Latest news

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 specialist insurance up to date!

While many of these cars may be out of reach of the average classic car enthusiast there’s no harm in dreaming.

So, grab your popcorn, make yourself comfortable and sit back for our list of 7 classic cars made famous by Bond.

 

Aston Martin DB5

Dubbed ‘the most famous car in the world’ the Aston Martin DB5 is undoubtedly the best-known car in Bond history and the one that forged the only long-term relationship 007 has managed to maintain.

Coloured in distinctive silver birch and first appearing in 1964’s ‘Goldfinger’ the popularity of the model exceeded all expectations, even challenging Sean Connery for star billing.

The car was used again in ‘Thunderball’ (1965), ‘GoldenEye’ (1995), ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ (1997), ‘Casino Royale’ (2006), ‘Skyfall’ (2012), ‘Spectre’ (2015) and ‘No Time To Die’ (2020). Thereby exceeding Roger Moore’s tally of seven Bond film appearances.

An Aston Martin DB5 parked in a gravel car park on a sunny day

AMC Hornet

Arguably the most famed non-Aston vehicle driven by the fictional spy, the AMC may not have been Bond’s personal choice, but sometimes money talks.

For 1974’s ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ the manufacturer paid an incredible $5m to have a heavily modified version of the car featured in the film.

However, any griping from purists was silenced by one of the best Bond movie stunts of all time.

After smashing the red hatchback through a showroom window, Bond (now played by Roger Moore) uses it to chase Scaramanga through the streets of Bangkok and perform a jaw-dropping 360-degree twisting corkscrew jump across a river.

The AMC Hornet is one of the favourite Bond cars for classic car collectors on a budget.

 

Lotus Esprit S1

There are few cars to have so dominated the memory of a film as the Lotus Esprit S1 in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977).

With Barbara Bach riding shotgun and the bad guy’s helicopter in hot pursuit, Bond is forced to drive the Lotus off a pier and into the sea.

The car proceeds to dispatch the waiting armed frogmen and turn itself into a submarine before escaping.

The nonchalance with which Bond then drives up on to the beach past a group of gaping tourists is classic Bond.

The Lotus' appearance was so memorable that after the film premiere, the Esprit received orders for the next three years in advance.

Unfortunately, folding wheels, fins and a periscope did not come as standard.

The front left side of a Lotus Espirit in a garage

Citroen 2CV

In the follow up movie ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (1981) Bond and his current damsel in distress Melina Havelock escape from evil villain Hector Gonzales in a classic two-cylinder French Citroën 2CV.

The distinctively squat, bright yellow vehicle takes quite a battering during the chase but still manages to survive to fight another day.

Citroën launched a special 2CV 007 edition to coincide with the product placement in the film.

This was a Jaune Hélios 2CV 6 Spécial, painted in yellow with 007 and fake bullet hole stickers to boot.

A blue Citroen 2CV parked in-front of a quaint village house

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II

Roger Moore’s run as Bond featured a wealth of cheesy one-liners but also some of the most stylish Bond cars ever seen. And 1985’s ‘A View to a Kill’ was no exception.

One of Bond’s most memorable aliases James St John Smythe is perfectly suited to the 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II in which he is chauffeured around the stunning Chateau de Chantilly in France.

While the impressive Rolls is used to great advantage in several scenes it unfortunately didn’t feature in the obligatory car chase.

Why not you may ask? Well the Rolls was the pride and joy of Bond film producer Albert R (Cubby) Broccoli.

Even with classic car insurance it might have been an explosion too far!

 

BMW Z3

As well as featuring the return of the DB5, ‘GoldenEye’ also began a three-movie deal between BMW and the Bond franchise.

Despite a fanfare of marketing publicity and a range of fancy weapons Bond purists feel the appearance was a bit of a let-down. The Z3 made only a brief appearance before being traded in for a plane.

As a result, it remains one of the few cars returned to Q without a scratch! Despite this the entire first year’s production run of over 15,000 Roadsters were sold out before the first one arrived at BMW dealers.

One hundred lucky buyers managed to secure an exclusive James Bond edition Z3 with the same Atlantic Blue and Taupe leather livery as 007’s.

A black BMW Z3 parked on a field with the roof down on a sunny day

Aston Martin DB10

Introduced as the ‘first cast member’ of the 24th Bond film ‘Spectre’ the DB10 was unveiled by director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli as part of the official press launch of the film.

Stolen from fellow agent 009, Bond took the bespoke grand tourer on a perfectly choreographed one-on-one car chase against a Spectre villain’s Jaguar CX-75 through the streets of Rome, before ending up in the Tiber.

However, if you’re thinking of picking one up then think again.

Incredibly, the car was created specifically for the film and only 10 units of this 4.7 litre, V8-powered beauty were built in-house by the company’s design and engineering team.

 

Choosing classic car insurance

Whether you’re already living the dream and have grabbed yourself one of these beauties or looking to purchase one of Bond’s lesser known classics, you’ll need insurance.

For over 35 years the team at Lancaster has specialised in arranging both comprehensive and bespoke insurance cover for the cherished vehicles of countless classic car enthusiasts.

Working with carefully selected underwriters we use our wealth of expertise and knowledge of the car industry to quote for virtually every classic car available, even hard-to-insure models.

Call our team on 01480 484826 today to get a quote from www.lancasterinsurance.co.uk/insurance/classic-car-insurance/.

Share this story, choose your platform

Recent Posts

Tags

News from the last 12 months

January 2021

26 January 2021

What is the Sporting Bears Motor Club?

Classic cars are a source of joy for their owners – why not share that joy with children who are in need? That’s the idea behind Sporting Bears Motor Club, a group of classic car and sports car enthusiasts who come together to raise money for good causes and make children’s dreams come true.

25 January 2021

MEET THE OWNER – DAVE MORRIS AND HIS OXFORD SERIES V

In the 1950s a Morris Oxford belonged to the same comfortably secure realm as The Billy Cotton Band Show and Mrs Dale’s Diary – which is why the Series V caused alarm and consternation on its launch in March 1959.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE VOLVO 760 TURBO?

Picture the scene. It is the spring of 1986 and waiting at a set of traffic lights are a sober-looking new Volvo Estate and a 1977 Capri 3.0S Mk. II festooned with “Go Faster” stripes and driven by a Paul Calf-look-alike.

22 January 2021

MEET THE OWNER – MATTHEW SMITH AND HIS CITROEN TRACTION AVANT COMMERCIALE

Back in 2019, we posted a feature about the Traction Avant Commerciale, the car that is arguably the world’s first hatchback. And today, our star classic is Matthew’s 1956 example, which is used and enjoyed the way Citroën intended.

THE LEYLAND PRINCESS 100 CLUB SPECIAL – A CELEBRATION

Some Limited Edition cars, along the lines of the Ford Zephyr 6 Mk. IV Special or the Hillman Hunter Topaz, were produced to clear the showrooms of soon to be replaced models. Others, such as the Morris Minor Million, the Mini 1100 Special or the Ford Capri 280 “Brooklands”, celebrated a milestone anniversary or marked the end of a highly respected vehicle.

Can you use E10 fuel in your classic car?

Motoring fans like nothing better than starting up their classic and taking it out for a regular run through the countryside. After all the pleasurable hours of tinkering, it’s fantastic to really let rip and soak up some admiring glances from other road users.

The Austin Metro turns 40

Much-loved cheeky 80s runabout the Austin Mini Metro turns 40 this year. Often the butt of jokes for being on the rusty, dowdy, unreliable side, the Austin Metro is now achieving a cult following from a new, younger crowd.

5 classic cars with crazy doors

Not all doors are created equal. While many of us know only the standard car door (supercar owners aside), there have been some innovative (some might call them crazy) attempts over the years to switch things up – with varying degrees of success, we might add.

21 January 2021

FIVE MINI COOPER RIVALS

The Mini Cooper will be 60 years on 20th September, and naturally, we will be celebrating this milestone in summer. To best understand just how the Austin “Seven” Cooper/Morris Mini Cooper twins transformed the sports saloon, take a look at five potential rivals from 1961.

MEET THE OWNER – PAUL MATTHEWS AND HIS FORD FIESTA SANDPIPER II

About twenty years ago, the first-generation Ford Fiesta seemed to largely vanish from Britain’s roads – which is one reason why Paul’s 1981 model attracts attention wherever it goes. And course, any Sandpiper II automatically stands out in any classic car gathering.

What to see at Beaulieu Motor Museum

If you’re planning a trip to Beaulieu any time soon, there’s a lot to offer any classic car enthusiast. You could get behind the scenes of BBC’s Top Gear to see cars of all shapes and sizes driven by The Stig and co. Or, you may prefer checking out some of TV and film’s most famous motors courtesy of the ever-changing On-Screen Cars exhibition. Think Del Boy’s Robin Reliant, Mr Bean’s Mini, Bond’s Jaguar XKR, and many, many more...

19 January 2021

8 of the best bubble cars

Bubble cars from the 1950s and 1960s have become increasingly collectable over the past few years. With their quirky designs, fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance and huge fun factor, bubble cars make a great way to enter the classic car club.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE JENSEN-HEALEY?

Some high-profile British cars struggle to transcend a negative image created by the problematic versions. The Hillman Imp falls into this category, as does the Austin Maxi and the Jensen-Healey. Yet it is often forgotten that the last-named was the best-selling vehicle to wear the Jensen name.

18 January 2021

THE ALFA ROMEO 164 – A CELEBRATION

By any standards, the 164 is a very special motor-car. It was the last of the “Tipo 4/Type 4” family, predated by the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and the Saab 9000. It was also the last Alfa Romeo developed before the Fiat takeover of 1986 and one of its generation’s finest sports saloons.

MEET THE OWNER – STEVE TENNICK AND HIS MORRIS MINOR TRAVELLER

A short while ago, Steve was in search of a particular type of Morris Minor Traveller. His wife Marina particularly wanted a split-screen version fitted with an art deco fascia – ‘which turned out to be something of a rarity.

15 January 2021

Does my classic car need seat belts?

If you are the proud owner of a classic car, then depending on which year it was made it may or may not be fitted with seat belts. But what are the laws relating to seat belts in classics? What are the insurance implications? And if you don’t need belts, are there any restrictions to be aware of?

The best Japanese classics

Are you looking to invest in a classic? Perhaps this is your first foray into collecting classics, or perhaps you’re wanting to grow your already-sizeable collection. Either way, this is the fun part: choosing which motor to invest in.

What is the Mille Miglia?

In 1955, the late great Sir Stirling Moss won the Mille Miglia in a record time. His drive in the race has passed into legend as he managed to come out on top against the odds. Even if you’ve heard the story before, it never gets old…

A quick history of Le Mans

Just about everyone has heard of Le Mans – although not everyone has quite got the pronunciation down… They probably know that it’s a 24-hour race, but that’s where most people’s knowledge ends.

08 January 2021

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ORIGINAL ROVER STERLING?

1986 - the year I started sixth form and my first sighting of an imposing metallic silver saloon. It was a car that looked as though it could cope with any road conditions while barely dislodging the owner’s Filofax and A-ha cassettes. It was the new Rover Sterling, a car attempting to bridge the worlds of the Ford Granada Scorpio/Vauxhall Senator and BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. Enthusiasts will tell you that it more than succeeded in this goal.

8 of the best hot hatches

Here are eight of the best hot hatches (in our humble opinion) from over the years - many of which we’re proud to cover here at Lancaster.

07 January 2021

60 YEARS OF THE AVENGERS

1) When The Avengers first aired on 7th January 1961 - the leading man was Ian Hendry as Dr. David Keel, supported by Patrick Macnee as the intelligence agent John Steed.

Classic Fords you remember from childhood

No matter how young or old you are, you’ll remember Fords on the streets of your hometown. From Anglias to Zodiacs, the Ford range over the decades has been quite extraordinary. So which Ford model makes you go all misty-eyed? Jog your memory by reading all about our top 12 Fords in the UK from the 1960s to the 1980s.

06 January 2021

Best places to watch the sunrise in your campervan

You don’t need to be a druid or wait until summer solstice to watch the sunrise. There are beautiful places around the UK that make the perfect spot for you to park up your campervan and enjoy one of nature’s greatest shows.

MEET THE OWNER – MEL HOLLEY AND HIS BEDFORD HA

There was once a time when the HA van was part of the daily routine. It might have delivered your post or your new DER television set, distributed the Co-Op’s groceries or attended to yet another malfunctioning telephone box.

MEET THE OWNER – STEVE TENNICK AND HIS AUSTIN 152 PARALANIAN

The Austin 152 and its Morris J2 twin deserve to be remembered for many reasons. In 1956, they were BMC’s first unitary-construction vans and familiar sights long after production ended in 1967. And they also provided the basis for some delightful motor caravans, such as Steve’s Paralanian motor home

04 January 2021

MEET THE OWNER – ANNA HUGHES-MORRIS AND HER FIAT 132 BELLINI

‘They love it, but some are unsure of what it is as they’ve never seen one before.’ Such a public reaction to Anna’s Fiat 132 Bellini is quite understandable, for it was an unusual sight even when it was new 41 years ago. ‘Beautiful, si?’ read the original advertisements; for here was transport for those whose sartorial role model was “Lewis Collins in Lounge Lizard Mode”.

30 January 2020

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.

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

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.

December 2020

30 December 2020

Best French classic cars

Choosing a Top 10 of French classics is a near-impossible task, with the likes of Renault, Peugeot and Citroën competing against each other as well as lesser-known gems. So, we’ve picked out 10 examples of great cars from the post-war era up to the 1980s that still hold huge appeal for motoring enthusiasts today.

23 December 2020

DVLA update on the use of black and silver number plates

The DVLA has recently announced changes to information on vehicles displaying the old style pre-1973 black and silver number plates.

MEET THE OWNER – GRANT HOWLETT AND HIS ONE-FAMILY-FROM-NEW MG MAGNETTE ZA

Any Z-Series MG is an object of desire – one of the finest British sports saloons of the 1950s and certainly one of the most beautiful. But this 1955 ZA is an exclusive motor-car even by Magnette standards. Not only does it have a total mileage of 54,000, but one family has owned it from new. And it has delighted motoring enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic.

22 December 2020

DINKY TOYS – A CELEBRATION

Was it really 45 years ago that this writer avidly scanned the Dinky brochure for possible birthday and Christmas presents? From 1934 until 1979 the company based at Binns Road in Liverpool produced models that set the benchmark for British die-cast. This newsreel captures the factory in 1967 as it produces one of my favourite Dinky toys – the Fiat 2300 Estate “Pathé Newsreel Camera Car”

21 December 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ROVER 600?

A highlight of the May 1993 edition of Car magazine was Roger Bell’s evaluation of a 620SLi opposite the BMW 318i, the Citroen Xantia 2.0 and the Ford Mondeo 2.0 GLX. His article was headlined ‘Rover bites back’, and he concluded:

Top Ten Screen Motoring Clichés

Or – what I have learned over several decades of viewing: 1) “Period Dramas” in which virtually every car is a new or recent model for that year. The road footage of almost any 1950s or 1960s newsreel will contain a multitude of elderly vehicles. And just take a look at The Sweeney, with its armies of corroding Austin A60 Cambridges and Singer Vogues on the streets of Hammersmith and Battersea

18 December 2020

THE SENATOR – VAUXHALL’S ANSWER TO BMW AND MERCEDES-BENZ

There is a select group of cars that are so quietly efficient and dependable that they were often taken for granted during their lifetime. The Vauxhall Senator is one such vehicle – purposeful, luxurious and rather handsome. Plus, in 24v form, one of the great Q-Cars of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

17 December 2020

THE ARMSTRONG SIDDELEY STAR SAPPHIRE MK.II – A CELEBRATION

At first, it looks like any other example of the exquisite Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire – until you notice those quad headlamps. Then you realise that it is fitted with a larger rear screen and more prominent rear wings while the cabin features front head restraints that double as picnic tables for the occupants of the back seat. This is the one and only example of the Star Sapphire Mk. 2.

16 December 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ORIGINAL RELIANT REGAL?

The Reliant 3/25 family is so well-known in the UK that the impact of the original Regal three-wheeler is frequently overlooked. Today they are chiefly spotted at car shows or in the background of 1950s and 1960s British film, but this was the vehicle that helped to transform the marque’s image.

15 December 2020

MEET THE OWNER – MATT HOUGHTON AND HIS FORD GRANADA MK. I ESTATE

The Ford Granada Mk. I Estate has to be one of the most attractive station wagons of the 1970s – and the rarest. Some of us of a certain age will remember the green metallic example driven by “Jeffrey Fourmile” in George and Mildred and today Matt’s 1975 2.5 “Series 2” is almost guaranteed to cause a sensation. After all, there can be very few examples of a ‘completely unrestored original 45,000-mile car never been welded or messed about with’ still on the road.

What to do if you’ve lost your MOT certificate

An MOT has been an important part of owning a vehicle for many years. It’s a test that is carried out on cars, vans, campervans, motorbikes and lorries annually. If you’re buying a new vehicle, it will require its first test after three years – and yearly after that.

14 December 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER - THE SUNBEAM HARRINGTON ALPINE?

In the years immediately before the launch of the MGB GT in 1965, a sports car enthusiast who craved greater weather protection for winter had a limited choice. None of the “Big Five” manufacturers offered a sleek 2+2 tourer with the partial exception of the Consul Capri GT. However, the sort of motorist who favoured flat hats and club blazers would probably have regarded the Ford as transport for flashy types who used too much aftershave.

11 December 2020

How to care for your classic convertible’s hood

While you might have classic car insurance in place to protect you against any mishaps, you don’t really want to be claiming on your policy for something that was avoidable. That’s why we’re bringing you some tips on how to care for your classic convertible’s hood.

SPOT-ON MODELS – A CELEBRATION

During the 1960s Tri-ang’s “Spot-On” models - so-called because its products were precisely to 1/42 scale – often seemed a cut above those of Corgi or Dinky. Sales commenced in April 1959 and from the outset their die-cast toys featured interior detailing, predating both of its major rivals. They also adopted a ‘constant scale’ policy, at a time when the products of other manufacturers would vary according to need.

10 December 2020

THE FIAT X1/9 - A CELEBRATION

When Tony Bastable took the Fiat X1/9 through its paces for Thames Television’s Drive In - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvLyqB8MPrQ - he reported ‘it’s got style, its lively and it handles beautifully’. At that time British motorists had been awaiting imports of the X1/9 for several years. By 1974 Radbourne Racing Ltd. offered a RHD conversion, but it would not be until January 1977 when Fiat would officially launch a UK-market version.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE SUNBEAM STILETTO?

The year is 1967, and your dilemma is a) craving a new Porsche 911 while b) having a most unsympathetic bank manager. Fortunately, the Rootes Group had just launched a new car ‘for men whose wives think they’ve given up sports cars’. The advertisement further invited the reader to ‘show her how luxuriously saloon it is – four deep seats, the front ones reclining, plenty of room, and swish twin headlamps’.

CORGI TOYS - A TRIBUTE

In July 1965, the nation’s toy shops stocked a new type of die-cast model car – ‘Corgi Toys - ‘The One’s With Windows’.  At a time when rival products lacked such a feature, this was important news indeed for the discerning consumer. Corgi cars also came in individual illustrated boxes while Dinky Toys supplied their products in trade-packs to retailers.

09 December 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE VAUXHALL CAVALIER SPORTS HATCH?

When Autocar tested the 2.0 GLS Sports Hatch in February 1980, they accurately described it as ‘just plain nice’. It was a truly desirable machine – less overtly aggressive in appearance than the Ford Capri Mk. III - and a Jade Green Metallic Sports Hatch was as much of its era as bomber jackets and Harp lager in thin glasses. And although the Cavalier Mk. I was Luton’s interpretation of the Opel Manta B; the Sports Hatch was a British creation.

THE AUSTIN LANCER AND THE MORRIS MAJOR – A CELEBRATION

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!

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.

08 December 2020

MEET THE OWNER – DEAN USHER AND HIS VAUXHALL VIVA HC

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.

07 December 2020

MEET THE OWNER – TONY HORWOOD AND HIS RENAULT 16 TX

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

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

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’.

04 December 2020

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

‘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

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.

03 December 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE BORGWARD ISABELLA?

‘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.

01 December 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE WOLSELEY SIX?

‘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

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.

November 2020

30 November 2020

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

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?

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

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’.

Club of the Month!

Our final Club of the Month award of 2020 goes to the Morris Marina Owners Club & Morris Ital Register! Started in 1984 by Frank Philips and Clive Higgins, in the year that the last Morris Ital was built, the Club has supported owners of the Morris Marina, Ital and all of its derivatives with its mission statement to ‘Inform –Preserve - Drive – Enjoy.’

Alex Cursley – review of final round of Hyundai Coupe Cup 2020

Our sponsored driver, Alex Cursley, has been back in action in the Hyundai Coupe Cup 2020 and below he takes us through the events of the final round. “The final round was held at Oulton Park in Cheshire and it would decide who would be the 2020 series champion.

27 November 2020

Meet the owner Ian Mackenzie and his Wolseley 1100

‘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.

26 November 2020

Where to store your classic car

Putting your classic into ‘hibernation’ is well advised as it’ll help to protect it from the elements – but where’s best to store it? Not everyone has access to a secure garage, while those that do will be wondering whether to use it for their everyday car or vacate it for their classic.

25 November 2020

Meet the Owner - David Henderson and his Saab 99 GL

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

Why should you sell your car at auction?

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 Jensen 541S - A Celebration

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

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. 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

Classic three-wheelers we love

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

Important Dates in British Motoring History

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

The Bond Cars of Sean Connery

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

The Lady Riva - A Celebration

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

The BMW Baroque Angel – a Celebration

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’.

13 November 2020

How to prevent damage to your campervan windscreen

The windscreen of a classic camper is particularly vulnerable to harm. Any self-respecting owner won’t want the head-turning powers of their retro vehicle to be spoilt by some unsightly cracks or chips.

12 November 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE SIMCA 1501?

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.

Can you convert a classic car to electric?

When it comes to driving in the UK, there is no doubt that the future is electric. So what impact could this electric revolution have on classic cars? And what would be the implications for classic car insurance? Let’s take a closer look below.

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.

How to protect your campervan keys

Whether you’re at home, in the supermarket or at the beach, we all know that sinking feeling when you’re looking for your campervan keys and you have the sudden realisation you’ve lost them. Or even worse, they’ve been stolen!

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 is a classic car Breakfast Club?

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

5 of the best scenic UK road trips

Owing to recent travel restrictions, classic car enthusiasts might be itching to get back behind the wheel of their beloved motors again. And with foreign holidays off the menu a scenic UK road trip could be a perfect remedy.

7 ways to personalise your classic campervan

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

How to choose the right leisure battery for your motorhome

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

The Slough Citroën DS Pallas – A Celebration

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

Car auction myths busted!

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

MEET THE OWNER - JERRAMY TOPPING AND HIS 1950 FORDSON E83W

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

CAR OF THE MONTH – TONY PENMAN’S TOYOTA MR2 MK. II TURBO

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.

October 2020

30 October 2020

THE SUNBEAM ALPINE GT – A CELEBRATION

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

Club of the Month

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

Why motorhomes are one of the safest ways to holiday after lockdown

Let’s look at the reasons why motorhome holidays are booming, and why motorhome insurance is essential for protecting your home on wheels.

2020 Hyundai Coupe Cup – review so far by Alex Cursley

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

A TRIBUTE TO ABINGDON

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

Can you drive a motorhome on prescription medication?

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

MEET THE OWNER – DUNCAN HURST AND HIS ROVER P4 110

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

Classic car road tax explained

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

LANCASTER INSURANCE CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW, WITH DISCOVERY, GOES ONLINE FOR CELEBRATION OF MUCH MISSED SEASON FINALE

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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE TOYOTA CROWN SUPER SALOON?

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

Seven Chrysler UK/Talbot Special Editions

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

MEET THE OWNER – GLYN ANDREWS AND HIS LEDBURY MAESTRO

‘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

40 YEARS OF THE AUSTIN METRO

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

The Jaguar Mk. VII at 70

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

Meet The Owner – Andy Wheeler And His Vauxhall Vx 4/90 Fe

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 Corona Rt40 – The First Toyota In Britain

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

Club of the month

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.

September 2020

30 September 2020

Where will your next 4x4 adventure take you?

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 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. 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

MEET THE OWNER – JOHN BALL AND HIS FORD ZEPHYR-SIX MK. I

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’.

25 September 2020

What to do if your motorhome gets stuck in the mud

Getting stuck on a campsite or even in a layby can be very frustrating and embarrassing but remember, it can happen to even the most experienced of travellers.

24 September 2020

Can a motorhome blow over?

While it’s strongly advised that you shouldn’t drive in difficult weather conditions, sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. But what are the dangers and likelihood of your motorhome actually being blown over by the wind? And what can you do to prevent this?

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?

August 2020

28 August 2020

Club of the month - Classic Camper Club

This month the accolade goes to the Classic Camper Club, which will celebrate its 30th birthday next year!

27 August 2020

CAR OF THE MONTH – ALAN GRIEVE’S TRIUMPH STAG

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 tips for motorhome interiors

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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE AUSTIN A125 SHEERLINE?

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 MG Y SALOON – A CELEBRATION

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

MEET THE OWNER – ALAN CARTWRIGHT AND HIS RENAULT SIETE

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

THE STRANGE WORLD OF THE ZUNDAPP JANUS

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

THE DAIHATSU COMPAGNO – THE FIRST JAPANESE CAR SOLD IN BRITAIN

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

Do you remember - The Bedford Chevanne?

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

The New Avengers re-visited

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

Meet the Owner - Sean Puckle and his Ford Cortina Ghia MK.IV

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.

July 2020

31 July 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE VAUXHALL VENTORA FE?

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

Test your classic car knowledge with Lancaster Insurance Top Trumps packs

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

How to save money on your next campervan holiday

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

MEET THE OWNER – ANDREW PYLE AND HIS VAUXHALL VIVA HA GT BRABHAM

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

THE HISTORY OF THE HIGHWAY CODE

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

60 YEARS OF THE BMC J4

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

MEET THE OWNER – JOHN WORTH AND HIS “HEINZ 57” WOLSELEY HORNET

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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE MG MAGNETTE ZA AND ZB?

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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE AUSTIN A70 HEREFORD?

2020 marks the 70th birthday of several key post-war models, from the Ford Zephyr Mk. I to the Jaguar Mk.

09 July 2020

MEET THE OWNER – TIM LEECH AND HIS ROVER V8S

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

Dos and don’ts when attending classic car shows

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

Classic cars that are family friendly

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

THE MANY CARS OF PETER SELLERS

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.

June 2020

30 June 2020

Club of the month – Renault Owners’ Club

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 to keep your classic car germ free

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

60 YEARS OF THE COMMER “SPACEVAN”

As recently as the 1980s, you might regularly encounter a medium-sized van that resembled an inverted soap-dish.

24 June 2020

Overnight restrictions lifted for motorhome and campervan users in England

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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE MILK FLOAT?

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

MEET THE OWNER – CHRIS JAMES AND HIS NISSAN STANZA

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 Stanza

60 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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ORIGINAL ALFA ROMEO ALFASUD?

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

DO YOU REMEMBER THE STANDARD VANGUARD LUXURY SIX?

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

WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE – A BOND 875?

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

MEET THE OWNER – JOHN LONERGAN AND HIS FORD ESCORT POPULAR PLUS

‘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 1970s

DO 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

THE OTHER JAMES BOND CARS

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.

May 2020

29 May 2020

Are you planning on buying a new classic?

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 Classic

How 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

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ORIGINAL FORD CORTINA GT?

‘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

MEET THE OWNER – LEWIS BUCHAN AND HIS 1964 SCAMMELL SCARAB

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

Meet the Owner - Rich Philpot and his Triumph Herald 1200 Coupe

‘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

MOTORING – 1955 STYLE

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

Can I drive my classic car during the coronavirus pandemic?

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

THE TALBOT SOLARA – AN APPRECIATION

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

MEET THE OWNER – PATRICK BRADLEY AND HIS AUSTIN MONTEGO HL

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.’

April 2020

30 April 2020

Affordable classics from the 90s

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

CAR OF THE MONTH - IAN QUARRY’S MORRIS MINI TRAVELLER

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

Top tips for reversing a motorhome

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

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

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.

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.

January 2020

26 January 2021

What is the Sporting Bears Motor Club?

Classic cars are a source of joy for their owners – why not share that joy with children who are in need? That’s the idea behind Sporting Bears Motor Club, a group of classic car and sports car enthusiasts who come together to raise money for good causes and make children’s dreams come true.

25 January 2021

MEET THE OWNER – DAVE MORRIS AND HIS OXFORD SERIES V

In the 1950s a Morris Oxford belonged to the same comfortably secure realm as The Billy Cotton Band Show and Mrs Dale’s Diary – which is why the Series V caused alarm and consternation on its launch in March 1959.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE VOLVO 760 TURBO?

Picture the scene. It is the spring of 1986 and waiting at a set of traffic lights are a sober-looking new Volvo Estate and a 1977 Capri 3.0S Mk. II festooned with “Go Faster” stripes and driven by a Paul Calf-look-alike.

22 January 2021

MEET THE OWNER – MATTHEW SMITH AND HIS CITROEN TRACTION AVANT COMMERCIALE

Back in 2019, we posted a feature about the Traction Avant Commerciale, the car that is arguably the world’s first hatchback. And today, our star classic is Matthew’s 1956 example, which is used and enjoyed the way Citroën intended.

THE LEYLAND PRINCESS 100 CLUB SPECIAL – A CELEBRATION

Some Limited Edition cars, along the lines of the Ford Zephyr 6 Mk. IV Special or the Hillman Hunter Topaz, were produced to clear the showrooms of soon to be replaced models. Others, such as the Morris Minor Million, the Mini 1100 Special or the Ford Capri 280 “Brooklands”, celebrated a milestone anniversary or marked the end of a highly respected vehicle.

Can you use E10 fuel in your classic car?

Motoring fans like nothing better than starting up their classic and taking it out for a regular run through the countryside. After all the pleasurable hours of tinkering, it’s fantastic to really let rip and soak up some admiring glances from other road users.

The Austin Metro turns 40

Much-loved cheeky 80s runabout the Austin Mini Metro turns 40 this year. Often the butt of jokes for being on the rusty, dowdy, unreliable side, the Austin Metro is now achieving a cult following from a new, younger crowd.

5 classic cars with crazy doors

Not all doors are created equal. While many of us know only the standard car door (supercar owners aside), there have been some innovative (some might call them crazy) attempts over the years to switch things up – with varying degrees of success, we might add.

21 January 2021

FIVE MINI COOPER RIVALS

The Mini Cooper will be 60 years on 20th September, and naturally, we will be celebrating this milestone in summer. To best understand just how the Austin “Seven” Cooper/Morris Mini Cooper twins transformed the sports saloon, take a look at five potential rivals from 1961.

MEET THE OWNER – PAUL MATTHEWS AND HIS FORD FIESTA SANDPIPER II

About twenty years ago, the first-generation Ford Fiesta seemed to largely vanish from Britain’s roads – which is one reason why Paul’s 1981 model attracts attention wherever it goes. And course, any Sandpiper II automatically stands out in any classic car gathering.

What to see at Beaulieu Motor Museum

If you’re planning a trip to Beaulieu any time soon, there’s a lot to offer any classic car enthusiast. You could get behind the scenes of BBC’s Top Gear to see cars of all shapes and sizes driven by The Stig and co. Or, you may prefer checking out some of TV and film’s most famous motors courtesy of the ever-changing On-Screen Cars exhibition. Think Del Boy’s Robin Reliant, Mr Bean’s Mini, Bond’s Jaguar XKR, and many, many more...

19 January 2021

8 of the best bubble cars

Bubble cars from the 1950s and 1960s have become increasingly collectable over the past few years. With their quirky designs, fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance and huge fun factor, bubble cars make a great way to enter the classic car club.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE JENSEN-HEALEY?

Some high-profile British cars struggle to transcend a negative image created by the problematic versions. The Hillman Imp falls into this category, as does the Austin Maxi and the Jensen-Healey. Yet it is often forgotten that the last-named was the best-selling vehicle to wear the Jensen name.

18 January 2021

THE ALFA ROMEO 164 – A CELEBRATION

By any standards, the 164 is a very special motor-car. It was the last of the “Tipo 4/Type 4” family, predated by the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and the Saab 9000. It was also the last Alfa Romeo developed before the Fiat takeover of 1986 and one of its generation’s finest sports saloons.

MEET THE OWNER – STEVE TENNICK AND HIS MORRIS MINOR TRAVELLER

A short while ago, Steve was in search of a particular type of Morris Minor Traveller. His wife Marina particularly wanted a split-screen version fitted with an art deco fascia – ‘which turned out to be something of a rarity.

15 January 2021

Does my classic car need seat belts?

If you are the proud owner of a classic car, then depending on which year it was made it may or may not be fitted with seat belts. But what are the laws relating to seat belts in classics? What are the insurance implications? And if you don’t need belts, are there any restrictions to be aware of?

The best Japanese classics

Are you looking to invest in a classic? Perhaps this is your first foray into collecting classics, or perhaps you’re wanting to grow your already-sizeable collection. Either way, this is the fun part: choosing which motor to invest in.

What is the Mille Miglia?

In 1955, the late great Sir Stirling Moss won the Mille Miglia in a record time. His drive in the race has passed into legend as he managed to come out on top against the odds. Even if you’ve heard the story before, it never gets old…

A quick history of Le Mans

Just about everyone has heard of Le Mans – although not everyone has quite got the pronunciation down… They probably know that it’s a 24-hour race, but that’s where most people’s knowledge ends.

08 January 2021

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ORIGINAL ROVER STERLING?

1986 - the year I started sixth form and my first sighting of an imposing metallic silver saloon. It was a car that looked as though it could cope with any road conditions while barely dislodging the owner’s Filofax and A-ha cassettes. It was the new Rover Sterling, a car attempting to bridge the worlds of the Ford Granada Scorpio/Vauxhall Senator and BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. Enthusiasts will tell you that it more than succeeded in this goal.

8 of the best hot hatches

Here are eight of the best hot hatches (in our humble opinion) from over the years - many of which we’re proud to cover here at Lancaster.

07 January 2021

60 YEARS OF THE AVENGERS

1) When The Avengers first aired on 7th January 1961 - the leading man was Ian Hendry as Dr. David Keel, supported by Patrick Macnee as the intelligence agent John Steed.

Classic Fords you remember from childhood

No matter how young or old you are, you’ll remember Fords on the streets of your hometown. From Anglias to Zodiacs, the Ford range over the decades has been quite extraordinary. So which Ford model makes you go all misty-eyed? Jog your memory by reading all about our top 12 Fords in the UK from the 1960s to the 1980s.

06 January 2021

Best places to watch the sunrise in your campervan

You don’t need to be a druid or wait until summer solstice to watch the sunrise. There are beautiful places around the UK that make the perfect spot for you to park up your campervan and enjoy one of nature’s greatest shows.

MEET THE OWNER – MEL HOLLEY AND HIS BEDFORD HA

There was once a time when the HA van was part of the daily routine. It might have delivered your post or your new DER television set, distributed the Co-Op’s groceries or attended to yet another malfunctioning telephone box.

MEET THE OWNER – STEVE TENNICK AND HIS AUSTIN 152 PARALANIAN

The Austin 152 and its Morris J2 twin deserve to be remembered for many reasons. In 1956, they were BMC’s first unitary-construction vans and familiar sights long after production ended in 1967. And they also provided the basis for some delightful motor caravans, such as Steve’s Paralanian motor home

04 January 2021

MEET THE OWNER – ANNA HUGHES-MORRIS AND HER FIAT 132 BELLINI

‘They love it, but some are unsure of what it is as they’ve never seen one before.’ Such a public reaction to Anna’s Fiat 132 Bellini is quite understandable, for it was an unusual sight even when it was new 41 years ago. ‘Beautiful, si?’ read the original advertisements; for here was transport for those whose sartorial role model was “Lewis Collins in Lounge Lizard Mode”.

30 January 2020

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.

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

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.