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Classic Motor Monthly, all the events, all the classifieds - subscribe todayNOVEMBER 2014 ISSUE: OUR 25th year of publication, CMM is changing, becoming bigger, bolder, brighter, now MORE PAGES, FULL COLOUR THROUGHOUT - and the 2015 Almanac, the 'bible' for enthusiasts is COMING!
Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2015 Almanac - FREE*; 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 November issue, On Your Marques looks at plans for 2015's Austin 7 Rally at Beaulieu and more
. Magpie discusses a Circular Tour, and in the Spannerman column the old boy talks about Spannerman & Solving Problems. 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, with a big preview of the NEC Classic Motor Show, take a look at Kop Hill Climb, and more. Landers Lobby discusses More Taxing Matters, we have news of the Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience, 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 November issue!!
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"...ON THE 11TH JUNE 1968 Leslie Darby took his young son on an exciting mission to Marshalswick Motor Co, Cuffley, Hertfordshire to collect their new family car and 45 years on that same car still resides in the family fold.
The Cortina was five years old at the time and had only covered 9099 miles; she was a Super 1500 model with a good spec including a full sliding Webasto sunroof. £424.00 inc road tax changed hands, not a small sum for the time but the Cortina Mk2 had been released by now and the low mileage Mk1 in excellent condition offered great value for money. Young Graham remembers the joy of the first drive home and within a few years the first time he could get behind the wheel of any car was in this Cortina.
The Mk1 Cortina began a trilogy of Ford cars that everyone has either owned or knows someone that has, reliable and well-priced with an endless options list and every specification from the humble run-around to a race car for the road and the involvement of Lotus engineering.
The International Car of the Year Award was pushed by the Ford Publicity Department and the Mk1 went global; it even sold well as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. Available with Fords 1198cc engine on the lower range and on the Super model the 4 cylinder motor was increased to 1498cc and produced a healthy 64bhp. Transmission was also right up to date, a 4 speed unit with synchromesh in all gears. At just ¾ of a ton the car was light in comparison with its competition and at 14ft long and 5ft wide four people sat in comfort. The name was inspired by the 1956 Winter Olympics bob sleigh run at the Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo; later Ford never one to shy from publicity drove several cars down the same course. By the time the Mk2 arrived in 1966 an estimated 933,000 Mk1s had been sold worldwide and the Cortina range continued in many variants up until July 1982 with an incredible 2.6 million sold in the UK alone, over 4.3 worldwide.
The Darby family’s early example, named the Consul Cortina 1500 Super, has just celebrated its 50th birthday having been first registered in August 1963; extras included a single front fog light and luxury sunroof. The Webasto sunroof was fitted by a company called Allards and their workmanship has survived the test of time with only one fabric replacement in 1973. This Super model is finished in the complementary two-tone Windsor and Ascot Grey with lovely bright red seating, which is in as good as new condition.
Grahams father Leslie kept every invoice, book and brochure and for me a fully documented car from the 1960s is not only rare but valuable, the more history the better and this car has enough detail to keep historian David Starkey quiet for some time. Whilst ploughing through the folders of paperwork something really interesting came to light, an unused fuel rationing voucher book. ...
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"...THEY SAY THAT TIME FLIES when you’re having fun. So I must be having fun, I suppose, because time is certainly flying by!
We’re into November, the clocks have gone back, and the Christmas goodies have been on sale for what seems like several months already. In two months, we’ll be in 2015.
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Is it really fifteen years ago that we lost leaded petrol? And now they’re starting to tell us that lead wasn’t really the problem after all, but rather it’s diesel that causes the problems. Interest rates are still at an all time low, and despite the promises that the rates are on the way back up, it seems it’ll be next year before it happens. Or maybe the year after that. And petrol prices are falling.
So why, you might ask, am I going on about these sorts of things? Well I thought it might be good to give you a flavour of just one evening’s conversation topics down at the Chequered Flag. The conclusions we reached are quite interesting. Lead in petrol was a problem and the reason diesel is seen as a problem now is because the ability to find smaller and smaller pollutant particles is now with us. We decided that interest rates will rise, but we couldn’t agree when. And the reason petrol prices are falling is nothing to do with any of the current global influences such as the glut of shale gas being produced by the Americans or any of the myriad of conflicts taking place in the Middle East. No, the petrol prices are falling because of the price war that’s going on between the supermarkets. So there. Who needs any politicians to stick their noses in when the Chequered Flag can solve all the world’s problems in an evening?
It seems almost trite to use the mention of war to link into the next thing I’m going to write about, but I’d hate to get a reputation for being over serious. So here goes. You may recall that last month I’d said that it was the tough conditions found out in the desert of the second world war that forced developments in both engine oil and diesel fuel filtration. As the war finally drew to a close, the world was set for the post war boom and engineering solutions to the filtration problems had to be found.
So we’ll get BACK TO BASICS and consider what those solutions were.
As with many things, the old ideas are often the best. For centuries, filter paper had been used by the fledgling chemists of their day. Very effective filtering was provided by the filter paper, and this was not lost on the research people in the motor industry. The problem was the fact that paper was just too flimsy to stand up to the rigours of the life on the open road. The breakthrough came in the post war years when paper manufacturers in America found out that by adding a chemical to the paper they could turn a flimsy sheet into a product which was both stiff and also had some strength to it. Using this stiffer paper, the filter manufacturers were able to make reasonably sized and effective filters which could be fitted to road going vehicles without them falling apart after a short period of time.
Once the basic material had been provided, it was then down to the filter manufacturers to design the best way of using the new stiffer filter paper to provide the most effective solution. The problem was that the ideal solution was to have a large surface area of filter paper relative to the volume of the product being filtered, whilst ensuring that the end product was compact enough to fit on a motor vehicle engine. The initial solution saw the filter paper being coiled, then later a series of discs, and later still a pleated design.
Oil filters, fuel filters and eventually air filters all benefited from the advances in design. There were also further advances made to engine oil filtration when different types of engine oils were designed...
Read the full article in the current issue out now!


NO-ONE NOTICED AT THE time but from 1948 onwards there was a quiet revolution in the way that car doors were secured, going from simple slam-latches to ‘rotary’ systems much less likely to fly open in a collision.
By the mid-fifties Ford was leading the way with rack-&-pinion mechanisms on the Consul Mark I & 2 (and subsequently on the 105E Anglia), while other marques were using claw-type ‘Schonitzer’ units based on American patents. Wilmot Breeden made them all, and now the company took the bit firmly between its teeth and began introducing a whole series of innovative latch designs.
First came a re-thinking of that rack-&-pinion idea, which in its original form had the pinion fully exposed. It needed to be installed between the door panels and didn’t fit some cars, particularly sports models. A ‘second generation’ solved these problems, introduced from about 1955 onwards, which put the entire mechanism into a slim, enclosed case that could be planted-onto the door edge. In various guises this type of latch went onto the Jaguar Mark 2, E-Type, Triumph TR4, and many other cars including the Austin/Morris 1100/1300 series.
It was an excellent design with a built-in guidance wedge which mated with the striker plate, dovetailing together and giving additional door support. I’d have thought it ideal for the MGB in 1963 rather than the ancient ‘Silent Travel’ latch actually used, and it certainly would have suited the new, Farina-designed A40 which came along in 1958.
Instead, the A40 design is such a strange beast that on first sight I thought a part was missing! Rather than a slam-bolt, or pinion, or claw, the operating component is just a short piece of 5/16” steel bar, welded onto a plate. (The slightly unworthy thought comes to mind that WB used vast quantities of this bar material for handle shafts, and so was this a clever way of using-up the off-cuts?).
You press the integral push-button and the bar moves by about a half-inch to engage with a ‘G’-shaped diecast striker. It doesn’t look very secure and I should think the striker would wear quite quickly but I suppose it must have been adequate since the design lasted for the entire lifetime of the A40, nearly 350,000 cars. It was also adopted for the early Triumph Herald, although only for two years before something better came along...
Tales From The Lock Man - read the full article in the current issue out now!

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