PRACTICAL CLASSICs - JANUARY 2019

 

In the latest issue of Practical Classics...

1969: A year when humans walked on the moon, listened to groundbreaking sounds from David Bowie and co – and drank champagne whilst travelling to New York aboard Concorde at a speed exceeding that of a rifle bullet. We revisit the year of everyone’d favourite aircraft and track its regular route from Heathrow aboard our own supersonic stars: The Aston Martin V8, Bristol 411 and Ford Capri were all unveiled 50 years ago. How do they stack up today? We take them from Brooklands to the incredible Aerospace Bristol museum and gain exclusive access to the Brabazon Hanger – birthplace of Concorde.

Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll find superb MG Midget and Peugeot 405 restoration stories, an interview with a legendary racing driver in her Austin Maxi, we detail our latest project cars – from our NEC show project Riley to the UK’s oldest Citroen CX. Then there’s all the tech: More restoration advice and maintenance tips than any other car magazine available.

 


supersonic ‘69

 Concorde made its maiden flight in 1969 and flew straight into the hearts of every human on the planet. The wobbly commercial realities are well-documented, obviously. But for now, it’s 1969 and having had a poke around a period car park, we went off on a jaunt from Brooklands to Bristol in three extremely groovy cars launched in one exceptionally cool year: the Aston Martin DBS, Bristol 411 and the Ford Capri.  Our planned route would begin at the home of an ‘ex-demonstrator’ Concorde, now housed at Brooklands, passing Heathrow and heading westbound on the M4 - following the path Concorde regularly took towards the West Country on its daily scheduled flight to New York. After a few scenic stops along the way, we’d end up at Filton and the newly opened Aerospace Bristol complex – home of the very last of the supersonic airliners to fly in 2003. Writer James Walshe is joined by his design engineer father Jeff, who seeks out his old office and reveals his own role in the Concorde project…  Read the full exclusive story in the January 2019 issue of Practical Classics….

Concorde made its maiden flight in 1969 and flew straight into the hearts of every human on the planet. The wobbly commercial realities are well-documented, obviously. But for now, it’s 1969 and having had a poke around a period car park, we went off on a jaunt from Brooklands to Bristol in three extremely groovy cars launched in one exceptionally cool year: the Aston Martin DBS, Bristol 411 and the Ford Capri.

Our planned route would begin at the home of an ‘ex-demonstrator’ Concorde, now housed at Brooklands, passing Heathrow and heading westbound on the M4 - following the path Concorde regularly took towards the West Country on its daily scheduled flight to New York. After a few scenic stops along the way, we’d end up at Filton and the newly opened Aerospace Bristol complex – home of the very last of the supersonic airliners to fly in 2003. Writer James Walshe is joined by his design engineer father Jeff, who seeks out his old office and reveals his own role in the Concorde project…

Read the full exclusive story in the January 2019 issue of Practical Classics….

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 The home of supersonic air travel: Our Bristol 411 at the incredible Aerospace Bristol - a fascinating museum now home to the last Concorde to be built and the last one to fly. We can’t think of a better place in the world to see the greatest airliner ever built.

The home of supersonic air travel: Our Bristol 411 at the incredible Aerospace Bristol - a fascinating museum now home to the last Concorde to be built and the last one to fly. We can’t think of a better place in the world to see the greatest airliner ever built.


midget gem

 Looking at Ken Hunt’s 1972 MG Midget it’s hard to believe the car was once accident-damaged with a rusted through floor and sills. It’s even harder to comprehend how Ken brought the car back to its current high standard in a single-car garage barely larger than the MG itself. Perhaps the real shocker is that this is not only Ken’s first restoration, but also his first classic car.  ‘I always wanted an MG,’ explains Ken, ‘after I retired I searched for months until this Bronze Yellow 1275 turned up on eBay in 2007, being sold by an MG Owners Club member.’ Ken spent the next few years enjoying the car, ‘it was a decent enough example – a usable car. I did some tidying but really I just polished and drove it.’ Then fate intervened. ‘In 2010 I was on a Yeovil Car Club run at the head of a queue waiting to turn right, when a modern car hit three of us and concertinaed our cars. The MGC behind me got rammed into my back wing. Although I was able to drive home, the insurance company wrote my car off - so I bought it back.’ Find out what happened, in the January 2019 issue of Practical Classics…

Looking at Ken Hunt’s 1972 MG Midget it’s hard to believe the car was once accident-damaged with a rusted through floor and sills. It’s even harder to comprehend how Ken brought the car back to its current high standard in a single-car garage barely larger than the MG itself. Perhaps the real shocker is that this is not only Ken’s first restoration, but also his first classic car.

‘I always wanted an MG,’ explains Ken, ‘after I retired I searched for months until this Bronze Yellow 1275 turned up on eBay in 2007, being sold by an MG Owners Club member.’ Ken spent the next few years enjoying the car, ‘it was a decent enough example – a usable car. I did some tidying but really I just polished and drove it.’ Then fate intervened. ‘In 2010 I was on a Yeovil Car Club run at the head of a queue waiting to turn right, when a modern car hit three of us and concertinaed our cars. The MGC behind me got rammed into my back wing. Although I was able to drive home, the insurance company wrote my car off - so I bought it back.’ Find out what happened, in the January 2019 issue of Practical Classics…


405 alive

 Liam Kelly’s love for the Peugeot marque stems from growing up as a boy in Coventry. He used to cycle the six miles to Ryton, where his dad worked for the company as a painter, and stand outside the perimeter watching the cars – 306s and 405s – coming off the production line, and go straight out for testing. ‘As a family we had a Morris Marina and then various Talbots, but then my dad was given a 405GRD. I can remember thinking “that’s what I like”, and it’s what got me going.’  Of course the daddy was the Mi16 model, which Liam eventually came to own himself. But it needed a lot of work… Read about it in the January 2019 issue!

Liam Kelly’s love for the Peugeot marque stems from growing up as a boy in Coventry. He used to cycle the six miles to Ryton, where his dad worked for the company as a painter, and stand outside the perimeter watching the cars – 306s and 405s – coming off the production line, and go straight out for testing. ‘As a family we had a Morris Marina and then various Talbots, but then my dad was given a 405GRD. I can remember thinking “that’s what I like”, and it’s what got me going.’

Of course the daddy was the Mi16 model, which Liam eventually came to own himself. But it needed a lot of work… Read about it in the January 2019 issue!


tech tips

 One of our technical gurus Ed Hughes dishes up some useful advice regarding electrical items. Eventually, the small electric motors to be found on your car may grind to a halt. If anything motorised on your classic seems a bit gutless, treat it to a once-in-a-lifetime service. You might be surprised by the results! It's worth noting that the performance of a motor is also dependent on its power supply and on the work it has to do. Before dismembering it, make sure whatever it's operating can move freely. Lubricate linkage joints, make sure anything that’s supposed to rotate does so without undue resistance and check that shafts and bushes, etc, are correctly aligned. Ensure the motor has a reliable power supply and earth. A good test of this is to connect it directly to a battery to see if its performance improves. Read all of the tips and advice in the new issue of Practical Classics.

One of our technical gurus Ed Hughes dishes up some useful advice regarding electrical items. Eventually, the small electric motors to be found on your car may grind to a halt. If anything motorised on your classic seems a bit gutless, treat it to a once-in-a-lifetime service. You might be surprised by the results! It's worth noting that the performance of a motor is also dependent on its power supply and on the work it has to do. Before dismembering it, make sure whatever it's operating can move freely. Lubricate linkage joints, make sure anything that’s supposed to rotate does so without undue resistance and check that shafts and bushes, etc, are correctly aligned. Ensure the motor has a reliable power supply and earth. A good test of this is to connect it directly to a battery to see if its performance improves. Read all of the tips and advice in the new issue of Practical Classics.


Maxi racer

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In 1970, rally driver Bronwyn ‘Bron’ Burrell drove an Austin Maxi from London to Mexico on the World Cup Rally. Well, almost.

Now she plans to finish the job with the same car. Bron tells all in our exclusive interview…

 

 


NEC RILEY PROJECT

 How did we do with our NEC Classic Motor Show project, when we tried to rebuild it live on stage? Full story in the current issue of Practical Classics!

How did we do with our NEC Classic Motor Show project, when we tried to rebuild it live on stage? Full story in the current issue of Practical Classics!