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Classic Motor Monthly, all the events, all the classifieds - subscribe todayAPRIL 2014 ISSUE: OUR 25th year of publication, CMM is changing, becoming bigger, bolder, brighter, now MORE PAGES, FULL COLOUR THROUGHOUT - and the 2014 Almanac, the 'bible' for enthusiasts is HERE!
Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2014 Almanac - FROM JUST £1.50 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 25th Year of Publication - we've a run down on all that's best in the classic car world! In the April issue, On Your Marques looks at what's coming up on Drive It Day
. Magpie looks at The (Not So) Great Prentender, and in the Spannerman column the old boy talks about Spannerman & Expensive Motors. Plus, our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware 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, and we have loads of show previews and more. We check out the big upcoming events, take a look at the 37th Antwerp Classic Salon, the Triumph and MG Show, and more. Landers Lobby talks of No Tax, No MOT - Boy Racder Heaven?, we have news of a rolling exemption from VED for vehicles over 40 years old, and the possibility that classics may be banned from London streets. There are more Tales From The Lock Man another of Fordie's Favourites, and lots more. Look out for all the news and snippets; no better time than now to think about that subscription than the April issue!!
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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 ever-informed and controversial 'Jumblin' column, the CMM Crossword from Owain and Alvina where you can now 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, 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 2014 Almanac!* CMM makes the ideal gift! For subscription info., click here!
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"...THROUGHOUT THE DECADES the success of a car is often affected by events on the world stage; with the US market targeted the 1953 Mark VI Hillman Californian was a couple of years early, so nearly the right car at the right time.
Although Rootes management primarily had the American motorist in their ‘crosshairs’, aided by the increased fuel costs and petrol rationing during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the later Mark VIII a stylish and economic Californian proved to be just as popular in the UK.
The rather tired offerings from Britain’s post war car manufactures ensured British drivers could not help but look across the Atlantic and admire the care free designs and striking colour combinations the US market offered. The huge engines were not for the UK buyer but a two door pillar-less Coupe image and even a convertible would prove popular. Rootes already had this in mind when they brought in Raymond Loewy an American designer; he took their convertible Minx and simply fitted a non-load bearing roof. Wind down the windows for an obstruction free view, the art deco rear screen is impressive and works in harmony with many other touches that make this car so different. A contrasting two tone paint scheme with the wheels matching the roof and the art deco theme continued inside with a lovely dash layout. The car sold well in the US and Australia where fuel costs had not been a priority (US 60 cents a gallon 1956) but having doubled in three years a 10mpg V8 engine made the American driver think. The Californians 1390cc OHV engine new for 1954 produced 47bhp and a top speed of 73mph and driven carefully could return 45mpg plus.
25 HME is a Mark VIII Californian belonging to David Welsh; the car was completed in December 1955 but didn’t hit the roads for six months as it was on display in Piccadilly, London at the Rootes headquarters in Devonshire House. As David explained to me the Californian models had a three stage build process which was quite unique at the time. The bodies once pressed and assembled in Oxford were transported to coachbuilders Thrupp and Maberly in London for the bespoke paint and trimming process. Once completed the bodies were sent onto the main Rootes factory at Ryton on Dunsmore near Coventry where all the running gear was fitted...
Fordie's Favourites - read the full article in the current issue out now!

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"...WHEN IS THERE TOO MUCH INFORMATION? An odd question, maybe, but we’re renowned for our odd questions down at the Chequered Flag.
This particular question about when there might be too much information cropped up as a reaction to my TOPICAL TIP last month.
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I’d said that it seemed to have been such a long time since I had last mentioned the weather, and I went on to mention, perhaps inevitably, the dreadful flooding that had taken place across so much of the country. My thoughts were that I didn’t particularly want to dwell on the topic, and I felt sure that the people who were suffering the flooding probably didn’t want to hear the same message being sent out again from someone who is fortunate enough not to have been directly affected. That’s the reason why I just noted a few simple lines: “If you do find yourself approaching a potentially flooded area, do please take extreme care. The golden rule has to be “If in doubt, don’t.” You simply don’t know how deep a flooded road might be, and there’s always a hidden danger of a missing manhole cover lurking beneath an apparently innocent looking stretch of floodwater.”
As was perhaps inevitable, that didn’t please some of the people who read it. I was strongly castigated for not pushing home the message harder. I was told that it’s not the people who are in the middle of the floods that need the advice, but rather it’s the people who live in the surrounding areas that need to be reminded what they should and should not be doing. When I protested that every daily and weekly newspaper up and down the land was offering very sensible advice, I was told that every opportunity should be taken to help spread the word about the sensible precautions we should all be thinking about.
So after giving the matter some thought, I’ve decided that whilst fervently hoping that water levels have been restored to normal levels across the country by the time you read this, and rather than spending some time thinking up what I consider to be the important dos and don’t, I’ll pass on some advice that was sent to me in an e-mail from one of the country’s insurance companies, Esure. Here’s what they said:
“Please consider our tips when driving on water-logged roads:
Check your route before you travel: Visit the Environment Agency’s website before you set off to check for flood warnings and adjust your travel plans to avoid any roads that are prone to flooding during periods of heavy rain.
Don’t guess water depth: If you misjudge the depth of an area of floodwater and your car becomes submerged above the sills of the doors, it is at risk of stalling and causing major damage to the interior if you open a door.
If you stall, don’t try and restart the engine: If your engine sucks in water instead of air it could result in serious damage. Don’t even be tempted to turn the key! Call to be professionally towed out.
Keep your doors shut: If you get stuck on a flooded road, stay in your car and call for help on your mobile. Don’t open your doors unless you are concerned for your safety.
Park on high ground: Think carefully before you park your car in an area that is prone to flooding. Simply parking on a small nearby hill could save it from damage.
Beware of ‘dormant’ water damage: If driving through deep water is unavoidable, damage can take months to show itself as corrosion can cause mechanical parts to fail.”
As I say, I hope this is all well out of date by the time you read this, so rather than thinking it might be topical, I’ll just say that the above is my TIP FOR THE MONTH...
Read the full article in the current issue out now!


SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT from Mr Secret this time - John Hodson (honourable editor - CMM) has had a word and suggested I include a report from my good friend and one of my now not-so 'Secret Agents' John Davis (the chap who sells the king pins and gaskets at lots of shows).
I have had to tool it down a bit, but it gives a good idea of events on his recent fascinating trip to India.
However, first things first, following on from the March report - last show reported on being the Tractor Show at Shepton Mallet, well two weeks on from this was the February show at Shepton Mallet - I wasn't able to get to this one (due to family commitments) and, to be fair, I couldn't get an agent to go either.
I therefore really do not know how it went but would imagine that it was "great and all systems go".
I then went to the Tractor Show at Malvern, but cannot say too much due to the John ‘D’ report taking up valuable space. However I am sure my new best friend (Peter Love) will do a very comprehensive report on this marvellous show in due course.
Very annoyingly the Live Promotions combined MG and Triumph Show was scheduled for Sunday 2nd March, which kiboshed me going to this event, which I definitely would have done, had I not been at Malvern.
I have received several reports on this show and mighty varying reports on takings. One thing that has been spoken about more than anything else is the fact that there was not enough time for the public to get around, it was far too crowded and it was very difficult to determine who was selling what (MG or Triumph). OK, it was obvious the big dealers, but the garage clear-out chappies (and yes these shows do attract this type of seller) had to be checked to see what fayre they were selling. When there were two shows (on different dates) one knew everyone was selling either MG or Triumph parts, plus the odd cake, shoes or sunglasses (what the heck are these being sold - or should I say soled - for I really don't know. And I don't mean price!).
Surely at a specific spares day show we don't need non auto stuff being sold, or is it a case of filling spaces with any old tat? Several of my friends advised they did very well (although it was very chaotic), but some others reported very poor sales. So 'Live' - you have tried a combined show, but everyone I have spoken to want a separate MG and a separate Triumph show, on separate dates. Can we please revert back to the good old days (i.e. last year and before). Lets face it - most MG and Triumph people hate each other anyway!
On Sunday the 9th March I called in at the Vauxhall/Bedford/Opel jumble at the Sports Hall near to Ryton (south of Coventry). I am sure I missed this one last year (but cannot remember why?). The hall was packed to the gunwhales with spares (and hardly any toolies) and a brisk trade was going on. I bought some really cheap rare parts and it just goes to show that at small events there is always some choice rare bits to find. One reason is the stand rate was so low - £5.00 per pitch (I was told) - now
if that doesn't bring out the garage clear-out chap, nothing will.
Bogs are excellent at this event and great café too. To put icing on the cake, in the other hall, was an antiques fair - I felt that I had died and woken up in heaven!....
The Secret Autojumbler - read the full article in the current issue out now!

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