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Current Issue - November 2018, Issue 356

NOVEMBER 2018 ISSUE: OUR 29th year of publication, CMM is bigger, bolder, brighter, now MORE PAGES, FULL COLOUR THROUGHOUT - and the 2019 Almanac, the 'bible' for enthusiasts is COMING!

Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2019 Almanac - FREE (until Jan. 23, 2019); 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 November issue,CMM September, Issue 354  On Your Marques looks at the Jaguar E-type Round Britain Coastal Drive for Prostate Cancer plus Hero to Take Over Events Organised by the ERA and more. Magpie chats about the Original and Best, and in the Spannerman column it's Spannerman & Loose Nuts. Our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware, checks out the news that the Donington Collection To Close in a busy Wareabouts column, while Peter Love gives us another Commercial Break and Love Steam. 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 Isle of Wight Extravaganza 2018.  Our events section - the best in Britain - features all the best shows and 'jumbles for you to visit, and we've show reports from the Malvern Classic and more. Landers Lobby discusses Beetle Ceases Production? 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 look at upcoming events including a preview of The NEC Classic Motor Show and 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. 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 November 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, On Your Marques, club news, Get Set, news snippets, our fascinating 'All You Wanted to Know' column with Minerva returns with a look at Threaded Fasteners. Plus, our new columns from the redoubtable Barrie Carter - In The Rear View Mirror and Noggin & Natter with Graeme Forrester. 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 2019 Almanac FREE - 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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November Issue Previews...

BEETLE CEASES PRODUCTION? MEH...

I WAS SURPRISED TO READ recently that the VW Beetle is about to cease production. And it must be true, because all the TV news channels carried the exact same story - complete with images of Ferdinand Porsche’s air-cooled, rear-engined, people’s car, backed up by a potted history of the model and a mass of statistics.

My surprise was occasioned by the fact that, up until then, I’d understood that production had ended 15 years ago, when the last Beetle rolled off a line in Mexico. It turns out, of course, that those news items referred to the totally unrelated, water-cooled, front-wheel-drive model - a car that can claim to be a ‘Beetle’ only insofar as its bodywork is a somewhat heavy-handed parody of the original.

Volkswagen’s public relations people deserve to be congratulated on the stunning success of this exercise in ambiguity. The VW Group as a whole is still suffering the damaging after-effects of the diesel emissions scandal, which simply refuses to go away. (It’s reported that Audi have just agreed to pay a record 800-million Euro fine to settle a legal case in Germany.) So any positive publicity that can be generated is going to be especially welcome.

Remarkably enough, VW managed to spin a wholly unimportant item - the withdrawal of a minor, niche model (which, latterly, had embarrassingly low sales) - into headline news all around the world. Largely dependent upon the lack of specialist knowledge in mainstream news rooms, the story played out as if it were the end of one of the longest lived, best loved cars ever. Never the slightest suggestion that this was an entirely different animal.

The coverage was so blanket, and so very similar, that you really could imagine the presenters reading directly from press releases: “The only car ever to have starred in its own Hollywood movies...” This nonsense was overlaid with shots from the first of Walt Disney’s ‘Herbie’ series. The late-sixties model featured in ‘the Love Bug’ was followed by archive film of many more, genuine, Type 1 Beetles buzzing across the screen, carrying flower-power hippies or happy, smiling families - prompting nice, warm, fuzzy feelings towards the car, and, by extension, towards the company itself. Smart move... but nothing at all to do with the current state of affairs.

Ironically; although VW can now use the Beetle as a brand icon - an instant reminder of the honest engineering and customer satisfaction that it once represented - the car, in the past, had actually been something of an albatross. Volkswagen had been founded to produce that specific model, which became incredibly successful, and, quite understandably, defined the company....

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

SPANNERMAN & LOOSE NUTS...

I CAN REMEMBER WHEN LEAVES used to fall off the trees in the autumn. These days, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of people being employed to pick the leaves off the trees before nature can take its course and the leaves fall down of their own accord.

The apparent strange behaviour of the leaf pickers is, according to explanations that I’ve heard, carried out to prevent the leaves becoming a hazard when they fall. It seems to me that it’s a strange world we live in.

I can also remember when drivers had to drive their cars. And by drive, I mean that they were in control of all aspects of the vehicle, such as steering, braking, acceleration, and they also had to undertake tasks such as parking. I suppose the time will come when people will look back at the way we used to drive our cars and wonder how on earth we managed back in the days when we had to do everything for ourselves.

And the above are just two examples of the conversations down at the Chequered Flag as the longer winter nights approach. We have also been greatly amused by the Landers Lobby piece in last month’s Classic Motor Monthly. If you missed it, it told the tale of the Snotsbury Super-Goose owners who had banded together to form a club. As the tale progressed, all manner of shenanigans occurred, and as each move was discussed by our group down at the Chequered Flag, someone in the room would say something along the lines of: “Well I remember that happening with the XX Owners’ Club.”

The XX has of course been inserted to protect any guilty parties, and also to prevent us needing to call upon the Classic Motor Monthly legal advisors to save the Chequered Flag from a libel action. The end point of Landers Lobby was to make a comparison to the Brexit process, but of course this was categorically not discussed by our group, since the “B” word is not allowed in the Chequered Flag. However the Landers Lobby was a nice tie in to last month’s Myth of the Month which had been looking at the question of the proliferation of car clubs which had first been raised by Graeme Forrester in his Noggin & Natter piece in September’s Classic Motor Monthly.

There appears to be no doubt that it was the sort of events that David Landers described via their occurrence with the Snotsbury Super-Goose owners that has caused there to be so many clubs.

This month’s TIP FOR THE MONTH is one that could be put in one of two ways. You could think of it as being a tip similar to one that I’ve made before which goes along the lines of “You need to ensure you know what you’re talking about before you commit to giving an explanation.” Alternatively, you could simply decide that it’s good not to confuse Spannerman. This all comes about as a result of Thomas Wardle’s request for an explanation that he made via the Classic Torque Readers Letters page of last month’s Classic Motor Monthly. This was about the question of wheel nuts and the type of threads that they might have. I thought that I could answer the question that Thomas raised regarding centre lock wheels, but I was confused by, and indeed I could not explain, his original assertion regarding “normal” wheel nuts.

Following my answer, Thomas has sent in a follow up note, and in part of this he says: “Most cars have clockwise tightening wheel nuts on both sides. ..The only difference between the two sides of the car is that the nearside wheel nut, during rotation of the wheel will tend to loosen, therefore, the offside will tend to tighten, simple logic.” Well I’m afraid to say Thomas that I don’t see your logic...

From Spannerman's column in the November issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!

ISLE OF WIGHT CLASSIC EXTRAVAGANZA 2018

IT’S QUITE A SIGHT AS the Wight Link Ferry drops its bow doors and lines of classic cars, commercials and bikes pour into Fishbourne on route to the Saturday show Quayside in Newport.

It’s my annual end of season ‘hurrah’ and each year it seems to get ‘bigger and better’ the phrase organiser Vic Gallucci uses at every opportunity. Now onto its 17th episode, the figures are certainly impressive with over 800 cars featuring at Sundays gathering on Ryde seafront, including a visit by the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Isle of Wight Tour.

The weekend has become popular for many clubs to arrange their annual gathering or to take in as part of any southern rally. One such group that enjoyed much attention was the WOKR – Willys Overland Knight Registry and their gathering of ten Knight and Overland models from the 20s and 30s. They also impressed Ryde Town Mayor Malcolm Ross who awarded their party ‘Best Group’ in show.

The vast majority of vehicles taking part are actually main land cars with many travelling long distances to attend; Scotland and the North East were represented and looking west groups arrived from Somerset and Devon. This offers locals to enjoy variety rarely see during the year and their enthusiasm can only be measured in the thousands that attend.

Local classics can be recognised via the ‘DL’ letters on their number plates and I took time to speak with Mark Chessell who has penned several books on the subject, covering Isle of Wight transport. Under the banner of Chine Publishing, the first titled DL Isle of Wight motor vehicles 1896 – 1939 was followed by DL: The Classic Years 1939 – 1964 and feature some very rare machines indeed, several I hadn’t even heard of.

Some were originally native to the island as several manufacturers have produced a variety of vehicles on the south side of the Solent. If rare and unusual grabs your attention, then this show always delivers and 2018 was a bumper year; prize for Most Unusual Car went to Colin & Jack Budden and their very famous Hotrod known as the Boston Strangler.

Built by Rick Heinrick of Boston Massachusetts in 1965, the ‘Strangler’ was imported into the UK by Jeff Beck of Yardbirds fame and after a mishap and repair he sold it onto John Bonham of Led Zeppelin who actually raced at Santa Pod. After years floating from collection to restaurant display it disappeared, only to be found in a barn on the island in need of a little attention but complete! Another rarity was David Montgomery’s Berkshire built Buckler, a sports car for the common man could be purchased as a chassis from Derek Buckler from 1947-64.

With Ford parts plentiful and good value, the Buckler could provide motorsport on a budget with fibre glass or alloy bodies. Of 274 chassis known to have been produced, just 124 remain worldwide and I must confess to having never seen one before. Sunday always features a ‘Stateside’ area around Ryde’s bowling alley and one piece of Americana you could not ignore was Mike Payne’s 1949 Chrysler Windsor Series Highlander Convertible with a name longer than the car.

Being one of just a handful that survive from the 3240 built over just nine months, this 4.1 straight six with power hood arrived from California with its juke box style dash and long curves finished in cream, it stood out and maybe that’s way Bob Hope was a fan of the model....

From Fordie's Favourites in our November issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!

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