problem was that they were met at the other end by a lone shepherd who sent the pair back the way they came! Following this, they stumbled across some stragglers who were having car troubles, so dedicated some time to helping out their fellow petrol-heads before heading back to Valloire.

Now, it’s worth mentioning at this point that there were a few skeptics who thought the old Super Sports wouldn’t finish day one of the trial, let alone the entire week! This is because, if you remember, there were some significant problems with the piston rings the day before the trial commenced. However, unsurprisingly to us, the hand crafted pistons that Jeremy created held up to the steep, winding roads allowing him and Julian to complete the trial – albeit in last place, but to a very well deserved standing ovation.

 

Update on Jeremy’s Participation In The Frazer Nash Alpine Trial

As you know, over the weekend Jeremy travelled to Valloire in the Italian French Alps with his friend Julian in a Frazer Nash Super Sports to take part in the Frazer Nash Alpine Trial.

We also mentioned before that Jeremy had encountered a few mechanical issues prior to the trial commencing. Here’s what happened!
While on their way to Valloire, Jeremy and Julian received news that a friend, who was situated about an hour and a half to the West, was having some car trouble. In order to help, they took a detour. Unfortunately, while doing so, the Super Sports began to partially seize! The car was trailered to the alps where Julian and Jeremy, as well as a number of other brilliant car enthusiasts on the trial, spent all day fixing it. After taking the car apart, they realised the piston rings were melting into the pistons, with one piston ring broken altogether. Using nothing but a Swiss Army knife, Jeremy managed to fix the problem, working until 11.30pm to ensure the job was done.
On Monday morning, following not much sleep, the pair took to the roads on the northern route around Mont Blanc, which is situated between France, Switzerland and Italy. The weather was superb and the car ran like clockwork. During the evening, the group relaxed in a hotel restaurant overlooking their Frazer Nash’s with a stunning mountain backdrop while enjoying fantastic food and even better company.

Tuesday was a slightly more problematic day, although nothing this pair of petrol heads couldn’t cope with!

While driving through Switzerland, the banjo bolt which holds the float chamber to the carburettor, came undone and disappeared! Jeremy, driven by pure determination, walked a mile back along the road, searching the gutters and surrounding terrain for the bolt. He didn’t have any luck at first – but amazingly, after deciding to scan the pavement in one last attempt at finding it, there it was!

They made it back to Valloire. And even though they were a couple of hours late, they were thoroughly exhilarated after 450 hard road miles.

Today (Wednesday) the group are relaxing. But stay tuned, because we’ll have more updates for you tomorrow when they embark on the Southern route.

Frazer Nash Alpine Trial 2017

Each year, over 30 cars compete in the Frazer Nash Alpine Trial, which takes place in the beautiful landscapes of the Italian French Alps. This year is particularly special because our very own Jeremy Holden will be taking part, and spent last weekend traveling to Valloire in South East France with a Frazer Nash Super Sports car he owned until twelve months ago. This week, he’s driving 200 miles per day (with a break on the Wednesday) alongside the car’s current owner Julian Rodway. The route is split into two loops, northern and southern, both of which circle back to Valloire.

Jeremy owned the Frazer Nash Super Sports for six years before Julian purchased the car from him last year. Prior to this, the car was owned by Mike Fowler, an engineer who finished rebuilding it in 1999.

Jeremy has a real love of the Frazer Nash Super Sports, and even won the Frazer Nash Club’s Geoghegan Trophy with it in 2011. It’s no wonder, therefore, that he recently got in touch with its new owner, eager to take the car out onto the open road again.

Last Thursday evening Jeremy and Julian took the overnight ferry from Portsmouth, before trailering to Dijon and then ending up in Valloire in order to prepare for the event’s start date on Monday morning. Given that the route is steep, narrow and a little bit bumpy, they were keen to ensure the Super Sports was in tip-top shape before taking to the road. Unfortunately, it wasn’t! Complications arose, but thanks to Jeremy and Julian’s collective expertise (and sheer determination) they managed to get going as planned this morning.

We’ll be giving you regular updates throughout the week about Jeremy and Julian’s progress, so keep an eye on the blog for new posts and photos!

Sports Bucket Seats


If you’re looking for a sports bucket seat that provides you with optimal support while driving, we’re pleased to offer high quality trimmed or untrimmed seats in a range of colours and styles, including custom options.

Each bucket seat is hand made locally and is specifically designed to provide optimal lateral support and weight distribution, which is especially important while cornering. Thanks to its lightweight steel shell and sturdy wooden base, as well as the removable back cushion, you’ll feel confident that the sports bucket seat can hold you safely and securely without compromising on comfort.

In the video, Julian Parker demonstrates how a modern sports bucket seat can be installed into both old and newer cars alike. If you’re installing a sports bucket seat into an older model, it could be you’re able to use the existing runners, but if not, we sell runners separately. Julian also gives you a glimpse of the 1955 Morgan +4 that’s beginning a long and labour intensive restoration in the Holden Morgan service and restoration bay which you can read more about here.

Should you wish to choose a colour other than black, all you need to do is send in a sample of your preferred colour and we’ll do our very best to match it. After you’ve approved the final colour choice, we’ll get to work at creating your custom seat. While most of our sports bucket seats are finished in leather, PVC material is also available.

For the full range, including trimmed and untrimmed seats, head over to our page.

 

Powerlite Starter Motors

 


At Holden Vintage & Classic, we have in stock a huge range of Powerlite starter motors, so no matter which classic car you drive, we’ll be able to quickly supply a Powerlite starter motor to replace your original unit.

Powerlite have been supplying rotating electrics to the automotive industry for ten years and are based in the West Midlands not far at all from the Holden premises.

The motors are lightweight (about half the weight of the original) and also offer increased cranking speeds and power when compared to your original unit. There’s also a lot less strain on your car’s battery. Upon installation, no modifications are required to your vehicle as they work for both positive and negative polarity.

In the video, Julian shows the main differences in appearance and functionality between an original unit and Powerlite starter motor. You can also look at our range of Powerlite products by clicking here.

Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an internationally recognised annual motoring event held in Chichester, north of West Sussex, at the beautiful park land surrounding Goodwood Estate owned by Lord March and his family. The sell-out festival has been running since 1993 and each year plays host to thousands of spectators, motoring enthusiasts and motorsports champions, making it an occasion you won’t want to miss!

This year, the Festival of Speed runs between 29 June – 2 July and promises four fun-packed days suitable for the entire family.

Highlights will include an action sports arena show, Red Arrows air display, numerous batches of cars and motorcycles across various categories including ‘pre-war cars’ and ‘Ferrari Sportscars’ as well as a visit from reigning world champion Nico Rosberg who will be taking to the road in his Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport W05 Hybrid!

Each year the Festival of Speed selects a theme for the event with this year’s being ‘Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers’, which celebrates racing machines that were so fast, powerful, complicated or expensive that the rules had to be changed to rein them in. For this reason, the festival will receive visits from 1980s era 1,000bhp turbocharged Grand Prix cars, unlimited Group 7 sportscars and the 750kg-formula European Championship leviathans from the 1930s. For those of you that are enthusiastic about bike-racing, there will also be 200bhp-plus MotoGP missiles, a number of 500cc Grand Prix bikes with their two-stroke powerbands and light-switch throttles, as well as the World Superbike winners.

Paddocks will be open to the public across the estate so that you can get up close and personal with some of your favourite motorcars, and refreshments are on offer for when you need cooling down in the gorgeous warm weather.

If you’re thinking of staying the entire weekend, accommodation is available. You can either pitch a tent at the nearby campsite, or book a room at the Goodwood Hotel. There’s also plenty of hotels and b&bs in the neighbouring area, all of which are only a short walk from the festival.

Given that this is such a prestigious event in the world of motoring, we recommend you look the part for the weekend. We offer a large assortment of motoring clothing, country clothing and even picnic sets and weekend accessories to make your trip extra special.

So what are you waiting for? Tickets are available now!

Are we up to the challenge? Of course we are! Morgan+4 Restoration

It’s not like the team at Holden Morgan to shy away from a challenge, and this is especially true of their latest venture – a monumental restoration project of a 1955 Morgan +4 currently occupying the new service and restoration bay.

We first introduced you to this broken down +4 back in March after Jeremy picked it up from Scotland following a bit of late night impulse shopping on eBay. Coincidentally, it turned out the chap he bought it off frequented the same old haunt Jeremy was once a regular at over 30 years ago, meaning their paths may have crossed a few times before. On Monday 13th March, after a celebratory dinner at the Anchor Hotel Kipford, Jeremy loaded the Morgan onto a trailer and it was transported back to the Holden premises in Bromyard.

Unfortunately, due to its fragile state, the car actually broke in half mid-journey, meaning that a new chassis will be required, a good job the Morgan factory is just up the road!

The exciting news is that there’s now an adventurous plan for the car. Not only will it be restored, in house, by June next year (which, when it comes to car restoration, is a bit of a tall order), but it’ll be modified into a rally car and taken to Rally Round Africa in October 2018!

 
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Rally Round Africa is a 6700km route that begins at Dar es Salaam, passing magnificent wildlife, bustling cities, breathtaking coastlines and dusty deserts before concluding in Cape Town. The question is; can this rather sorry looking Morgan handle the heat? We believe it can!
Follow our story over the next twelve months and watch us transform this tired and forgotten Morgan into a rally car fit for the African wilderness.

June Motoring Events You Won’t Want To Miss

Soon enough those pesky summer showers will clear and you’ll be able to take the top down on your classic motor again. So, in anticipation of blue skies next week, here’s a whopping 11 classic motoring events you might fancy taking part in or spectatoring at.

11th – 17th The Paris-Prague Rally (Rallyround)

If you’re a bit of a euro-explorer, you might be interested in this spectacular rally event organised by Rally Round. This year, the route spans 1,333 miles through Chateau de Chantilly on the outskirts of Paris, St Gallen, Kitzbuhel, Linz and Brno before concluding in Prague’s gorgeous Old Town. What could be more beautiful? Don’t worry if you miss it this time around, more events are being organised for 2018!

11th June Grand Pix de l’Age d’or

The Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or is this year celebrating its 53rd anniversary and its 13th on the amaking Dijon-Prenois circuit. It will see 10 grids on the track, including the Euro F2 Classic and the 2 Formula 1 grids, as well as the FIA Lurani Trophy. Spectators are able to view the cars up close in the paddocks, and there will be a number of stands, stalls and entertainment on offer!

11th June Shelsley Walsh Breakfast Club

Located on the outskirts of Worcester, the Breakfast Club opens this fantastic annual hill climb at Shelsley Walsh to classic enthusiasts from around the country. This year features a chance to see hundreds of classic and vintage motors as well as a unique opportunity to view a restored water mill in action. Admission for spectators is only £3.50.

11th June Jaguar Drivers Club E-type day at Prescott

Head over to Prescott Hill in Cheltenham for this fun filled day celebrating all things Jaguar. There’s plenty to see and do for spectators, including refreshments, stalls and entertainment. So, whether you’re a proud jag owner or just a really big fan, hop into your motor and drive over to Prescott Hill with the family to enjoy a relaxing day out.

17th & 18th June Bath Festival of Motoring, Walcot Rugby Ground

The Bath Festival of Motoring is a 2 day charitable event that last year welcomed over 6000 spectators! Tickets for spectators are £10 and include access to the classic cars up close, as well as entertainment, stalls and a true festival atmosphere. What could be better?

17th & 18th June Brookland Double Twelve Motorsport Festival

Brooklands has a rich motoring history and each year celebrates its classic car connections by hosting a fantastic event for the whole family. Saturday sees The Double Twelve Speed Trials on the Mercedes-Benz World circuit and Sunday will show The Double Twelve Driving Tests. The Test Hill Challenge will also take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Tickets for spectators are £11.

17th & 18th June HSCC Cadwell Park

This two day motoring event located in Lincolnshire is a spectacle for all the family. It includes categories like Classic Racing Cars, 70s Road Sport and Formula Ford 2000. To take part, simply fill out the registration form on the website.

17th June Open test day at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb

This will be the first time that the Midland Automobile Club has hosted an open practice day at Shelsley Walsh. It’s particularly good if you’re keen to gain further experience on the hill in a more relaxed environment while still benefiting from being timed. Those wishing to take part must possess a 2017 MSA licence. Spectators can go for free which makes it a lovely day out for the family.

24th & 25th June Bromyard Gala

With its rich motoring history, there’s no better setting than Bromyard for a classic motoring event. In celebration of 50 years, this two day classic car event features JCB’s world famous dancing diggers, as well as a fairground, bandstand and plenty of vintage and classic cars that you can see up close and personal.

24th & 25th June Flywheel Festival

Situated at Bicester Heritage, this classic car event is now in its 3rd year and gets better each time! The two day festival celebrates both classic cars, as well as historic military vehicles and aviation. Demonstrations take place over both days, and there’s plenty of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Advance spectator tickets are £23 (£28 on the day) with family options and concessions also available. There’s also a fantastic auction on 24th. You won’t want to miss it!

29th – 2nd July Goodwood Festival of Speed

Each year, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has a theme. This year marks 25 years since the festival started and its theme is ‘Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers’. Intrigued? We are! A weekend admission is £154 and packages or concessions are also available. With some seriously amazing classic motors in attendance this year, it’s an event you certainly won’t want to miss.