A taste of vintage motoring

Veteran cars have never held much appeal for me, despite the fact that the very first automotive book I owned, a gift from my grandfather, was all about cars of this era. While they are the forerunners of the cars we have today, they have always felt rather remote, resembling more the carriages they evolved from than anything in the last sixty or seventy years. In my mind, they were just slow and finicky, rattly and uncomfortable, and happily consigned to the pages of history.

When I moved a year ago, however, I met someone who has been a part of the veteran car scene for decades, and gained a lot of new insight into and appreciation of that era of the automobile. He owns several veteran cars himself, including a 1912 Renault AX, and his most recent purchase, a 1925 Austin 7 ‘Chummy’. Today, he brought the Chummy round, and took me for a spin through town.

Continue reading “A taste of vintage motoring”

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A Mercedes 190E makes history in North Yorkshire

The market town of Tadcaster in North Yorkshire made the news in late December 2015 when severe flooding caused the partial collapse of the 18th century bridge that crosses over the River Wharfe. After 13 months of work, the bridge, which is the only road connecting the two sides of the town, was re-opened to traffic yesterday, and the first cars made their way across.

Leading the parade for this historic moment? A 1988 Mercedes 190E.

Fantastic.

Beauty and power

Some properly beautiful cars came out of Britain in the 1960s, including AC’s Cobra. Just look at those lines!

The car became well-known when the American tuner, Carroll Shelby, begin stuffing powerful V8 engines under the bonnet, most famously Ford’s 7.0L 427 ‘side oiler’, making 425bhp (on paper – manufacturers of the day notoriously understated power figures for insurance purposes). Though it was a financial disaster for Shelby, it dominated on the track due to its power-to-weight ratio.  Continue reading “Beauty and power”