OCTOBER 2017 ISSUE: OUR 28th year of publication, CMM is bigger, bolder, brighter, now MORE PAGES, FULL COLOUR THROUGHOUT - and the 2017 Almanac, the 'bible' for enthusiasts is HERE!
Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2017 Almanac - from 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 28th Year of Publication - we've a run down on all that's best in the classic car world!
In the October issue, On Your Marques looks at the P6 Rover Owners National, Watford & District Classic Vehicle Club's big bash, and more. Magpie looks at a Model Pupil, and in the Spannerman column it's Spannerman & Gearboxes. Our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware, checks out The Elefant in The Room in a busy Wareabouts column, while Peter Love gives us another Love Steam and 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 Cowley's Carriage For Upper Management plus a Have You Ever Owned featuring the Standard Pennant, we preview the big upcoming events, plus reviews of recent events including the Beaulieu International Autojumble, the Manchester Classic Car Show and more. We also preview the month's big events; and of course our events section features all the best shows and 'jumbles for you to visit. Landers Lobby discusses the reduction in the MoT age 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 a Gunson Leather Toolroll worth over £40. 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 October 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 Ferguson's System. 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 2017 Almanac from only £1.75 extra! CMM makes the ideal gift! For subscription info., click here!
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October Issue Previews...
MOT AGE LIMIT TO BE REDUCED
THE UK GOVERNMENT IS REDUCING the age limit for MOT test exemption; the change will take effect from 20 May 2018. Thereafter, vehicles built or registered more than 40 years ago will no longer require an annual MOT (pre-1960 vehicles are already exempt). And it will be on a rolling basis - meaning that, in future, vehicles in the ‘Historic’ taxation class will be exempt from both tax and testing.
A Government document, “Exempting Vehicles of Historic Interest from Roadworthiness Testing”, has been published following public consultation prompted by the EU Directive on vehicle testing. The Directive actually allows thirty-year old vehicles to escape testing, but this further extension has been rejected. Interestingly; although there are only half as many 1978-1987 vehicles in use compared to those from 1961-1977, the newer ones are involved in twice as many accidents. [This does suggest that 1961-1977 vehicles are largely in the hands of enthusiasts, and are being driven less frequently and/or more carefully.]
Looking at the public responses to the earlier consultation document, one suspects that the Department for Transport (DfT) had already made up its mind, and was just going through the motions. In fact, a clear majority of the respondents were opposed to this pre-1978 exemption. Many were against any form of exemption, arguing that every vehicle on a public road required an annual test. (Indeed; a few even suggested that older vehicles are most in need of testing, because they are inherently less safe than modern ones.) Others thought that extending the current exemption period to include these later cars - potentially in the ‘banger’ category - might attract buyers who simply want ultra-cheap motoring. The DfT was equally dogmatic in rejecting [on very flimsy grounds] the introduction of a basic safety test for older vehicles (a proposal supported by over 50% of respondents).
The primary reasons given for the DfT’s final decision were as follows. Firstly: the MOT failure rate for vehicles over forty years old is significantly better than that for newer ones - which, it is implied, shows that these older vehicles are better maintained. [A specious argument: there’s more to test on newer cars and therefore more reasons to fail.] Secondly: the number of deaths and serious injuries relating to vehicles registered between 1961 and 1977 is low. [The wording of this section of the document is practically incomprehensible. I think they then try to prove that this isn’t just because there are so few pre-1978 vehicles around.]...
From The Landers Lobby in our October issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!
COWLEY’S CARRIAGE FOR UPPER MANAGEMENT...
SAVED FROM THE ‘DEMOLITION DERBY’ this Wolseley screams style without shouting; subtly whispering ‘look at me’.
Alongside its sister, the Austin A99 Westminster, the first of the larger ‘Farina’ designed Wolseley’s arrived just prior to the swinging sixties in the form of the 6/99.
Badge engineering had taken hold at BMC but the Wolseley owner expected and received that little extra, a high spec version of what was already a very stylish and well finished model. Its ‘C’ Series, straight six of 2912cc was lifted from the Austin Healey, offering just over 100bhp and just under 100mph, pulling 3470 lbs of unit-construction, pressed steel. Column change for manual or automatic, with overdrive on 2nd and top standard on the three speed manual.
At £1,255 the Wolseley was £106 more than the Austin and the Cowley workers fitted the marques bespoke grille with auxiliary lamps. The model enjoyed distinctive exterior paint colours whilst inside quality leather trims, veneer door capping’s and a dash with extra gauges to be admired through the deep dish steering wheel. In late 1961 the 6/99 enjoyed an upgrade and the 6/110 became available at £1,343 but those admiring the new car through showroom windows would have noted very little change.
Under the familiar exterior came a host of features the Wolseley owner would appreciate, including engine upgrades that increased output by a further 20bhp. Along with a floor mounted gear-shift, the driving experience was enhanced by a longer wheelbase and rear suspension improvements. The following year, options included air conditioning and power steering; the result was 10,800 units sold up until 1964.
In May that year the 6/110 Mark 2 was announced and continued with a floor mounted gear change but the four speeds came without overdrive as standard, this was a £51 option. Further improvements to the suspension and upgrades to Wolseley’s already premier interior (picnic tables and reclining seats) were added, plus the road wheel size was reduced to 13inch. The 6/110 had peaked with its Mark 2 which offered luxurious comfort, handled well and topped 100mph; no wonder it became the Met Police’s favourite ‘criminal catcher’ of the era.
Launched at £1,179, around 13,300 left the showrooms by 1968 but the UK’s motoring industry had begun to implode, BMC took over Jaguar in 1966 and became BMH. The last 6/110 Mark 2 left the production line just prior to the birth of British Leyland which in turn spelt the beginning of the end for the great marque of Wolseley.
There is little doubt that this 6/110 Mk 2 was hidden away from the public eye for many years and this may well have saved 899UJO from the short oval track. Along with its cousins from other BMC marques, the Farina design was desired by the banger brigade for their strength and durability and most had been consumed by the 1980s.
What we do know is the Wolseley Register has no knowledge of an older Mark 2 chassis, first registered in Oxford, 22nd September 1964. Its registration area code ‘JO’ was often used by the factory, one might speculate it may well have been a BMC press car. Old MOT certificates confirm its was still in use by 1997 but two years later 899UJO was placed into a lock up by Conrad Parr in Somerset.
As a member of the Cambridge Oxford Owners Club he met with the 6/110’s eventual saviour in 2008; fellow enthusiast Adrian Trevorrow finally took custody of the Wolseley in 2011 on the condition that the car was put back on the road.
Having spent his career within the classic car restoration business, paint sprayer Adrian confirmed: “I decided it was time to get the car back on the road, refurbishing and saving an early chassis Mark 2 was rewarding by making it presentable and roadworthy again. I was on a tight budget, though I was in a good position as I could use the workshop in the evenings and at weekends during 2012”...
From Fordie's Favourites in our October issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!
SPANNERMAN & GEARBOXES...
AS THE OLD ROMANS USED TO SAY, Tempus doesn’t half Fugit. Or, to put it into modern English speech, times flies. We’ve had a number of conversations about time down at the Chequered Flag, and the passage of time is featured in this month’s Topical Tip.
But it was memories from times past that were brought about following last month’s piece on changing which side of the road cars drive on. As part of that, I’d mentioned that I was testing my memory with regards to time zones, since I thought I recalled that there was at least one year when the UK experimented with not changing the clocks between summer and winter, and I’d had the feeling that it occurred sometime during the sixties.
It wasn’t long before I’d had it reported to me that it was between 1968 and 1971 when British Summer Time was maintained throughout the winter without the more usual fall back to Greenwich Mean Time in autumn and the spring forward returning to British Summer Time in the spring. With topics such as why we bother to change the clocks twice each year, the Chequered Flag will not be quiet anytime soon.
Let’s get BACK TO BASICS and continue with our look at gearboxes. I’ve had quite a few questions as a result of some of the details I have written, so I thought I’d answer a few of those.
I mentioned that I was looking at a typical rear wheel drive layout, and I was asked what differences there were for front wheel drive gearboxes. Well the simple answer to that is to say that there are no basic differences, and it’s simply the physical constraints of the positioning of the front wheel drive components that cause changes. I gave the example of a car with the engine at the front which drives the rear wheels since I believe it is easier to imagine the transmission of power from the front to the back passing through the gearbox. Indeed, at one point I said that “..the road wheels we want to drive are fixed at right angles to the line of the power.” Of course this is true for rear wheel drive cars, but front wheel drive means that the wheels are required to move laterally to allow the car’s steering to have effect.
There’s been quite a few comments about the grip provided by tyres and how this is affected by the choice of gear. Tom Wardle’s letter covered driving in snow, and it’s also important to remember the effect that the mechanical grip provided by tyres comes into the questions of driving on snow as well as driving on dry roads. This is tied up with torque, but there’s going to be more on that issue in coming months.
Another popular question was about the number of gears in a gearbox. Sometimes four, sometimes five, and where do overdrives fit into the picture? Whilst earlier gearboxes may have had as little as three gears, four was the commonly found number for quite a while. The need for this number of gears was dictated by the fact that although an engine might rev from as little as five hundred revs to as many as six thousand revs per minute, the useful power from the engine could be found within a limited range of revs. The ideal is that as you reach the top of the useful power range in one gear, you change to the next higher numbered gear and the engine revs drop to the bottom of the useful power range. This means that the car is constantly being driven within the useful power range. Overdrives are actually an additional gearbox behind the normal gearbox and when engaged, the overdrive gear reduced the engine revs for the same travelling speed.
As gearbox technology was refined, it was found that manufacturers could reliably increase the number of gears in the normal gearbox, so the typical four speed gearbox was increased to a five speed gearbox with the additional gear being, in many cases, an overdrive or cruising gear. Nowadays it’s not uncommon to find six speed gearboxes on production cars.
There’s also been mention of “straight cut close ratio gearboxes”. These are mostly used in competition cars and the name actually refers to two different things.
The close ratio aspect can be inferred from the name which refers to the difference between the gear ratios. I mentioned above how engines typically produce a useful power range and the gears are designed to make full use of all the useful power range. For competition cars, the peak power is produced within a small power range, and the gears are consequently designed to use primarily this narrow range of revs. This means the drop from the top of the rev range in one gear to the bottom of the range in the next gear is relatively small, and the gear ratios are amended accordingly so that the actual difference between each gear is small. Hence the gears are designated as close ratio....
From Spannerman in our October issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!
RECENT ADDITIONS TO CMM'S Facebook page include:
A Photo album for the Malvern Festival of Transport 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