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Welcome to Lancaster Insurance News

Keep up to date with the latest news and events from the world of classic cars.

THE AUSTIN LANCER AND THE MORRIS MAJOR – A CELEBRATION

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 9th December, 2020

While watching certain Australian television shows during the 1970s and 1980s, I sometimes noticed a very peculiar looking car in some background shots. Whether the programme was Skippy – which I will admit to enjoying, Prisoner: Cell Block H (which I won’t) or the early BBC screening of Neighbours (ditto), there might be a vehicle resembling a love-child of a Wolseley 1500 and a Ford Anglia 105E.

Car of the month!

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 9th December, 2020

We wanted our last ‘Car of the Month’ award of 2020 to be extra special and the winning recipient’s classic is just that – a 1973 Porsche 914-4! Paul Hibbert entered his example into the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership display at last month’s online NEC event and was crowned the winner! Painted in period ‘’Zambezi Green’ and with classic Fuchs alloy wheels, we can see why it captured viewers’ attention.

MEET THE OWNER – DEAN USHER AND HIS VAUXHALL VIVA HC

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 8th December, 2020

During the (very remote) youth of this writer, there were three virtually guaranteed sights in his Hampshire village. Firstly, as if by ancient rite, every farmyard had to contain a disused Audax-series Hillman Minx. Secondly, every week a dark green Ford Transit Mk. I mobile shop would dispense Twix bars and other essentials to the remote settlements of the A27-belt. And thirdly, no day seemed to pass without sighting of at least one Vauxhall Viva HC.

MEET THE OWNER – TONY HORWOOD AND HIS RENAULT 16 TX

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 7th December, 2020

Tony very accurately describes his 1978 Renault as ‘Uniquely stylish’, for the 16 could never be confused with any other car. It is a vehicle that revels in its idiosyncrasies such as the virtually hidden handbrake and the many and various ways of arranging the passenger accommodation. After all, very few cars can boast a rear seat folding mechnanism that involves suspending the backrest from the grab handles.

Lancaster Insurance’ Christmas Opening/Closing Times

  • 7th December, 2020

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.

MEET THE OWNER – CHRIS FIGG AND HIS AUSTIN METRO VANDEN PLAS

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 7th December, 2020

Chris had two reasons for buying his Cashmere Gold Austin Metro Vanden Plas. Firstly, he is a fan of the Kingsbury-based coachbuilder, and also owns a VDP 1500. Secondly, he has also been a Metro enthusiast ‘since the launch at the NEC in 1980...queuing up at the stand waiting to sit in this award-winning car’.

MEET THE OWNER – AUBONE BRADDON AND HIS FORD ESCORT GHIA MK. II

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 4th December, 2020

‘People really like her. I think it is because she is exactly as she came out of the showroom and not been made into another modified Escort in bright orange. She appeals to all ages. The longer I have kept her, the more interest she gets’. Aubone is an Anglia enthusiast of many years standing, but his taste in Fords is not restricted to the 105E. MFJ 839 W is one of the last Escort Mk. IIs – and it looks quite resplendent in “Diamond White”.

TEN BYGONE CAR ACCESSORIES FOR CHRISTMAS

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 4th December, 2020

It is the morning of the 25th December, and you are handing a carefully wrapped package. What could be the wonders contained inside? At worst, it could be the box-set of every edition of Take The High Road -the soap opera where nothing seemed to happen bar the theft of a jar of raspberry jam from the local shop. But, the gift could equally be the accessory you had long craved to enhance your car of choice.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE BORGWARD ISABELLA?

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 3rd December, 2020

‘A combination of everything that is best in Continental craftsmanship plus the experience gained in many racing successes in the 1,500cc class’. At first glance, this may appear typical 1956 vintage advertising copy designed to persuade a motorist to call FREmantle 5471 to arrange a test drive. Yet the Borgward Isabella really was that good – and in fact, has a fair claim to being one of the finest German cars of the 1950s.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE WOLSELEY SIX?

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 1st December, 2020

‘Wolseley elegance comes from having the right background’. At first glance, this appears to be a prime example of 1972-vintage automotive snobbery - targeting the sort of motorist who regarded crazy paving as the pinnacle of architectural achievement. Yet, the Six, the latest flagship of BL’s “Landcrab” family, really was a rather splendid machine.

MEET THE OWNER – JOHN LANGFORD AND HIS AUSTIN J40

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 1st December, 2020

John Langford has recently taken delivery of an Austin convertible, one that is resplendent in Speedwell Blue. Here is a car that offered virtually everything to the discerning motorist, from the Art Deco fascia to the well-upholstered bench seat. The fuel bills amount to precisely nil, and the sole drawbacks of the J40 are the limited top speed - and the fact that anyone over the age of nine will not be able to fit in it.

MEET THE OWNER – MICHAEL SPINK AND HIS FORD CORSAIR GT CONVERTIBLE

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 30th November, 2020

Back in 2005 Michael Spink was presented with one of the finest wedding presents for any car enthusiast - his wife had commissioned the restoration, ‘in secret’, of his 1965 Corsair GT Convertible. He had actually acquired MML 443 C in 1988, but it was garaged in 1996 following transmission issues. Incredibly, the refurbishment process took just 12 weeks, and today the Ford looks fit for a journey to Carnaby Street, preferably accompanied by the sounds of The Yardbirds singing For Your Love.

DO YOU REMEMBER - THE MORRIS MARINA AND ITAL VAN?

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 30th November, 2020

There are certain sights and sounds that can immediately recapture the past – Nigel Planer singing Hole in My Shoe, the opening to The Comic Strip Presents... – and the sight of a well-preserved Marina or Ital Van. It would not be a typical month in 1980s suburbia without seeing a BT Morris attending to yet another malfunctioning telephone box.

Seven More Nearly Extinct Cars

  • Andrew Roberts |
  • 30th November, 2020

All of them even rarer than your average Bentley S3 Continental - ALFA ROMEO 90 - Today the 90 is almost as forgotten as the works of Doctor & The Medics. On its launch in 1984, it suffered from a significant challenge – its appearance. In essence, the latest Alfa Romeo combined the Alfetta Berlina with the 2.5-litre engine from the Six and looks that harked back to The Protectors. Autocar thought ‘there was a good car looking to get out’, but the 90 would ‘mainly interest the dedicated Alfa Romeo enthusiast’.