PRACTICAL CLASSICs - SEPTEMBER 2019

 

In the latest issue of Practical Classics...

…we take you on a journey around England and Wales in our search of Britain’s best classic car club – as voted for by you! The whole team went on the epic 2000-mile journey in their classics!

There’s an essential guide to buying a VW Beetle and tips on snapping up a bargain MG saloon, a superb Fiat 127 restoration story and page upon page of tips on how to restore and maintain your classic.

Plus – we get stuck into our own restorations at the Practical Classics workshop, where Danny is adding the final touches to his Jensen, James attempts to save his beloved Smart and Matt bags himself a stunning Morris 1300.

 


britain’s best classic car club

In the current issue of the mag, you can read about all of the top ten most-voted for clubs and see what happened when the whole Practical Classics team hit the road to visit all ten of these dedicated groups. Along the way, they discovered some incredible cars and great stories. The team also realised that the thriving clubs, the ones which are growing, are those which make fewest demands. They are informal, fun and give those who turn up the freedom to do their own thing. They are welcoming, multi-marque, don’t discriminate on age or condition and they are all typified by a distinct lack of snobbery. Read our fascinating insight in the latest issue of PC.

In the current issue of the mag, you can read about all of the top ten most-voted for clubs and see what happened when the whole Practical Classics team hit the road to visit all ten of these dedicated groups. Along the way, they discovered some incredible cars and great stories. The team also realised that the thriving clubs, the ones which are growing, are those which make fewest demands. They are informal, fun and give those who turn up the freedom to do their own thing. They are welcoming, multi-marque, don’t discriminate on age or condition and they are all typified by a distinct lack of snobbery. Read our fascinating insight in the latest issue of PC.


VW BEETLE BUYING GUIDE

Running costs are low, ride comfort is great and performance isn’t bad; the Beetle is no road burner, but ample low-down torque means the Beetle is easy to drive. Suitable as a year-round classic, for winter driving an original heat exchanger makes all the difference; repro items provide very poor cabin heating!  Many Beetles look good but are rotten; others have been badly restored. Most Beetles have also been modified in some way, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it often makes them more usable. What matters is what's been done and to what standard; ascertaining this is key. Although the Beetle didn’t seem to evolve much during its lengthy production run, nothing is interchangeable between the first and last cars. Indeed, there were changes of some sort just about every year. We've focused here on Beetles from 1967 as they're more usable, more readily available and also more affordable.

Running costs are low, ride comfort is great and performance isn’t bad; the Beetle is no road burner, but ample low-down torque means the Beetle is easy to drive. Suitable as a year-round classic, for winter driving an original heat exchanger makes all the difference; repro items provide very poor cabin heating!

Many Beetles look good but are rotten; others have been badly restored. Most Beetles have also been modified in some way, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it often makes them more usable. What matters is what's been done and to what standard; ascertaining this is key. Although the Beetle didn’t seem to evolve much during its lengthy production run, nothing is interchangeable between the first and last cars. Indeed, there were changes of some sort just about every year. We've focused here on Beetles from 1967 as they're more usable, more readily available and also more affordable.


FIAT 127 RESTORATION

In 2018, Nigel Ford was watching a YouTube video that featured a couple of black Fiat 127s in the background. He got in touch with the guy who’d made it and was invited over to look at his orange Sport. It had been rebuilt and resprayed about ten years before but there was rust where it had been left unused and most of the wiring was unattached. It ran – barely - but was misfiring and stalling. The owner wanted £4000 for it and Nigel could see £1500 of work ahead of him. But he particularly wanted this car because it’s a genuine Sport, which means it has various special parts including larger front brake discs, a stiffer and thicker anti-roll bar, wider wheels, re-profiled camshaft, bigger valves with increased compression ratio, Abarth twin exhaust and spoilers front and rear. The things we do for love…

In 2018, Nigel Ford was watching a YouTube video that featured a couple of black Fiat 127s in the background. He got in touch with the guy who’d made it and was invited over to look at his orange Sport. It had been rebuilt and resprayed about ten years before but there was rust where it had been left unused and most of the wiring was unattached. It ran – barely - but was misfiring and stalling. The owner wanted £4000 for it and Nigel could see £1500 of work ahead of him. But he particularly wanted this car because it’s a genuine Sport, which means it has various special parts including larger front brake discs, a stiffer and thicker anti-roll bar, wider wheels, re-profiled camshaft, bigger valves with increased compression ratio, Abarth twin exhaust and spoilers front and rear. The things we do for love…


THE PRACTICAL CLASSICS TEAM AND THEIR PROJECTS

Check out our latest projects at the Practical Classics workshop and find out how we plan to get them back on the road!