In a new series of blogs we get the lowdown from Footman James on things you’ll need to know when buying, selling or simply owning classic cars. This December Footman James looks at the important rules and regulations surrounding black and silver number plates.
Since 1903, it has been a legal requirement for vehicles to display a number plate. Since then, the number plate has gone through several developments including the 1973 change from black and silver number plates to yellow rear and white front reflective plates.
The Aston Martin DB7 GT was launched in 2003 and marked the end of a model that had been in production for some 10 years. The original DB7 was designed by Ian Callum who by that time was already a well-established automotive designer who can also be thanked for several other gorgeous designs. These include the original Vanquish, which took several cues from the DB7 and further jaw-dropping cars such as the Jaguar F-type.
The classic car world runs on passion (and quite a lot of petrol). Mille Miglia eligible cars can be pretty unrewarding at times; when they prove unreliable or when the weather is uncooperative it is only enthusiasm and a lot of dedication that can keep spirits up and the passion alive. However, when the car is running smoothly, the roads are clear, and the weather is fair there is a warm almost smug feeling that fills you with joy and allows you time to enjoy the scenery, the car and the people you are with. There is one event that takes place every year in motoring’s Mecca – northern Italy – that gives you all these sensations in the extreme across its 4-day running. That event is the Mille Miglia: the most beautiful race in the world.
Christmas is rapidly approaching, and if your friends and family are anything like ours, finding the right gifts for classic car enthusiasts can be quite a chore. Here at The Classic Motor Hub we’ve been curating a superb range of automotive gifts, accessories and clothing that the car lover in your life will really appreciate. In no particular order, here are our top gifts for classic car enthusiasts this Christmas:
The last 3 years have passed quickly for The Classic Motor Hub. After purchasing the 5-acre Bibury site, Martin Chisholm and the team have worked tirelessly to create a unique home for motoring enthusiasts to gather at events where they can share their passion. On the 25th October 2018 all the hard work was rewarded as the best of the classic car industry gathered at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel for the Octane Historic Motoring Awards. The Classic Motor Hub joined the Industries’ elite businesses, nominated in the prestigious ‘Specialist of the Year’ category.
The BMW Z1 is a rare car, launched in 1989 it was new and interesting but not something the industry was particularly blown away by and honestly speaking, the Z1 didn’t stay in the spotlight for long. However, car enthusiasts noted it as something different, quirky and today the Z1 is seeing somewhat of a resurgence.
The summer events program at The Classic Motor Hub has come to an end and so we thought it appropriate to take a look back at what we hope everyone will agree was a fantastic summer of Coffee and Classics.
Over the summer of 2018 we have held 17 events, not only including Coffee and Classics on the first Sunday of the month between April and October, but meetings for individual marques such as Jaguar, Aston Martin and Porsche. The variety of vehicles that attend these events has been truly fantastic and really speaks to the values of The Classic Motor Hub, sharing the passion of motoring.
The Jaguar XJ12 is the benchmark saloon car. Even today, some 45 years later the XJ12 has a lot to teach even the most luxurious modern German saloon offerings and some might say that no manufacturer has since managed to capture the presence of the XJ12. The original plan for the eXperimental Jaguar (XJ) project was to create a low-slung, four-seat sports saloon with the ultimate aim of creating a four-seat E-type. In this regard Jaguar invented a whole new class of car: the luxury sports saloon. The only real rival at the time was the Mercedes-Benz 280SE which was far more expensive; there was no BMW 7-series and Audi only offered the 100 with a 1.9L engine, not quite in the same league as the mighty XJ.
This year Lotus celebrate their 70th anniversary and to mark the occasion we decided to get to know one of their most famous models. The Lotus Esprit was launched in 1976 under the stewardship of the great Colin Chapman who enlisted renowned designer Giogetto Giugiaro to style the bodywork. The first series car was to become a typical Giugiaro “folded paper” design akin to the MKI Golf and the BMW M1.
This summer has been one of the best in memory, and with everyone getting plenty of time to take their cars out on the road and to shows, classic car storage has been far from anyone’s mind. Older folk have repeatedly told us that the UK had not seen consistently warm temperatures like it since 1976, and thanks to this particularly pleasant season, the UK classic car scene has been more vibrant than ever before. Anyone who came to one of the The Classic Motor Hub’s Coffee and Classics events will agree that the car community has never been more alive and well, and the dry roads and blue skies were all the encouragement people needed to coax their usually recalcitrant pride and joy out of the garage.
Petrolheads with their finger firmly on the automotive pulse will know all about the Delta Futurista launched by Automobili Amos at Grand Basel in early September. The consensus on this car has been pretty unanimous and generally involves words like “wow” “amazing” and “how much!?”. I may be in the minority, but I have taken a little more warming up to the idea of this car, though have since come round to it. However, the question begs: would I chop up a perfectly good Delta for a donor car?
To celebrate the Porsche 70th anniversary year we have compiled this list of interesting Porsche trivia that you might not know. If you think you know everything about Porsche history, have a read and let us know if you have any other quirky Porsche facts we might have missed. Along with interesting tidbits about Ferdinand Porsche and the company’s beginnings, we’ve also included a handy guide to the Porsche 356 and the full story of how the world famous 911 got its name.
Some drives are undoubtedly more memorable than others, and last summer I had the best drive of my life. It was the penultimate year of my degree and I’d spent a year abroad in Austria “studying” law at Innsbruck University. Pay attention to the inverted commas as most of the year was spent skiing and developing a taste for German and Austrian beer. I had my Lancia Delta Integrale Evo II with me, a rather generous gift from my father who had owned it for the previous 10 years.
1978. Grease had just rolled into cinemas yet there was nothing greased nor lightening rolling off the Lamborghini production line in Sant’Agata Bolognese. The company had recently declared bankruptcy due to the worldwide financial crash of 1973 combined with the OPEC oil crisis and – as a result – Lamborghini were left in a very precarious situation.
The future of the company was in doubt until 1980 when it was famously bought by the Mimran brothers Jean-Claude (The Sugar King of Africa) and Patrick. The brothers bought the failing assets for $3 million and heavily invested in the company’s expansion which included a comprehensive restructure of the business; by 1984 the Mimran’s had saved the company from receivership.
An intriguing email recently arrived in the Hub’s inbox from Tim Williams, owner and pilot of a 1930 de Havilland Puss Moth. He got in touch with an exciting proposition for the Hub, as his plane once belonged to the Maharajah of Patiala who concurrently owned the 1928 Aston Martin S Type Sports in stock with Cotswold Collectors Cars at the Classic Motor Hub.
Tim offered us the chance to reunite this pair of wonderful machines that once ran together on the Indian plains of Patiala. We jumped at the chance to put a date in the diary at the height of summer and waited eagerly for the reunion at a private airstrip just down the road from the Hub.
After Ducati reigned supreme in the 90s with their formidable fully-faired 900 series superbikes, they presented the start of a new range of retro-inspired motorcycles at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2003. Aptly named the ‘Sportclassic’ range, It was a brave move for the innovative Italians which has brought them full circle, now producing bikes with a nod to those early café racer greats.
In 2006 Ducati launched the Sport 1000S which took inspiration from the 1973 750 Sport and the Paul Smart Imola Desmo. This model in particular is the 2007 Ducati Sportclassic 1000S, a bike that need not be ashamed of its past and is certainly not to be confused with any “home brew” café racer. The 1000S is purpose built for the job – in short this means it’s uncompromising in its ride, impeccable in its handling and good looking from any angle.
Gladstone Motorcycle’s mantra is simple: “To design and build limited production runs of the finest handmade British motorcycles available”
What we’re currently looking at is the start of adventure, whether looking at it, learning about it or even riding it. The Gladstone No.1 is certainly a talking point at The Motor Hub right now and for good reason.
Having driven my fair share of classic and modern cars, I’ve become rather complacent with the variations on the manual and automatic gearboxes most car manufacturers employ. Whilst there may be different configurations underneath, most feel familiar at the point of contact with you – the driver – and the average driver wouldn’t even know whether their gearbox is a synchromesh, CVT or dual-clutch system. Before these types of automotive gearbox became commonplace, there was another type of manual gearbox known as the ‘pre-selector gearbox’, or ‘self changing gearbox’. I recently had my first experience driving a car with a pre-selector gearbox – a Lanchester LD10, and whilst it wouldn’t be my box of choice, it has been an interesting exercise in appreciating another part of automotive mechanical progression.
It’s difficult to know what the future might hold for the no-holds-barred classic supercars of the past, but surely it’s impossible for the “safety” experts to turn their noses up if they ever come face to face with the Lamborghini Miura. The name “Miura” comes from a breed of Spanish fighting bull, and the equally wild Lamborghini with its 350-horsepower, V-12 engine mounted transversely in the rear, is so bold, individualistic and unconventional that it’s hard to imagine it fitting into anybody’s arbitrary standards – safety or otherwise.
On Sunday our 1st April Coffee and Classics gathering took place at The Classic Motor Hub – the first of 2018. After much anticipation we are delighted to report that it was considered by most to be a huge success. In excess of 280 cars registered to attend, which meant that it was a very busy start to the day to fit all the cars and motorcycles in, but once most visitors had made it through the event traffic, they were delighted with what we had on show.
The first Coffee & Classics of 2018 is fast approaching, and following the incredible success of our New Year’s Day event, we’re expecting the 1st of April to be an absolute corker.
Tickets have almost sold out already, and we have some superb new areas of The Hub that will be open to the public for the first time, including our new shop and café areas. If you haven’t already ordered your free ticket, there’s not much time left to book your place.
On Sunday 25th February, The Classic Motor Hub hosted a meeting of the North Oxon & Cotswolds Area Military Vehicle Trust, whose members look after and restore the wide range of ex-military vehicles from both the UK forces and overseas. Attendees included a number of variations of the iconic Jeep, a Simca transporter, and a variety of wartime Austin vehicles.
Back in the 1960s people scoffed at the idea of a rear-engined sports car. They simply couldn’t figure out how a car with all its weight over the rear axle could possibly work around twisty roads or on the track. Four decades later and the 911 continues to defy logic and expectations by getting better with each generation. The GT3 was introduced in 1999 as the racy top-of-the-line model, and was succeeded in 2004 by a slightly updated version, referred to as the 996.2.
Last week members of The Classic Motor Hub team took a little trip across the channel to Paris to witness the Retromobile 2018 International Exhibition. After arriving in the driving snow on Tuesday evening, Richard, Hugh and Ben knew they were in for an interesting few days – and that’s before they even got to see any of the show.
Pullman Editions was founded in 2010, and publishes timeless Art Deco posters featuring subjects from beyond the vibrant pre-War epoch in which this style of eye-catching posters were originally used to advertise holiday destinations. Pullman Editions posters are organised into themed collections, including those focusing on specific automotive marques (Ferrari, Bentley and Alfa Romeo, for example) along with more traditional holiday resort and winter sports designs.
Last year we ran a number of Coffee & Classics meets at The Classic Motor Hub from April to October that proved to be a huge success – so much so that in 2018 we have a bumper calendar of events that will no doubt follow on wonderfully from the great turnout at our New Year’s Day event.
As well as our regular all-marques-considered Coffee & Classics Sundays, we’re also running three free events exclusively for the owners of Aston Martin, Porsche and Jaguar vehicles.
On 1st January The Classic Motor Hub hosted the Cotswold Classic Car Club‘s New Year’s Day charity event, which proved to be a roaring success. An estimated 750 people came to the event with over 400 cars passing through The Hub between 12 and 3pm (with many arriving even earlier!). The Club raised £658.45 for the Youth at Heart charity, who raise money for teenagers and young adults across Gloucestershire and the South West who were born with complex Congenital Heart Disease.
At The Classic Motor Hub we regularly get some stunning motors into stock, but this December has been particularly special. We’re delighted to now be offering a 1992 Ferrari F40, 1970 Porsche 911 E and a 1963 VW Split Screen Camper for sale at The Hub. Keep on reading to find out more about these rather special machines.
For many, the love for cars is born out of passion for witnessing cars pushed to their limits by skilled racing drivers. Maybe your passion was kick-started by seeing Ayrton Senna’s mastery in the wet at the 1993 European Grand Prix in Donnington, Sébastien Loeb doing the ‘Scandanavian flick’ to seal one of his nine FIA World Rally Drivers’ titles, or any other of the many unforgettable moments from over 100 years of motorsports. At The Classic Motor Hub, racing is in our blood; indeed a number of the staff here have competed in racing events over the years. We were recently invited to Blyton Park Race Track to test out two of the cars in our collection in their preferred habitat – on the track.
In the late 1960s the Dino lineage was created by Ferrari when the need arose to homologate a V6 engine for the new Formula 2 races series, but found major commercial success for the company outside of motor racing. The Ferrari Dino was first seen at the 1967 Turin Motor show as the 206 GT, which featured an all-aluminium 2 litre V6 engine with 4 cams that was mounted transversely behind the cockpit and driven through a 5 speed transaxle to the rear wheels. The elegant body was – like the engine- made from aluminium, and was blessed with gorgeous lines drawn by Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti; production of the coachwork assigned to Scaglietti.
When considering the European coach-built cars launched during the Art Deco era, you’ll no doubt agree that the elaborate hood ornaments – in their countless shapes and sizes – are one of the first design aspects that spring to mind. Fast-forward to today and the granddaughter of one of period’s most renowned artists, François Bazin, has produced a series of bronzes in his memory.
Having grown into an industry worth an estimated £5.5bn in the UK alone, the “collector car hobby” is rapidly developing into a thriving social scene that brings together owners and enthusiasts at a purpose-designed venue to look at one another’s wheels, mull over all manner of motoring whilst sharing their passion for classic motors. Here at The Classic Motor Hub we offer an incredible selection of classic and high-performance vehicles for sale, but that’s just the tip of the automotive iceberg. We provide a full car storage service, on-site workshop and many other periphery amenities to make your car ownership a real joy.
Here at The Classic Motor Hub we regularly deal in some beautiful motors, and today is no exception – we’ve seen some incredible machines both arrive and leave The Hub. Inbound is a 1988 Ferrari Testarossa, whilst leaving us is a 1964 AC Cobra 289 – two classic cars with similar capacity engines, but that are hugely different machines – we think you’ll agree.
That’s the minimum outlay required to get your hands on one of the few remaining original Porsche 911 2.8 RSRs that were built in 1973 for the sole purpose of competing in the 1974 International Race of Champions. Just 49 were built, and so even finding the opportunity to buy one today is incredibly rare. Most were delivered directly to racing teams to compete in other prestigious races such as the Le Mans 24hrs and World Manufacturers Championship race at the Nürburgring, and so now reside in private collections across the world.
This month The Classic Motor Hub have been delighted to see some exquisite cars arrive in our showroom, such as our Ferrari 400 GTi. As well as some exciting new arrivals, we have also completed a number of classic car sales that are now on their way; here are some of the highlights:
When contemplating Ferrari’s illustrious legacy, it’s unlikely that the Ferrari 400 GTi – or one of their other late-‘70s or ’80s Grand Tourers – would be one of the first cars that comes to mind. Their back catalogue is peppered with some of the most widely-recognised forms in automotive history including Dinos, Spiders and Targa-topped supercar beauties that now adorn the most prestigious automotive collections in the world.
Spend over £10 in Our Online Shop by December 16th for a Chance to Win a Solid Silver Keyfob from GTO London Worth £155! Dismiss