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

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.

2CV Rebuild 23

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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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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

2CV Rebuild 21

The white plastic brake rod bulkhead fitting

Feb 10 2016 001

First wiring diagram…this is all new toggle switches on the dash with additional functions Feb 10 2016 015

The re wrapped original rear wiring loom…note where it has to go down a very narrow channel by the front screen. Getting it down there took a few attempts! Feb 10 2016 012

 

Rear loom where it pokes through the bulkhead

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Inside bottom of passenger’s door with the old trim grip removed

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Here I’ve just placed the repair section on the door

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Boot lid and air vent flaps

Feb 10 2016 008

Reinstalled master cylinder with new pipework. Note also the lovely new cast exhaust clamps

Feb 10 2016 007

Buzz bar type fuse boxes note the LED light glow when a fuse has blown or is missing! See http://www.holden.co.uk/displayproduct.asp?pCode=080.964

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New rubber grommet on the gear change linkage.

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Chrome 5 3/4 light see http://www.holden.co.uk/displayproduct.asp?pCode=010.259

Lights – Front view one wired up the other to do. Note also the temporary starter switch on the battery.

Feb 10 2016 002 Feb 10 2016 003

2CV Rebuild 20

The Body is now fully fixed to the chassis. Pedals are back in and connected up and working, I bled the brakes through without a hitch….much to my relief, as all new pipework has been installed.

Pedals

The car now needs to be rewired, I’ve kept the rear loom as that was all OK, and the wires in the front cross bar that supports the headlamps. I can’t continue with this job as I need the new dashboard to be sprayed prior to installing all the new toggle switches and extra instruments. A temporary circuit has been made to try the engine after 12 months inactivity, and the engine started first go!!!

Headlamp

Gear Lever linkage has had new rubber bushes, the hand brake a new plastic bulkhead connecting fitting (this was a sod to do and I destroyed the first on and had to reorder from ECAS)

I’ve cleaned all the doors and exposed the rot that needs to be fixed by Russell, also on one of the front doors the rubber trim grip was rotten, so I’ve ordered a repair section and cut the old one off. I used our Bilt-Hamber rust removal system to clean, and I was very impressed with the result.

Door Top Door Bottom The rear door rubbers are OK but one of the front door rubbers needs replacing. The doors, rear wings, door hinges, front triangular panels, and dashboard will go to Russell for spraying on Monday.

I’m using our 5 3/4″ chrome freestanding lights as I don’t like the plastic Citroen ones, steel ones would have been used if available as my light units are new and have the advantage of dipping to the left or right by the simple bulb position adjustment, and of course I intend to take the car to France……I wonder if it will be its first time (mine is a Portuguese made car)?

2CV Rebuild 19

Last night Adam and Simon helped take the body off the wooden support horses
and put it back on the chassis. I had, the previous night, prepped all the chassis with the foam rubber and J-shaped clip on threaded nut clip things that Citroen use to fix down.

This is a really good idea… The chassis holes allow about a 5mm wiggle room, so clean up the old bolts, a bit of grease and screw all in a few turns. The rear 2 bolts needed longer nuts and proper bolts as this end was sitting up a little…well maybe 25mm on the driver’s side. I used some of our spread washers 097.210 (see http://www.holden.co.uk/displayproduct.asp?pCode=097.210)  inside the car.

This all worked a treat and now 18 bolts later it’s nearly fully attached. I just have the larger 4 bolts which are at the widest point and are contained down in the cross members of the chassis and reinforcing box section of the new floor. This is the next job, and it all lines up so will be easy, but I wanted to use some new bolts, large spread washers 097.212 (http://www.holden.co.uk/displayproduct.asp?pCode=097.212) new spring washers 097.424 (http://www.holden.co.uk/displayproduct.asp?pCode=097.424), all of which were raided from the Holden “Fixings dept.”

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The body shell is now securely bolted down to the chassis, with new sealing foam between the chassis and the floor panel.

Jan 20 2016 007

Fixings washers from HVC, the oval spreader washers being MGA parts, but are perfect for this job!!

Well it feels like it’s really coming along and I’m getting somewhere!!!