Julian Parker Explains Why We Use Magnecor

 

Magnecor are a leading manufacturer of high performance ignition leadsets. Made in the UK from high specification conductors, each set is specially designed to fit with ease onto your classic car distributor, and caters for both push fit caps and side entry caps.
When using a push fit cap, the Magnecor leads simply push down on top, and you’ll also notice that each lead is conveniently marked so that you can connect it without confusion. For side entry caps, the grub screw inside will fit with the Magnecor cable, and it’s important to select a Magnecor cable that has been specifically designed for this purpose.

Some of the fantastic Magnecor products we have on offer include:

Austin Healey 100/6 2.6 with Side Entry Distributor

This stainless steel conductor provides radio frequency interference suppression and a capacitive reserve to help ignition coil regeneration at high engine revolutions. It is surrounded by an EPDM insulator with fibreglass reinforcement, and covered with high temperature resistant silicone rubber. This set is for the Austin Healey 100/6 2.6 litre with carburettors and side entry distributor cap.

Triumph TR4 (Screw In Type)

This set is for the Triumph TR4 with screw in type distributor cap. It features radio frequency interface suppression, and is surrounded by an EPDM insulator with fibreglass reinforcement. As you would expect from any high quality product of this type, it also features high temperature resistant rubber.
Watch our video to hear more from Julian Parker, Managing Director, about finding the right Magnecor leadset for your classic motor. Then head over to our dedicated Magnecor product page and select the right leadset for you.

Plug Caps and Leads For Your Classic Car

Plug leads and caps make up vital components of your classic car which is why we are pleased to offer a range of reliable leads and caps from reputable brand names.

 
Our high performance plug leads have a robust outer coating so that they’re able to withstand higher temperatures – a feature that’s vital for classic cars. We also offer sturdy copper core cotton braided leads and modern graphite cable (note that graphite requires a metal connector in order to link to the appropriate cap).

 
Plug caps are split into two categories – suppressed and non suppressed and can be angled or straight. Both types of plug caps contain a metal element that screws onto the lead. It’s advisable that you cut the lead cleanly and form a small hole at the end in order to produce a better fit when fixing the two together.

 
Of course, it’s important you pair the right lead with the correct plug cap. A failure to do this can cause the plug cap to blow. Watch our exclusive video featuring Julian Parker, Managing Director of Holden Vintage & Classic, who explains more about finding the right plug leads and caps for your classic motor.

 

Plug caps we supply include:

Champion Right Angle Waterproof Plug Cap (Suppressed)
KLG Right Angled Spark Plug Cap (Not Suppressed)
Straight Suppressed Spark Plug Cap

Leads we supply include:

Copper Core Cotton Braided
Standard HT
Suppressed Graphite

Head over to our dedicated page now to place your order.

Is Your Classic Car Ready For Summer?

With the May bank holiday behind us, it’s safe to say that summer is well and truly on its way. But is your classic motor ready to hit the road again? Many owners tuck their classic cars away in the winter, anxiously anticipating the arrival of warmer weather. But that means you need to be extra vigilant in ensuring your motor is in optimal condition before taking it for a top-down spin around the countryside.

Here’s some basic checks you can complete before you embark on your next driving adventure:

 
Tyres and Brakes

 
It’s critical to make sure your tyres are in tip-top condition, so check the pressure first and that the tread is still legal. Then, hunt for any cracks in the tyre walls, along with any stones or nails that have potentially burrowed their way in during the winter and tighten the wheel nuts. As for the brakes, make sure the pads have plenty of life left in them and that the fluid levels are correct. If the brake pedals feel spongey when you push down on them, you may need to bleed the breaking system to remove any air and replace the brake fluid.

 
Oil

 
Check your oil level. If it’s low, you’ll need to top it up before you get going. Castrol classic oil is a superior product specifically designed for vintage and classic cars because it remains the right consistency at hotter temperatures and features less detergent than modern oils. To learn more about why Castrol oil is the best oil product for your classic car, click here.

 
Cooling System

 
It is vital to have an efficient cooling system in an older vehicle to prevent overheating. Check all parts within the system, including the hose, seals and radiator for leaks as well as the fan belt. You should also watch out for any perishing in rubber pipes. Should you need replacement radiator hoses, joiners or valves, you can find these on our dedicated page. Don’t forget to top up the coolant!

 
Lights, Wipers and Battery

 
Starting at the front of the car, test your main beam, side lights, fog lights, indicators and dipped beam. It usually helps to have a second person present to do this. Then move to the back and check the brake lights, reversing light and fog lights. Should any of these be faulty, use our Speedy Delivery Service to order yourself some bulbs. Ensure your wipers are in good condition with no ‘scudding’ on the screen. Should your wipers seem a tad worn out or damaged, order some more from our dedicated wiper page. As for the battery, you may have left this to trickle charge over the winter, in which case simply make sure you have enough charge to get going.

 
Clean and wax

 
You want your classic motor to look spick and span for the road, right? During the winter your motor will have likely acquired some grime and muck from the atmosphere. In which case, give it a wash with some good quality shampoo conditioner, wipe down the windows, clean out the wheels, and finish up with a touch of wax for that extra shine.

 
We know you can’t wait to get out and about in your classic vehicle again. But safety is paramount, so these simple checks are essentially before you get behind the wheel after an extended break.

What To Wear To Classic Motoring Events

Are you geared up for the vast array of fantastic motoring events this summer? May alone has many opportunities across the country to get out and about in your classic motor with the top down and a picnic in the boot. But if you’re going to go the full measure, you’ll want to look the part – that’s where we can help.

Perhaps you’re not sure what to wear to a motoring event, or feel your wardrobe needs a bit of a motoring makeover. Whatever it is, we have a huge range of authentic and stylish motoring clothing for both men and women in stock for you to choose from. Here’s some examples:
Mens Clothing

Woodcote gloves

Driving gloves not only look smart, but can protect your classic wheel from wear! Their design ensures maximum grip as you cruise through the countryside and keeps your fingers warm if you’ve taken the top down. They look especially sophisticated with a leather jacket and are sold in a variety of styles and colours.

Made to Measure Flying Jacket

Are you the kind of person that finds clothes never quite fit the way you want? If so, no worries. We have a made to measure service that allows you to wear this merino lambskin leather flying jacket with confidence. It also features slant pockets, tan coloured wool and a collar fastening.

Grand Prix Gulf Jacket

Look the part in this padded men’s Steve McQueen style Gulf Jacket. It features original colours and logos from the 1960s, external and internal pockets, metal zip and press stud at the collar. This is a truly authentic item of motoring clothing.

Suixtil Racing Trousers

This authentic rendition of the Suixtil race pants from the 1950s and 1960s will transport you right back to the heydays of motor racing. It’s constructed from pure cotton fine twill, with a comfort fit waistband and ankle cuffs. The inside leg is 32 inches.

Suixtil Targa Pima Red Long Sleeved Polo

Feel comfortable and stand out with this vibrant red long sleeved polo shirt. Perfect for all-day-wear thanks to its breathable cotton material, this men’s long sleeved shirt gives you that ‘fresh off the race track” look.

Grenfell Harrington Jacket

You’ll be in good company if you choose to wear a Glenfell Harrington jacket. Grenfell cloth has been worn by some of the fastest men in motoring history. Sir Stirling Moss drove for years in Grenfell Cloth, notably the Milli Miglia and British Grand Prix victories of 1955. Grenfell are particularly proud to have been associated with Sir Malcolm Campbell who wore Grenfell racing suits for both his 1931 and 1935 records.

Holden Overalls

Look the part in these traditional mechanics style overalls. Featuring ”BP Motor Spirit” printing on the back and a Holden logo on the front, this men’s outfit is perfect for serious classic motorists who are looking for comfortable clothing with a difference. It also has detachable arm bands to add to the authentic look, as well as an elasticated waist for an optimal fit.

Ladies Clothing

Belstaff Hairpin Waxed Jacket

Look smart and feel confident in this leather padded waxed jacket by Belstaff. It features an adjustable neck strap, pockets, adjustable gussets and built in belt for both a sophisticated and versatile look. Perfect for pairing with denim jeans and a chic pair of boots.

Gobi Sheepskin Hat

This gorgeous dark brown leather hat with honey coloured lambs wool trim is the perfect punctuation mark to your motoring outfit. Protect your hair and ears from wind as you drive down the open roads, and feel comfortable and snug on a cooler day.

Jack Murphy Tweed Jacket

Look smart and sophisticated in this high quality British wool tweed jacket. It features deep pockets, stylish moleskin detailing on the collar and elbow pads as well as back vents and royal blue inner lining. Perfect for any lady who likes to stay warm and look fantastic in her classic motor.

Scarves and Neck Tubes

Every lady loves to accessorise, and this should be no different when it comes to your classic motoring clothing. We’re proud to supply a range of neck tubes and scarves, as well as face masks, to give you optimal comfort when driving around in your classic vehicle.

Dents Ladies Driving Gloves

Treat yourself to a pair of luxurious soft leather gloves by Dents. Dents have been making the world’s finest leather gloves in England since 1777. Made from 100% sheep leather, these ladies driving gloves are soft to touch and will keep your classic wheel protected at the same time.

Vintage Motoring Cap

Complete your outfit with this stylish vintage motoring cap. Unlike regular caps, this design gives room for your hair and is specially constructed to not fly off when you’re driving at speed. It also looks particularly fetching with a pair of driving goggles.

Or, if you’d like to see more from our range, head over to our dedicated page now.

 

Unmissable Classic Car Events This May

Now that the weather’s clearing up, you’re probably keen to blast the cobwebs from your classic motor, pack a picnic and head over to a classic motoring event near you.

So, to make it easier for you, we’ve put together a handy list of some classic car events and festivals across the country this May:

Photo credit Concours Of Elegance 2016

 

May 6: Royal Windsor Jaguar Festival, Windsor, Berkshire

Whether you’re a jag owner, or just a really big fan, you can’t miss the Royal Windsor Jaguar Festival on May 6. Organised by the Jaguar Enthusiast’s Club, this event has lined up more than 500 Jaguars of all types and ages, 250 of which will parade through Windsor. You’ll even see a member of the Royal family there and be able to get up close and personal with the fantastic Jaguar XJ13, in addition to the C-Type and D-Type racers! There will also be food, stalls and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Full details at the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club website.

May 6-7: Classic Land Rover Show, British Motor Museum, Warwickshire

The 2017 Classic Land Rover Show will celebrate the history of Land Rover, giving you a comprehensive look at how the company have become the iconic name they are today. Live music, fabulous displays and a heritage parade are sure to set this event apart from the rest. Full details at the British Motor Museum website.

May 6 -7: Speed Into Spring, Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb

Speed into Spring is the first meeting of the year at Shelsley Walsh. Saturday and Sunday have both practice and competition on each day, with practice in the morning and competition in the afternoon. The event also features a round of the Midland Hill Climb Championship (practice Saturday, competition Sunday). Full details at the Shelsley Walsh website.

May 7: VSCC Wiscombe Park Hill Climb

Situated in the picturesque grounds of Wiscombe House, the course offers an idyllic setting. Featuring open parkland and winding woodland the hairpins and camber changes proves a challenging hill for any competent driver. Camping available for Competitors, Marshals and Spectators alike. Full details at the Vintage Sports Car Club website.

May 13 – 14: Beaulieu Spring Autojumble, Beaulieu Motor Museum

With thousands of stands and stalls to browse and pick through, you’re sure to find the elusive parts required to complete or start that restoration project. Whether you need the smallest nut or washer or are seeking a complete vehicle, all autojumblers will be in their element. There is something for everyone – and plenty of bargains to be had! Full details at Beaulieu Motor Museum website.

May 14, 2017: Gaydon Spring Classic, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire

Display your classic car at the Gaydon Spring Classic this May. Owners of any classic car type more than 20 years old are more than welcome to come and join in. Those arriving in a classic car will receive a discounted price of £9 per person (down from £14). Full details at the British Motor Museum website.

May 20-21: Silverstone GP, HSCC

2 days of historic racing with qualifying and racing taking place on both days. The event will showcase post war racing cars, featuring cars from the 50s, 60s,70s and 80s, with single seaters, saloons, sports racing, GT and road sports car classes. From the humble Mini, to the rumbling V8 Formula 5000 machines of the 1970s there is something to satisfy everyone’s passion for iconic cars. Find out more at the Silverstone website.

May 21, 2017: Chiltern Hills Rally, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Over a thousand classic vehicles are scheduled to arrive at the annual Chiltern Hills Rally this month. So why not get in on the action? There will also be an autojumble, as well as special events for children. And, if you’re a dog owner, you’ll be pleased to know the event also hosts a unique dog show! Entry to the classic car event is £7 for adults. Children under 14 are admitted free. Find out more at the Chiltern Hills Rally Website.

May 21, 2017: Porsches on the Prom, Llandudno, North Wales

Organised by The North Wales Region of the Porsche club, this fun family event is scheduled to be displaying over 400 Porsche cars of all types and ages this May. What’s even more exciting is that it’s free to attend, and also free for you to display your classic Porsche! The event ends with a picturesque drive in convoy around the Great Orme headland. Read more at the Porsche Club website.

May 27-28: La Vie En Bleu, Prescott Hillclimb, Gotherington, Gloucestershire
Take part in the 11th pageant of French motoring excellence, La Vie en Bleu, and be dazzled by the fantastic Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta chassis #2735, a car raced by Sir Stirling Moss, as well as the triumphant ‘Beast of Turin’, a Fiat S76 land speed record holder that recently turned heads at Bromyard Speed Festival. This is certainly a classic motoring event not to be missed. Read more at the Prescott Hillclimb website.

Of course, you can’t attend a classic car event and show off your motor in all its glory without giving it a bit of a post-winter-wipe-down. So, head over to our care and maintenance page and order your car shampoo, wax and tire cleaners today!

Why It’s Important To Bleed Your Classic Car Brakes

If you’ve ever had to perform an emergency stop, you’ll know just how critical it is to have an optimally functioning braking system on your classic vehicle.
And much the same way that other systems in your classic car need servicing and maintaining, your brakes are no different. One effective way to preserve the integrity of your classic car’s braking system is through a process referred to as ‘brake bleeding’, which is why we’ve made our Silverline Brake Bleeding Kit our Product Of The Week.


So what does it mean to bleed a brake? And why is it so essential?

Well, the entire braking system within your classic motor is dependent on the hydraulic power of brake fluid to function. However, over time, moisture and air are introduced into the system, which take their toll on the effectiveness of the brakes themselves. Have you ever felt a spongey sensation when pushing down on the brake pedal? Or perhaps noticed that the pedal is reaching closer to the carpet than it usually does while waiting at the traffic lights? This is an indication that air has entered the system through the brake lines, usually because brake fluid level dropped too low in the master cylinder reservoir.

The bleeding process essentially removes the air from the master cylinder, brake lines, callipers and wheel cylinders. When you do this, the brake fluid itself will also need to be replaced because it will likely be contaminated with atmospheric dirt and may have absorbed moisture from the air resulting in a lower boiling point of the fluid – so giving it a fresh batch of fluid will inevitably result in an improvement in its braking quality.
Typically a brake should only be bled every couple of years, but brakes that are exhibiting unusual behaviours is indicative that bleeding may be required.

The principle of the Silverline Brake Bleeding Kit is to ”suck” the fluid through the system using a vacuum pump. It’s easy to use, even for beginners, as the kit contains a handy pressure pump and all other necessary accessories to enable you to perform one-person bleeding without the need to depress the brake pedal.
If you’d like to learn more about brake bleeding kits or place an order for your classic car, head over to our dedicated page today.

An Interview With… James Ball, Classic Automotive Journalist

This week, we were thrilled to interview James Ball, a freelance classic automotive journalist and Deputy Editor of MOG Magazine. James has also written for Performance Ford and Octane Magazine as well as contributing photographs of classic motoring events far and wide.

 
What first got you into classic cars?

 
My dad has always loved cars and my grandad was into motorbikes. For many of my birthdays I often spent them at Donington Circuit. For the most part we went to the classic and historic events, and my interest in all things retro stems from there.

 
You’re an automotive journalist. Where does your job take you?

 
I have been working for MOG magazine, the official Morgan mag, for nearly four years and contributed the odd freelance piece to other motoring mags such as Octane. I’ve been lucky enough to drive a show car (80th Anniversary 4/4) straight off the stand at Geneva and back to the Morgan factory in Malvern. I’ve also driven through the pyrenees and had a close shave in a 3 Wheeler – a TT racer ditched a car on the Isle of Man mountain course. Thanks to the mag, I’ve driven thousands of miles in Morgans both old and vintage. My first Morgan drive was in a 1935 model, with its accelerator on the steering wheel!

 
What’s your favourite Motoring event? Have you attended any recently?

 
I have to say, your very own Bromyard Speed Festival is one of the best. It has all the cars you see at the likes of Goodwood, but less fussy stuff. The cars take centre stage. I quite like the Chateau Impney hillclimb too. Anything with a whiff of Castrol R in the air and I’m there.

 
What car or motorcycle do you aspire to own in the future?

 
I’m a big fan of Royal Enfield motorcycles. They’re affordable modern classics that are true to 50s design. As I have limited space at home, a motorcycle makes sense for me right now, however, I do see myself one day owning a Morgan car and am really thrilled Holden-Morgan are opening a Morgan show room at the Holden premises in Bromyard. Holden have a great reputation as a parts dealer and I’ll certainly be visiting soon.

 
Do you have a story to share? Perhaps a passion project or ongoing restoration? Get in touch via Facebook or email to be featured in our blog.

 

Product Of The Week – 2 Tonne Light Duty Car Jack

One of the most important pieces of equipment you can own for servicing your classic motor is a car jack. A car jack is critical for maintenance and repair and is therefore a staple tool for anyone who’s serious about keeping their classic car in tip top condition, or undertaking a restoration project.
So what do they do? Well, car jacks are used to lift the car high enough to access the essential components during a repair procedure. You might use it to complete an oil change, or to replace brake pads, tires and rotors. As well as raising the car itself, jacks can also elevate the motor. This is to provide additional clearance within the engine bay, for example, during an engine mount replacement procedure.
When working with a jack, safety is advised. The use of axel stands will prevent avoidable accidents and damage. It is also important to think about the maximum weight load you’re looking to support and match these between the jack and the axel.
Our product of the week is a trolley 2 ton light duty jack.
A trolley jack is a type of floor jack. It consists of a trolley with four wheels that contains a hydraulic cylinder which is responsible for raising and lowering a lever arm. This lever arm has a small platform that interacts with your car or truck. The advantages of working with a trolley jack over alternative designs is that they are extremely easy to use as they do not need you to put in much physical effort to lift a vehicle. The rear swivelling castors help to keep the jack properly positioned underneath the car which conveniently minimises the risk of jack lean and makes for an all around safer repair session.
The trolley 2 ton light duty jack features a 2 tonnes capacity and a lifting range of 130 to 350mm. Its overall size is 492 x 218 x 132mm.
So, if you’re interested in purchasing a jack or looking for similar models in our range, head over to our dedicated page now and place your order.

The Clevedon Lions Classic Car Show Review

Hundreds of classic motors gathered today for a sunny afternoon by the sea in the picturesque town of Clevedon, North Somerset. Organised by the Clevedon Lions in aid of various local charities, the event (which has been taking place annually for 9 years) started at 10.00am at Cadbury Garden Centre, Congresbury, followed by a 28 mile countryside drive that concluded at the Salt House Fields where spectators got up close and personal with the cars.

A particular highlight of the show was Duncan White’s Austin Healey 1006 BN4 (pictured below). Having owned the motor for 13 years, Duncan rebuilt the back half of the car while managing to retain its original appeal. It features disc brakes all around, a 2.6 litre engine and has overdrive in 3rd and top gears. It is also rumoured to be one of the run of 100 standard road cars with discs all round that was needed for the race and rally cars to be homologated as standard production. Duncan attends the car show annually, while also partaking in numerous local rallies.

Another highlight included Peter Osbourne’s 1962 Mercury Monterey S55. A beast of a car, this left hand drive automatic (pictured below) was originally painted beige! It has a 5.8 litre engine and was certainly a big hit amongst spectators.

Ken Todd’s Ford F100 was also a focal point of the day. His enormous bonnet was raised to display some interesting Jack Daniels features within, explaining that his kids’ escapades with the drink inspired him to incorporate it into the design of his car during restoration. The car had recently undergone an entire restoration from the inside out and it has been finished to an extremely professional standard.

Pat Leech arrived in his gorgeous Buick 6 (pictured below), a 3.3 litre engined classic car that spent most of its life in Australia and New Zealand before arriving in the U.K just over 6 years ago. Minor modifications have been made to the car including within the petrol pump, air filter and indicators but otherwise it remains pretty much in its original state. The foot controls are standard except for the brake which is on the right hand side, and an extra rear light has been fitted as it only came with one. Pat has taken the car to numerous rallies, including ones in Belgium and France.

Last but not least, we wanted to show you Richard Clark’s BMW Isetta (below). With only two seats compacted in a very tight space, this amazing little car actually requires the driver to climb out of the front of the car in order to exit! It features a 300cc engine with 13 horsepower and has been fully restored from the inside out.

So, if you’re looking for something to do next year, head over to North Somerset and get in on the action!

Product Of The Week – POR-15 Engine Paint

The aesthetics of your classic car engine are important, especially if it serves as a focal point for your vehicle, which is why we recommend POR-15 Engine Enamal.

If you like the idea of painting your classic motor engine, you should know in advance that you will not be able to use standard car paints. Engine paint uses a specific formula in order to withstand extremely high temperatures while resisting gasoline, oils, and other chemicals – something that standard paints simply do not do. Furthermore, the paint needs to be robust enough to last a long time without chipping or wearing away, so it’s important you select the correct brand.

POR-15 enamel paint offers a glossy, hard finish and maintains excellent colour retention as well as optimal heat resistance. A decent engine paint like POR-15 is designed to withstand around 500 degrees Celsius so that your under hood temperature will not affect the engine’s appearance.
Furthermore, POR-15 enamel engine paint provides excellent chip resistance, and also helps prevent rust – which, in the long run, saves you money on restoration and cleaning.
Painting an engine can be done either before assembly or after, it doesn’t really matter. However, always make sure pre existing paints have been properly removed before applying POR-15. Here’s our tips for application:

 

1. Create a well ventilated environment before you begin painting, with an ideal temperature being 22 degrees Celsius.
2. Take some time to sand the engine. You can use a wire brush to remove old paint and debris. Rust is ok to paint over, but loose rust will be problematic if not removed.
3. Clean the block with a grease and wax remover to get rid of unwanted oils.
4. Wipe the engine down to minimise loose particles.
5. You will not need to apply a primer when using POR-15.
6. Stir the paint. Do not shake.
7. You may want to thin the POR-15 engine paint with a thinner, but do not do this by more than 20% (1 part thinner, 5 parts enamel paint)
8. Use a brush to apply the paint. One coat should be sufficient.
9. Allow to dry for at least 8 hours.
10. Should a second coat be desired, wait 24 hours before applying.

 

POR-15 boasts a superior colour and texture to other engine paints on the market. This is because POR-15 mix their paint in such a way that it has a composition of 80% solids. This means a high proportion of paint goes onto the engine and less solvent disperses into the atmosphere.

We are proud to offer a range of POR-15 engine paints, so head over to our dedicated POR-15 page now and place your order. There’s also an instructional video you can watch for further information on engine paint application. Please note that typically a pint (0.473 litre) is enough to cover an entire engine.