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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!’. Others, such as the Lancia Flavia Berlina, need no tail fins or excesses of chrome, such is the confidence of its place in motoring history.

Lancia developed the Flavia to bridge the gulf between the Appia and the Flaminia ranges, although it was closer in size to the latter. Carlo Pesenti, the company’s owner, instructed his Technical Director Antonio Fessia to create a model that was technically in advance of its contemporaries. The Flavia was the company’s first front-wheel-drive car, with power from a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder alloy “boxer” unit.

Fessia had long been a devotee of FWD, and he believed that 62% of the Flavia’s weight needed to be above the front wheels. The reasoning behind such a layout was to avoid torque steer and maximise traction. The four-speed all-synchromesh transmission was controlled via a steering column lever, and there was also dual hydraulic circuit all-disc braking – another “first”. As for the Flavia’s appearance, Pietro Castagnero’s styling is best described as ‘quietly dignified’.

The Flavia debuted at the 1960 Turin Motor Show, and for 1,800,000 lire the customer gained a smart and extremely refined saloon, albeit not especially fast; the top speed was 96 mph. The list of equipment included quad headlamps, a cigar lighter, a tachometer and a front bench seat that could recline to form a double bed.

In Italy, the Flavia created its own niche. The Alfa Romeo 2600 saloon was more substantial while the very agreeable Fiat 1800/2300 had a slightly more downmarket image. As for British-market sales, these were almost inevitably limited. Lancia had officially sold cars in the UK since 1928, but they would not operate a dealership network until 33 years later.

The advertisements for the Flavia promised ‘Motoring at its Mostest’, but you would need a sympathetic bank manager before calling HYDe Park 7166 for a test drive.  Motor Sport observed in a 1962 test:

The Lancia Flavia is not a status symbol, but it is a very fine proposition for those who want individuality and refinement from a not-too-big car. At present the price in this country is inflated to £2,187 12s and even on the Common Market the basic price of £1,500 is high but, disregarding sordid finance, this is one of the World’s outstanding family cars.

However, as the Lancia cost somewhat more than a Jaguar 3.8 Mk.2, it was indeed a status symbol. An Autocar report of the previous year was rather more accurate in describing the Flavia as ‘a car for the connoisseur’. In Britain of the early 1960s, a Lancia was about as remote from everyday life as Marcello Mastroianni was from Coronation Street. Possibly the nearest alternative to the Flavia was a Slough-built Citroën DS19, for both appealed to the well-heeled driver who appreciated fine engineering.

Over the next 14 years, the Flavia would encompass various coupes, convertibles and engine options but the original Tipo 815 Berlina was the cornerstone of the range. It would not be an exaggeration to refer to it as one of Lancia’s most important models – one that redefined the marque’s image for the 1960s.  Or, as the sales copy put it - ‘a car of superlatives’.

Why choose Lancaster Insurance?

Here at Lancaster, we love classic cars as much as you do and we understand what it takes to protect them for future generations.

We have links with some of the top classic car clubs around the country and some of our policies even offer discounts of up to 25% for club members.

Other benefits of classic car insurance through Lancaster can include:

  • Historic rally cover
  • Static show cover
  • Limit mileage discounts
  • Choice of repairer
  • 24-hour claims helpline

Give your classic the protection it deserves and get a quote for your classic today.  

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27 April 2020

The Alfa Romeo 1900 Berlina – A Celebration

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

Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars show 2021 date revealed

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

When did you last see - a Ford Consul "Base"

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

JASON JORDAN’S ESSEX POLICE FORD GRANADAS

‘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 Renault 4CV - A Celebration

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

MEET THE OWNER – BRIAN HALL AND HIS MG 1100

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

HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY PRACTICAL CLASSICS!

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

10 of the best American muscle cars

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

Meet the Owner - Georg Dönni and His Daimler Ladbroke Avon Estate

‘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

Classic car rallies around the world

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

Coronavirus and your car insurance - Lancaster Insurance is here to support you

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.

March 2020

31 March 2020

THE RAREST CARS IN BRITAIN - THE CIMITAN FAMILY'S FIAT 127 GT 1300

‘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

CAR OF THE MONTH – STEPHEN PARRISH AND HIS 1934 CITROEN ROSALIE

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

PHIL CAUNT AND THE PRISONER MOKE

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

NHS Volunteers

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 .IIIs

1965 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

MEET THE OWNER – BERNIE PEAL AND HIS RILEY TWO-POINT-SIX

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

Covid-19 Message

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

MEET THE OWNER – BUDD BIRKITT AND HIS HILLMAN MINX

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

MEET THE OWNER – STEVE WADDINGHAM AND HIS AUSTIN ALLEGRO 1100 DE LUXE

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

THE FIRST BRITISH “LIMITED EDITION” CAR – THE MORRIS MINOR MILLION

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

DO YOU REMEMBER THE VOLVO PV444 AND PV544?

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

Do you Remember the Singer Hunter?

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

40 YEARS OF THE AUDI QUATTRO

'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.

February 2020

28 February 2020

Top Gear – The Early Years

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

The countdown is on for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show!

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

Club of the month

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

MEET THE OWNER – MARTIN KEEPING AND HIS MORRIS A60 “SUN-TOR”

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

MEET THE OWNER – LUKE HARWIN AND HIS FORD ZODIAC MK. III FARNHAM ESTATE

'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

MEET THE OWNER – STEPHEN HITCHCOCK AND HIS AUSTIN A35 VANS

‘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

DO YOU REMEMBER THE SUNBEAM IMP SPORT AND THE SINGER CHAMOIS SPORT?

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

The UK’s best surfing hotspots

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

MEET THE OWNER – MATT DEBBAGE AND HIS TRIUMPH DOLOMITE

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 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.

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.

Best classic car shows of 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.

January 2020

30 January 2020

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.

ONE FAMILY FROM NEW – MICHAEL WRIGLEY’S RENAULT 20 TS

‘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.

29 January 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER THE SKODA 1000 MB?

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 renews sponsorship of the MG Owners’ Club Championship

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

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.

GEMS FROM THE SAINSBURY’S ARCHIVE - SOUTHAMPTON 1977

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.

20 January 2020

What is CarFest?

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

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?’.

“Forgotten Favourites” at the Beaulieu’s International Autojumble

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 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

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.

THE CITROEN 2CV6 SPECIAL – AN APPRECIATION

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.

10 January 2020

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.

4 of our favourite celebrity petrol heads

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?

09 January 2020

THE BULLITT MUSTANG IS FOR SALE…

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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE LEA-FRANCIS LYNX?

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

REMEMBERING THE TOYOTA CROWN S110

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

FIVE CAR-RELATED RESOLUTIONS FOR 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.

December 2019

19 December 2019

Top tips for buying a car at auction

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

How to cross the channel in your motorhome

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

Lancaster Insurance’ Christmas Opening/Closing Times

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

We have a winner - Lancaster Insurance reveal winner of the MK1 Mazda Eunos Roadster!

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

Why we love the Ford Capri

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 TRIUMPH DOLOMITE SPRINT – A CELEBRATION

‘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 MINI FROM ITALY

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

DO YOU REMEMBER THE ALFA ROMEO ALFA 6?

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.

November 2019

29 November 2019

Relive the 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show

The 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, took place on Friday 8th to Sunday 10th November and was a Top Trump show not to be missed.

28 November 2019

TEN OVERLOOKED TV SERIES WITH GREAT CARS

You never forget the cars seen on television during your formative years, and so here are ten examples of fine machinery in now-forgotten series. Fans of The Danedyke Mystery, Touch and Go, Accident, King Cinder, Potter’s Picture Palace or The Freewheelers will have to wait for anther blog…

27 November 2019

MEET THE OWNER – THE JACK BARNES FORD ESCORT MK. I

Jack Barnes is the owner of a car that can be truly called a ‘time warp’ vehicle. He came by his 1968 Escort 1100 De Luxe Mk. I three years ago when there were a mere 18,000 miles on the clock and every detail reminds you of why the ‘small cars that aren’t’ made such an impact on British motorists

THE ORIGINAL AUSTIN-HEALEY

One of the most famous stories about the 1952 London Motor Show is that the new Healey 100 was parked behind a post as Donald Healey was so dubious about the appearance of the radiator grille.

40 YEARS OF THE TALBOT SUNBEAM LOTUS

“By any standards the first new model to bear the Talbot name has superb performance; by the standards of any other small three-door hatchback saloon — even the Vauxhall Chevette 2300 HS — the performance of this 2.2-litre, 150 bhp Lotus-engined Sunbeam is absolutely sensational.”

26 November 2019

Club of the month – Enthusiasts of British Motor Vehicles before 1985

Enthusiasts of British Motor Vehicles is a non-subscription Facebook-based group founded in 2014 and they have a worldwide membership of more than 25,000 and growing.

25 November 2019

MEET THE OWNER - ERIC CHRISTOFFERSEN AND HIS VESPA 400S

A few weeks ago, we featured a blog about the Vespa 400 – and Eric Christoffersen is the proud owner of two examples. Few people in the UK are familiar with this splendid machine and so when he is out and about, the public reaction is often one of confusion.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE CHRYSLER SUNBEAM?

In the late 1970s, a new Chrysler Sunbeam was the sort of car that cut a dash, one that seemed to belong in the same world as the hostess trolley and the Goblin Teasmade. A few people admiring one in the local shopping centre car park would have guessed it was developed at breakneck speed.

A MINI ALTERNATIVE? – THE VESPA 400

In the aftermath of the Mini’s 60th birthday, it is always interesting to consider some of its alternatives from 1959 – such as this gem. When the Piaggio company created the original Vespa scooter in 1946, it literally revolutionised Italian mass-transport.

21 November 2019

ENTHUSIASTS REJOICE AT NEC CLASSIC’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Once again motoring enthusiasts flocked to Birmingham’s NEC in their thousands to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery. Over 71,000 attendees joined the three-day celebration and grand finale to the classic motoring show season.

5 great British classics

We might be slightly biased, but we believe that British automotive engineering is the best in the world. So, trying to pick out just five great British-built classics is no mean feat.

Which campsites in the UK are open all year round for motorhomes?

With the colder season now drawing in, it’s time to think about putting the motorhome away until it warms up again… or maybe not! A winter tour can be a lot of fun – you just need to know what campsites are open at this time of year.

35 YEARS OF THE TOYOTA MR2

Signs That You Feel Old: Lesson Number 489 – when you realise the MR2 is now 35 years old. Virtually anyone who visited the 1984 Motor Show will remember the interest and the sheer excitement on seeing Toyota’s first mid-engine sports car – and the first mass-produced mid-engine car from Japan.

20 November 2019

THE MG 1100 – A CELEBRATION

1962 was the year of two crucial new MGs – the B and the marque’s first FWD car. The 1100 made its bow in October of that year, introducing motorists to the delights of the ‘Most Advanced MG of All Time'.

40 YEARS OF THE VAUXHALL ASTRA

If you paid a visit to the Scottish Motor Show back in 1979, you might well have encountered a very significant new model from Vauxhall, in the forms of an Astra 1300S GL Hatchback – ‘Aerodynamics in Action’ - and 1300S L Estate – ‘Designed with Flair, engineered with quality’.

Where are the best motorhome destinations this winter?

As a motorhome owner, you have complete freedom over where you go this winter. But, of course, you want to ensure you end up somewhere that’s going to make for a good time.

Tips for your first classic car restoration project

We’re here to help ensure you don’t become yet another classic car enthusiast with a half-finished restoration project sat in the garage forever. Or perhaps you’ve already reached that point and you need to be inspired to get your tools out again?

19 November 2019

70 YEARS OF THE VOLKSWAGEN TYPE 2

The 12th November 1949 marked the press launch of a rather remarkable commercial vehicle. It was a van that was essentially a box on wheels, with access to the load bay via side doors and a rear engine. Its standards of handling, gearchange and steering surpassed virtually all domestic rivals, and the new Volkswagen Type 2 looked set for a long career.

15 November 2019

THE MINI FROM SPAIN – SIMON WHEATCROFT’S AUTHI COOPER 1300

‘Most people think it is either an Innocenti or a British Mini with Innocenti bits – about one person per year recognises it as an Authi’.

70 YEARS OF THE VOLKSWAGEN TYPE 2

The 12th November 1949 marked the press launch of a rather remarkable commercial vehicle. It was a van that was essentially a box on wheels, with access to the load bay via side doors and a rear engine. Its standards of handling, gearchange and steering surpassed virtually all domestic rivals, and the new Volkswagen Type 2 looked set for a long career.

14 November 2019

£61,000 donated to charity from Classic and Supercar Show

Rotary Clubs distributed a total of £61,000 to one national and 18 local charities at Sherborne Castle on 8th November. Nigel Young, Chairman of Trustees for the Sherborne Classic Cars CIO, said ‘This was a truly astonishing result following 12 months of work by the Organising Committee from members of the Yeo Vale, Sherborne Castles and Brue Valley Rotary Clubs.'

13 November 2019

THE LANCASTER INSURANCE STAND AT THE 2019 CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW

You really could not miss the Ford Mustang on the Lancaster Insurance stand at the 2019 Classic Motor Show. It was a vehicle so stunning that Mr. Steven McQueen himself would have undoubtedly fallen in love with it, had he entered a time portal during the planning for Bullitt.

12 November 2019

The 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show

Such was the impact of the 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, no mere report could possibly do it justice. Here are just 50 impressions of the event from our resident blog writer Andrew Roberts:

08 November 2019

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE FORD ESCORT GHIA MK. II?

Growing up in a Hampshire village where the local newspaper would bear a headline such as ‘Chaos As Radical New Strawberry Punnet Design Is Unveiled’, a Ford Escort Ghia Mk. II appeared the epitome of high living.

Top Ten Limited Edition Ford Capris

Every Ford Capri is special, but some are more special than others. Here are ten examples from the Heyday of the Limited Edition Capri.

06 November 2019

Seventy Years of the AA Land-Rover

For the past 71 years, Land-Rover has been associated with serving the public – police, fire, ambulance, coast-guard, mountain rescue – and, of course, the AA and the RAC.

The Mini Cooper S MK.III - A Celebration

Many of you have been following https://www.facebook.com/italianjobmini/ and will be very familiar with Tanya Field’s Cooper S Mk III, which goes by the nom-de-Mini of “Paddy”.

05 November 2019

Top Trumps at the NEC

One of the many attractions of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show is the opportunity to play Top Trumps – a game that will resonate with many of my vintage.

Car of the month: Andrew Bell's Ford Granada GL MK. I

‘A lot of people mention The Sweeney, and most assume it is the 3-litre - despite the badging on the wings’. But his splendid Ford is actually a 2-Litre G and, as it dates from April 1977, it is one of the last of examples of the Mk. I before the launch of the Mk. II.

04 November 2019

Meet the Owner - Lee Jones and his Austin 1100 Panda Car

If you watch virtually any British police drama of the 1970s, you might have the idea that every vehicle that was not a Flying Squad Ford Consul GT was a Rover P6B or a Triumph 2.5 PI Mk. II. However, one vehicle that was equally associated with law enforcement was the BLMC ADO16 Panda Car.

01 November 2019

Genevieve - A Celebration

As the London – Brighton Veteran Car Run 2019 takes place this Sunday - https://www.veterancarrun.com/ - we are proud to present (cue Tim Turner-style jolly voiceover), a tribute to one of Britain’s greatest films; Genevieve

The M1 at 60

Britain’s first motorway, the Preston By-pass, commenced operations on the 5th December 1958 but this new highway promised a brave new world, one where motorists would eventually be able to travel to and from London with no speed limits.

October 2019

30 October 2019

Celebrating the 1959 Earls Court Motor Show

Was 1959 the year of the ultimate Motor Show? Some readers might argue that this might be more applicable to the 1948 event. Others consider it was 1955, 1962 or 1970.

28 October 2019

40 Years of Minder

What is the most famous Ford Capri in the history of British cinema and television?

25 October 2019

The Italian Job 50th Anniversary with Art by Bex

THE ITALIAN JOB 50thANNIVERSARY with ART by BEX - BEX CELEBRATES THE ICONIC ITALIAN JOB ANNIVERSARY WITH HER EXCLUSIVE SIGNED ARTWORKS

24 October 2019

A Celebration of the Hillman Husky

We sometimes forget how slow-paced life in the recent past could be; telephone calls that took aeons for the local exchange to connect, television sets that took minutes to warm up and cars that appeared to take centuries to reach 60 mph. The Hillman Husky never had any pretensions to speed, but it provided reliable and honest transport for many years after the end of production.

23 October 2019

Meet the Owner - Steve Everest and his Austin-Healey 3000 MK.1

‘The public reaction to my Austin-Healey tends to be a selection of the following – “I had one of those in the past but had to because of wedding/divorce/university fees” - or something of the nature – or “I had to stop being silly when I got married and had to buy a practical car”’.

22 October 2019

The Mini from Spain – Simon Wheatcroft's Authi Cooper 1300

‘Most people think it is either an Innocenti or a British Mini with Innocenti bits – about one person per year recognises it as an Authi’. In 1965 the British Motor Corporation signed an agreement with Nueva Montaña Quijano S.A. to form Authi - Automoviles de Turismo Hispano Ingleses – and Simon Wheatcroft’s Cooper 1300 is one of over 140,000 Minis to leave the Pamplona factory.

Our tips for driving a motorhome for the very first time

If you’ve only ever driven cars until now, the prospect of getting behind the wheel of a motorhome might seem pretty daunting. The thought of scraping the side of your new pride and joy as you attempt to make a manoeuvre is not pleasant at all.

21 October 2019

The BMW Neue Klasse – A Celebration

When Autocar evaluated the BMW 1800 Ti their conclusion is best described as ‘uber-1965’; "For the sporting driver who is denied a two-seater for family reasons we would put this 1800TI high on the list. Yet this car would appeal as much to the young (but rich) bachelor who enjoys his driving, knows how to handle a fast machine and most of all appreciates quality engineering."

18 October 2019

Lancaster Insurance celebrates 35 years in the classic car game at NEC

Lancaster Insurance, headline sponsor of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year alongside the show.

Why some people still adore classic cars

People who have never owned a classic car may wonder what all the fuss is about. They’re inconvenient, they break down, and they’re not as safe as today’s modern motors, with their high tech air bags and crumple zones.

The most amazing classic cars

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. So, trying to come up with a list of the most amazing classic cars is fraught with subjectivity. But we think you’re sure to agree with at least a couple of the cars we’ve selected on this list.

17 October 2019

First Ten Classics Revealed in the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership Autumn Final

The first ten classics to secure a place in the autumn final of the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership will showcase the widely varied tastes of motoring. Always such a diverse display at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, the autumn final is no exception and includes the first ever Ferrari in the line-up.

16 October 2019

Meet the Owner - Paul Stokes and His 1978 Police Vauxhall VX2300

Any FE-series Vauxhall has the ability to turn heads – especially the 1978 VX2300 owned by Paul Stokes.

14 October 2019

Meet the Owner - Freddy Harris and His Fiat Pandas

‘You get a mixture of reactions – some people really love it and some people who don’t really get it’, remarks Freddy Harris of his 1982 Panda 45 – and this reflected the response to the first RHD examples in May 1981.

11 October 2019

Five Lancaster Insurance’s Special Edition Top Trumps packs to include exclusive golden ticket

To celebrate this year’s theme, attendees to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery have the opportunity to buy a special edition Classic Car Top Trumps pack.

10 October 2019

40 Years of the Ford Escort Harrier

Towards the end of the Escort Mk. II’s run, Ford introduced a spate of limited-edition versions. There was the Linnet, the Goldcrest and the Huntsman Estate; the last-named much appealed to my younger self with its list of extras that included ‘Halogen Driving Lights’ and ‘Tailgate Wash/Wipe’.

09 October 2019

Classic cars sold at auction: The most expensive ever!

Every now and then, a classic car will go to auction with a price tag so high that only the billionaire enthusiasts stand a real chance of ever owning it. Let’s take a look at the 10 most expensive classic cars ever to be sold at auction. In reverse order...

Meet the owner - Adrian Pascu-Tulbure and his Dacia 1310

In the wake of our recent blog on the Dacia 1300/3010, the Romanian interpretation of the Renault 12, we are pleased to introduce Adrian Pascu-Tulbure, the owner of one of these fine cars.

Is my classic car eligible for MOT and road tax exemption?

You may have heard about the MOT and road tax perks of owning a classic car, but you might be unsure whether you can benefit from them. By the end of this article, you’ll know whether or not you’re eligible for MOT and road tax exemption, and how to declare your classic car as exempt.

08 October 2019

12 classic cars for your wedding day

If you’re the blushing bride, wedding day transport might be quite low on your priority list, after the dress, the cake and the photographer. But the car that’s going to get you to the church on time needs some careful consideration, too!

07 October 2019

Meet the owner - Nicholas Jervis and his Standard Vanguard Sportsman

‘Admiration as it is so different from a Euro box – but you do get the odd critic!’. These are some of public responses to Nicholas Jervis’s 1958 Standard Vanguard Sportsman, which is now one of the most exclusive British saloons of the 1950s.

04 October 2019

Our top tips for keeping your classic car secure

Car thefts have risen rapidly in the last five years, putting a greater emphasis on ensuring you are doing all you can to keep your pride and joy secure and in your possession.

03 October 2019

70 Years of the Volkswagen Type 2

The 12th November 1949 marked the press launch of a rather remarkable commercial vehicle. It was a van that was essentially a box on wheels, with access to the load bay via side doors and a rear engine. Its standards of handling, gearchange and steering surpassed virtually all domestic rivals, and the new Volkswagen Type 2 looked set for a long career.

Meet the Owner - Ed Herridge and his Vauxhall Cresta PB

‘An extra gear would be nice’ remarks Ed Herridge of his 1963 Cresta but this is a minor cavil about one of the most handsome - and underrated of all Vauxhalls. When the PB made its bow on the 3rd October 1962, the press and public alike were highly taken with its understated looks.

02 October 2019

How do you store a classic car?

With summer quickly turning into autumn and winter, it’s time to think about preparing your classic car for hibernation. Storing your vehicle so that it’s protected from the elements will help prevent corrosion and keep out those musty smells that can permeate your car’s interior.

NEC Classic Launches '35 Years of Motoring' with Greatest Hits Radio

Another exciting new display has been added to this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, as part of its 35th anniversary celebrations. A special ‘35 years in motoring with Greatest Hits Radio’ display will show how motoring has evolved since the first show opened in 1984.

Meet the owner - Liam Dover and his Austin A105 Vanden Plas

‘A lot don’t know what it is. Or have never heard of an A105 Vanden Plas and are shocked. But everyone loves them - young and old’.

September 2019

24 September 2020

MEET THE OWNER – KEN COOKE AND HIS AUSTIN 101 VAN

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

How to research the history of your classic car

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

ALMOST EXTINCT – SEVEN RARE CLASSICS

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

THE VAUXHALL VIVA HC AT 50

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

Diana Rigg 1938 - 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

THE CITROEN GS AT 50

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

MEET THE OWNER – MARK MCCLELLAND AND HIS VAUXHALL ASTRA GTE MK. I

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

THE MOT TEST AT 60 – A CELEBRATION

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

THE FORD ESCORT MK.III AT 40

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

THE FIAT 600 MULTIPLA – A CELEBRATION

Sixty years ago, contestants and officials at the Olympic Games were transported by a fleet of extremely distinctive Fiats.

03 September 2020

7 classic cars made famous by Bond

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

Best classic cars for first-time owners

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?

30 September 2019

A Celebration of the Daimler DC27 Ambulance

There are three types of vehicle that you might reasonably expect to encounter in a British film of the 1950s – a police Wolseley 6/80, an RT double-decker bus and a Daimler DC27 ambulance.

Club Of The Month - The Jaguar Drivers' Club

This month’s accolade goes to The Jaguar Drivers' Club. Formed in 1956, the clubs’ headquarters are in Luton and it is the only Jaguar club officially recognised by Sir William Lyons.