The Classic Cars of Steve McQueen

He was best known for his portrayals in timeless movies such as The Great Escape, Le Mans and The Thomas Crown Affair, but Steve McQueen was more than just an on-screen icon. As a classic car enthusiast, McQueen took every opportunity to drive (or ride) a number of legendary motors both on and off screen, some of which you’ll be able to see at this year’s Bromyard Speed Festival.

Here’s some of our favourites:

1970 Porsche 911

(Photo credit https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_911_(classic))

The original 911 series is regularly cited as the most successful competition car ever. The Porsche 911 features a rear engine, 5 speed manual transmission and 2+2 seating. It played a significant role in the film Le Mans, where McQueen insisted on driving the car himself at full rally speed. You’ll also be relieved to know that replica radio controlled models were used for crash scenes.
You can buy memorabilia from Le Mans here.

1960s Ferrari 275 GTB/4


(Photo credit http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2014/08/steve-mcqueen-ferrari-is-worth-12-million)

The 275 GTB/4 is part of an extremely limited run of vehicles. In fact, there were just 280 produced over the course of a couple years. Purchased while filming Bullitt, McQueen’s Ferrari recently sold for a whopping $12 Million in 2014! This model in particular won’t be gracing the Speed Festival this year, but there’ll be a whole range of other stunning Ferraris to view on the day.

1961 Austin Mini Cooper S


(Photo credit https://uk.pinteresthttps://www.holden.co.uk/displayProductsByBrand.asp?brand=Gulf%20Steve%20McQueen&brandCode=X6.com/pin/93801604708983818/)

Designed as a high performance vehicle by race car builder John Cooper, the 1961 Mini Cooper was a hugely popular car in the rally racing world and has remained so ever since.
It features a 2 door saloon body with a front engine, overhead valve and 1 litre naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engine. McQueen regularly drove his Mini Cooper S around town and you’ll be able to see one at this year’s Bromyard Speed Festival.

 
The TT Special 650 Triumph


(Photo credit http://www.mcqueenonline.com/thegreatescapetriumph.htm)

Our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the iconic TT special 650 Triumph from The Great Escape. Featuring 6500 rpm, a four stroke parallel twin engine, and 365lb weight, this incredible motorcycle was actually disguised in the movie to resemble a wartime German BMW. Funnily enough, McQueen was so eager to show the bike’s full capacity, the stunt motorcycles following him during a chase scene couldn’t physically keep up. Instead of slowing down, McQueen took the place of several stuntmen so was effectively chasing himself!

Of course, McQueen owned and drove many more classic vehicles, including the 1972 Mercedes Benz, The Shelby Cobra and 1956 Jaguar XKSS.

We have a whole range of McQueen memorabilia and gifts available in our shop, why not head over and take a look?

if you’d like to attend the Bromyard Speed Festival, find out more at www.bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk

Women In Motoring History

Believe it or not, there are now more female drivers in the U.K than there are male drivers. Not only that, contrary to androcentric belief, women are now considered to be safer and (dare we admit it) better drivers than the opposite sex. We won’t tell our ‘better halves’, of course. We wouldn’t want to upset the balance of the universe or anything…

It wasn’t always this way, however. In aid of International Women’s Day, we’ve put together a brief history of women in automobile culture in to celebrate the achievements of past and present.

1914-1945

Pre-war Britain saw very few females involved in transport at all, let alone driving their own cars at leisure. While a small sub section of women set up chauffeuring and mechanic businesses pre-1914, it certainly wasn’t commonplace (or trusted) and even women themselves often felt it best that only men took to the wheel. Then the First World War happened and, as you know, women’s history changed forever. The role of women in transport expanded rapidly and urgently as their men were called away to duty, leaving behind an entire society to keep going during their (often permanent) absence. Increasing numbers of women were not only learning how to fix or alter vehicles, but actually began to think ahead in terms of designing transport with women in mind.

And then along came Dorothee Aurelie Pullinger. Dorothee was a British-French car enthusiast who, in 1924, designed the Galloway – an iconic car constructed just for women.

(Photo credits Scottish Engineering Hall Of Fame & BBC).

Following the war, Dorothee was accepted into the Institute of Automobile Engineers after being previously rejected prior to the conflict due to her gender. She went on to receive an MBE and manage Galloway Cars, which not only built on the philosophies of the suffragettes, but hosted an automotive school for women on the side.
Come the Second World War, 2.2 million women were building ships, aircrafts and automobiles for the war effort.

Post 1945

It wasn’t just automobile engineering and design that inspired women during the war era. Have you ever heard the expression, ‘Women can’t read maps’? Of course you have – there was an entire book written on the subject in 2001 unfairly attributing this stereotyped trait to every woman on the planet. However, the next time you’re assigned such a fundamental cognitive flaw, remember to remind your accuser that it was, in actual fact, a woman that invented the famous London A-Z book of maps. Her name was Phyllis Pearsall and she was a British artist that dedicated her adult life to documenting the streets of London so that motorists and pedestrians could navigate their way far more easily than ever before. Impressed? We certainly are!

Come the 1950s, women started to be accepted into broader areas of automobile culture. Aside from contributing to the engineering and maintenance of motors, women began to play a hand in Formula One racing.


(Photo credit The Telegraph, Rex Features)
Maria Teresa de Filippis (pictured) was one of the first female Formula One competitors, participating in a total of five World Championship Grand Prix’s. While she scored no championship points, Maria showed the cynics that it was possible to participate in a male dominated world and be taken seriously.

The 1960s

One of the defining moments of the 1960s was the release of the Ford Mustang. You may not know this, but the Ford Mustang was the first car marketed solely at women and was advertised in the women’s section of over 2,600 newspapers. The campaign worked, and the first person to buy this iconic car was Gail Brown, a 22-year-old schoolteacher from Chicago (pictured), for $3,419.

(Photo credits adramch, & Forbes)
In terms of a wider movement, the 1960s saw the first formal protest for equal pay. While this fight is still ongoing, it may interest you to know that it was at the Ford UK factories that the first strikes took place.

Come 1962, the British Women’s Racing Drivers Club was established, allowing women from all walks of life to learn the sport and meet likeminded people.

Onwards and Upwards

There’s been much success in the world of motorsport since the 1960s – far more than we can credit in one sitting. However, some names worth a mention include Lella Lombardi, the first woman to score points at a Grand Prix in 1975, Michelle Mouton, who won four rallies for Audi in the 1980s, Jutta Kleinschmidt, the winner of the notoriously tough Dakar rally in 2001 and Dancia Patrick, the first (and so far only) woman to win an IndyCar race in 2008.

An interesting contrast to just 100 years ago, women now make up around 16% of the automotive trade in the U.K, many of whom are holding senior positions, with a record number of women now applying to become mechanics. Furthermore, a wide range of cars have been created over the last 60-odd years with us petrol-birds in mind, making it more enjoyable than ever to show off our superior driving skills in comfort and style.

So, if you’re keen on cleaning the cobwebs off your classic speedster this spring and taking it for a well deserved drive, head over to our page and stock up on the gear you need so that your next ride is a smooth one.

Bromyard Speed Festival 2017

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On Sunday 2nd April we will be returning to the streets of Bromyard to celebrate the annual Bromyard Speed Festival.

Every year, over 5000 spectators travel from all over the country to watch more than 140 vintage and classic cars and motorcycles drive through the picturesque market town streets of Bromyard.
As part organisers of this charitable event, Holden Vintage & Classic join The Morgan Motor Company, Brightwells Classic Vehicles and a wealth of partners and volunteers to coordinate one of the most exciting events in the classic car calendar.

As you may already know, Bromyard has a rich motoring history. As the birthplace of Morgan Cars and with a manufacturing history dating back to 1910, it couldn’t be a more appropriate setting for a classic car enthusiast to spend the day.

Last year’s festival was a triumph and featured one of the most incredible cars in motoring history – the Sunbeam 350hp ‘Sunbeam Bluebird’, which broke the land speed record in 1924 at 146.16mph. The car was originally driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell, who later went on to improve his record in 1925 by reaching an impressive 150.76mph.
You may be interested to know that Lord Montagu, conservative MP, activist and founder of the British Motor Museum, purchased this car in 1957 in poor condition. After spending many years shelved in a museum without a working engine, the car underwent over 2000 hours of reconditioning before taking to the streets again in 2014.
A real hit with spectators, ‘Bluebird’s’ thunderous engine echoed through the market streets of Bromyard stirring excitement and curiosity from all corners and creating quite a spectacle for both the eyes and ears.

This year we’ll be spending some time with ‘Babs’, the land speed record holder driven by John Parry-Thomas in 1926 that reached an outstanding 171.02mph. The car was restored in 1969 by Owen Wyn Owen and will be causing quite a buzz in Bromyard this April. Furthermore, we’ll be joined by Malcolm Campbell’s ‘Napier Bluebird’, which achieved the world land speed record in 1927 at Pendine Sands. A re-engineered version then recorded over 200mph at Daytona Beach the following year.

As well as these land speed record holders, we’ll be celebrating the legendary Laverda motorbike. The first Laverda model (the Laverda 75) was introduced in 1950 and went on to have great success in Italian Championship Motogiro. Following this success, the Laverda 1000 and Laverda 650cc were born, with the company going from strength to strength from there onwards. It’ll be exciting to see a number of Laverda motorbikes on display as well as the Laverda Owners Club in April and we’re very much looking forward to it.

The Bromyard Speed Festival, as well as being an opportunity to showcase and view a range of classic vehicles, is a fantastic family day out.
The cars run in batches throughout the day starting in the town square on Broad street and returning via Rowberry street. Ordinarily the running starts with Morgans and Austin Healeys as well as a mix of other classics, then moves on to racing and rally cars and concludes with a series of stunning motorcycles. Each batch drives for approximately 15 minutes and is accompanied by a running commentary from the public address system. With the offer of both morning and afternoon sessions, there’s no reason for you to miss out on any of the festivities.

When stationery, the vehicles are held in paddocks that are open to the public for £3 per person. That means you can get up close and personal with some of the most famous and sought after cars in the world. Excited? We certainly are!

But that’s not all. Trade stands and entertainment will also scattered around Bromyard, as well as plenty of places to grab a hearty lunch, a snack or a cool drink. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet a wealth of likeminded enthusiasts and industry experts that share in your passion for classic and vintage cars.

So don’t delay! Head over to www.bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk now for more information.

Why You Should Choose A Brantz Tripmeter

IMG_1900If you’re looking to kit out your classic rally car with a tripmeter in order to take competition to the next level, you can’t go wrong with Brantz.
The Brantz brand offers rallying equipment to anyone with an interest in classic rally cars – from enthusiastic novices to well oiled professionals. So no matter how many miles you’ve clocked up, there’s sure to be a product suitable for you.

Back in the sixties, serious rallying competitors utilised mechanical tripmeters to refine their navigation and gain a better speed record. Some rally regulations continue to allow only mechanical tripmeters and don’t permit tripmeters that display GPS or speed averages, however, many historic or retrospective rallies around the globe have recently approved the Brantz RetroTrip tripmeters, giving you more in the way of choice.

Retrotrip tripmeters feature electro-mechanical clicking digits and are calibrated to the car by operating switches on the unit. They are ordinarily used with an electrical sensor on the speedometer cable. Alternatively, you can use a wheel or propshaft sensor. The propshaft sensor consists of two magnets that are fitted to either side of the propshaft and can be easier to install than a dedicated wheel sensor due to the fact the design can accommodate larger clearances between rotating components.

Older cars with 6 volt electrics or doubtful 12 volt charging systems should also consider using the power conditioner. A power conditioner is designed to provide a stable voltage source so that it can function properly.

If you’re more interested in modern rallies, it’s recommended you use one of the Brantz International electronic tripmeters which rely on an electrical signal which is then processed electronically.

There are two main international tripmeters offered by Brantz.

For those of you who are road rallying or rallying at club level stage events, we recommend the Brantz International 1. This is a basic single readout tripmeter featuring a single red LED display and push wheel switches on the front.

For professional rally drivers we recommend the Brantz International 2. This offers all the same features as the international 1 tripmeter, but additionally has a second display showing intermediate distance as well as a remote reset button and a STEP knob on the front allowing adjustment to the Total distance.

If you’d like to measure average speed as well, The Brantz 2 ‘S’ Pro has all the features of International 1 and 2 but also the addition of a highly accurate speedometer which displays selectable or average speed. Bear in mind that rally regulations tend to not permit the use of average speed tracking via a tripmeter.

Now, for those of you that own multiple rally motors and wish to uninstall and reinstall the same tripmeter into more than one car, this process doesn’t need to be difficult. You can choose to use the plug and socket kit which is installed with the tripmeter allowing for straight forward removal once you’re finished.

Why not head over to our dedicated Brantz page and browse the latest products?

Why It’s Important To Keep Your Classic Car Clean

British weather in February is never brilliant, is it? Strong winds and relentless rain make it impossible to hold an umbrella up without it blowing inside out, while mud and sludge seem to get on just about everything.
While you’re busy keeping your home and family safe and warm during the cooler seasons, don’t forget to look after your classic car too!

Wind and rain can be a real headache for classic car owners unless you take proper precautions. Water exposure can lead to rust, which in turn means spending money on spare parts, while strong gales and winds can blow stones, rocks and other muddy objects into the paintwork.
That’s why, for this month only, we have a special offer available exclusively to you. Should you spend £75 or more on any Holden Vintage & Classic products, you’ll receive a free Autoglym Aqua Dry Synthetic Chamois Leather with your order.

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The Autoglym Aqua Dry Synthetic Chamois Leather has a unique structure that allows it to perform a superior clean to natural chamois leathers. It’s absorbent, easy to use and less expensive than competing products. When paired with some of our other Autoglym cleaning products, you can be sure to achieve a superior look as well as long lasting protection against the elements.

Here’s a few examples of what else is on offer:

The Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo / Conditioner

If you regularly wash your car with Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner, you’ll not only effectively remove traffic film and dirt, but will also preserve the finish and appearance of your vehicle. This shampoo conditioner contains additional ingredients that create a glossy water-resistant barrier in order to protect and extend the effect of Autoglym polishes.

The Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner

Get rid of brake dust and dirt from chrome, polished aluminium and anodised wheels with the Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner. This product contains a special blend of biodegradable surfactants, solvents, and alkalis in order to create a balanced acid-free formulation which quickly and efficiently dissolves brake dust, corrosion and traffic film from even the most complex and intricate wheel designs.

The Autoglym High Definition Wax

There’s no better way of protecting your classic car from the elements than by applying the Autoglym High Definition Wax. It features the perfect combination of carnauba, microcrystallines, waxes and saturated hydrocarbons in order to give a high quality finish with long lasting durability.

Autoglym Super Resin Polish

If you’re looking for a universal polish that can be applied to any paint finish then the Autoglym Super Resin Polish is for you. Not only does it give your car a glossy shine, but protects against unfriendly environments and contains a cleaner that will lift harmful contaminants from the surface.

Outdoor Car Cover

If you keep your motor outdoors on a regular basis, it’s essential it has some form of cover to protect it from wind and rain. This outdoor cover is entirely waterproof and features four air vents to prevent excessive condensation. It comes in a variety of sizes depending on your needs.

The Autoglym Collection Valet Kit

If you fancy going all out, then why not treat yourself to the Autoglym Collection Valet Kit? It contains everything you need to keep your classic car in tip top shape all year round. This kit includes shampoo conditioner, super resin polish, screen wash, bumper care and much much more.

Remember, neglecting to protect your car during the cooler reasons will only cause you more problems in the future. If you invest in a good set of cleaning products, you’ll be sure to prevent damage and keep your car looking slick and clean.

Take a look at our cleaning collections here, and remember, if you spend £75 or more on ANY Holden Vintage & Classic Products throughout February, you’ll receive the Autoglym Aqua Dry Synthetic Chamois Leather for free by using the code chamois17 at the checkout.

123 Ignition

IMG_1884123Ignition are one of the most reputable brand names in the world of ignition systems for classic cars. With optimal respect for the originality of the classic vehicle, 123Ignition units are designed with reliability and durability in mind.

It was 10 years ago that 123Ignition first hit the classic car scene by replacing faulty electrics for a Citroen 2CV’s distributor. Since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength and upholds the highest standards that customers have come to expect.
This is why we stock a range of 123Ignition electronic distributors for your classic car requirements.

So what makes 123Ignition different?

In a nutshell, each 123Ignition distributor hides a lot of high-tech gear inside of it while retaining the appearance of an original distributor.
Many other systems of electronic ignition demand that the original mechanical centrifugal advance system remains intact. Even points- assisted systems use the original points operating cam which is vulnerable to wear and tear which results in the inconsistent running of the engine. Additionally, they all require a separate box for the corresponding electronics.
123ignition solves this problem by containing all the elements in one straight forward module inserted in place of the original points box. The points operating cam is taken out altogether as well as the advance weights and the 123ignition distributor is then bolted on.

The Advantages Of Using 123Ignition

There are a number of advantages in choosing 123Ignition distributors. These include:

• Straight forward installation
• No maintenance
• Superior fuel consumption
• Better emissions
• It’s impossible to burn out the ignition coil
• Improved starting
• A variable dwell angle to prevent overheating of the ignition coil
• Built in LED
• Value for money

What’s on offer?

We stock a variety of 123Ignition distributors. These include:

6 Cylinder Universal

This 123 Ignition Distributor can be used in place of most 6 cylinder Lucas distributors (6 or 12 volt). It can be wired for either positive or negative earth vehicles and can also be swapped for both clockwise and anti-clockwise distributors. With an impressive 16 advance-curves, you’ll be able to fine tune your engine using an easily accessible switch. It also offers spark balancing, automatic dwell and a convenient power cut off one second after engine stops.

4 Cylinder Universal

This 4 Cylinder Universal distributor can be used in place of 4 Cylinder Lucas distributors, (6 or 12 volt negative earth). As with the 6 Cylinder Universal, it has 16 advance curves that enable you to fine tune your engine by using a small switch, as well as an automatic dwell, spark balancing and power cut off just one second after the engine stops. Bear in mind this isn’t the ideal for Triumph owners that require a connection for a mechanical rev counter.

Mini Universal

If you’re looking for a distributor specifically designed to replace Lucas distributors on classic Mini engines then this is the one for you. Similar to the 4 and 6 Cylinder Universal, it has 16 advance curves that enable you to fine tune your engine by using a small switch, as well as an automatic dwell, spark balancing and power cut off just one second after the engine stops.

Rover V8 Post SD1

For vehicles with a negative earth only, this electronic distributor is designed to replace Lucas distributors on post SD1 Rover and Land Rover V8 engines. Due to its unique setup, you’ll need a shielded USB cable and a laptop with internet connection to connect the distributor.

Sprite and Midget Universal

For Austin Healey Sprites and MG Midgets, this distributor replaces Lucas distributors and also offers 16 different advance-curves so that you can fine tune your engine. As you’d expect from a 123Ignition distributor, it also offers spark balancing, automatic dwell and automatic power cut off after one second of the engine stopping.

Of course, we have many more 123Ignition distributors in stock. Head over to our dedicated page for more information.

2CV Rebuild 23

2cv project jan2015 002

From this, a matt-coloured and not quite 100% sound, but nonetheless running and driving 2CV, Julian has transformed his Ebay sourced French Classic into a shining example of what can be achieved in the home workshop, with dedication, time and a little effort, plus a small amount of specialist intervention to weld floors, apply a new coat of paint and help to trim the seats, to finish up with this.

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2CV Rebuild 22

February seems a long tome ago, and I have being doing stuff, in fact it’s nearly finished. Russel , Pam’s son from work has completed the spray job. Very shiny!!!

And the correct original colour. The wiring is almost done, I’ve still to add the heated rear window see 080.109. Most of the interior trim is finished, Martin Greaves from Greaves of Bromyard has helped with fitting the new seat covers, and what a difference a pro. makes…. Membrane first, foam, Dacron then covers…. all beautiful 2cv seats 001

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Trimming the seats in the workshop

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Parked in the drive

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Rear view

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Down into the interior showing off the seats

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Dash

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Engine bay 1 & 2

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With the bonnet up

Thing still to do include getting the ride height correct, fitting the dash cover, fitting the rear parcel shelf to the rear seats, the floor lighting, rear screen heater, and annoyingly I need a new windscreen as I split the old one after fitting into the new rubber surround when jacking up the car, it must have been too tight and wouldn’t allow for any flexing.

 

“Herefordshire on the edge” Motorcycle event

Holden are proud sponsors of Hereford on the Edge motorcycle event.

“Herefordshire on the Edge” is a unique event for older motorcycles organised by the Herefordshire section of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club

Starting and finishing at Ross Cattle Market on Sunday June 26th the first ever running of “Herefordshire on the Edge” will give riders of older motorcycles and 3-wheelers a chance to explore some remote and beautiful corners of Herefordshire, one of England‘s most scenic, historic and least visited counties. The event will provide an enjoyable, non-competitive, long distance ride, challenging entrants’ riding and navigation skills as well as testing their machines over a wide range of surfaced roads.

Riders must plan and then follow a route to visit as many as possible of the 24 designated waypoints spaced at roughly 10 mile intervals around the border of the county. The minimum distance to visit all 24 points will be about 240 miles. All finishers successfully visiting the 4 designated “cardinal” points of the compass (N,S, E & W) plus any other 4 points will receive a bronze award. Those visiting cardinal points and at least 8 others receive a silver and those visiting 18 points, including the cardinal points receive a coveted gold. Anyone visiting all 24 points, can be very proud of their achievement. Entrants may use any appropriate equipment to plan and follow their route (i.e. Satnavs are allowed)

 “Herefordshire on the Edge” is expected to attract riders from all over the UK to share this beautiful county. Cost is £5 per machine. Details and entry forms are available from Geoff McGladdery at 7, the Hopkilns, Bishops Frome WR6 5BP, phone/text on 07588 559698 or email geoffmac@globalnet.co.uk

Steam Power returns to Bromyard!

Bromyard Railway Steam Day

For the first time since the 1960’s a steam locomotive has run on Bromyard’s Railway. In March of 2016, the Bromyard and Linton Light railway played host to a Kerr-Stewart 0-4-0 Saddle Tank engine of the type that used to run on industrial narrow gauge railway systems. This loco was discovered derelict on a farm a few miles outside Bromyard in the 1950’s and was thankfully preserved. The Linton end of the Light Railway is not a stone’s throw from our offices!

Click here Bromyard & Linton Railway to read the article