PRACTICAL CLASSICs - december 2019

In the latest issue of Practical Classics...

…we play the ultimate game of Top Trumps! In tune with the theme of this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, our writers choose their favourite card and explain why they love their classic of choice – and explain how to buy one!  

Also in the new issue, we’ve got loads of restoration action – including a man who revived a rusty 1965 Jaguar S-type resulting in one of the most perfect classics we’ve ever seen and the heartwarming story of a chap whose dad inspired him to restore an incredible Ford Consul Classic.

Meanwhile, we head to the USA in order to rescue a US-spec Rover from a trailer park in Idaho – and bring it thousands of miles back to the UK, we meet a lad and his MG Metro Turbo and find out how to buy the best Fiat 500. Plus, loads of tech advice from our team of restoration experts and news from our team of writers and their classics at the Practical Classics workshop.

 

 


Our top trumps cars

Making a card game out of technical specifications was a stroke of genius. At a single deal, it hooked in a whole generation of statistically fascinated boys of a mechanically minded persuasion, who would play the games… endlessly until it was time to go home for tea. We’ve dealt ourselves the hands we always dreamt of, describing why our Trump of choice works best for us. Editor Danny kicks off the game with a Jensen Interceptor, bringing in Matt Tomkins and his choice, a Jaguar XJ-S, Matt George’s Porsche and James Walshe with a… Renault 4. We might not all win the game with the cards we’ve chosen, but that doesn’t matter. We show you our hand - and tell you how to buy the best – in the December 2019 issue of Practical Classics.

Making a card game out of technical specifications was a stroke of genius. At a single deal, it hooked in a whole generation of statistically fascinated boys of a mechanically minded persuasion, who would play the games… endlessly until it was time to go home for tea. We’ve dealt ourselves the hands we always dreamt of, describing why our Trump of choice works best for us. Editor Danny kicks off the game with a Jensen Interceptor, bringing in Matt Tomkins and his choice, a Jaguar XJ-S, Matt George’s Porsche and James Walshe with a… Renault 4. We might not all win the game with the cards we’ve chosen, but that doesn’t matter. We show you our hand - and tell you how to buy the best – in the December 2019 issue of Practical Classics.


jaguar s-type RESTORATION

His training as an engineer has given Ian Boyd a very precise approach to working on machinery. Aged 15 he joined the Royal Air Force becoming a chief technician, ‘for the next 12 years I was taught to log every job I did so the next man knew where to start,’ explains Ian, ‘it’s stayed with me all these years.’ Stationed in Germany Ian was in the final year of his service when he bought this 1965 Jaguar S-type from an officer for £70. ‘I’d driven to Germany in a Jaguar Mk2, so wanted to go home in another. Despite only being seven years old, the S-type had rotten sills and floors, which I replaced with help from the lads in the metal shop. I covered holes in the inner wings with glassfibre sheet to stop water getting into the interior. Then I drove the Jaguar back to the UK and got a job with British Gas.

His training as an engineer has given Ian Boyd a very precise approach to working on machinery. Aged 15 he joined the Royal Air Force becoming a chief technician, ‘for the next 12 years I was taught to log every job I did so the next man knew where to start,’ explains Ian, ‘it’s stayed with me all these years.’ Stationed in Germany Ian was in the final year of his service when he bought this 1965 Jaguar S-type from an officer for £70. ‘I’d driven to Germany in a Jaguar Mk2, so wanted to go home in another. Despite only being seven years old, the S-type had rotten sills and floors, which I replaced with help from the lads in the metal shop. I covered holes in the inner wings with glassfibre sheet to stop water getting into the interior. Then I drove the Jaguar back to the UK and got a job with British Gas.

Ian used his S-type as daily transport for work, ‘it cost £14 a week in fuel and they paid me six pence a mile. I took the Jag off the road in 1976 after covering 14,000 miles. It needed new brakes and tyres, which was £70 I couldn’t really afford to spend. Ten-year-old Jags were worthless then. I could have bought an E-type for £300…’  The car sat, but it wasn’t forgotten. ‘I inhibited it like we did with the aircraft; I took the plugs out and oiled everything. It became my retirement project.’ Scroll forward a few decades and that’s exactly what it was – with spectacular results.

Ian used his S-type as daily transport for work, ‘it cost £14 a week in fuel and they paid me six pence a mile. I took the Jag off the road in 1976 after covering 14,000 miles. It needed new brakes and tyres, which was £70 I couldn’t really afford to spend. Ten-year-old Jags were worthless then. I could have bought an E-type for £300…’
The car sat, but it wasn’t forgotten. ‘I inhibited it like we did with the aircraft; I took the plugs out and oiled everything. It became my retirement project.’ Scroll forward a few decades and that’s exactly what it was – with spectacular results.


american sterling rescue from the wild west

In similar fashion to the things we get up to at Practical Classics and with additional inspiration from road trip nutter Jim Magill (Fiat Panda in the Sahara, anyone?) our friends Chris Mercon and Tim Wade Jr sourced a rare US-spec Sterling (basically a Rover 800) and picked it up from a small dusty town in Idaho. The mission? To hand the keys to our Deputy Editor James Walshe, who would bring it back to Cowley – and perhaps even the NEC Classic Motor Show.

In similar fashion to the things we get up to at Practical Classics and with additional inspiration from road trip nutter Jim Magill (Fiat Panda in the Sahara, anyone?) our friends Chris Mercon and Tim Wade Jr sourced a rare US-spec Sterling (basically a Rover 800) and picked it up from a small dusty town in Idaho. The mission? To hand the keys to our Deputy Editor James Walshe, who would bring it back to Cowley – and perhaps even the NEC Classic Motor Show.

After a few days scouring the internet, what appeared to be the perfect car appeared. It was a 1988 Sterling SL with the 2.5-litre V6, 4-speed automatic transmission, heavily tinted windows and various missing bits. Aside from this, the advert offered scant information and Chris and Tim were a little disturbed by the revelation that it ‘did not like going uphill’. They realised there was a further obstacle, in that the car would need to be driven 3000 miles to New York City and the New Jersey container port, where they’d meet James. What could possibly go wrong? Find out in the latest issue of Practical Classics!

After a few days scouring the internet, what appeared to be the perfect car appeared. It was a 1988 Sterling SL with the 2.5-litre V6, 4-speed automatic transmission, heavily tinted windows and various missing bits. Aside from this, the advert offered scant information and Chris and Tim were a little disturbed by the revelation that it ‘did not like going uphill’. They realised there was a further obstacle, in that the car would need to be driven 3000 miles to New York City and the New Jersey container port, where they’d meet James. What could possibly go wrong? Find out in the latest issue of Practical Classics!


THE PRACTICAL CLASSICS TEAM AND THEIR PROJECTS

More restoration troubles for Editor Danny Hopkins and his Jensen, while there’s hard work to be done for Tech guru Tomkins and his Minor, Deputy Editor James Walshe’s 2CV and Matt George’s Triumph. Find out what’s been happening at the Practical Classics workshop!