JANUARY 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 COMING!
Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2018 Almanac - FREE (January 24 deadline); 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 Januaryissue, On Your Marques looks at the Historic Rally Car Register at Gaydon and more. Magpie looks at New Year, Same Old, Same Old, and in the Spannerman column it's Spannerman & GQT. Our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware, checks out the Burney In The Box 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 Fiat 125S plus a Have You Ever Owned featuring the FSO/Polski Fiat 125, a special look at Abbotts of Farnham by author Len Huff, we feature reports from the Essen Motor Show, Malvern Autojumble, and more. And of course our events section - the best in Britain - features all the best shows and 'jumbles for you to visit. Landers Lobby discusses The More Things Change 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 January issue, a FREE Pull-out and Pin-up Giant Events Diary Part 1. 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 January 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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January Issue Previews...
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...
I WITNESSED SOME PARTICULARLY thoughtless driving the other day, which led to me to think about manners on today’s roads...
There’s no reason to think that driving standards have fallen - in fact, quite the opposite. Considering how congested our roads have become, the vast majority of drivers are remarkably well behaved and display astonishing patience. If that weren’t the case, we’d have far more accidents.
It’s fascinating to read through old driving manuals and discover that many of the examples of ‘bad driving’ that still incense us today, were recognised and condemned as such back then. Cutting in; hogging the middle of the road; driving too close to the vehicle in front.
The criminal practice of speeding up when someone is attempting to pass is also nothing new: one pre-war manual makes the interesting point that such an act is not just dangerous, but is actually criminal in the true sense of the word. By increasing speed to match that of the overtaker, the other driver is, in effect, racing on the public roads - which is an offence.
Some of the advice that was given seems very odd now. A 1935 book by H.E.Symons, ‘How To Pass The Driving Test’, was published in collaboration with the British School of Motoring. It must be the first of its kind, because the test had only just been introduced at that point. In it, Mr Symons suggests that the handbrake should also be used in emergency stops: “On many cars a separate set of brake-shoes is operated by the hand-lever, so that extra braking is available, while even when the hand and foot controls are interconnected, the effort is shared and more efficient braking obtained than if the pedal or handbrake was applied alone.”
It sounds totally wrong - using the handbrake like that would surely lock the rear wheels and provoke a skid? But, with the braking systems of the period, it was actually a sensible idea. In his first instance (ie. the “separate set of brake-shoes”), the author might well have had the pre-1930 Austin Seven in mind - where the rear brakes were worked by the pedal, the fronts by the hand-lever. As for “interconnected” brakes, it was very common then to have both the pedal and the lever operating on all four wheels via the same rod linkage. So pulling on the handbrake would add to the force being applied by the pedal, while maintaining normal brake balance. Not so daft, after all...
Another example of changed attitudes is the way in which gears were used to slow down, taking some of the effort off the brakes. That’s frowned upon nowadays - but modern disc brakes don’t fade. Anyone with a drum-braked classic, who has ‘run out of brakes’ halfway down a hill, will understand why pre-war motorists were told to select a lower gear before starting the descent. And it’s still the advice for heavy goods drivers (at whom, presumably, those ‘Low Gear Now’ signs are aimed today). The rule used to be: come down a hill in the same gear that you would use to climb it...
From The Landers Lobby in our January issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!
MAN OF WOOD...
STEPHEN SOWERBY FROM ALDBORNE, in Wiltshire, is a lover of wood. His father was an antique furniture restorer and maker of reproduction wooden furniture.
Son Stephen attended the Manchester School of Furniture Design for three years before joining his father.
For some years he continued with cabinet and furniture making as well the restoration of antique wooden items. He told me “Working in chipboard or MDF give me no enjoyment whatsoever, it has to be real wood”.
One of his favourites just happens to be English ash. Stephen is a car enthusiast with a particular interest in Reliant Scimitars, one of which was standing outside his workshop being attended to as and when he had time.
His workshop has an interesting history. During the war the American A and E company of the 506th parachute infantry regiment of the 101st airborne division (the ‘Band of Brothers’) were stationed just below in the village in old stables and hastily erected Nissen huts. In the 1950’s one of these huts was moved to a new site and Stephens father moved his workshops into it in 1979.
It was quite obvious that Stephen would turn to finding a way to make his skills available to the car restoration world. He regularly attends the major restoration and other shows just to study the way wood is used.
One of his first customers was Tim Green from Newbury who was restoring an Aero Hillman Minx. The interior wood work was missing so Stephen had to make up a new dashboard and cappings which were then varnished and polished. For this he used reclaimed walnut from a 1930’s wardrobe. He was then presented with the task of completely refurbishing all the interior wood work on a Bentley Mk VI R type.
This car had come back from the USA where some very unskilled restoration had taken place. There were sections of the dash board that had been re-veneered in a completely different veneer to the original burr walnut and wood effect Fablon had also been used. The whole had then been covered in yacht varnish! Then there were the picnic tables and even the wood trim around the sunshine roof.
For the cappings these were given three coats of base lacquer and then four coats of top coat. When fully cured began the task of burnishing and polishing. Where wood is missing he has a good supply of old quality wood from his antique restoring days, including Cuban mahogany, walnut and others. He had recently finished a dashboard from a Triumph TR6 and was working on one for a Jaguar XJ....
From Michael Ware's The Professionals in the January issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!
‘ABBOTTS OF FARNHAM’ AND THEIR JAGUAR XK120 4-SEATER - THE ULTIMATE ONE-OFF?
MOST READERS, IF NOT ALL, who remember, however vaguely that fine, English coach-builder, ‘Abbotts of Farnham’ will surely more easily relate his work to those glorious coach-built examples of Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Talbot, Healey, Daimler and Lanchester et al for which the company was so well known.
More especially perhaps, for the not-so-old readers, for the wonderful estate car conversions that were created from Ford’s three big saloons, Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac between 1952 and 1972. But, a Jaguar XK120 DHC? And a 4-seater? Was that a typo? A 4-seater? Surely not!
The Jaguar XK 120 (120 because it was thought, or had already been proved to be capable of 120mph) was launched in 1948 and was described as being one of the greatest post-war classic car designs. The beauty of the design was, “breathtaking, with timeless pure lines and elegance.” I have deliberately emphasised those lines, above.
The original model was a open, two-door, 2-seat coupe, fitted with the new, 3442cc , 6-cylinder, twin-cam engine which gave that amazing 120mph, unrivalled in the decade of its launch. These first models were code-named OTS – open two-seater. No drop-head or fixed-head option. No folding hood. Of course, as fine as it was, that 3.4 litre engine would later be eclipsed by Jaguar’s 3.8 litre which, to this day, is thought to have been one of the finest engines ever created, for road or track and was to remain the main power unit in Jaguar’s premier models for another quarter-century or so.
So when, in early 1951 Mr David Stuart Mitchell of Hairini, Tauranga, in North Island, New Zealand placed an order through Shorters, his Auckland agent, for a Jaguar XK120 with a 4-seat, drop head coupe body, many an eyebrow in Jaguar’s factory in Swallow Road, Foleshill, Coventry must have been raised, accompanied by a number of quizzical, incredulous looks from interested bystanders! Apart from all else, Jaguar never intended, and never did create a 4-seat version of the XK120, so there was no way that Jaguar would be able to fulfil Mr Mitchell’s order, as it stood. The first change to the XK120 line was the introduction of a fixed-head coupe, later in 1951 and a drop-head coupe in 1953. So it might have been a case of, “But I know a man who can.”
As it happened, an XK120 chassis, number 660750 and built on 17 April 1951 just happened to be available. So it came to pass that on Friday, 13 July, 1951 that XK 120 chassis, with engine (number: W3023-7) and power train complete was sent to ‘Abbotts of Farnham’ to be fitted with a 4-seat, drop-head coupe body.
In mid-1950, Edward Dixon Abbott had retired, at the tender age of just 52 and his company taken over by R. Gordon Sutherland who had been the MD of Aston Martin from 1934 until selling his share-holding in the company to David Brown in 1947. So it was actually Gordon Sutherland who faced the surely daunting task of creating this unique body to adorn this fine chassis....
From Len Huff in our January issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!
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