Bromyard Speed Festival On Tour 2018

Bromyard Speed Festival is back, and this year, it’s going on tour! Unlike previous years when the streets of Bromyard were packed with classic and vintage vehicles from across the decades,  2018’s speed festival will be held at Shelsley Walsh, where participants will have the opportunity to experience driving on one of the world’s oldest race tracks!

Here’s what you can expect:

The event this year will be held on 8th April between 9am and 5.30pm, at Shelsley Walsh motoring venue situated between Great Whitley and Bromyard. Up to 140 cars and motorcycles will be in attendance, including rally cars, single-seaters and never-seen-before entrants, each being offered 4 runs up the track spread throughout the day. What’s more, in some circumstances passengers will also be allowed in the car with you, making this a special event for couples and families. Paddocks will be set up for spectators to view the cars and motorcycles when they are stationary, and an abundance of trade stands, motoring experts and club representatives will be on hand to answer your questions and offer their insights.

Entrants so far include:

Honda CBR F2 600cc Racing Bike

Global GT1 Single Seater Sports Racing Car

1951 Matchless G3RC Trials Bike

Porsche 928 S4 5litre V8

1958 Triumh TR3A 

Please note that it is £50 to enter your car for this event and you can do so by clicking here. Entrance for spectators is free but parking at the venue will cost £10.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

The day before the event, on 7th April, you are also invited to the Bringsty Grand Prix 2018!

Opening at 10.30am at Tiblands Farm, Linley Green Road, Bromyard WR6 5RE, this incredible motorcross event hasn’t taken place since 1947! For full details, you can read our dedicated blog post. If you’re interested in entering your motorcycle into this event, you can click here.

 

March 2018 Classic Car and Moroting Events

March plays host to a number of interesting classic motoring events across the UK and beyond. Below we have noted some of our favourites, from an intimate dinner talk with the iconic Harry Sherrand to Techno Classica, one of the largest indoor classic car events in the world!

3 March Carol Nash Great Scottish Bike Show 

Showcasing an impressive spread of classic bikes from across the ages, this fun and action-packed event is suitable for any bike enthusiast or owner. A bike jumble sale will give you the opportunity to grab a bargain, and a number of trade experts will be in attendance to help you with any queries relating to your classic bike.

14 March Harry Sherrard: My Life Behind the Wheel, Goodwood

Discussing his incredible motoring pursuits from across the decades, Harry Sherrad gives his time and insights to an intimate crowd at Goodwood this March. As well as the opportunity to gain in-depth information about Harry’s amazing adventures, you also enjoy a 3 course meal and welcome drink as part of the package. Get your ticket quickly! This is expected to sell out fast.

21-25 March Techno Classica 2018 Germany

Possibly one of the most popular indoor classic vehicle events in the world, Techno Classica doesn’t hold back when it comes to delivering an entertaining classic car experience. Featuring over 1200 exhibitors from 30 nations and almost 200,000 visitors across the 5 days, this is a truly extraordinary event that won’t disappoint.

24-25 March Kent Big Weekend

The Kent Big Weekend is a fun family friendly event offering a number of fantastic experiences, including access to the intriguing Dover Transport Museum. While this isn’t strictly a classic motoring event, there is an opportunity to explore transport through the ages via a variety of activities, as well as access to a nearby campsite for all of you ‘outdoorsy types’.

24-25 March The Manchester Bike Show

Back for its 7th year, this fantastic bike show features over 750 bikes from across the eras, including a number of restored classics and incredible race bikes. Enthusiasts will attend in abundance, and trade stalls will be set up for any bikers to get the parts, advice or contacts he or she requires.

23-25 March, The Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show 2018 NEC Birmingham

As the UK’s fastest growing classic car event, The Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show attracts over 25,000 motoring enthusiasts each year, as well as an array of trade stands, entertainment, project cars and restoration demonstrations. This year, the Triumph Dolomite Club will be taking on a special rescue challenge, a rare Saab 92 prototype will make its UK debut, and some surprise motoring celebrities will be on hand to interact with guests and take part in fun and exhilarating challenges.

If you’d like to purchase a new outfit for one of these events or need to restore or work on part of your car before attending, you can view a range of clothing, parts, electricals and maintenance essentials on our website.

Mothers Day Motoring Gifts

It’s almost Mothers Day, and we have the perfect selection of affordable gifts for all classic-motoring Mums out there. From sleek country clothing to practical classic car essentials, this list should give you plenty of inspiration in time for the big day.

Neoprene Sligo Wellingtons by Jack Murphy

If your Mum can’t get enough of the outdoors, she’ll love this pair of robust neoprene waterproof wellies from Jack Murphy. Strong, warm and highly flexible, they’re designed to stand up to not only the elements but also to the test of time. £50

Beth Ladies’ Tweed Jacket by Jack Murphy

This beautiful classic equestrian styled ladies tweed jacket features colour contrast lining, 100% Shetland wool and a velvet collar. Perfect for the sophisticated country lady. £80 (down from £145.82)

Morgan Plate

Painted by Richard Wade, this creative, vibrant Morgan plate is perfect for any Morgan owning Mum this Mothers Day! £11.40.

Austin Healey Mug

A simple yet effective Mothers Day gift. This Austin Healey mug will make a nice addition to any classic motorist’s collection. £5.50.

Stirling Moss Book

This fascinating 320 page book details the cars and adventures of Stirling Moss. A fantastic addition to any classic motorist’s bookshelf. £25

MG T Series in detail

Shell Pump Enamel Sign

Add a splash of motoring nostalgia to your garage wall with this fun and vibrant Shell Pump Enamel Sign! £10.80

Belstaff Tourist Trophy Waxed Jacket

The Belstaff Laddies Tourist Trophy Wax Jacket has real performance and quality, making it a very practical yet classic looking piece of kit. Ideal for any motoring enthusiast who likes to look her absolute best on the road. £437.50.

Autoglym The Collection Perfect Bodywork and Wheels

Get brilliant bodywork and wheels with the ultimate Autoglym gift set. Features Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner 325ml, Super Resin Polish 325ml, Extra Gloss Protection 325ml, Clean Wheels 500ml, Instant Tyre Dressing 500ml and Alloy Wheel Seal 450ml. £29.75.

Bilt-Hamber Auto-balm, High-Shine Polish That Stops Rust

Bilt-Hamber Auto-balm is a unique product providing protection and gloss to automotive paintwork and car bodywork.It’s brilliant at sealing capillary pores in paintwork and provides an anti-corrosion barrier to stone-chips and scratches on vehicle paintwork. Comes with a free washable applicator and buffing cloth.

The Collection Perfect Bodywork, Wheels & Interior, Autoglym

Get your wheels, bodywork and interior sparkling clean with this incredible Autoglym collection! It features 325ml Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner Super Resin Polish and Extra Gloss Protection, 500ml Clean Wheels, Fast Glass, Interior Shampoo, Instant Tyre Dressing and Vinyl Rubber Care and a 300ml Wheel Protector Spray.

Electric Drill Reversable 230 volt 1050 watt

This impressive and handy drill features variable speed control with a lock button, a powerful 1050 watt motor and two-speed synchronized gearbox. £127.58

Scottoil Touring Chain Oiling Kit

The Scottoiler Touring System consists of a High Capacity Reservoir and a Remote Metering Valve that fits neatly behind the number plate increasing system capacity over 060.700 by eight times. Also includes fittings to suit most bikes and 500ml Scottoil.

Ashtray for MGB 1972

An ashtray can give a classic vehicle an extra authentic flare, even if you’re a non smoker. This one in particular fits a MGB 1972 on. but can also be fitted to other cars. £27.60.

Of course, we have plenty of other classic motoring products we’re sure your motoring Mum would love this Mothers Day. Head over to our website now to view the full range.

Morgan Parts for Mofidication

This week we want to share with you some modifications that have been made to a customer’s +4, some of which we have completed, others the customer has finished himself. These modifications mostly relate to the added boot rack, sensors and sun visors, which you can see from photographs below.

Car Lenses: The red and amber lenses are replaced by clear lenses. 

Badge: The customer has replicated the original Morgan badge which is no longer produced. 

A Boot Rack is added. (You can purchase a boot rack for your classic vehicle on our website.) 

High level break light converted to clear from red

The Sun Visor has been modified by the customer so that the mirror does not need to be adjusted prior to the sun visor being lifted. (To view our range of sun visors, click here)

Just A Drop

Holden Vintage & Classic are proud to support Just A Drop; a remarkable international development charity dedicated to bringing clean water to areas across Africa in need.

Not often connected with water drinking, Jeremy Holden looks forward to visiting a few wells along the 6700km rally route through Africa in October 2018 as part of RallyRound’s Rally Africa. Over the last 6 months, himself and a number of Holden Morgan team have been restoring ‘Sol’, a heavily rusted and run-down 1955 Morgan +4 (so named because of its resting place for the past 40 years – The Solway Firth) which was purchased somewhat spontaneously on eBay by Jeremy and collected from Scotland shortly after.

Upon assessing the sad looking car in the Holden workshop (which by this point had disintegrated further following the long journey), it was decided that even though it was in a rather sorry state, it was complete enough to hold promise for a full restoration over the coming year. And Rally Africa became the target! While the restoration is still very much underway and the car currently disassembled for a powder coating, there remains sufficient time to complete the project and ship the car to Tanzania in September where it’ll commence its 6700km journey to Cape Town via Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. Jeremy Holden said, “We are thrilled to not only take part in Rally Africa following ‘Sol’s’ hopeful completion, but also that we can support Just A Drop with such an important cause and are very much looking forward to the adventure”.

 

Bringsty Grand Prix 2018

Bringsty Grand Prix is a classic Motocross event taking place on Saturday 7th April 2018 from 10.30 am. The venue is Tiblands Farm, Linley Green Road, Bromyard WR6 5RE.

The first instance of this event was in 1946 to celebrate the end of World War II but also to protest at continuing shortages of fuel and other essentials. It was a big event and drew entries and spectators from across the Midlands region. It was successfully repeated in 1947 but that was the last time until now.

In 2017 it was decided to try to resurrect Bringsty Grand Prix and a closed door pilot event was run to test the feasibility of mounting a revival. The pilot went well and so now Bringsty Grand Prix is being revived under the auspices of Bromyard Speed Festival.

Having had valuable input from gentlemen who attended the past events in their youth we are confident that the circuit will be substantially the same as the original. Traditional methods have been used to create the track and this will be a faithful re-creation of the 1947 event.

To enter a bike costs £35 and the online booking system can be found here.

Spectators are encouraged and it will be a fun, family day out. There will be plenty of opportunities to view the bikes close up and watch them in action. There will be food, refreshments and a bar available. Toilet facilities will be provided.

Parking will cost £10 per vehicle and will need to be booked in advance using our online form [available very soon]. Space and numbers will be limited so do not expect to turn up and find somewhere to park on the road for free or even pay for parking on the day.

If the weather is wet dress appropriately for mud. If the weather is dry … do the same!

For more information, click here. 

The Restoration of ‘Sol’ The African Rally Morgan +4 (Chapter 1)

 

Sol – so named because of its resting place for the past 40 or so years – The Solway Firth – and the incredible coincidence that the previous owner ‘s Grandfather had once owned The Solway Lass, a 2 masted Schooner on which Jeremy had once sailed around the Whitsunday Islands!!

Those of you who read MOG magazine will have already seen several instalments entitled ‘The Road to Africa’ which cover the beginnings of our story, but for those who have not, here goes….

The tale begins in March of 2017 as the plans to create ‘Holden Morgan’ the Midlands Morgan Agent, were coming to fruition, Jeremy Holden was casting his eyes around for a project, ideally as a competition car with historic circuit racing in mind, most importantly however, it had to be a Morgan. A marque with which he was more than familiar having owned several over the years, mostly competition cars for hillclimbs and circuit races, although one Moss Box +8 was used as an Historic Rally Car.

The link between Holden Vintage & Classic and Rally Round provided the inspiration in the form of details regarding an event for historic cars, starting in Dar es Salaam and finishing in Cape Town 28 days later – the perfect event – only a car meeting the required criteria was needed. It had to be something relatively simple yet rugged and reliable mechanically, ideally it needed to carry 2 spare wheels, have space for spares etc, and a decent fuel capacity, plus it HAD to be a Morgan!

Amazingly, and as with a previous Holden Project, Ebay provided the solution, although unlike the previous project (Julian’s 2CV) this one stood absolutely no chance of passing an MOT the day after collecting  it. The car then, was a 1955 Morgan +4, sad and down-at-heel looking, but most importantly, complete. This ticked nearly all of the boxes – strong and reliable Triumph TR engine, straight forward Moss gearbox and leaf sprung live axle, durable steel chassis and flexible yet strong ash body frame, carried the all important twin spare wheels vertically at the back, a decent size tank, but room to make a larger one if needed.

After a few nervous days, Jeremy ended up the winning bidder, and sallied forth to Scotland with the trailer to collect his prize. It turned out in conversation with the seller that there was, as mentioned at the head of the page, a connection in the form of a sailing boat on the opposite side of the world, and hence the car being named SOL.

During the course of the journey south, many years of storeage in the damp Solway environment proved too much for the frail side rails and the chassis gave way, the middle of the car settling down on the trailer leaving more than the required 4 contact patches with the ground. On arrival at Holden Vintage & Classic, and following a quick assessment, a plan was hatched to put the car on display in the shop, which was eventually accomplished with the addition of a set of castor wheels to act as a trolley for the chassis and a trolley jack to lift it.

During its resting period in the shop the car dried out significantly, depositing several piles of flakey rust and timber residue on the floor. It was noted during this time, that although not in the best of states, the car was very complete and surprisingly original, having a correct TR2 engine, all of its original instruments, a complete set of 16 inch steel wheels and was among the earliest cars to carry the traditional Morgan shape that has become so recognisable.

Fast forward now to July and the car has been moved out of the Shop to make way for new cars, its resting place the Holden Morgan Workshop, where work began in earnest to dismantle and carefully assess exactly what we had and formulate a plan for the ensuing rebuild.

The engine and gearbox were removed, together with the body frame and bulkhead, all this being accomplished in a manner that has been seen by very few cars! The engine was taken to one side and carefully disassembled, photographed and videoed using among other gadgets a time-lapse camera. The footage being assembled for display purposes at the Run for the Hills event. With the major mechanicals and the body removed, it was possible to see the extent of the corrosion and the work required to reconstruct the chassis. As it was by now August and the weekend of the Run for the Hills event was fast approaching, an event where Holden Morgan, along with all the other UK Morgan Dealers, would have a display stand. Sol would take pride of place, with a TV screen mounted on the front crosshead showing the video of the dismantling process, and to act as a centrepiece of the Holden stand, as well as to unveil the project to Morgan owners and enthusiasts.

In order to provide enough support to the chassis for the weekend, our ever helpful neighbours at Active Fabrication manufactured a pair of part side rails and a cross member to prop it all up, as well as producing a couple of brackets to hold the TV screen. Helpfully, these mounted on the cross head and meant no extra holes were drilled!!

Following on from the Run for the Hills event, the chassis was stripped completely and sent to GEE Ltd in Nailsworth. GEE specialise in the restoration and supply of structural steelwork components for Morgans and were not at all fazed by the chassis. In fact, they were more than happy to help, and came up with a few useful suggestions on how to strengthen the chassis at critical points and how best to increase the ground clearance. A necessity for a car heading ‘off the beaten track’!!

While GEE were performing miracles with the chassis, Steve Barnes at VSM was called upon for advice regarding the body frame and sheet metal work. Sadly, all of this was deemed to be beyond economic salvation and a new ash frame commissioned, once completed, this was expertly panelled by Steve at VSM, who at the same time made a new bulkhead and pair of front valances.

All of this work was completed by the aforementioned outside specialists leaving little to do in the Workshop, although the engine that had been the focus of the disassembly video for Run for the Hills had been sent away to Mike Jones Engines in Leominster for any necessary machine work to be undertaken. At this point, a second ‘Project’ Car enters our story, as Holdens purchased, at Auction, another +4, this time a 1953 ‘Interim’ car – so called because the front end styling was a half way house between the Flat Rad +4 and the traditional shape of Sol. This car was fitted with a more desirable (for Sol) but non original TR3 engine which offered certain improvements over our TR2, not least of which was a high port cylinder head, giving a performance improvement. It was decided therefore to do a swap and use the TR3 engine for Sol and fit the more correct TR2 to the interim car. The TR2 was retrieved from Mike’s Workshop and the TR3 delivered. Progress with the rebuild is ongoing!

Towards the end of November there was a repaired, strengthened and slightly modified chassis on the Workshop floor, together with a body frame and a bulkhead and front valances. During the course of the chassis work, the Morgan suspension guru’s at SSL got involved, working out spring rates and damper types and settings to offer improved control over the suspension system of the finished car, which incorporated a special frame over the rear axle to allow fitment of twin adjustable shock absorbers to each side of the rear axle. This has become known as ‘The Coffee Table’ due to its shape and is designed such that it does not compromise the rear luggage board behind the seats. GEE and SSL between them had come up with suitable bracketry to mount all of this as well as the lower plates to attach the leaf springs to the rear axle, and as these parts arrived with the chassis, little time was lost in bolting plates and springs to the axle with longer and stronger than standard U-bolts. Before any work could commence, the bare chassis was set up on a pair of tressles to get the whole thing at an appropriate height to work on. Fortunately, GEE had pre aligned and drilled the front crosshead to the chassis , which saved a fair amount of time in getting the critical chassis alignment correct.

First thing was to assemble the leaf springs to the rear axle with the U-bolts and lower plates which then slotted neatly into the chassis and the body frame placed on top. Modification to the inner rear wheel arches was necessary to allow the body frame to fit around the Coffee Table. These were marked out and cut with a most useful battery circular saw. Having got the coffee table in place, the body was refitted and the bulkhead placed into the chassis with the body frame pushed against this to give a close fit. At this point the whole lot was clamped down using G-clamps to hold it all in place and holes drilled for bolts. Front valances, or inner wings, soon followed in a similar way being clamped into place and checked carefully before drilling holes.

The next step was to make up some floor boards. We measured the thickness of the remnants of the old floor boards that we had and set out to source similar material. Bromyard Timber stocked a size of exterior grade ply that was of the correct, or at least the metric equivalent of the size we required. Again our trusty battery saw was put to good use cutting out the boards after measuring and marking out on the bench.

To recap, we now have a body frame mounted to a chassis, with a bulkhead, inner wings, rear axle fitted and floor boards made.

What next then?

By now, the festive season was but a distant memory and attentions turned towards some of the other parts we may need. A list was drawn up of things such as front stub axles, brakes, rear brakes, handbrake mechanism, rear hubs, plus numerous other small parts required, all of which were ordered from the Morgan Factory Spares Department. Whilst the Factory were busy assembling this collection of parts, we had to sort out the fitting of an engine and gearbox. The only issue here being that both Sol’s engine and gearbox were away being rebuilt, the engine by Mike Jones in Leominster and the gearbox by Techniques Morgan in Hertfordshire. Fortunately, the whereabouts of a redundant TR block was known of and this, combined with the gearbox from Holden’s Interim car, kindly loaned for a while, provided the necessary combination to fit to the chassis to align engine mounts, pedals , sort out the propshaft length etc.

The major order of parts from the Factory was soon with us, and included all manner of components – front stub axles, brake discs, wheel bearings and seals, steering track rods, track rod ends, plus rear brake back plates and brake drums! When ordering the stub axles, an early decision was made to upgrade to 4/4 stub axles, as these offered greater strength than the original +4 type which had a tendancy to break under the stresses of competition work, something that was discovered in period, hence the reason for the original Supersports and later cars being fitted with stronger front stub axles. First job here was to ream the bushes in the stub axles to ensure the king pins were a correct fit, accomplished here in the Holden Workshop with a fixture fitted to the large pillar drill we have and a suitable machine reamer driven very slowly to provide the correct finished size. Next step was to fit the new wheel bearings and inner hub seal to the correct 4 stud hubs which had been sourced from GEE, then to assemble the front suspension onto the chassis. As the rear axle was already in place, it was a simple matter of placing the complete back plate assembly onto the axle end (far easier and quicker than trying to remove, refurbish and overhaul 50 odd year old components!), especially as the rear brakes have barely changed since Sol was built!

We now had a bodied chassis with front end sheet metal work in place, plus an engine and gearbox installed, onto which we could now put wheels. Sol was beginning to look more and more like a car!

A decision had been made to fit a scuttle roll hoop to provide greater structural integrity to the body and chassis at the point where the door hinges hang, so one was sourced via another Morgan Specialist. Sadly, this was not of the correct dimensions for a 1950’s era Morgan so we decided that, rather than try to modify something which was nicely made and finished we would be quicker and easier to make a new one, using the incorrect one as the basis of a pattern. Jeremy had a contact no more than a couple of miles from his home who had suitable tube bending equipment and was able to bend up a hoop to the required dimensions for us. At this point, Sol made her first journey on her own wheels, being moved to the neighbouring and aforementioned Active Fabrication who made the base plates and welded the scuttle bar together for us. Whilst in their workshop, Active Fabrication made a pair of storage boxes to fit in the space immediately in front of the rear axle and to each side of the propshaft, one for tools / spares and the other to carry the battery. They also produced an enlarged tool box to fit on the bulkhead top, one with a hinged lid that again can be used for spares and tools. Space for such items is going to be fairly limited, so it is necessary to maximise the use of every space we have.

Fabrication work completed and Sol made another journey, this time back to the Holden Workshop where the handbrake cables were fitted, together with the timber work that will support the fuel tank and the spare wheel carrier was also fitted at this time. Essentially now Sol is ready to have wings fitted and the bonnet made, but as there was to be a slight time delay, the decision was made to disassemble the car and send the main structural components away for powder coating. Thus the whole thing was reduced to a pile of components, ensuring that all the holes that needed drilling had been done and the chassis, front crosshead, ‘Coffee Table’ and spare wheel carrier were all sent out to County Powdercoating for a coat of satin black.

As I write this, we are awaiting the return of the finished powdercoating so that the build can commence in earnest…….

Top 5 Romantic Classic Car Drives

With Valentines Day around the corner, we thought we’d share with you our favourite romantic driving routes from across the country. If you’re looking for something to do with your better half next week, but don’t want to leave your treasured motor at home, read on to discover some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK.

  1. Honister Pass, Lake District This circular drive through Honister Pass is ideal if you’re after peace and quiet, a picturesque landscape and a dose of fresh country air. Start in Keswick and follow the B5289 south, taking in the rich green scenery around you. This route actually rises up to 1160 feet, so you’ll be able to enjoy breath-taking views from multiple perspectives. You’ll then end up in Crummock Water – an ideal spot for seeing natural wildlife and taking beautifully photographs. Make a stop at The Fish Inn along the circular for a cod and chip lunch. If you’re planning a little top-down driving, make sure you’re wearing a cosy pair of driving gloves.
  2. Bromyard to Shelsley Walsh 

Bromyard is situated within the hub of motoring history, so where better to begin your journey? Drive through the vast country landscape to Shelsley Walsh, the oldest continuous motoring venue in the country and take in some of the spectacular sights. On your way back, you can swing by the Morgan Factory for a tour, or pop into Holden Vintage & Classic and treat yourself to a motoring item from our on-site shop. While this is a short drive, there is plenty to do and see in the surrounding towns.

3. The Military Road, Isle of Wight

The Military Road, formally known as the A3055, is situated between Chale and Freshwater Bay within the Isle of Wight. Resting beside a stunning cliff edge, this coastal drive is all on National Trust land, giving it that raw, untouched feel. A number of high points mean you’ll be able to see so far across the sea, you might even be able to spot France! While at Freshwater Bay, you can take part in some fun outdoor activities or simply find a cosy pub and enjoy a glass of chilled wine.

4. The Buttertubs Pass Situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Buttertubs Pass takes you from Thwaite to Hawes. A favourite of Jeremy Clarkson’s, you’ll enjoy clifftop views and windy roads, as well as interesting views of the large limestone pot holes formed across the face of the rocks. Don’t forget your camera, you’ll want to remember this drive!

5. Barnstaple in Devon to Newquay Take a picturesque, leisurely drive across the Atlantic Highway in the north of Cornwall. Situated between Barnstaple in Devon and Newquay, this long, twisting road spans a full 160 miles, giving you plenty of alone time with your loved one. Enjoy the breath-taking views of Constantine Bay (and perhaps even enjoy a little beach picnic), or take the private toll road to the lighthouse at Trevose Head.

Of course, no journey is complete without the right tools and accessories. Take with you essential kits in case you puncture a tire, as well as a picnic blanket and an extra coat.

RALLY ROUND NEWSLETTER January 2018

SAVE THE DATE

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.