A Glance in the Mirror

It has been a wonderful year, with April’s fabulous Samurai Challenge in Japan, the thrilling Paris-Prague Rally in June and the spectacular Odyssey Italia in September. Once again we extend our congratulations to the overall winners, respectively Martinus and Josephina Aaldering (1936 Alvis Speed 25), Martin and Olivia Hunt (1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328) and Bill and Jacqui Cleyndert (1924 Bentley 3/4.5) and to all the other crews who now have a Rally Round award on their shelves. That said, we haven’t forgotten all those whose ambitions were cruelly thwarted by misfortune, mechanical or otherwise. We trust you had fun anyway, which is the main thing. And in spite of rallying’s unpredictable character, one thing is certain – you’re sure to do better next time!

Wedding Bells

Speaking of congratulations, we also want to send our very warmest good wishes to ever-cheerful and deservedly popular Rally Round marshalls Baz and Danielle Green, who recently tied the marital knot. We trust they both arrived at the church on time!

Our attention is now focused on forthcoming adventures. The next couple of years are going to be intensely busy and exciting, with Rally Round events all over the world. First up is the Paris-Amsterdam Rally (17-23 June), celebrating two of the greatest achievements in motoring history – the first long-distance drive in a motor car, by Bertha Benz and two of her teenage children in 1888, and the first international race, from Paris to Amsterdam and back in 1898. Route designer and Clerk of the Course Fred Bent has recently competed two detailed route recces, and his first report is now available to read on our website event page. He’s found some marvellous roads and delightful refreshment halts on the route through France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands, and with visits to several iconic motorsport venues including Reims-Gueux, Hockenheim, Solitude and the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife, not to mention Spa Francorchamps, the competition for both the Charles Jarrott Trophy and the Classic Category Award is going to be terrific. We’ve already received a fascinating variety of entries, ranging from two big 14.5-litre American LaFrance Roadsters to an unmissably bright yellow Alpine A110 and two Ford Mustangs on a shakedown test for the year’s second big adventure, Rally Round Africa (see below). Another recent entrant of note is our old pal Richard Cunningham, who secured his place at a charity auction at Kensington Palace the in aid of the Fly Navy Heritage Trust, which works to preserve Britain’s historic naval aircraft (click here for details). Rally Round donated a Paris-Amsterdam entry to the auction and ever-competitive Richard was the highest bidder. The evening also included a preview of the ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ exhibition, and given Richard’s unforgettable sartorial achievements on previous Rally Round events we were somewhat relieved that none of the dresses were included in the auction – we’re already having nightmares about what Richard might wear for the rally’s glamorous river cruise through Frankfurt, let alone our lunch halt at Castle Frankenstein…


London Calling

Before all that, and rather closer to home, Rally Round will be at the 2018 London Classic Car Show at ExCeL in Docklands from Thursday 15-to Sunday 18 February; you’ll find us on stand HM184 on the Main Aisle, so please do pop along and say hello. We will be running a prize draw for a free place on June’s Paris-Amsterdam Rally, and the winner will be announced on the Sunday – more details to follow. For information about the Show, visit www.thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk

Rallying Around

In May 2018, following Kim Bannister’s return from our Himalayan recce, he and David Wenman will be indulging their love of rallying in Ireland, aboard David’s 1975 Chrysler. This club rallying is meat and drink to Kim, and hopefully the practice will enable David to score a better result on Paris-Amsterdam, which he’s entered with his 2017 Paris-Prague co-driver Geoff Robinson. They’ll be driving a 1929 American LaFrance, but whether they’ll be able to match the performance of rally stalwarts John and Catherine Harrison and their faithful 1917 model remains to be seen

The Tin Cup

Not to be outdone, Liz Wenman and Heidi Winterbourne have entered the Rally Preparation Services Tin Cup Trial over the weekend of 21-22 July 2018. Held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of RPS, the Trial is a two-day event taking in the best of the Cotswolds and surrounding areas with fun tests, the odd regularity and above all good company. Liz will be campaigning her 1954 ex-Maurice Gatsonides works Triumph TR2, while Heidi will be blatting around in the ex-works 1969 Ford Cortina Lotus she drove on our 2014 Road to Mandalay Rally – her biggest challenge might be finding someone brave enough to take the navigator’s seat, but it will certainly be nice to let someone else do the organising for once!

Safe European Home

Our friends at RPS have also launched another new venture – the Stand Alone Storage Company – SASCo for short – which provides safe and secure storage for all types of vehicles. SASCO’s location in the heart of England makes it easy for overseas adventurers to take part in UK or European events such as Paris-Amsterdam, as it’s much simpler – and cheaper – to transport a car to the start line from the UK than to ship it half-way around the world (and back again). Of course RPS can also prepare the car in advance, so all you have to do is turn up and enjoy the drive. To find out more visit www.standalonestorage.com

New Garage Band

Evidently preferring the M2 to the M20, our old chums Dean Staples and Ian Langford have opened a new repair, restoration and rally preparation workshop, Lenham Classic and Sports Cars, which is located at Bredgar, near Sittingbourne, Kent, a few miles north of Andy Actman’s Lenham Sports Cars in Harrietsham. With more than 50 years experience between them, Dean and Ian will continue to deliver an impeccable service, whether you require a simple oil change, expert advice or a full restoration to road, race or rally specification. For more information visit www.lenhamclassics.co.uk, email lenhamclassics@btinternet.com or telephone +44 (0)1795 830286 / 01795 830288.


Running AMOC

The Aston Martin Owners’ Club is arranging a ‘taster day’ at the Curborough sprint circuit, near Litchfield, Staffordshire, on 15 March next year. It will be an informal opportunity to take your car out on a Sprint circuit, where cars run one at a time. You can bring any car you like and a qualified instructor, current championship competitors and a scrutineer will be on hand to assist and advise you. The cost is £140 for AMOC Members and £150 for non-members, so if you’d like to know more about Sprint competition or simply fancy a fun day out at the track, contact Ben Valbret – email ben.events@amoc.org or call 01865 893935.

Speaking of Aston Martins, we’d like to congratulate all the 2017 season winners of the various AMOC Racing championships, who recently received their prizes at a glittering evening at the Mercure Noke Hotel in St Albans – you can peruse a full list at www.amocracing.com. Also on the website are details of next year’s race meetings, which include 12 May at Oulton Park, 23 June at Brands Hatch, 29 July at Donington Park, 1 September at Snetterton and 6 October at Silverstone. You might even consider competing – you don’t necessarily need an Aston Martin and novices are always welcome. Rally Round will be attending most of the above meetings and we hope to see you there.

Our Friends Electric

Not just looking forward but thinking ahead, Rally Round is supporting an all-new event, the 2018 Tech.Driven rally from London to Swansea on 19 May. Organized by TechHub, the global community for tech entrepreneurs and startups (www.techhub.com), the rally is for electric, hybrid, alternative-fuel and innovative-technology vehicles, and will run from TechHub Shoreditch via The Barbican, Windsor Castle, Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff to finish at TechHub Swansea; aside from these control points, participants will devise their own best route, sharing their progress on social media. Held in conjunction with the DVLA, Tech.Driven aims to promote advances in automotive technology and is sure to be a fascinating event, attracting some of the biggest names in the industry; for more information on how to get involved, visit www.techdrivenrally.com


Holden Morgan Workshop

In the Holden Morgan workshop, company boss Jeremy Holden is preparing a 1955 Morgan Plus 4 for Rally Round Africa – we’re looking forward to seeing it in Dar es Salaam.

We recommend a visit to www.rpsrally.com/car-sales/cars-for-sale, where you’ll find a mouth-watering selection of vintage and classic rally cars for sale, including a couple that have previously run well on Rally Round events. Don’t forget to buy plenty of wrapping paper!

With all good wishes from Liz, Heidi, Kim and the rest of the Rally Round team.


An update on the electric Royal Enfield project – The Charging Bullet

With the New Year now firmly underway, we called in to Spaven Engineering to see how their electric Royal Enfield project – The Charging Bullet – was coming along.
In spite of moving workshops over winter, work has not slowed on the project and the bike is coming together nicely. After a bit of a wait for the charger to arrive from China, all the main components were in the workshop by early December and the final design could be sketched out on a wooden board slotted into the original Enfield frame.
Over Christmas this design was drawn up on CAD before being printed out at 100% scale and re-inserted into the frame for adjustments. This process was repeated a few times until everything was exactly right before the drawing files were sent off to Hereford’s ACL Sheet Metal to be laser cut from sheet steel. Fred picked up these ‘engine plates’ and, due to the careful checks made with the printouts, they fit the frame perfectly.

And just in time too, as last weekend was the first day’s ’shoot’. Freelance film maker Finn Varney has got wind of the project and is going to film the build process and subsequent ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, to craft into a half-hour documentary on the electric transport revolution we are all watching unfold. The loosely assembled frame and parts provided the perfect starting point for the film.
We’ll call back in on Fred soon to see how he’s getting on fabricating the rest of the subframe and wiring up the main components into a working bike ahead of the big trip. For more regular updates, check out the project’s dedicated blog: charging-bullet.co.uk

February 2018 Classic Car and Motorcycle Events

February 2018 is host to a number of classic motoring events across the country, from local autojumbles to huge internationally recognised classic car extravaganzas. Here’s our top picks for this month!

10th February: Footman James Great Western Classic Car Show

The Footman James Great Western Classic Car Show on February 10-11 is the largest of its kind in the South West of England, and this year promises more than ever before. With thousands of classic car enthusiasts expected to be in attendance, the event will be held at the Royal Bath & West Showground, and will feature trade stands, restoration demonstrations, a heated marquee, raffles, refreshments and hundreds of cars for sale! Tickets from £8 when booked in advance.

10th February Lakeland Historic Car Club Autojumble

The monthly Lakeland Historic Car Club Autojumble gives classic motoring enthusiasts the opportunity to find interesting car parts, books and accessories amongst likeminded car owners. The autojumble is open from 9am to 1pm and is only £1 per person.

11th February MG and Triumph Spares Day Stoneleigh

Book your tickets now for the MG and Triumph Spare Day at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Over twenty MG & Triumph car clubs will be in attendance to answer your questions and help you find the right part for your motor. There will also be marquees and cars for sale! Whatever you need, you’re bound to find it here. Tickets are £13.

15th February: The London Classic Car Show

Located at Excel London, The London Classic Car Show is an annual event you won’t want to miss. This year will feature a homage to Getaway Cars – an evocative tribute to those vehicles made famous in film or used in headline-grabbing real-life robberies and getaways. There will also be an icon award, where an entire showcase will be dedicated to Nigel Mansell CBE, as well as hundreds of car displays, stalls, trade stands, refreshments and entertainment. Book your tickets now! Tickets from £25.

17th-18th February: DubFreeze

Taking place at Bingley Hall, Staffs. County Showground, Stafford, DubFreeze is a not-to-miss VW classic vehicle show that this year will feature vehicle sales and displays, entertainment and an opportunity to stay at a campsite! Click the link for more details and an opportunity to book your space.

23rd-25th February Race Retro Stoneleigh

A celebrated annual event, Race Retro at Stoneleigh features some of the most iconic cars on the planet. This year’s event will celebrate its 40th anniversary of the ground-effects era in the Motor Sport Hall of Fame Live. Not to be missed will no doubt be the Lotus 79 which took Mario Andretti to the world championships and was the first car to take on this ground breaking technology back in 1978. You will also have an opportunity to view the Williams FW07 which saw Alan Jones win the championship in 1980, the Ralt 3 Martin Brundle raced against the late great Ayrton Senna in British F3 and the ex-Siegfried Stohr Chevron B48 F2, freshly restored by Steve Worrad Racing. If that’s not good enough, there will also be an autojumble, representatives for an array of car clubs, as well as trade stands and experts.

Not sure what to wear? You’re in luck! We have a fantastic classic motoring selection on our website.


Morgan Motor Company To Celebrate 50 Years Of The Iconic Plus 8 With Limited Edition Anniversary Model Due In 2018

Morgan Motor Company will celebrate its most iconic Plus 8 with a 50th Anniversary Special Edition. The British marque has today released teaser images and video for the exclusive special edition ahead of its much-anticipated reveal at the Geneva Motor Show. 

The family-owned, bespoke sports car manufacturer will produce 50 of the special edition models, each to be sold through their existing Dealership network. The Plus 8 50th anniversary edition will be a true V8-powered thoroughbred tribute to Morgan’s most celebrated 4-wheeled model.

Morgan’s crowning vehicle for fifty years, the Morgan Plus 8 continues to pioneer new technology within the classic Morgan bloodline. Deriving its name from the famed eight cylinder engines it has adopted throughout its 50 years, the Plus 8 consistently offers the greatest power to weight ratio of any Morgan.

The Morgan Plus 8 is the ultimate combination of craftsmanship, luxury and technology. A lightweight aluminium chassis and 4.8 litre BMW engine sit beneath the traditional Morgan body. At just 1100kg, the Plus 8 is one of the lightest V8 passenger cars in the world and is capable of 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
First conceived by Peter Morgan, the head-turning Plus 8 prototype was revealed to the public at the Earls Court Motor Show of 1968. With a Rover V8 engine and a Moss gear box, the original Plus 8 was based on a Plus 4, however was proportionally bigger and featured a large number of changed or upgraded hand-crafted parts.

The British coachbuilder’s first Plus 8 production model, MMC11, was one of the most successful cars that the company has ever built, and production continued for 36 years. Approximately 6,000 Plus 8s were built at Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road factory until the model was discontinued in 2004 when the production of Rover V8 engines ceased.

In 2012, the Plus 8 was reborn into the Morgan range, on a lightweight aluminium chassis with the powerful 4.8 litre BMW engine, as used in the Aero range. With a restyled body, the new Plus 8 was proportionally larger and significantly quicker than any ‘classic’ Morgan before it.

This very special car will be the star of the show on the Morgan stand when it makes its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show next March alongside the race inspired Aero GT. 
Steve Morris, Managing Director of Morgan Motor Company, said:
“The Plus 8 has always been the driver’s Morgan. Born of the racetrack, and having been no stranger to it since, has meant performance pedigree underpins every Plus 8 we have built. The Plus 8 has raced, and won, all over the world and has a fanatical following among Morgan owners. 
“We can’t reveal everything about the Plus 8 50th Anniversary Special Edition yet but we’re excited to show some teaser images today. We can’t wait to unveil the car at Geneva in March.”

Jon Wells, Head of Design at Morgan Motor company said:

“Each design detail of the Plus 8 50th has been considered to celebrate the Plus 8 and what it has meant to Morgan and its customers over the last 50 years. This famous V8 was a darling of the automotive industry in the sixties and has today become an unrivalled machine offering raw exhilaration and effortless power delivery. Overlooking the long wide bonnet sat directly on the rear axle, when driving a plus 8 you are very aware of, not just its sound track, but its significance and its capability. The design of this special final edition hopes to do both justice.”

Holden Morgan have secured two build slots secured for this iconic car. Contact us now to ensure you don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Contact Katie@holden.co.uk or call us on (0) 1885 488488