Lancaster Insurance announces Mike vs Ant ‘Charity Build Off’ initiative
By Lancaster Insurance Services |
3rd April, 2017
Lancaster Insurance is thrilled to announce a new initiative for 2017 with two classic car ‘heavyweights’, Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead, going head to head for charity. The two restoration experts will each be restoring/building a car that will be auctioned, through Silverstone Auctions, at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show in November, with the proceeds going to the charity of their choice.
Both projects were launched on the Lancaster Insurance stand at the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show in a #ClassicRumble. In the blue corner stands a 1989 Ford Escort XR3i which Mike Brewer and his team will be restoring, whilst in the red corner is a 1950s inspired Grand Prix race car that Ant and his team will be building from scratch!
Mike said: “It's always a delight getting the chance to bring a classic car back to life and to do it for charity in conjunction with Lancaster Insurance makes this build even more special. I’ve chosen an everyman car that I hope will have huge appeal and with the right team behind the project I know we can raise some much needed funds for the Marie Crawford Boyd Foundation!”
Ant commented: "Being able to combine two things I am passionate about is a no brainer for me! I get to build a car and at the same time help Harrison’s Fund, a charity which is very close to my heart. Oh, and battle off against Mike Brewer! Wait that's three things I love! Oh this just gets better. Lancaster Insurance has just become the ultimate match maker… bring it on!”
The journey of both cars will be exclusively covered in Classics Monthly and the completed cars will then head for the final auction ‘showdown’ in November. The ultimate aim is to raise funds for two incredibly worthwhile causes, Harrison’s Fund and The Marie Crawford Boyd Foundation, who will each benefit from the sale of their respective ambassadors incredible car; meaning whatever the outcome, both are winners.
Richard Morley, Operations Director for Lancaster Insurance comments: “We’re delighted to be bringing two of the biggest stars in the classic car industry together for this fantastic charity initiative. Mike and Ant are the perfect ‘combination’ and both projects reflect their passion and expertise seamlessly. We’re hoping to raise an incredible amount for these wonderful causes at the final round in November and can’t wait to see whose car will be the champion.’
News from the last 12 months
27 November 2020
‘It’s either older folk remembering having one and anyone under 40 asking what it is! It still staggers me that it was the bestselling car in the UK of the ‘sixties and yet by the late ‘eighties they’d all but disappeared from the road!’How to make sure your classic car value is reflected correctly
In the world of classic cars, a rare vehicle is highly prized. But when it comes to getting insurance for your pride and joy, its uniqueness presents problems. So how can you ensure that the agreed valuation really reflects what it would cost you to replace your car? What are the key things that valuers look for? Read on for our guide.
25 November 2020
The Turbo almost inevitably dominates the Saab 99 story, but during the 1980s you were far more likely to encounter the cheaper but equally appealing GL. In June 1978 Car praised its ‘unexpectedly lively performance’, ‘crisp handling’, ‘good riding comfort’ plus the Saab’s ‘solidity and roadworthiness’. Few could ask for more in a family saloon – especially one equipped with a heated driver’s seat.6 reasons to buy a classic as your first car
Everyone remembers their first car – some stick in the memory for good reasons, while others are remembered less fondly. If you’re in the market for your first car, make sure you choose wisely – and that includes considering a classic.How to get a birth certificate for your classic car
When you’re the owner of a classic car, history matters. Your car is a remarkable survivor from an earlier age, with its own story to tell and secrets to keep. A vehicle birth certificate (also known as a heritage certificate) is a useful document confirming the origins of your classic car.
24 November 2020
If you’ve decided that now is the time to sell your classic car, you’ve got a few options to weigh up. You can sell it privately, take it to a specialist dealer or try your luck at the auction.
23 November 2020
The year is 1960, the venue is the London Motor Show, and the place is Stand 134. Of course, any car that hailed from the West Bromwich factory was an object of desire, but the new Jensen 541S was especially eye-catching. It was not just that it was four inches wider than the outgoing 541R or that it boasted a conventional grille, rather than the familiar adjustable panel. The Jensen on display at Earls Court was Britain’s first car fitted with seat-belts as standard equipment.6 reasons to buy a classic as your first car
Everyone remembers their first car – some stick in the memory for good reasons, while others are remembered less fondly. If you’re in the market for your first car, make sure you choose wisely – and that includes considering a classic.
22 November 2020
In the world of classic cars, a rare vehicle is highly prized. But when it comes to getting insurance for your pride and joy, its uniqueness presents problems. With a modern car, it’s simple to work out its market value – but with a classic, it’s a little trickier.
21 November 2020
The sight of a three-wheel classic out on the UK roads is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. They are something of a novelty these days, but did you know that the first cars sported just three wheels?
20 November 2020
Your quick crib sheet for winning a car-related argument.5 reasons to invest in a BMW Z3
If you remember when the BMW Z3 first hit the roads, hearing that the two-seater roadster turns 25 this year might make you feel a touch on the old side. But that means the car has now entered into ‘classic’ territory, with its timeless, dynamic and highly attractive design making it an appealing option for classic car enthusiasts.Meet The Owners – Rebecca And Stephen’s Mini Jet Black and Red Hot
Back in 1988, the Mini Jet Black was your passport to Yuppie success – all for a mere £4,282. Not only did it boast tinted glass, a push-button radio, front head restraints and black velour trim, there were even red seat belts to match the proud owner’s braces. Matching the Mini that looks ‘Smooth on The Streets’ was the “Red Hot” – ‘Hot Stuff For Cold Nights!’.
18 November 2020
In tribute to the late Sean Connery - a few facts about his 007 transport:Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, With Discovery, Online Edition Raises Over £45,000 For Sporting Bears
The online edition of this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, raised a whopping £45,000 for the Sporting Bears Motor Club – matching the Bears’ best ever year of fundraising at the NEC.
17 November 2020
Signs that you are reaching old age – a) realising that The Young Ones first aired 38 years ago and b) that there are just 41 Rivas believed to remain on the road in this country.
16 November 2020
If you were reading the 11th October edition of Autocar in 1957, you might have noticed an advertisement headlined ‘For the Discerning Motorist’. Naturally, you read on, as this clearly referred to a driver such as yourself, one who appreciated ‘Sober elegance of line, outstanding performance, admirable road holding and first-class craftsmanship’.
12 November 2020
A Simca 1501 was not exactly a rarity during the 1970s, yet it always seemed faintly exotic in comparison with its near contemporary, the Hillman Hunter. The styling, although clearly dating from the previous decade, was an intriguing blend of French and Detroit while the interior had the chintzy decor of a suburban living room. Besides, a fine example of the Simca had pride of place in the 1972 edition of Motor Cars; A Ladybird “Recognition” Book.Season review from Brian Chandler and the BC Car Motorsport team
Here the Lancaster Insurance sponsored BC Car Motorsport team give us an insight into how the 2020 Mazda season was for them. “Well 2020 turned out to be a strange year at BC Cars Motorsport. Covid 19 changed everything. When we were allowed to get back on track on 1st July, we had to work with our partners, race organisers, mechanics and drivers to get everyone ready and make the most of what would be available to us and we still got some surprises! For 2020 we would end up supporting nine Mazda MX5s across a reduced calendar of four rounds. The plan was Cadwell Park, Anglesey, Silverstone and Brands Hatch.What can you see at Haynes Motor Museum?
Before your trip, do check that all exhibits you want to see are open, book your ticket, and make sure you’ve got great insurance to cover your own vehicle for any mishaps along the way!
11 November 2020
What better excuse than to have a hearty breakfast waiting for you at the end of your drive, followed by a display of incredible cars at some of the UK’s finest motoring destinations. What more could you ask for on a Sunday morning?THE STERLING – THE ALL-AMERICAN ROVER
‘Such a timeless sense of freedom, such effortless motion, can only come from a land where traditions of craftsmanship and luxury are skilfully combined with the precision and power of modern engineering’.
10 November 2020
The options for adding personality to your campervan are limitless. Here are a few tips and insights to get you started on making your cherished camper truly feel like a home on wheels.DO YOU REMEMBER – THE FIAT 124 SPORT COUPE?
When Fiat launched their 124 saloon in 1966, few observers would have been surprised to learn that they were planning a two-door high-performance version. However, when the 124 Sport Coupe made its bow in 1967, it immediately became an object of desire. In the UK, the new Fiat seemed far removed from half-day closing on a Wednesday and Z-Cars in the evening.
09 November 2020
Whether you’re a fan of wild camping far away from civilization or prefer a full-service campsite with all the mod cons, a reliable source of power is a must. After all there’s nothing better than a nice cup of tea on a sunny morning or a light to see by during a stormy night.THE SUNBEAM FROM ITALY – THE VENEZIA
At first sight, it could be a car that belongs to the world of La Dolce Vita; transport for Marcello Mastroianni or Sophia Loren to Rome’s finest nightclubs. Almost every detail is reminiscent of 1960s European glamour - until you notice the grille’s similarity to the Humber Sceptre Mk.I and the Sunbeam Rapier Mk. V. And while the coachwork was indeed the work of Carrozzeria Touring, the running gear hailed from Coventry.The best classic two-seater convertibles
Convertible cars let us squeeze every last bit of warm weather from our summers. What else gives you that wind-in-the-hair sensation? And when you buy a classic convertible, it’s the kind of investment that just keeps on giving.
06 November 2020
As a Citroën devotee of many years standing, there is one model in particular that I crave – the Slough-built DS Pallas. Here are my impressions from a Classic & Sports Car feature from five years ago:
05 November 2020
Whether it’s a bargain in need of some TLC or a beautifully preserved original, there are plenty of ways a seller can entice a would-be buyer. However, there are many car auction myths floating around, among both buyers and sellers, that need busting!
04 November 2020
In the 1950s, no line of traffic would have been complete without an example of the E83W range en route to delivering coal, laundry, milk or, in summer, ice cream cornets. Their rate of progress could never be described as ‘rapid’ – there appears to be no instance of an E83W getaway vehicle in a British B-film – but they were almost guaranteed to reach their destination.
02 November 2020
Back in the early 1990s when Tony passed his driving test, he craved a Toyota MR2 Mk. II – “but the bank manager thwarted this ambition”. A few years later, he came close to owning one of these fine machines – “but my wife talked me out of it as it was not a practical machine for work purposes”. However, two years ago the Penman fleet was, at long last, joined by a 1990 turbo-charged Revision 1 –“a private import from Japan”.DO YOU REMEMBER - THE TRIUMPH 2500S?
Some cars – no names – merely peter out at the end of a long run. A few conclude their career in a morass of special edition versions, festooned with stripes and wheel trims. And a select few ceased production on a high note – the Ford Capri 280 Brooklands, the Mini in 2000 and the Triumph 2500S.
30 October 2020
The clocks have changed, and there is a certain crispness in the air – in short, it is that time of the year when many classic sports car enthusiasts start considering a coupe rather than a convertible. However, the Sunbeam Alpine GT, with its detachable roof and soignée lines, really was the best of both worlds – assuming you only required two seats.A TRIBUTE TO GENEVIEVE
As we all know, this year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run has been cancelled due to COVID-19 - https://www.veterancarrun.com/. As a tribute to this great event and to anticipate its return in 2021, here are twenty facts about Genevieve – one of the greatest films of all time:
29 October 2020
At Lancaster Insurance, we have worked closely with Sporting Bears for a number of years. We are a huge supporter of the club and wanted to shine a light on the fantastic work they do for charity and show how we can all get involved.
28 October 2020
The 2020 Hyundai Coupe Cup season has been shorter than normal due to the current situation. With racing starting in August, we talk to our sponsored driver, Alex Cursley, as he looks back on the season ahead of the Championship decider at Oulton Park this Saturday (31st October).
23 October 2020
On the 24th October 1980, one of the world’s most famous car factories closed its doors. Here we pay tribute to just some of the cars that were made in Abingdon.
22 October 2020
All drivers know it’s illegal to drive if they’re impaired by alcohol or illegal drugs. But did you know the rules also apply to prescription drugs?
21 October 2020
A few days ago we featured the Ledbury Maestro owned by Glyn Andrews - but it is far from the only classic Rover in the family. Only last month, his son Duncan became the proud owner of a last-of-the-line 1964 P4 110.
19 October 2020
There are many benefits to be had from running a classic car besides being both fun and a useful investment. Classics can be surprisingly economical, as some essential items like Read this guide to classic car road tax and get informed.
16 October 2020
The organisers of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, will celebrate the much-missed season finale with a free-to-attend online event held on Saturday 14 November.
15 October 2020
Six years ago, while attending a Classic & Sports Car shoot, I had the great pleasure of encountering a car that had fascinated my ten-year-old self. The S110-series Toyota Crown Super more than fulfilled my expectations, being a vehicle of charm, presences and, yes, style.MEET THE OWNER – RICHARD HANLON AND HIS RENAULT 17TS
Back in 2009 Renault enthusiast, Richard Hanlon ‘was geared up to go over to Ireland to buy a pale metallic green 15 which I had been hankering after for a long period. I had a flight booked in the outbound direction, and a ferry booked home again; when the news came that it had been unexpectedly sold locally’.Should you buy a left-hand drive classic car?
Whether you’re desperate for the American muscle of a Ford Mustang from the late Sixties or the pretty Italian charms of a Fiat Barchetta from the mid Nineties, there’s a lot to consider when poring over left-hand drive classics.
13 October 2020
Which of these seven fine cars would have lured you into your local dealership? 1972 Hillman Avenger Top Hat The Avenger was only two years into its production run when Chrysler UK unveiled the Top Hat.
09 October 2020
‘My brother owned an early MG Maestro back in the day with a talking digital readout, that was quite something at the time and quite liked them ever since but never owned one’.Lancaster Insurance MG Owners’ Club 2020 Race Championship at Silverstone
This Sunday sees the finale of the Lancaster Insurance MG Owners’ Club 2020 Race Championship at Silverstone (International)! Better still, you can catch the action live as it’s been streamed on 247. Timings are subject to change but the MGOC Race Championship competitors are due to take to the track at 9am, 11.30am and 3.25pm
08 October 2020
Wednesday 8th October 1980 saw the debut of the Austin Metro. Here are 40 gripping facts about one of British Leyland’s most important cars.
07 October 2020
Seventy years ago today (16th October), Jaguar introduced a large saloon that epitomised the famous slogan ‘Grace, Space, Pace’. Here are 20 facts about the Mk. VII family.MEET THE OWNER – SEAN GREENWOOD AND HIS AUSTIN MONTEGO 1.3 “BASE”
In February of this year, Sean decided to take a walk on the mild side and purchase a 1985-model Austin Montego 1.3 “Base”.Which is best – caravan or motorhome?
Which is best – caravan or motorhome? It’s a great question and one that anyone getting into the world of ‘on the road’ holidays will ask themselves. Just as with finding the right motorhome insurance you’ll need to weigh up a fair amount of options before coming to a conclusion.
05 October 2020
It would be fair to say that Andy Wheeler is a devotee of the last of the “traditional” big Vauxhalls and when he discovered NGP 470 P for sale - ‘by pure chance’ – he knew that he had to buy it.
02 October 2020
The 1965 London Motor Show was full with exciting new models; the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, the Aston Martin DB6, the Vauxhall Cresta PC, the Triumph 1300 and the MGB GT. There was also a quartet from a Japanese firm named Toyota. The entry-level Corona saloon cost £790 16ds 11d, the three-door station wagon £843 14s, the 1600S four-door £1,077 4s 10d and the 1600S Coupe £1,194 3d.
01 October 2020
The Deux Chevaux Club of Great Britain was founded in 1978 by and aims to bring together the 2CV community to enjoy their shared passion.
30 September 2020
Whilst getting out and exploring the British countryside in our 4x4s may have been put on hold for part of this year, there is still plenty to look forward to for the remainder of 2020 and onwards! Whether you prefer your voyages to be muddy, fast paced and full of action or to simply admire the countryside, off the beaten track, below is a guide to help you get the best experience from your prized off-roader.
29 September 2020
Lancaster Insurance has further cemented its association with the MG marque by extending its specialist scheme for club members, meaning owners of the F and TF can enjoy a range of classic benefits. The classic car insurance specialist has widened its acceptance criteria to encompass these modern classics and it can now arrange cover for drivers from 19 years old providing they have held a full UK license for two years, dependent on usage and circumstance,Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, postponed to 2021 due to Covid uncertainty
The organisers of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, have decided there is no alternative but to postpone the 2020 event, due to be held this November, despite pulling out all the stops to try and make the annual season finale happen.
28 September 2020
John became a devotee of the “Five Star Ford” back in 1967 when he bought a green Consul Mk. I – ‘and I passed my driving test in her’.Car of the Month - Rick Burmingham and his Morris Marina 1.8 HL
Mr. Burmingham never really noticed the Marina ‘until my dad bought a used 1.3 saloon in 1975.’ That Morris proved so reliable that four years later ‘he insisted on me buying a 1.3 Coupe to replace a rusting Mini’.
24 September 2020
When Ken Cooke was a 17-year-old apprentice painter, one of the vehicles he was called on to finish was an early Morris-Commercial J Van.
23 September 2020
Has anyone interesting owned the car before you, are the manuals and other ephemera still lying in the glove box? All this adds value and is a great talking point at classic car events.
18 September 2020
There is, as many of us are all too aware, a grim fasciation in perusing www.howmanyleft.co.uk for the numbers of once-familiar sights. Here are seven cars that are on the verge of vanishing from our roads.The Ford Consul and Zephyr-Six Mk.I At 70
Seventy years ago, two of the stars of the 1950 London Motor Show could be found at Stand 154. The Ford Consul and Zephyr-Six not only promised ‘motoring satisfaction at a minimum of cost’ they also appeared startlingly modern in comparison with the Anglia E494, the Prefect and the V8 Pilot.
16 September 2020
Sometimes age catches up with even the most alert of classic enthusiasts – not least the fact that on the 1st October the Vauxhall Viva HC celebrates its 50th birthday.
15 September 2020
As with many of my generation, I first encountered The Avengers in the 1980s, when Channel Four re-screened Series Five – and after just one episode, I was a devotee for life. There was the theme tune by Laurie Johnson and the villains played by Peters Bowles and Wyngarde, or Kenneth J Warren; eccentrics, mad scientists and bounders who try to maintain the status quo by any means possible. Of course, there were also the motor cars.
11 September 2020
On 24th August 1970, Citroën unveiled a car that redefined mass-motoring – the GS. Here are 20 facts concerning this most remarkable of cars:Meet the Owner - Terry Temlett and his Ford Anglia 105E Estate
Several of our blogs have covered cars that were once as familiar as listening to Alan Freeman announce Pick of The Pops – and possibly none less so than Terry’s 1965 Anglia Estate. He came by it ‘on Facebook Marketplace; and purchased after inspection’. The condition was ‘minor fettling required’ and the Ford was a natural choice of classic as ‘I served my apprenticeship on 105Es’.The Original Sunbeam Rapier – A Celebration
It is a testament to the Sunbeam Rapier that it managed to cause a stir at the 1955 Earls Court Motor Show despite competition from the Citroën DS, the Jaguar 2.4 and the MGA to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Every detail, from the ivory-coloured steering wheel to the two-tone paint finish denoted ‘The car that has everything!’. Yes, here was an affordable grand tourer that was so up to the minute it even lacked a starter button.
10 September 2020
Many readers will immediately recognise Mark McClelland’s Astra GTE Mk. I as A 641 SPO won third prize at the 2016 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show “Pride of Ownership”. Incredibly,
09 September 2020
1) The Test was introduced on Monday 12th September 1960. At that time it was voluntary and only applied to cars aged ten years or older
08 September 2020
September 1980 saw Ford unveil the latest Escort - and to celebrate four decades of what was once Britain’s most popular car, here are 21 thrilling facts:
04 September 2020
Sixty years ago, contestants and officials at the Olympic Games were transported by a fleet of extremely distinctive Fiats.
03 September 2020
For nearly 60 years from ‘Dr. No’ to ‘No Time To Die’, cinema audiences around the world have been treated to 25 brilliantly breathtaking Bond movies. In that time, we’ve come to have certain expectations — exotic locations, vicious villains, beautiful women, preposterous plots, and crazy, gadget-laden car chases. We just hope Q has his classic car insurance up to date!
01 September 2020
Whatever your tastes – whether for sportiness, economy or sheer practicality – there’s a whole world of classics out there just waiting to be discovered. So what’s stopping you?
28 August 2020
This month the accolade goes to the Classic Camper Club, which will celebrate its 30th birthday next year!
27 August 2020
Thirty years ago, Alan was in search of a Triumph Stag ‘I’d been looking for one as I needed a four-seater for the children.CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW ORGANISERS PLEDGE SUPPORT TO SPORTING BEARS AS COVID-19 PUTS A HALT ON DREAM RIDES
Plans for the 2020 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, are steaming ahead now that indoor exhibitions have the greenlight from government.#WheelMeetAgain
In the strange times we find ourselves in, we completely understand that people will have their own views on events taking place, like the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show with Discovery.Lancaster Insurance widens MG schemes
Lancaster Insurance has further cemented its association with the MG marque by extending its specialist scheme for club members, meaning owners of the F and TF can enjoy a range of classic benefits.
26 August 2020
Deep cleaning your motorhome before or after a journey is one of those essential tasks you need to undertake, along with making sure your vehicle is covered with motorhome insurance. Read on for our top cleaning tips, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to make your home on wheels sparkle!MEET THE OWNER – JAMES NICHOLSON AND HIS FIAT ARGENTA VOLUMEX
Classic & Sports Car recently celebrated the Fiat Argenta as one of Martin Buckley’s “Guilty Pleasures”.MEET THE OWNER – ROBERT NUTTER AND HIS HILLMAN AVENGER 1500 GLS AND TIGER
If you owned a Hillman Avenger 1500 GLS back in 1973, it was obvious you were the kind of person who was ‘going places’.
24 August 2020
In 1947 Austin announced, ‘news of the first importance to the discerning motorist’ with the introduction of the new Sheerline.THE VOLVO 144 - A CELEBRATION
Some cars, as we all know, are taken for granted due to their sheer familiarity. The 140 series was a presence on British roads for many years, as well as starring in The Good Life.
20 August 2020
The year is 1947 and visitors to the Earls Court Motor Show are presented with a ‘brilliant new Member of the famous MG breed’.THE MGB V8 – A CELEBRATION
On the 15th August 1973, MG announced a new model that offered ‘a unique combination of timeless good looks, high geared and effortless long distance travel, superb road-holding and handling.MEET THE OWNER – DARREN CANTRILL AND HIS VAUXHALL VIVA HA SL90
Three months ago, Darren decided to buy a classic car from the year of his birth, and he came across a 1966 Viva SL90 on eBay.Celebrating 70 years of the VW Transporter
The VW Transporter is an iconic vehicle that deserves its place in the automobile hall of fame. 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the much-loved Transporter.
14 August 2020
40-odd years ago, a holiday in Spain represented a prime opportunity for the British motor enthusiast to experience vehicles that he or she was unlikely to encounter at home.MEET THE OWNER – GRAHAM CARTER AND HIS HUMBERSIDE POLICE FORD CONSUL GT
As many readers already know, sourcing and restoring an ex-police car is a significant undertaking, from the challenges of locating the correct items of equipment to actually finding an authentic vehicle.
13 August 2020
In 1957 a new Zündapp Janus 750 offered the discerning motorist a technical specification that included rack & pinion steering, four-speed transmission, front Macpherson struts and a 12-volt electrical system.
11 August 2020
In 1964 the average motoring enthusiast would have been forgiven for overlooking the news that the Daihatsu Compagno was soon to be officially available in the UK. This was, after all, the year of the Sunbeam Tiger, the 4.2-litre Jaguars E-Type and Mk. X, the Austin 1800, the Vanden Plas Princess 4-Litre R and the Humber Imperial.
10 August 2020
Looking on How Many Are Left can be an immensely depressing experience, one almost on a par with watching Celebrity Municipal Refuse Tip Challenge on Channel Five. You idly search for well-remembered vehicles of your youth, only to discover their survival rate is in single figures. To learn that only six examples of the Bedford Chevanne remain on the road
07 August 2020
Over the past few months, I have taken the opportunity to re-visit certain television shows of the past. Here are my observations on the thrill a minute series that was The New Avengers.
03 August 2020
It would be fair to say that Sean is a long-term Cortina devotee – ‘I’ve had loads back in the day. In recent years I had a Concours 1600E Mk. II and I sild a lovely P reg 2000E last year, so this Ghia replaced it. I must always have a Cortina in my life - it’s like putting on an old slipper!’Do You Remember - The Morris 1800 MK.1?
In the 1960s the British Motor Corporation was renowned – or notorious, depending on your point of view – for its “badge-engineering”. This would occasionally result in some very short-lived modes, such as the Morris 1800 Mk. I, which debuted in 1966 and lasted only until the launch of the Mk. II “Landcrab” in 1968.
31 July 2020
Forty-five years ago, I regarded the FE-Series Ventora as one of the most handsome cars you were likely to encounter in the not very mean streets of Fareham. The vaguely Pontiac-style lines, the quad headlamps, the vinyl roof and the sound of that 3.3-litre straight-six engine denoted a car of modest but genuine distinction.
29 July 2020
To celebrate our love for classic cars, Lancaster Insurance is giving enthusiasts another opportunity to purchase its Special Edition Top Trumps packs.Club of the month – Blackpool Thunder Car Club
Launched this month (July), Blackpool Thunder is a TVR club for the 21st Century. Spearheaded by Steve Charlesworth, Alex Leith and Howard Bryan, the club is run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts and welcomes all TVR owners and fans.CAR OF THE MONTH – FRED DUKES AND HIS 1958 BEDFORD CA “ARISTOCRAT”
When you see a 1958 Bedford CA “Aristocrat”, you instantly know you are in the presence of a vehicle of distinction. There is the timber framing on the bodywork, the wonderfully over-the-top bonnet mascot and the opening Perspex rear windows.
28 July 2020
Hitting the road in a classic camper can be a dream holiday but it also comes at a cost. If your last campervan trip cost more than you planned, make sure you follow these tips for a more affordable adventure next time.
24 July 2020
In our last blog about the Viva HB Brabham, we noted its HA predecessor and how just one is believed to survive. The owner of that very car recently contacted us and so here is the story of Andrew Pyle’s Vauxhall - one of the most exclusive vehicles ever to wear the Griffin badge.THE JAGUAR XJ COUPE - A CELEBRATION
Some cars have the rare distinction of being even more exquisite in the metal than they are in PR photos – such as the Jaguar XJ Coupe.60 YEARS OF SEAT BELTS IN BRITISH CARS
The Jensen 541S was quite a star of the 1960 London Motor Show. As compared with its 541R predecessor, it was four inches wider, lacked the familiar adjustable front air flap and featured a limited-slip differential and Dunlop disc brakes fore and aft.
21 July 2020
In 1931, HM Government published a new book for ‘ the instruction and education of all road users as to their duties and obligations to one another and to the community as a whole’.THE AUSTIN MINI METRO – A CELEBRATION
The 1980 International Motor Show was quite an event for my ten-year-old self, and two cars in particular attracted vast crowds at the NEC.MEET THE OWNERS – FRED DUKES AND ADRIAN MILLER WITH THEIR VAUXHALL VIVA BRABHAMS
Some vehicles take on an almost mythical quality; such is their rarity; the Morris-badged Metro Van, the basic-specification Austin A110 Westminster and, of course, the Brabham Viva HB.
15 July 2020
Few light commercials are an essential part of 20th-century music and film culture – but the BMC J4 achieved this on two occasions.
14 July 2020
The year is 1966 and families from Southampton to Croydon are avidly taking part in Heinz’s “Greatest Glow On Earth” competition. Entrants were asked to pair eight soups with a tempting array of main courses and to complete the phrase ‘I like to take Heinz soup on a picnic because…’.60 YEARS OF THE PEUGEOT 404
In the 1960s, advertisements for the 404 might contain the phrase ‘wins again!’, for the mighty Peugeot took first place in the East African Safari no fewer than four times.Meet The Owner- Theo Kyriacou and His Lancia Trevi
Anyone who visited the 1980 Motor Show will recall the crowds around the new Austin Min Metro and Ford Escort Mk. III – plus a new Lancia, for the Trevi made its British debut at the NEC.
13 July 2020
It would be fair to say that the Magnette ZA created quite a stir at the 1953 Motor Show. The name may have been borrowed from a pre-war racer, but it was the first MG with monocoque bodywork and the first to use the British Motor Corporation’s 1.5-litre ‘B-series’ unit.MEET THE OWNER – PAUL COLLARD AND HIS TRIUMPH RENOWN
‘I’ve always liked the ‘30s and ‘40s look of British cars - the sound, the leather, the body lines - but had only owned ‘70s Triumph Dolomites! Approaching retirement from Sussex Police, I started to look for the next Classic’.
10 July 2020
2020 marks the 70th birthday of several key post-war models, from the Ford Zephyr Mk. I to the Jaguar Mk.
09 July 2020
Forty-one years ago, the sight of a new Rover V8S in the company car park was a sign that its owner had ‘arrived’.
08 July 2020
Classic car shows are relaxed weekends that are fun for the whole family. To make the most out of your visit, we’ve listed a few simple dos and don’ts below.The pros and cons of owning a classic
Thinking of buying a classic car? Fantastic idea! But before you dive into the world of Morris Minors or MG Midgets, it’s wise to take a moment to think.
03 July 2020
Many classic car lovers dread having to give up their beloved motor when they start a family. But having kids doesn’t mean your days of stylish motoring are behind you. In fact, there are several models of classic car that will suit your love for all things retro and still fit two child seats in the back.
02 July 2020
Peter Sellers, who died forty years ago today, was quite possibly the greatest actor of post-war British cinema, despite a spate of dreadful pictures towards the end of his life.Mandatory MOTs to be reinstated from August
Update: The government has confirmed that mandatory MOT testing will be introduced from 1st August in England, Scotland and Wales. The announcement comes with the gradual easing of lockdown restriction and rising traffic levels.
30 June 2020
The Renault Owners’ Club is run by a group of volunteers and is recognised and supported by Renault UK.CAR OF THE MONTH – CHRIS POLLIN’S PONTIAC TRANS AM
When Chris Pollin takes his Trans Am for a spin, the public reaction is sometimes dramatic. This is hardly surprising, for not only is the Pontiac a rather magnificent vehicle in its own right, but it is also a doppelganger for the star of a certain television programme.DO YOU REMEMBER – THE MISTER SOFTEE ICE CREAM VAN?
The arrival of an ice cream van was once as much a part of a summer evening as a schedule of television programmes that you would generally avoid.
26 June 2020
How do you keep yourself and your family protected from the small but potentially serious risk of becoming infected by germs that have lingered on your dashboard or steering wheel? Our quick guide gives you the basics.How to manage on-board water in your motorhome
Read on for our quick guide to water in your motorhome. And remember – a good water system is just one of the motorhome essentials you need to put in place.MEET THE OWNER – JAMES BARNES AND HIS MG METRO TURBO
As the Metro approaches its 40th birthday, it seems only appropriate to pay tribute to one of the rarest and most desirable versions.
25 June 2020
As recently as the 1980s, you might regularly encounter a medium-sized van that resembled an inverted soap-dish.
24 June 2020
UPDATE: the latest advice from the government yesterday makes it clear that camp sites and caravan parks in England can open from 4th July, if they are Covid-secure.
23 June 2020
When the world was young and The Goodies ruled BBC2, the sound of a Wales and Edwards electric motor was as much a part of the morning’s routine as hearing the postman’s BLMC J4.MEET THE OWNER – STEVE WATKINS AND HIS 1982 TOYOTA HI-ACE DEVON CAMPER
‘I bought my Toyota Hi-Ace Campervan in 2018 having looked at VW “Bay Window” Vans, but I wanted something a bit more a) unusual and b) reliable’.
18 June 2020
When looking at photographs of 1980s traffic, you often encounter Japanese cars that have now almost entirely vanished – the Mitsubishi Spacewagon, the second-generation Honda Accord, and the Nissan Stanza60 YEARS OF THE VOLVO P1800
If you were watching ITV in the 1960s a Volvo P1800 would have seemed almost impossibly glamorous.
16 June 2020
An Alfasud 1200 has to be one of the most popular choices for the ‘How Many Are Left” lists of cars.THE RANGE ROVER AT 50
The 17th June saw the launch of one of a select group of cars that deserves to be referred to as ‘iconic’. And so, here are 12 facts about the Range Rover:MEET THE OWNER – ANDREW JONES TURTON AND HIS TRIUMPH TOLEDO
‘I always get the “nice Dolomite mate” - I can’t help but put them right by telling them it’s a Toledo’. Andrew Jones Turton‘s 1973 example is now an unusual sight, but in their heyday, they were the Triumph that you were most likely to encounter outside of the Co-op.
12 June 2020
In the 1970s I would occasionally encounter a well-polished blue & cream Vanguard Luxury Six.60 YEARS OF THE LANCIA FLAVIA
There are some cars that revel in their exuberance – their very appearance proclaims to the world ‘I’ve arrived and to prove it I’m here!’.
10 June 2020
Some cars seemed destined to become remembered as only a “missing link” between two popular models, yet the 875 deserves a better fate.MEET THE OWNER – DOUG MOODY AND HIS FORD CORTINA “WOODY” ESTATE
Doug Moody is the proud owner of a very fine collection of Consul Cortina Mk. Is – including a version that is widely remembered, despite it enjoying a limited production run.
09 June 2020
‘I have lived at my present address since 1985 and didn’t know my close neighbour Keith had a car until about seven years later’.SUMMER MOTORING – 1970S STYLE
As the summer approaches, here are seven recollections about the joys of holiday motoring during the 1970sDO YOU REMEMBER – THE PEUGEOT 604?
1975 saw the introduction of the three cars that shared the 2.7-litre V6 PRV engine.
02 June 2020
In this blog we’re not focusing on the major “Bond Cars” but the sort of vehicles that were within reach of the average cinema patron.
29 May 2020
With lockdown being gradually eased and from Monday, car show rooms in England being able to trade, people appear to be turning their attentions to purchasing a new car.CAR OF THE MONTH – DAVID BROOKS AND HIS 1961 FORD PREFECT 107E
Since we last met David’s Ford Prefect 107E, it has been treated to new main bearings and a fresh coat of paint. There have also been ‘little repairs’ to the off-side wheel arch and the bottom corner of the bonnet – and last year the Prefect appeared on the Boston ClassicHow to spot a gem when buying a classic car
Buying a classic car should be one of the most exciting purchases of your life. These cars are treats for most people - a significant investment of money, time and emotion. Yet the reality is that many people find it a process fraught with danger and risk.
27 May 2020
‘Pure Ford fire, neatly packed into the race-bred, over-square engine’. That is how Dagenham marketed their first post-war car to bear the “GT” badge.CLUB OF THE MONTH - THE "BEARS"
The “Bears”, as they are affectionately known, are a dedicated group of classic car and sports car enthusiasts. Since the club was formed in 1989, their primary aim has been to raise money for children’s charities through their own social, dream rides and touring events, and to support other charitable events.REFLECTIONS ON THE 1970S CAR SHOW
Our mission, should we decide to accept it, was to create an online event on the Classic Car Enthusiasts Forum – Powered by Lancaster Insurance that people could engage with throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend. It would embrace all forms of 1970s motoring life, from Dr. A.F. Kendal’s Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II and Peter R.
19 May 2020
In the 1950s and 1960s, you were as much likely to see a Scammell Scarab in red & cream British Railways livery as a Lyons Corner House or a police constable on point duty.
15 May 2020
‘The original Herald design sketch was of a coupé. To my mind, it is the best-looking body style for a Herald, and the two-tone red and white paint is also my favourite colour combination’. And Rich Philpot’s 1963 example is the epitome of the Triumph that you could ‘Park With Pride!’
13 May 2020
As road traffic is now reduced to 1955 levels, here is a glimpse into a lost world.MEET THE OWNER – SHANE FENTON AND HIS 1958 BEDFORD CA
‘I restore cars as a hobby and intended to give it a makeover, but to be honest, it’s too original, and I love it the way it is like a time machine’.THE ISETTA – THE BMW FROM BRIGHTON
In the 1950s there were three British towns or boroughs associated with the assembly of overseas vehicles – Acton for Renault, Slough for Citroën and Brighton for the BMW Isetta.
12 May 2020
UPDATE: the latest advice from the government makes it clear that non-essential travel in England over greater distances is now allowed. We have been receiving a lot of enquiries so have put together the guidance below to ensure you stay within the law as you take your classic car out again.
07 May 2020
Gavin Bushby is not only the Chairman of the Fiat Motor Club; he is also the proud owner of a very unusual Coventry-built saloon: a Talbot Solara Rapier. ‘Beautiful gold, with brown, brown, beige, and brown velour’. And the colour scheme was not the only attraction of this fine car as it presented the driver with plush ‘inserts on the door trim pads and ‘front hockey-stick armrests’.
04 May 2020
Thirty-four years ago, Patrick Bradley’s Austin Montego HL was as familiar a sight as people fleeing from Sigue Sigue Sputnik on Top of The Pops. He came this now rare car ‘last year as my dad had Maestros and Montego when I was a kid. I wanted to get one to remind me of my childhood. These cars were everywhere when I was growing up in the 90s – now there is hardly any left sadly.’
30 April 2020
Nostalgia for the 90s is in full swing at the moment – it’s enough to make those of us old enough to vividly remember the decade feel very old indeed.CLUB OF THE MONTH - The Fiat Motor Club
The Fiat Motor Club (GB) is dedicated to enhancing and promoting the motoring enjoyment of its members. You don’t have to own a Fiat to join, just a love for all things Italian such as cars, food and lifestyle.Ways you can save money when taking out insurance
If your insurance is up for renewal, we’d encourage you to give the team a call directly to discuss your circumstances. As a specialist classic broker, we truly understand the industry and can offer a number of benefits with our policies including a two year agreed value option, vital protection such as salvage retention options and choice of repairer are available.
29 April 2020
Ian Quarry remarks that his 1965 Morris Mini Traveller is often 'smiled at and noticed…'. This is not surprising, as the car that represented 'Wizardry at work again!'
28 April 2020
Manoeuvring a motorhome on Britain’s busy roads can be a challenge at the best of times. Narrow, congested lanes can mean getting your motorhome from A to B takes a fair amount of skill and precision.
27 April 2020
May 1950 saw the debut of a car with a fair claim to being the most important post-war Alfa Romeo. The 1900 was both their first with unitary bodywork and their first with LHD. The Italian rule of the road had changed from left to right in 1924.
23 April 2020
Organisers of the Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars Show have announced the 2020 event has been cancelled, due to the on-going climate, but can confirm the date for the 2021 show is Sunday 18th July.
22 April 2020
It would be fair to say that Dan Godley is a dyed in the wool Ford Granada enthusiast. ‘After I passed my driving test in 1994 I bought a 2-Litre for £40’.
21 April 2020
‘I’ve always had retro or classic cars. I was just looking for a new project and found the Granada. The fact it was an old police car was an added bonus, and it’s just opened up a whole new world’. B 457 AHJ is ‘a 2.8 Automatic’, and the mileage is just under 104,000.
20 April 2020
The 4CV is, without any sense of hyperbole, one of Renault’s most famous cars. It was their first to sell more than a million units, and it was developed in circumstances that are hard to envisage.
16 April 2020
An MG 1100 has to be one of the most attractive cars of its generation - especially when finished in Connaught Green. Brian Hall came across his 1967 example five years ago – ‘it appeared at local shows having just been bought from the original owner who had kept it for 40 years, I had the first refusal on it, but I thought he wanted too much for it so I didn’t buy it’MARK CLINTON’S FIAT 130 BERLINAS
As a child growing up in rural Hampshire in the early 1970s, there was a select group of cars that seemed to exemplify an impossibly remote world of glamour. Admittedly, I was raised in a village where Marty Wilde was still regarded as a young Teddy Boy and watching BBC2 a sign of dangerous radicalism. The fact that my family ran a succession of near wrecks also shaped my views concerning automotive excellence. At that time I classed any vehicle where the passenger door did not actually fall off as a “luxury car”.When Did You Last See – A Vauxhall Royale Coupe?
John Worth’s splendid Royale Coupe is a ‘not quite one family’ car. It belonged to his father ‘until 1985. He liked six-cylinder Vauxhalls, needed a hatchback and four seats - and enough towing capacity for a horsebox’.
15 April 2020
In the spring of 1980, a new motoring title hit the W H Smiths and Martins of the nation. The front cover featured an Austin A40 “Farina” and a Riley 4/47 while the name of this new publication was Practical Classics. And, in the words of the 2020 editor Danny Hopkins ‘the 40th anniversary edition is the May issue which goes on sale on 15th April’.Sir Stirling Moss 17th September 1929 – 12th April 2020
Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss passed away on the 12th April at the age of 90. His racing career commenced in 1948 as an 18-year-old racer in a Cooper 5000 and ended 14 years later with his crash at the International 100 race at Goodwood. During that time, as Giles Richards wrote in The Guardian, he went on:Mazda MX-5 winner joined Brian Chandler on track day
On Friday 6th March John Williams, the winner of our MX-5 competition last year, joined Lancaster Insurance and Brian Chandler at Donington Park to test the Mazda at one of the most internationally renowned and historically significant circuits in the world.
14 April 2020
Just as with cinema, food and literature, every country has its own unique take on car manufacture. Historically, the Europeans and Japanese have highlighted handling, while the traditional American approach was to go for power. And they don’t get much more powerful than the American muscle cars of the 60s and early 70s.
08 April 2020
‘People usually believe that the car is a hearse. As almost every car is now a hatchback, she does not generate that much attention anymore, but Jaguar folks are all highly amazed that there was ever a five-door XJ’. And this is quite understandable for the marque expert Georg Dönni owns one of the most exclusive cars ever to wear the famous Daimler fluted grille.
07 April 2020
There are some quite incredible classic car rallies to be found out there. As long as your classic car is up to the challenge (rallies can be quite the endurance test), you should really consider participating in one. But where?
02 April 2020
For many, spring signifies starting the engine of our classics and looking forward to the season ahead. This year, however, we understand enthusiasts will be unsure when they’ll be able to do this. We’ve been receiving a lot of queries from club members during this time, so Andrew Evanson, Senior Operations Manager at Lancaster Insurance, answers a number of these questions.
31 March 2020
‘When we bring her out the amount of people that come up and start asking about it…’ remarks Chris about the Cimitan family’s Fiat. And this is hardly surprising, as any 127 is now a very unusual sight – let alone the third-generation GT 1300.
30 March 2020
The public reaction to Stephen’s Citroen Rosalie 10CV (who, of course, goes by the name “Rosie”) is often one of surprise – ‘most people have never seen one or didn’t realise that Citroen’s were ever built in the UK and the fact it is a RWD surprises most’.
27 March 2020
On the 29th September 1967, ITV screened the first episode of The Prisoner which featured an unusual taxi cab - one that offered a ‘local service’ only.MID-BEDS VEHICLE RESTORATION AND THE SWEENEY FORD CONSUL GT
The 2nd January 1975 saw the first episode of a new police series entitled The Sweeney and the major automotive star was a Ford Consul GT.TONY POUNDER AND HIS 1954 STANDARD TEN RALLY CAR
It would be fair to say that Tony Pounder is quite the fan of the Standard Eight family and one prize member of his fleet is a 1954 Ten that was ‘built by the works for pre-war racer Leslie Brooke it took part in the 1955 Monte Carlo and RAC Rallies and the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally – alas without much success!’AUBONE BRADDON AND HIS 1967 FORD ANGLIA PICK-UP
Aubone Braddon is a gentleman who clearly appreciates the Anglia 105E family as his fleet comprises twelve examples of “The World’s Most Exciting Light Car”.TONY BROOKS AND HIS ROVER P5B MOTOR CARAVAN
This P5B 3.5 Litre Motor Caravan owned by Tony Brooks goes by the name “Apollo”, and it is one of the most distinctive classics you are ever likely to encounter.FREDDY HARRIS AND HIS TWO MK. I FIAT PANDAS
Fiat GB marketed the original Panda as “The car that ‘knocks spots off its rivals”, and today they are as rare as a watchable episode of East Enders.MEET THE OWNER – PETER COBB AND HIS MGB LE ROADSTER
Peter Cobb finds the best aspect of driving his MG ‘is when you get it out on the B-roads in Surrey where I live, with the hood down it transports me back to the ‘eighties.’MEET THE OWNER – PAUL HAUGHEY AND HIS FIAT CROMAS
To see one Croma on the road is an unusual sight – but Paul Haughey’s fleet includes two! The blue one is a CHT with just over 48,000 miles, and the Green one is an IE Super with just over 21,500 miles.Club of the month
Our accolade this month goes to the Traction Owners Club. The clubs’ aim is to promote interest in all pre-1957 water cooled Citroën cars including rear wheel drive models and the iconic front wheel drive Traction Avant.
26 March 2020
If you wish to become a NHS volunteer using a vehicle insured with Lancaster (whether this is for delivering food, medicine or transporting patients to routine medical appointments) we will extend cover at no additional cost. Click here to find out more.PAUL WALSH AND HIS EX-GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE FORD CAPRI INJECTION SPECIAL
When Greater Manchester Police commissioned a fleet of twenty Injection Specials in 1986 marked the end of an era for the region’s traffic police. Fifteen years earlier the force first employed the 3000GT form, but by 1992 the Sierra RS Cosworth succeeded the last Capri Mk .IIIs1965 Morris LD30 Mk. III “Wandsworth” Ambulance
This is our tribute to the London Ambulance Service whose personnel voluntarily maintain a priceless historic fleet. One of the star exhibits is the Morris LD30 Mk. III “Wandsworth”.ADRIAN FELL AND HIS 1964 LAND-ROVER FIRE ENGINE
To restore a Land-Rover Fire Engine is a significant achievement – especially one that was once used by your father. Lees Fell worked for the Aylesbury printing firm Hazell, Watson and Viney where 16 members of its staff doubled as part-time firemen.
23 March 2020
The Two Point Six was a highly exclusive machine even when new – the production run was just 2,000 - and the Gerald Palmer designed coachwork, with its slight overtones of the Lancia Aurelia Berlina, must be some of the most elegant of the 1950s.MEET THE OWNER – JON HARPER AND HIS ROVER 2600
'Never been painted or welded, which goes to show miracles can happen'. And Jon Harper's 1978 Rover 2600 is believed to be the only example in Avocado, that uber-1970s BL colour scheme, still on the road in this county.MEET THE OWNER – TONY POUNDER AND HIS STANDARD TENS
To say Tony Pounder is an aficionado of the Standard Eight/Ten family would be a mild understatement. For starters, his fleet includes two 1958 Tens – one blue, one white – that are very much on the road.The Jabbeke Triumph TR2 Joins The British Motor Museum
It is Wednesday 20th May 1953, and the location is the Jabbeke highway in Belgium. When Ken Richardson took to the wheel of MVC 575, he set a new record for a two-litre production sports car. As the narrator puts it ‘it’s safe to predict a great future for new Triumph sports car’.
19 March 2020
We appreciate you might be worried about the impact the coronavirus may have on your insurance with us. Please be assured that we are closely monitoring the situation and doing all that we can to provide the services you require at this time.
16 March 2020
The very handsome Audax Series Hillman Minx owned by Budd Birkett is a prime example of a “Ronnie Stevens” motor-car. For those readers not devoted to 1950s and 1960s British comedy films, Mr. Stevens would often enter a scene wearing a snappy sports jacket and uttering the words ‘Hello, old man!’.DO YOU REMEMBER - THE FORD CORSAIR?
One of the most popular films of Ford Heritage’s superlative YouTube collection is a 1963 gem entitled Jim Clark Drives Corsairs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yybJ5yRzbA4.
13 March 2020
There is one question that Steve Waddingham is often asked regarding his 1975 Austin Allegro – 'where's the square steering wheel...?'.THE SHORT AMERICAN CAREER OF THE “AUSTIN MARINA”
What was the final Austin-badged car to be officially marketed in the USA? It was not the ADO16 or the Mini, for that honour goes to the Marina.
11 March 2020
During the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s there appeared to be seven main approaches to "Limited Edition" cars. The first was to adorn the tail-end of a long-running model with as many extras as possible.
09 March 2020
Some motor-cars look upon fashion with disdain – cars such as the Volvo PV444/544. The advertisements may have hinted at a world of excitement, glamour and Trad Jazz.
06 March 2020
The answer to the question is probably ‘no’, as the Hunter was in production for just two years, and it was never a major seller. Yet, as the swansong to the independent Singer marque and a motor car of integrity, it deserves to be better remembered.
03 March 2020
'A car awe-inspiring enough to be part of any tale too good to be true' wrote Ronald Barker in Car magazine of April 1981.DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIAT 850 COUPE?
‘There are three types of GT’ proclaimed Fiat GB in 1968. The ones that are little more than an ordinary saloon cars, nicely packaged. The ones that are hot but leave you cold aesthetically. And the ones that are real stoppers to look at – real goers when you get behind the wheel. In short, cars such as the 124 Coupe and the 850 Coupe – latter representing ‘11’ 10” of sheer excitement’.MEET THE OWNER – JOHN GORDON AND HILLMAN AVENGER SUNSEEKER
‘When I passed driving test my driving test forty years ago, my first car was an Avenger 1250 De Luxe’ remarks John Gordon. ‘I’ve driven at a lot of classics since that Hillman – but I was unable to resist the call of the Sunseeker’.60 YEARS OF THE MINI VAN
The British Motor Corporation unveiled the Austin and Morris Mini Van in 1960, and when production ceased twenty-two years later, they were as much part of everyday life as ageing punks mooching around the local Wimpy Bar.
28 February 2020
Sunday, March 1st marks the last of the current series of Top Gear - nearly 44 years after the first edition. Memories of the programme are often defined by the first presenter you recall, rather in the manner of your favourite Doctor Who. Some will recall Noel Edmonds, who seemed to really dislike the Strada and whose report incurred the wrath of Fiat GB. Others will always associate the programme with Chris Goffey. Sue Baker or Frank Pope. And, of course, there was the great William Woollard of subsequent "Woollarding" fame, seen here reviewing a Lada, an FSO, a Yugo and a Skoda.
27 February 2020
Lancaster Insurance is thrilled to be returning to the NEC for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show, with Discovery!MEET THE OWNER - ROB FOSKETT AND HIS HILMAN SUPER MINX CONVERTIBLE
'I have had a few runs out with the roof down, but as I only bought it last September, I am looking forward to using it in better weather'. With a car such as a Super Minx Convertible, it is quite understandable why Rob Foskett is anticipating the summer.
26 February 2020
In 1960 The Morris Eight Tourer Club was formed, now known as The Morris Register, after a name change in 1968, the club admits all cars and commercials that were designed before 1940.
25 February 2020
At this time of the year, many of us dream of summer holidays; a time when the skies are not an almost permanent shade of grey.CAR OF THE MONTH – MICHAEL WALL AND HIS 1970 HILLMAN AVENGER SUPER
‘The younger generation sometimes say, “is that a Mk.1 Escort?” – much to my annoyance! I am very occasionally asked “is it a Viva?” but the most common reaction is “what is it?”.
24 February 2020
'My late father was into classic commercials and did the steam rallies when I was a kid with his old AECs and Fodens. I wanted to do the rallies again with my kids, so it needed to be able to tow a caravan. I'm into 50s and 60s Fords so it had to be a Mk. II or Mk. III Zodiac or Zephyr'.
20 February 2020
‘I’ve always been more a van man than car man’ remarks Stephen Hitchcock and, as proof, he is the proud owner of not one but two Austin A35s. The 1959 orange example has been a part of his fleet for the past two years and the grey (and red) 1960 model since 2004 - ‘I used it to advertise my business’.MEET THE OWNER – NATHAN WILLMOTT AND HIS HEARTBEAT MORRIS MINI VAN
‘I don’t think there’s another programme quite like Heartbeat. I think younger people relate to it being a part of their childhood as many I talk to had to go to bed after it finished on a Sunday evening watching it with the family and it also meant school was in the morning. Us older people appreciate the vehicles and the music’.50 YEARS OF THE HILLMAN AVENGER
The Hillman Avenger is one of the most uber-1970s cars that you are likely to encounter - one that firmly belongs to the realm of Fletcher Maths, How We Used To Live on ITV “Schools Television” and those strange “Pink Panther” chocolate bars from the corner newsagent.
14 February 2020
A select group of cars are instantly likeable – cars such as the Sunbeam Imp Sport and the Singer Chamois Sport. Their combination of looks, performance and charm, are quite formidable – ‘Sparkling sports performance with luxury saloon comfort’, as the Rootes Group put it.
12 February 2020
Before you strap the surf boards to the roof and jump into your trusty campervan, check out our top UK locations where you can find some serious surf action.Fire safety when touring in your campervan
Fires in campervans are extremely rare, but when they do happen they can cause a huge amount of damage. If you have ever lost a campervan to fire or seen one go up in flames, you’ll know just how dramatic, upsetting, and costly it can be.
04 February 2020
When Matt Debbage takes LLW 911K for a spin, the reactions from members of the public are usually ‘any combination of “nice car, my Dad / Grandad had one” /”I had one - it was so rusty” / “awful cars”/ “ooh look - a ‘Doloshite’” / “Is it a Sprint mate?”’.
03 February 2020
The start of a new year means a whole heap of new and exciting car shows to put in your calendar.FIVE 1970S ENTRY-LEVEL LARGE SALOONS
Or, how to achieve style and comfort with a minimum of outlay. Austin/Morris 1800 “Wedge”. When BL unveiled their replacement for the “Landcrab” in March 1975 -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxgdRAuDsTEhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxgdRAuDsTE - the focus was inevitably on the flagship Wolseley, but the four-cylinder Austin and Morris was equally important.DO YOU REMEMBER – THE SUZUKI WHIZZKID?
I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the SC100 “Whizzkid” in the metal – and I had forgotten just how small they are. There were moments when I was convinced that it was ankle-height and the Suzuki remains one of the few cars that makes an Austin A35 seem as large as a Ford Granada.THE FORD POPULAR 100E – A CELEBRATION
The Ford stand at the 1959 Motor Show famously hosted the new Anglia, but it also featured an old favourite with a fresh set of badges. The 105E did not entirely succeed all of Dagenham’s small cars, for the Prefect was upgraded with the 997cc engine as the 107E while the “New Popular replaced the venerable “sit up and beg” 103E.
30 January 2020
‘She’s a 1978 4 speed TS. The 5 speed came out May 1979, much to the chagrin of my father who bought her new’, remarks Michael Wrigley of his utterly magnificent one family Renault 20.MEET THE OWNER – PETER LINN AND HIS MAZDA 929L ESTATE
When you see the Mazda belonging to Peter Linn, a certain number by Spandau Ballet inevitably comes to mind. Yet, this is not only one of the most uber-gold cars on the road today but an immaculate example of the very rare 929L Estate.
29 January 2020
The 1000MB was not the first Skoda marketed in the UK, but it was almost certainly the first to capture the attention of the family motorist on a restricted budget.CAR OF THE MONTH – MEIRION WOOLF AND HIS AUSTIN 8 CWT “MINOR” PICK-UP
Two years ago, Meirion Woolf brought himself a rather splendid present for his 40th birthday. ‘My parents owned a 1953 “Split Screen” and ever since then I’ve been a Minor fan’ - and so he acquired LEJ 443 J.
27 January 2020
Lancaster Insurance is delighted to be continuing its support of the 2020 MG Owners’ Club (MGOC) Race Championship, its 17th year as the headline sponsor.Club of the Month – The XR Owners Club
To celebrate the launch of our ‘win a 1984 Ford XR3i’ competition, our club of the month goes to The XR Owners Club. Formed in 1983 to bring together XR enthusiasts who share a common passion for the marque, the Club also caters for the Fiesta Supersport and the mk3 Escort 1.6i Cabriolet.
21 January 2020
The year is 1977, and the people of Southampton are still amazed by the recently opened Sainsbury’s hypermarket in the Lordshill district. Some say that this is the biggest news to hit the city since the Silver Jubilee celebrations or the FA Cup Victory of the previous year.DO YOU REMEMBER - THE FIAT CROMA?
2020 sees the 35th anniversary of one of the rarest cars in Britain – just one Turbo I.E. remains on the road: https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/vehicle/fiat_croma_turbo_ie - and it is a Fiat that is unfairly overlooked. The Croma is the third member of the “Tipo Quattro” -Type 4 - family, following the Lancia Thema and the Saab 9000, but pre-dating the Alfa Romeo 164.
20 January 2020
Do you love having fun as much as you love classic cars? If so, you’re not alone and there’s a festival just for you!
17 January 2020
As any visitor to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show will tell you, the cars that often attract the crowds are the now rarer than rare family saloons of bygone years. Think Ford Cortina Mk. IV 1.6 GL, Austin Mini Metro L, the Hillman Super Minx Series III or the HB-series Vauxhall Viva SL.DO YOU REMEMBER – THE AUDI SUPER 90?
Fifty-four years ago, you might have been reading the motoring press when a startling advertisement catches your eye; ‘ISL 1982 - dial it if you dare’. The challenge was to ‘tame Audi – the saloon that sports Mercedes power’. Furthermore, ‘All that power plus front wheel drive means Audi likes to go. All the way around curves. Do you?’.Do you know your European speed limits for motorhomes?
Travelling around Europe in your motorhome can be so much fun! Don’t allow your trip to be spoilt by legal pitfalls. Before you set off, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the speed limits and regulations of each country, as they often vary.
16 January 2020
My next door neighbour recently gained custody of a 1987 2CV6 Special, which gave me the opportunity to experience true economy motoring of the 1980s. Anyone who complains about the sheer amount of distracting luxuries in modern smalls cars would surely appreciate the Citroën, as here is a car that proudly lacks nearly everything.FORTY YEARS OF THE RENAULT FUEGO
Forty years ago, a new Fuego would have provoked second glances. It is not just that it looked so different to the 15 and 17 that it replaced; it is also that the Renault appeared to hail from another age in comparison with the Ford Capri Mk. III or the Opel Manta B.
10 January 2020
Celebrities with cash burning a hole in their pocket, are able to indulge their passion for classic cars in a way that the rest of us can only dream of. Which celebrity petrol heads are most aligned with your taste in classic motors?THE AUSTIN ALLEGRO RE-VISITED
For (too) many years, the Austin Allegro was an easy punch line for tired comedians. If you believe the myths, the official press launch on the 17th May 1973 was the occasion for universal abuse from the motoring press.The best motorhome clubs you can join
Owning a motorhome enables you to get away from it all. But did you know it can also provide you with a whole new community?DO YOU REMEMBER THE FORD ZODIAC MK. III?
There is something undeniably imposing about a Ford Zodiac Mk. III. It is the sort of car that demands a camel-haired overcoat and a trilby hat, one for trips to Goodwood or at least a journey in style to the cash and carry.
09 January 2020
Any reader who has a spare million dollars or so might care to attend Mecum Auctions tomorrow (10th January) in order to acquire the world’s most famous Ford Mustang.
06 January 2020
The 1960 Earls Court Motor Show was the venue for the re-appearance of one of Britain’s most famous car marques. This famous concern, well known for its vintage sports cars, makes a welcome return to motor manufacturing with a roadster of distinctive styling to say the least.
03 January 2020
South Hampshire in 1979 was a bleak and lonely place. It was a realm where remote communities were reputed to regard the Test Card as a form of witchcraft and Children of the Stones was thought to be a public information film.
02 January 2020
A fresh encounter with one of the first Austin Mini Metros. Those of us of an age to recall the 1980s will almost certainly remember the sound of the A-series engine in full spate. In the very early part of the decade you were less likely to encounter the S (do any of those survive) or the HLS than the L or the basic model.CELEBRATING – THE MORRIS 1100
Put simply, the British Motor Corporation’s ADO16 range is one of the most important family of cars in the history of the UK’s automotive industry. When the original Morris 1100 debuted on 15th August 1962, it was not just the Mini-formula writ large; it introduced thousands of drivers to the concepts of FWD and Italian-styling all at a price within reach of the average suburbanite.
19 December 2019
Auctions are a great place to pick up a classic car. Depending on which end of the market you’re operating in, you might be able to get your hands on a bargain or that rare gem you’ve always wanted. But to come away with a good deal, you’ve got to play your cards right.TOP TEN SMALL ESTATES OF THE 1970S
Or, ten ways to convey luggage, children, dogs, cats and the weekly shopping at MacFisheries in style: AUSTIN ALLEGRO ESTATE Yes, its looks were controversial, although Allegro fans prefer the word ‘individualistic’.The best UK pubs to visit on your next motorhome trip
Whatever your idea of the perfect motorhome holiday, you’re likely to want to include a visit to a pub while you’re away for a well-earned tipple after a day on the road.The Austin Tasman/Kimberley – The Landcrab From Down Under
Thirty-nine years ago, British Leyland Australia introduced the X6 range, their rivals to the Falcon, the Valiant and the Holden. The advertisements modestly proclaimed that ‘At last the kind of car Australian motorists have been waiting for. The new Kimberley X6 and Tasman X6 from British Leyland.THE VOLKSWAGEN TYPE 2 CAMPER
Sixty-eight years ago, the German coachbuilder Westfalia noted how many Type 2 owners would use their VW as overnight accommodation for weekend trips, and so they introduced their “camping box”. As the name suggests, it was a detachable compartment containing a folding bed, a two-burner cooker, a towel-rail, a “vanity mirror”, a washing up bowl and two drawers.
18 December 2019
Going abroad in your recreational vehicle is a great deal of fun. Planning your route and making the necessary preparations before you depart helps ensure your channel-crossing trip runs smoothly, so it’s well worth the effort.MEET THE OWNER – SIMON HOAR AND HIS FORD CORTINA 2.3S MK. IV
‘When I was growing up my dad owned a 2-litre Cortina Ghia Mk. IV. He’d owned it from new, and it was his pride and joy’. The eight-year-old Simon Hoar not only ‘learned vehicle mechanics from a very young age’ but developed a great affinity with Dagenham’s most famous product.DO YOU REMEMBER – THE FIRST RENAULT ESPACE?
It is hard to convey just how different the Renault Espace seemed from the majority of cars back in 1985 when British sales commenced. It bore no resemblance to the company’s 18 Estate and nor was it directly comparable with the likes of the Citroen CX Safari or the Peugeot 505 Familiale.50 YEARS YOUNG
On the 20th December, I reach my half-century. So, in celebration of my great age, here are some totally random recollections: My First Automotive Memories: It all began with the paternal Vauxhall Viva HB De Luxe – a two-door model finished in Turquoise.40 YEARS OF THE LANCIA DELTA
The 1979 Frankfurt Motor Show saw the launch of a crucial new Lancia. It was the belated heir to the Fulvia and an upmarket compact town car to complement the Beta and the Gamma. The Delta was declared Car of The Year 1980, but 40 years ago, there were considerable mutterings about the Delta’s relationship with the 1978 Ritmo/Strada; Fiat acquired Lancia in 1969.
16 December 2019
From everybody at Lancaster Insurance, we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous start to the New Year! Below are the opening and closing times over the festive period, should you need to speak to one of our team.
11 December 2019
Christmas came early for John Williams from Cheltenham as he received the keys to our prize-giveaway Mazda MX-5. Following our 2019 competition, which ran from March up until the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show with Discovery in November, John beat thousands of other entrants to be randomly selected as our winner!
05 December 2019
Slick, stylish yet still affordable, the Ford Capri was Great Britain’s answer to the Mustang. As it celebrates it’s 50th anniversary, the everyman’s classic still endures, boasting a loyal fan-base and an iconic vehicular and pop cultural status.
04 December 2019
‘The Sprint must be the answer to many people’s prayers’. That is what Autocar thought of the latest Triumph back in July 1973, as the scribe raved about the ‘quite impeccable’ manners and how it was a ‘tremendously satisfying car to drive’. Today, thousands of enthusiasts would agree with those words.
03 December 2019
The array of models produced by the overseas plants of BMC/BL do tend to prompt one question – could any of them have succeeded in the UK? The Australian-market Wolseley 24/80 - a 16/60 powered by the locally-designed “Blue Streak” 2.4-litre six - certainly had its merits but by 1964 it would have clashed with the Austin 1800 “Landcrab”.
02 December 2019
One of the few times that I ever encountered a new Alfa Romeo Alfa 6 in the metal was at a car dealership in Salisbury circa 1984. It was certainly an impressive-looking machine albeit faintly dated, redolent more of 1972 than a car launched in 1979. It also appeared to share its doors with the smaller Alfetta saloon.