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Current Issue - September 2017, Issue 342

SEPTEMBER 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 September issue,CMM July, Issue 340  On Your Marques looks at the MG Y-Type 70th Anniversary Relay, a campaign for 'real' spares for classics, and more. Magpie looks at a Mid Mini Marvel, and in the Spannerman column it's Spannerman & Driverless Cars. Our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware, checks out A Cutting Edge Museum 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 the remarkable Whitney Straight plus a Have You Ever Owned featuring the Matra-Rene Bonnet Djet, we preview the big upcoming events, plus reviews of recent events including the Passion For Power Classic Motor Show, the Cumbria Classic and more. We also preview the month's big events; the Beaulieu International Autojumble, The Sywell Classic, Tractor World Autumn and The Manchester Classic Car Show. Landers Lobby says The More Things Change and The Secret Autojumbler checks out a variety of great club rallies. We also continue delving into the archive of the much-missed Lock Man. This month, we have two great readers competitions; a chance to win a Gunson Colourtune worth over £50 and a copy on DVD or Blu-ray of the famous Hollywood film The Graduate featuring that iconic Alfa Romeo. 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 September 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 after having been elbowed out ot the way by an overflowing classified section! 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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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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September Issue Previews...


IT SEEMS THAT THE WRITING is on the wall for conventional internal combustion (ic) engines. The UK government has said that it proposes to ban the sale of new ic cars by 2040, and Volvo put out a statement recently, declaring that they would only be building electric or hybrid-engined cars after 2019.
Yet, surprisingly enough, another firm, Mazda, has just announced a revolutionary new version of the ic engine! Will this turn out to be a vain attempt to stem the tide of progress, or could the claimed advantages of the new Mazda engine actually change the course of history?
There’s not much that is really ‘new’ in the automotive world. If Edwardian engineers could be allowed a glimpse of today’s cars, they would be amazed to discover that, 100 years later, we are still using technology that’s familiar to them (electronics apart). Independent suspension for example, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes; all these were in use prior to WW1. As for engines, overhead camshafts operating four valves per cylinder also go back to that same period. Superchargers and even turbochargers had already been invented.
In fact, it’s astonishing how little has changed in basic ic engine design. The reciprocating piston working on a four-stroke-cycle pre-dates the motor car - and it still reigns supreme. In the 1960s, magazine articles confidently informed readers that cars would soon be powered by gas-turbines... or even miniature nuclear reactors! Yet the only serious rival that ever emerged was the rotary ic engine (the Wankel). And instead of ousting the piston engine, this exhibited major design flaws that cost NSU and its licence holders dearly. Just one company managed to develop it into a reliable production unit. That company - significantly, perhaps - is Mazda.
Today, we are told that the future lies with electric motors - either powered via batteries or (in hybrid form) by generators linked to small ic engines. Unlike those past predictions, this vision is being dictated by politics, and has extensive commercial backing. Again, of course, the underlying ideas aren’t new. In the early years of the last century, electric cars were so popular for city use that makers such as Rolls-Royce aped the fashion by building ‘fake’ electrics. With their petrol engine hidden under the floor, these bonnetless cars were made to look like electrics, and were also able to perform like them (silently, without the need for gear changes)....

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


CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH as many a ‘Boys Own’ hero, the honours that follow his name recognise many achievements and point to a life lived to the full; my interest is simply because I knew the man.
My teenage years around West London included the compulsory part-time job and mine was the unskilled assistant to the assistant gardener at a rather large house near Osterley Park. How I achieved this weekend vocation has long since been forgotten but several things remain in my memory to this day.
Occasionally cars could be heard revving up in the lock ups away from the main house, unfortunately I wasn’t worthy of a peak. Mr Straight himself would patrol his grounds, shotgun in tow and always accompanied by a couple of small dogs plus a large cigar. As he passed he would often enquire as to my current task, one of which I remember vividly as trimming the edges of his large lawn with a pair of scissors.
Not my idea obviously, but something my peers considered justifiable for my meagre wage plus the fishing rights to the large lake that filled the acres surrounded by woodland. I was aware of Whitney Straight’s business career, climbing to the highest offices of British European Airways and then BOAC and Rolls Royce but knew nothing of his Brooklands exploits and the household names he competed with and against on a weekly basis.
Born to wealthy parents in 1912 New York City, Straight’s father died in 1918 and when his mother had remarried Englishman Leonard Elmhirst, the family moved to Darlington Hall in Devon in 1925. The children were dispatched to the finest of educations available and Whitney attended Trinity College Cambridge where he evidently excelled and breezed through his exams, it was here his lust for adventure became apparent. Straight took to the skies over Cambridgeshire and accumulated over 60 hours’ flight training at just 16 but was too young for any official pilot’s licence. 
Funds were never of concern so his first car was an Alvis Silver Eagle Touring model, this was followed by a Riley Nine that was to appear at Shelsley Walsh in the summer of 1931.
Motorsport passions may certainly have been pursued with fellow Trinity student Dick Seaman and the pair would become team mates and great friends. It’s said Straight encouraged young Seaman (destined for a life in the diplomatic corps) to approach his parents for a runabout to get around Cambridge; a little old Bugatti Type 35 would do the trick. Brooklands for the Autumn meeting where an impressive 3rd just convinced young Straight something faster than his Nine (now painted black) would be required for the 1933 season.
A non-supercharged Bugatti Type 35 got him up amongst the fastest at the Easter meeting, this was quickly followed by Tim Birkin’s old Maserati; also clothed in black hue complimented by shining chrome trim the 1931 2.5 litre Italian machine with Straight piloting would bring down the class record twice in one meeting, the time set by Birkin himself...

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


IT APPEARS THAT THE debate rolls on. The debate about driverless cars, that is. I was quite surprised by one particular piece of reaction that was received.
The partner of one of the younger members of our group down at the Chequered Flag can often be seen sporting more modern technological devices than it appears a human brain should be able to cope with. Having said that, if anyone is struggling with setting up a phone, a watch or a tablet computer, they’re as good as guaranteed to have it sorted out for you in next to no time, and the aforesaid device is returned with a withering look that expresses concern that they had to be bothered in the first place by something so simple.
Given the open arms with which all modern devices have been accepted, and the odd tale of how the time spent in traffic jams is used to catch up on missed television programmes, I was fully expecting the era of driverless cars to be keenly awaited. It was rather a surprise then to get the simple response “It’ll never happen.” When pushed for an explanation, it appears that despite all of its inconveniences, there’s apparently still an awful lot of people out there who want to sit behind a wheel and drive. Whilst devices such as cruise control are a welcome addition to the range of driver aids, the thought of giving over complete control of a car to a computer is still a step too far. It’ll be interesting to see where this one ends up.
One reaction that wasn’t unexpected was the one from Know-it-all Ken. He picked me up on the use of one word in the following sentence: “The different levels which define the relative driverlessness of vehicles were explained.” It seems to me that despite “driverlessness” not actually being a word, it does help to explain what I was trying to put across so I’m happy to let Ken have his say on that one, and I’ll ignore him on this occasion.
And whilst we’re still on the topic of things said after last month’s piece, I must mention changing from driving on one side of the road to the other. A couple of people mentioned that they too had memories of this happening, and I was also asked whether the event I was recalling had happened on the first of April. I must say that as I wrote down my memory of when it occurred, where it happened, and the detail of how the change took place, I was itching to open the world wide web and carry out a simple search to see what I could find out. But I waited. In fact, I deliberately waited until I had the printed copy of Classic Motor Monthly in my hands before I started to research the event.
Here’s what I’d originally written: “If I recall correctly, it was Sweden (or was it Denmark?) that most recently changed from driving on one side of the road to the other. It was a good few years ago now, and I have a memory that tells me that all vehicle movements had to cease at a certain time (4pm on a Sunday afternoon?) and after one hour, traffic could start to move again, but it had, obviously, to be driving on the other side of the road.” In a somewhat reassuring test for my memory and, it has to be said, the most outrageous blowing of my own trumpet that I’ve done for a long time, here’s a summary of what the world wide web has to say about the event. Firstly, yes, it was the country of Sweden that changed from right hand drive to left hand drive. “A good few years ago” is correct, since it was actually fifty years ago this very month that the changeover occurred. It was on Sunday (another tick for my memory) 3rd September 1967.
My memory of the length of time that the traffic had to be stationary might also be explained if I apply a careful interpretation of what actually happened.
Firstly there were countrywide restrictions that meant that all non-essential traffic was banned from using the roads between 1am and 6am on the Sunday morning. Even the essential traffic had to come to a complete halt for ten minutes between 4.50am and 5am, and as they resumed their journeys at 5am, they had to do so on the right hand side of the road....

From Spannerman in our September issue; read the whole article, subscribe today!


RECENT ADDITIONS TO CMM'S Facebook page include:

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

Look out too for videos associated with some of those events on our Facebook page! Don't forget to 'Like' us!



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