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Current Issue - February 2018, Issue 347

FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE: OUR 29th year of publication, CMM is bigger, bolder, brighter, now MORE PAGES, FULL COLOUR THROUGHOUT - and the 2018 Almanac, the 'bible' for enthusiasts is HERE!

Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2018 Almanac - FOR ONLY £1.75 extra; a genuine bargain for this essential publication! For more details on this super diary - worth up to £9.95 plus p&p alone, click here. As usual, in our latest issue - in the year where we celebrate our 29th Year of Publication - we've a run down on all that's best in your classic car world!

In the February issue,CMM November, Issue 344  On Your Marques looks at the Mid-Lincs Rover Club's good news and more. Magpie looks at All Things Bright & Bakelite, and in the Spannerman column it's Spannerman & Valeting. Our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware, checks out Brooklands Track & Air in a busy Wareabouts column, while Peter Love gives us another Commercial Break. There are news snippets galore, our Letters column, and our look at the world of the autojumbling with The Secret Autjumbler. Grant Ford's Fordie's Favourites looks at the Plymouth GTX. Our events section - the best in Britain - features all the best shows and 'jumbles for you to visit, and we've previews of the MG & Triumph Spares Day at Stoneleigh and the Great Western Classic with a very special guest. Landers Lobby discusses MoT Chages - Guidelines Published and The Secret Autojumbler checks out a variety of recent events - where was the best business to be had, where were the best bacon butties? We also continue delving into the archive of the much-missed Lock Man. We have Club Call with a run down of the best club to join for you, plus, this month, we have a chance to win one of three prizes from Gunson. And in the February issue, a FREE Pull-out and Pin-up Giant Events Diary Part 2, plus for every subscriber on our books as of January 24, a FREE copy of the 2018 Events Almanac. Look out for all the news and snippets, plus all those ads for upcoming events; no better time than now to think about that subscription than the February issue!!

Our letters page has, as usual, your views on the issues of the day and more. We feature more services and spares than ever in our ads section, a look out too for Klaxon's Readers Problems, the CMM Crossword from Alvina Williams where you can win fabulous prizes courtesy of our sponsor Gunson, On Your Marques, club news, Get Set, news snippets, our fascinating 'All You Wanted to Know' column with Minerva returns with a look at Battery Electrics, plus Michael Ware features another of The Professionals. There are book & video reviews, the latest products and services, and the biggest events section of any publication in the U.K., featuring all the events, autojumbles, auctions and collectors swapmeets that YOU want! Why not order your copy today and get the 2018 Almanac absolutely FREE before January 24 - hurry! CMM makes the ideal gift! For subscription info., click here!

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PLUS, this and every month, 1000s bits, 100s of cars, loads of essential services for you in our Classic-fieds to wade through in our Classic Motor Mart & Autojumbler sections, and the biggest Events Diary section of any publication in Britain. Another good reason to subscribe now! Safe, Secure Ordering through CMM! You'll find a selection of last months ads, a sneak preview of this months ads, PLUS the latest ads On-line, by clicking here.

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February Issue Previews...

MOT CHANGES - GUIDELINES PUBLISHED...

AS I REPORTED IN the October issue of CMM, the UK Government has decided that, from May 2018, vehicles more than 40 years old will (in most cases) be exempt from MOT testing. The Guidelines to determine which vehicles will qualify for that exemption have now been published.
It is entirely voluntary, but, if owners wish to take advantage of this ruling, their vehicle will have to be officially recognised as a ‘Vehicle of Historic Interest’ (VHI). Importantly (and confusingly), this is not the same as the ‘Historic Vehicle’ taxation class, which confers road tax exemption. A vehicle that qualifies for one category will usually qualify for the other - but it’s by no means guaranteed. Some vehicles in the Historic tax class won’t qualify as VHIs (and, possibly, vice-versa).
Qualification for VHI status revolves around the concept of ‘substantial change’ affecting chassis/bodyshell, axles/suspension/steering and engine. Any alteration made more than 30 years ago is ignored, as is the replacement of any component (including a chassis frame or monocoque body) with an identical component. More recent changes that are not like-for-like replacements will be judged against various criteria. For instance, a replacement engine of the same basic type, but different capacity, is okay, as is a swap to a different engine type that was originally offered as an alternative. But then it gets more complicated. Substantial changes made within the past 30 years will be accepted:-
If they were necessary to preserve the vehicle, and components of the original type/pattern are no longer “reasonably obtainable”.
If similar changes can be shown to have been made while the vehicle was still “in general use” - meaning up to ten years after the end of production.
If changes to axles/running-gear have been made to improve the vehicle’s “safety, efficiency or environmental performance”.
When those conditions can’t be met, the vehicle won’t qualify as a VHI and must continue to be tested annually.
Taking the ubiquitous Morris Minor as an example, a campervan extension welded on to the back would be fine, provided it was done before 1988. As for changes subsequent to that date, a 1300cc A-series engine is acceptable (as is, arguably, a B-series, because people were certainly fitting them to Moggies in the 1960s). Telescopic dampers and disc brakes are safety items. And, although gearboxes aren’t specifically mentioned in the Guidelines, a five-speeder would undoubtedly improve the car’s environmental performance.
Classic kit cars shouldn’t have too much trouble - most of them were built well within the qualifying period. More recent examples would presumably be judged on a case-by-case basis: eg. was the shell available within ten years of the donor car’s production life? The Guidelines suggest that kit cars, along with ‘Q’ plate vehicles and “reconstructed classics” (specials?), will be recognised as VHIs if the DVLA has already accepted them into the Historic Vehicle tax class.
Owners wanting to claim MOT-exemption will need to know these qualification criteria because they have to sign a VHI declaration to self-certify the vehicle. (Any queries about whether or not a specific vehicle qualifies should be addressed to one of the experts who can be found listed on the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs’ website.) This declaration of conformity will be made at the first tax renewal after 20 May 2018, and, therafter, annually. Note that the declaration applies also to owners of pre-1960 vehicles that were already MOT-exempt. Some of those pre-1960 vehicles may no longer qualify (ie. if they’ve been subject to substantial change within the last 30 years), and will therefore revert to an annual testing regime....

From The Landers Lobby in our February issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!

BROOKLANDS TRACK AND AIR...

SOME READERS MAY HAVE realised that one of my favourite Motor Museums is Brooklands. What is so good about it is that it’s a museum on the original site and it covers not only motor racing but flying and aircraft production as well.
No sooner had Hugh Locke King completed the circuit 1n 1907, various people interested in early aircraft wanted to use the infield for their experimental flights. Avro (A.V.Roe) one of the first manufacturers was established at Brooklands in 1910 and made their first plane in 1912.
The car enthusiasts must not forget the importance of Brooklands to the aviation industry which of course continued at the site throughout most of the 20th century.
During the last war a huge Bellman hanger was erected on the closed track and situated on the old finishing straight. In recent years it has housed the Museum’s collection of aircraft. Director Allan Winn wanted it moved so that part at least of the finishing straight could revert back to how it looked in pre-war days. Now the hanger has been moved a few hundred yards to the infield, completely restored and re-erected, a massive task in itself. Attached to it a new building called the Flight Shed in which some of the aircraft are shown. The hanger is now termed the Brooklands Aircraft Factory. Both have recently been opened to the public and are well worth a visit or a return visit. The factory floor sets out to evoke an authentic factory atmosphere and it is full of activities, enabling visitors to try out aircraft-building skills themselves. The huge Loch Ness Wellington bomber takes centre stage as it is displayed in such a way as you can see how it was built. I still think this plane is an awe inspiring sight.
A walk way leads you from the hangers mezzanine floor, where aircraft design is displayed, to the Flight Shed. Here are some of the Museums complete aircraft are on show. Amongst the planes on display there is a 19xx Avro 500. The Sopwith Camel was the most successful allied fighter of WW1 shooting down no less than 1294 enemy aircraft. The Hawker Hurricane shot down more planes than its now more famous rival the Spitfire, the Museum’s example left the Brooklands factory in 1941. Coming more up to date the Hawker Harrier the first successful vertical/short take off and landing fighter. I have only mentioned a few.....

From Michael Ware's Wareabouts in the February issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!

PLYMOUTH GTX - GENTLEMEN’S EXPRESS...

IN 1965 THE DECISION makers at Plymouth realised buyers appreciated more ‘show’ with their ‘go’ as the two door Belvedere gained the GTX lettering plus plenty more.
The GTX had to offer the customer a complete package; the competition would be fierce with Ford Mustang at launch and the Chevelle SS plus Pontiac’s GTO arriving imminently. Wisely they didn’t ‘de-content’ the GTX with Perspex windows, barren interior trimming or reduced sound deadening, the opposite became reality. Marketing aimed their sights at the ‘well-healed’, more mature driver that enjoyed performance and wasn’t shy about displaying power but preferred his tyre smoke in comfort. The advert for 1967 read ‘get a GTX and no one will care if you are going bald’.
Plymouth sales agents were consulted and received what they requested, the car had width and sat low.  Four headlights were in vogue with special grilles, hood scoops and even a ‘pit stop’ gas cap. The handling was considered superb with six leaf rear springs, torsion bars plus uprated ball joints, whilst up front the 67 GTX received the all new high-performance 440cu in (7.2 litre) Super Commando V8, boasting 375hp as standard.
More powerful Hemi versions were available to those with funds but the standard coupe was offering a rapid 6.5 to 60mph, no surprise then the vast majority of the 11.5k sold were 440 powered. Owners appreciated the quality finish with bucket seating, plenty of chrome ringed dials plus options on the centre console and simulated wood steering wheel. Inside the GTX was a great place to be in 67 and Plymouth looked to continue their success the following year with a convertible option. 1968 and Plymouth introduced the Road Runner; sharing the Belvedere platform the marque considered there was room for a budget muscle car without suspecting it would take sales from the GTX. At $3k the Road Runner undercut the GTX by $350.00, consequently the 18,940 sold would represent the high point of the GTX and by years end the Road Runner was out selling its more expensive cousin two to one.
Whilst the new kid on the block may have been lighter and consequently quicker, the GTX wasn’t finished; although the convertible option was, with just 625 sold in 69. The 1970 model featured new hood, bumpers and blended rear panel with a redesigned grill and an increased price tag of $3,535, although the options fitted to the GTX featured here put another $1,000 on the RRP.
America 1970; war raged in Asia and Boeing’s 747 first flew, immediately ruling the skies, whilst muscle cars remained ‘kings of the road’ America’s love affair with cubic inches would waver over the next few years. Fighting in the middle east and emissions control forced US manufacturers to think economy. Still oblivious to future downsizing, the build sheet sent this GTX away from the St Louis Assembly Plant on 18th December 1969, its 1970 specification boosted as this chassis was designated a ‘sales bank car’ or demonstrator. Current owner Alan Letts explained his passion for every detail, admitting some anorak tendencies were required in getting his GTX back to original showroom condition....

From Grant Ford's Fordies Favourites in our February issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!

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RECENT ADDITIONS TO CMM'S Facebook page include:

A Photo album for the The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2017

A Photo album for the The 17th Classic Vehicle Restoration Show 2017

A Photo album for the Malvern Festival of Transport 2017

A Photo album for the The Footman James Manchester Classic Car Show 2017

A Photo album for the Beaulieu International Autojumble 2017

A Photo album for the August Bank Holiday Cheshire Classic Car & Motorcycle Show 2017

A Photo album for the Cumbria Classic & Motorsport Show 2017

A Photo album for the 2017 Classic & Performance Car Spectacular & Cheshire Autojumble

A Photo album for the Bristol Classic Car Show 2017

A Photo album for the The NEC Classic Car & Restoration Show 2017

A Photo album for the The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2016

A Photo album for the The National Restoration Show 2016

A Photo album for the The 27th Malvern Autumn Classic Car Show & Autojumble

A Photo album for the The Footman James Classic Car Show Manchester 2016

A Photo album for the The 50th Anniversary International Autojumble

A Photo album for the The Passion For Power Classic Motor Show 2016

A Photo album for the Lytham Hall Classic Car & 'Bike Show 2016

A Photo album for the Ackworth Steam Rally 2016

A Photo album for the Leighton Hall Classic Car & Motorcycle Show 2016

A Photo album for the At the Bristol Classic Car Show 2016

A Photo album for the Lancashire Automobile Club Manchester to Blackpool Run

A Photo album for the 30th Tatton Classic Car Show

A Photo album for the Capesthorne Hall Classic Show

A Photo album for Beaulieu Spring Autojumble

A Photo album for Malvern Spring Classic and Mini Show

A Photo album for Spring Vehicle Meet at The British Commercial Vehicle Museum

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