PRACTICAL CLASSICs - december 2018

 

In the latest issue of Practical Classics...

…we tell the story of a man whose workmates at Nissan in Sunderland saved the day when he became terminally ill, and helped him finish his dream E-Type restoration. It’s a humbling tale of heroism, courage and friendship.

Also in the magazine this month, we take the brutish Chevette HS out for a high speed drive at the iconic Millbrook Proving Ground to see how it handles forty years on from its launch. Plus, we take a look at marketing masterstroke that were MG Rover’s ‘Z Cars’ and how the nation was captivated by a group of surefire modern classics.

Elsewhere, Sam Glover reveals the car he intends to use for his around the world adventure and there’s loads of essential tech advice and tips. No other magazine does what Practical Classics does!

 


e-type restoration

 Andrew Small had been working on his E-type restoration for more than 20 years when he was diagnosed with cancer. As frightening as it was, this grim news led to an amazing team effort to finish the car. He was used to the camaraderie of the large engineering office at Nissan, but he had no idea it would extend beyond his forced departure from work. Then one day in May 2014, the doorbell rang. ‘It was a pal of mine from the office, Steve Clare. He said “we’ve had a chat at work and we’d like to help with the E-type.” It was quite a surprise - I was choked up.’  Andy bought his 1964 Jaguar E-type roadster in 1994, as a restoration project. He paid ‘the price of a Fiesta’, as he puts it, but even that might have been a bit high for what turned out to be a basket case. This touching story of bravery and friendship is a must-read. Pick up a copy of the new issue of Practical Classics for the full tale…Classics…

Andrew Small had been working on his E-type restoration for more than 20 years when he was diagnosed with cancer. As frightening as it was, this grim news led to an amazing team effort to finish the car. He was used to the camaraderie of the large engineering office at Nissan, but he had no idea it would extend beyond his forced departure from work. Then one day in May 2014, the doorbell rang. ‘It was a pal of mine from the office, Steve Clare. He said “we’ve had a chat at work and we’d like to help with the E-type.” It was quite a surprise - I was choked up.’

Andy bought his 1964 Jaguar E-type roadster in 1994, as a restoration project. He paid ‘the price of a Fiesta’, as he puts it, but even that might have been a bit high for what turned out to be a basket case. This touching story of bravery and friendship is a must-read. Pick up a copy of the new issue of Practical Classics for the full tale…Classics…

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vauxhall chevette hs

 Launched in January 1978 with Vauxhall’s Magnum-spec 16-valve 2,279 cc slant-four engine, five-speed box, uprated brakes and suspension and a full front air dam the Chevette HS looked like it meant business. It did – it won a lot - and could give any Escort a run for its money.  Loved by drivers, feared by rivals and undervalued by the classic market, the Vauxhall Chevette HS is 40 years old this year. To celebrate we visit the three sites most closely associated with the 135 bhp ‘Silver Roller Skate’ by driving from the Millbrook Proving Ground where it was tested, to the Luton Factory where the Chevette was first built and where Vauxhall is still based, to the former Station Works at Shepreth, where Blydenstein Racing – otherwise known as Dealer Team Vauxhall – had their engineering base. Get the full story in the current issue of the magazine…

Launched in January 1978 with Vauxhall’s Magnum-spec 16-valve 2,279 cc slant-four engine, five-speed box, uprated brakes and suspension and a full front air dam the Chevette HS looked like it meant business. It did – it won a lot - and could give any Escort a run for its money.

Loved by drivers, feared by rivals and undervalued by the classic market, the Vauxhall Chevette HS is 40 years old this year. To celebrate we visit the three sites most closely associated with the 135 bhp ‘Silver Roller Skate’ by driving from the Millbrook Proving Ground where it was tested, to the Luton Factory where the Chevette was first built and where Vauxhall is still based, to the former Station Works at Shepreth, where Blydenstein Racing – otherwise known as Dealer Team Vauxhall – had their engineering base. Get the full story in the current issue of the magazine…


the mg z cars

 In May 2000, the newly formed MG Rover needed new cars and it needed them quickly. But with no money in the coffers, it took a marketing masterstroke to breathe new life into its existing model range. The 25 was already long in the tooth, the 45 even longer (though it was actually launched a couple of months after the 25, it was based on the Honda Civic-based 400 from 1994) and the 75, which was universally regarded as a fine car, was already past its honeymoon period, the one truly competitive product that MG Rover had in its armoury, but also the most expensive of its cars to build.  A saving grace was that, under BMW’s ownership, Rover Group had never been allowed to build a car that was truly sporting. That was the parent company’s domain, and the notion of a Rover that could out-handle a 3 Series was scorned. Sporting cars, then, were considered the short-term answer, and the MG Z-Cars were conceived right at the start of the Phoenix days. McLaren F1 stylist Peter Stevens was drafted in as Design Chief, and in just over 12 months the ZR, ZS and ZT were rushed into production. For the full story, check out the new issue of Practical Classics…

In May 2000, the newly formed MG Rover needed new cars and it needed them quickly. But with no money in the coffers, it took a marketing masterstroke to breathe new life into its existing model range. The 25 was already long in the tooth, the 45 even longer (though it was actually launched a couple of months after the 25, it was based on the Honda Civic-based 400 from 1994) and the 75, which was universally regarded as a fine car, was already past its honeymoon period, the one truly competitive product that MG Rover had in its armoury, but also the most expensive of its cars to build.

A saving grace was that, under BMW’s ownership, Rover Group had never been allowed to build a car that was truly sporting. That was the parent company’s domain, and the notion of a Rover that could out-handle a 3 Series was scorned. Sporting cars, then, were considered the short-term answer, and the MG Z-Cars were conceived right at the start of the Phoenix days. McLaren F1 stylist Peter Stevens was drafted in as Design Chief, and in just over 12 months the ZR, ZS and ZT were rushed into production. For the full story, check out the new issue of Practical Classics…


TALES FROM THE PRACTICAL CLASSICS WORKSHOP…

 We’ve got so much tech advice this month! Anything from brake hose tips to metal shaping, plus news of our own restorations, from our Riley NEC show car – which will be rebuilt on stage at the Classic Motor Show this year – to team projects including a Triumph TR6, Saab 96 V4, Morris Minor and many more!

We’ve got so much tech advice this month! Anything from brake hose tips to metal shaping, plus news of our own restorations, from our Riley NEC show car – which will be rebuilt on stage at the Classic Motor Show this year – to team projects including a Triumph TR6, Saab 96 V4, Morris Minor and many more!


the best car in which to drive around the world?

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Sam Glover recently mulled over the best British car to use for a round-the-world road trip. His specification was as follows: good ground clearance; rugged and pliable suspension; minimal weight; ease of repair without specialist equipment; no non-user-serviceable electronics; 60mph cruising speed; enough grunt to overtake trucks and climb mountains; sensible fuel consumption; decent accommodation.

Find out what he has chosen a Rover 75 in the new issue…