Category Archives: Classic Cars

Kop Hill Climb – Sun 20th Sep 2015

Following a really enjoyable visit to Prescott earlier in the year I had little hesitation in deciding to join DDK mate Kirk on a visit to Kop Hill Climb.

This annual revival has grown into a tremendously popular weekend gathering of cars, motorbikes and petrol-head enthusiasts of all shapes, sizes, ages and states of repair.  The sheer variety of motors was enormous with everything from 1904 Veteran Cars through Pre-war land speed record behemoths to the latest Tesla. A great, easy-going but tremendously well organised event. Don’t miss it next year!

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Classics At The Castle – Hedingham Pre ’73 Porsche Event – Sun 6th Sep 2015

My trip to Hedingham 2015 started well as I drove passed Stansted Airport to find myself accidentally sandwiched between two 2.4 911s. We managed to pick up another 2.2E along the way to match mine and to bring our noisy convoy of early 911s up to 4, much to the delight (or possible consternation) of other road users!

This year’s Hedingham Porsche gathering  delivered an enormous and varied turn-out of classic Porsches which confirmed the burgeoning popularity of the event, further enhanced this year by the inclusion of a Classic Porsche Auction run by Coys of Kensington.

The Porsche Museum, Porsche Cars GB and some very trusting private owners enhanced the already great turn-out with some extra-special cars including beautiful and rare 356 Carreras, 550 Spyders, a 904 and an iconic Gulf liveried John Wyer 917 (as used by Steve McQueen in his film Le Mans).

Continue reading Classics At The Castle – Hedingham Pre ’73 Porsche Event – Sun 6th Sep 2015

A-Z Of Car Stuff: H is for Hybrids (the Euro/US Variety)!

A-Z of Car Stuff

This is one in a series of posts on cars, drivers, designers etc. that have interested me over the years. I’ve bored my family and friends with this stuff for years – now it’s your turn!

See A-Z of Car Stuff page for more posts in this series.

So, what’s so special about Hybrids?

To my mind – there are hybrids and hybrids!

On the one hand – there are the modern internal combustion engine/battery powered vehicles built to save the planet and/or salve the collective consciences of automotive eco-warriors (isn’t that an oxymoron?).

On the other hand there are Euro/US Hybrids – sleek and elegant European styled cars with stonking great American V8s shoe-horned into their delicate chassis. These cars have a simple purpose in life – to tear-up roads and circuits at the fastest possible speed but in the best possible style and taste!

1) The special thing about petrol/electric hybrids is they’re NOT new. They were designed and driven donkey’s years ago thanks to Ferdinand Porsche.

2) The special thing about Euro/American hybrids is that they combine the best of European styling with the rugged power of American V8 engines. A number of specialist manufacturers have created beautiful and innovative sports cars, GTs and saloons that have graced the roads and race circuits of the world for years. Long may this Euro/US Hybrid cross-breeding programme continue.

Continue reading A-Z Of Car Stuff: H is for Hybrids (the Euro/US Variety)!

Silverstone Classic – Sat 25th & Sun 26th Jul 2015

Fried On Saturday, Frozen On Sunday

Craig David lyric? Noooo – just a meteorological description of my two days at Silverstone Classic.

High Summer weather in the frozen tundra of rural Northamptonshire ebbed & flowed from cold & extremely wet on Friday, warm and sunny on Saturday and back again to cold and wet on Sunday.

It was a real shame for the competitors who struggled to have any meaningful practice/qualifying runs on Friday, then had to switch to dry set-up on Saturday and back to decidedly-soggy set-up on Sunday. Less than ideal conditions but not bad enough to deter stoic participants and spectators!

Continue reading Silverstone Classic – Sat 25th & Sun 26th Jul 2015

Prescott “La Vie En Bleu” – Sun 24th May 2015

The particular theme for the Prescott Hill Climb event on Sun 24th May 2015 was “La vie en bleu” – a celebration of all things French.

This provided a welcome focus on French car marques with representatives from Alpine Renault, Amilcar, Berliet, Citroen, Darracq, De Dion Bouton, Delage, Delahaye, Hotchkiss, Lorraine Dietrich, Matra, Renault and a whole range of other famous and some less famous French marques. The turn out of vintage French cars was particularly spectacular with some that I’d never heard of before.

Mixing the French contingent of cars amongst other cars competing on the day – made for a great spectacle.

Continue reading Prescott “La Vie En Bleu” – Sun 24th May 2015

Prescott Hill Climb – Sun 24th May 2015

Disaster! I started the late May Bank Holiday weekend with no plans, a 911 needing exercise and a burning urge to scratch my “interesting-car-itch”!

Solution! Enter “May Classic Car Events” into Safari and “Hey-Presto” – up pops Prescott.

This venerable hill climb venue had been on my list of must-visit-events for donkey’s years but for some perverse reason I’d never got around to going so I thought why not? Armed with my usual UK Summer car event kit of thermals and waterproofs – I set off from London at the crack of dawn not knowing quite what to expect.

Continue reading Prescott Hill Climb – Sun 24th May 2015

Donington Historic Festival – Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd May 2015

The Donington Historic Festival goes from strength to strength and for 2015 – races were spread over no less than 3 days spanning the early May Bank Holiday weekend. Fortunately for many of the attendees – cold weather made “anoraks” a thermal necessity rather than just a disparaging character assessment!

Donington embraces Classic Car clubs by offering cheap ticket deals to members with the added benefit of parking in marque specific areas of the infield plus the chance to participate in a lunch time parade lap around the circuit. What more can you ask? OK – warmer weather would be nice – sort it out Mr Wheatcroft!

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Jaz Porsche Open Day – Sat 31st Jan 2015

Busy Jaz Workshop
Busy Jaz Workshop

Jaz Porsche provided a great uplift from the January gloom by holding an open day to show off their new St. Albans premises and to display some of their projects and handy work.

Sleet and snow meant that driving conditions were not ideal but the prospect of quick blast up the M1 in my old 911 to Steve and Claire Winter’s new premises and meet up with fellow Porsche enthusiasts  over a drink and bite to eat was too good to miss.

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The new workshop is much more spacious than the one that Jaz left in Wembley and with fresh paint and great Porsche posters adorning the walls it looks like a clinically clean environment in which to service and restore treasured Porsches of all ages.

A quick chat with Steve resulted in me adding to his order for US-sourced Salt & Pepper 911 carpet sets. Then a chat with Bruce Cooper from Sportwagen got me booked in for a paint check and trimming work to fit the new carpet set. Job done!

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London Classic Car Show – Sat 10th Jan 2015

The lack of sunshine during the dark Winter months gives rise to a particular form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which can result in susceptible people suffering from mild depression. This condition is treated by exposing sufferers to bright light.

I suffer from a very specific form of Seasonal Affective Disorder called ICDD or Interesting Car Deficiency Disorder!  The only viable treatment for this terrible affliction is to expose sufferers to interesting cars at any and every opportunity.

The London Classic Car Show at London’s Excel Centre provided just such an opportunity! Judging by the turnout – lots of other people had also opted to for a serious course of ICDD treatment!!!

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Regent Street Motorshow – Sat 1st Nov 2014

Following the tradition of the last few years many of the London to Brighton Veteran Cars were on display on the Saturday before Sunday’s Run in the Regent Street Motorshow.

It offers a great opportunity to get up close to these wonderful old cars and to chat to their owners/drivers but it’s no substitute for dragging yourself out of bed to get to Hyde Park before dawn to see the cars embarking on the run (See separate London to Brighton Post).

Continue reading Regent Street Motorshow – Sat 1st Nov 2014