Shannon’s Classic Car Show


Shannons are an insurance company, in Australia, providing Car Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, and Home Insurance products for motoring enthusiasts who drive imported, modified, classic, veteran or vintage cars. 

Each year they host a classic car show. Somehow, despite numerous visits to Perth over the years, I have failed to hear anything about the show. Until now, that is.

Which is how I came to spend around three and a half hours of this past Sunday, being totally surrounded by some of the most amazing classic, veteran and vintage vehicles.

Well OK, I did take a break during that time. One does have to keep body and soul together and a fabulous Brisket Burger, courtesy of “Up In Smoke”, helped with that task.

The show presented a vast array of vehicles. As soon as I had paid my $10 entry fee I found myself surrounded by several Lamborghinis

…. I still think the Miura P400 is the best looking Lambo. No sign of one at this show.

But who wants to waste time looking at high tech super cars …

… when there are classic Volvos. Who remembers The Saint, starring Roger Moore as Simon Templar in his white P1800.

… or Fiats … My wife and I used to own a dark blue Fiat 128. It took us, with two daughters, all the way from Portsmouth in the UK, down to Port Grimaud in the south of France where we toured around Cannes, Nice, St Tropez and Frejus. A glorious two weeks.

… and VWs … Note the strange protuberance on the side of the Herbie lookalike. It’s not a rocket booster but a retro-fit air conditioner. Working in much the same way as the evaporative air conditioners used on many Australian homes.

… no Classic Car Show would be complete without Citroen, responsible for some of the most innovative, technologically advanced cars. And, at the same time producing some of the, mechanically, simplistic vehicles that became iconic in their own right.

… 3 Wheelers like the Messerschmitt, with its aircraft cockpit bubble and even an aircraft style yoke to steer by. The Isetta could be driven in the UK on a motorcycle license, because it was classified as a three wheel motorcycle. I did note the absence of Rodney and Del Boys vehicle of choice, the Reliant. I guess WA is a little too far from Peckham for Trotters Independent Trading Co.

… a few Rileys with their gorgeous curves.

… a few fabulous Austin Healeys. As a school boy I used to lust after a 3000 that I would see regularly in Battle High Street. It was aubergine in colour and had a roll cage, wide wheels and leather straps to hold the bonnet down. The typical “Frog Eye” Sprite was a bit girly by comparison.

… there were a few Fords … what is there to say. Cars for every man. Although not everyman wanted to have the same as everyone else. Hence the many uprated, sporty customisations. I have to say I never thought I would see a Mustang towing a trailer. Especially not a trailer made out of another Mustang. Sacrilege !!!

… Chrysler were well represented by the R & S series Valliants

Never too old to learn something new. I was informed, by a very friendly fella, that the Slant 6 Engine is really a thing. Until Sunday, I had never heard of such a thing. Apparently the Slant 6 enabled the cars designers to achieve a lover profile for the bodywork.

… There was a strong showing from the Holden camp. Many examples especially given the recent news that Holden are ceasing production . My favourite is shown below.

… no show is complete without a Cobra or two ….

Of course it is hard to tell an original, from a replica licensed as a Shelby authorised continuation of the original AC-built Cobra series. Whatever they may be, they are fabulous looking cars.

Of course I could go on throwing up image after image of classic cars but that isn’t all that was available here.

There were trucks …

… Busses … apparently the City Clipper used to offer free rides around Perth city. Interesting that Luxembourg has just announced free public transport in a bid to alleviate traffic congestion. It remains to be seen if the scheme works. Nice to know that Perth was such an innovator, back in the day.

I’ve already shown you a VW camper of sorts. Here are a couple of other campers.

And finally, something most unexpected …. Perambulators ….. Prams !!!. I remember my sisters being pushed around in something similar. No collapsible buggies back then. Definitely not car friendly.

I have many more photos. If you are interested they are available on my Flickr Photostream

Hot Rod & Custom Car Show 2017


Just spent an enjoyable couple of hours at the Hot Rod & Custom Car Show, held at Stansted House in Hampshire.

The weather did rather let us down but the cars managed to shine through even if the sun didn’t.

I’ll let the cars do the talking, take a look at the following photos. See what you think.

FAT 49


5J7A2713_edited
FAT 49 – Lookin & Soundin Good

Can’t believe that these guys went to step back away from their own vehicle just because I was taking this photo.

Apparently she doesn’t like the car and makes him park it well away from her place of work.

What’s not to like ? Just wish I’d asked him what it was. Anyone out there has any idea, please let me know.

Thank You Mr AA Man


Have to say a big thank you to the AA man who arrived to take a look at my car and had it fixed within 45 mins.

I had just driven around 30 miles from the office, mostly motorway, and almost home when there was a sudden noise like a tyre suddenly deflating. This was accompanied by several lights illuminating on my dashboard.

The engine started to run rough and there was a distinct lack of power. So engine and tyres not normally related so I was puzzled.

The lights on the dashboard were related to the tyre pressure sensors and to the stability control system !!!

All of this was accompanied by sounds from under the bonnet similar to when an exhaust manifold gasket is blowing.

Since there didn’t seem to be any danger of damage to the engine, no warning lights indicating overheating or oil loss, I limped home.

At home, on the driveway, I turned the engine off then restarted it. Engine ran, noisy it’s true, but no lights illuminated on the dashboard.

So I contacted the lease company who arranged for the AA to visit.

They arrived within 15 minutes and I reckon the guy had identified that the turbo intercooler hose had come off  within five minutes. He discovered that the pipe clip was still down on the tray under the engine cleaned and refitted the pipe. Had the engine running, quietly and smoothly, job done within 45 minutes.

He couldn’t explain why any of the warning lights came on since they are, seemingly, logically, unrelated.

Needless to say, I was and am relieved.

Since then I have trawled the interweb. It seems that intercooler pipes come of with some regularity. I couldn’t find any references to Mazda CX5’s specifically. But lots of references to other brands and there is a particularly humerous film on YouTube of a guy whose Mitsubishi suffers the same issue but he is between hills and without the turbo his car is unable to reach the summit in either direction.

I consider I was very lucky. So, a big thank you to the man from the AA.

Mayor of Havant’s Charity Classic Vehicle Run


Last Sunday morning, under beautiful sunny skies, the Mayor of Havant’s Charity Classic Vehicle Run took place. With around 200 vehicles gathering in the car parks adjacent to the Public Service Plaza. That’s Havant Borough Councils office buildings to you and me.

Many of the drivers were making sure they were well fueled before setting off.

burger_QThe queue for the burger van was never much shorter than this while I was there. However, it was moving along quite swiftly and I was sorely tempted by the delicious smells wafting my way. But I wasn’t there to eat, I was there to view some classic automobiles.

First up is a Ford Consul Capri circa 1962. My metalwork teacher at Claverham had one of these. At the time I thought they were the best looking car on the road and I still rate them very highly in the looks department. This one is in superb condition.

 

Ford Consul Capri
Ford Consul Capri

From Wikipedia:

A Capri was tested by the British The Motor magazine in 1962 and had a top speed of 79.0 mph (127.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 36.7 miles per imperial gallon (7.7 L/100 km; 30.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £915 including taxes of £288

Moving on, there were several very nice camper vans, the interiors were very chinzy but the exteriors were all to a very high standard.

camper1The black and white van looks so slick and was my favourite of the campers but the others also looked beautiful and showing the love bestowed by the owners.

camper2

Also putting in an appearance was some “heavy iron” headed up by Terry Pipers 1954 Dennis Pax flatbed truck

Dennis

Ably supported by this Bedford TJ

bedford

And this alien vehicle, a Chevrolet “Advance Design” Pickup truck, circa 1940’s.

chevyI’ve no idea what it had under the bonnet, or should I say “hood”, but it certainly was loud and proud. Apparently the engines ran from 3.5L to 4.3L !!

Everytime I visit a classic car event the one thing that amazes me is how vulnerable we all were. Many of the “family” cars were much smaller than modern day vehicles and with none of the safety features which we tend to expect.

Take a look at this wonderful Isetta ….

bubble
This 1958 BMW Isetta is owned by James Blake, Year of Manufacture1958, Cylinder Capacity (cc)298cc

I guess this was the Smart car of it’s era.

The first car that my wife and I purchased was a two tone Ford Consul Mk II, Primrose Yellow body with a white roof. Similar to the oen in the picture below. 1703 cc engine, 3 speed column change and front bench seat it handled like a round bottom boat in a heavy swell.

consulBut we learnt a lot about car mechanics and motoring with that car and had one or two adventures. Not the least of which was driving from Winchester to Portsmouth with no foot brakes and surviving the descent from the top of Portsdown Hill using a hand brake that barely functioned. And another, complete with “duck bill” visor …

Ford Consul
Ford Consul

Another car with beautiful lines was the Bristol 403.

bristolThe BMW style radiator grill is  hiding a BMW derived straight 6 and this car was capable of just over 100 mph.

Technology has made considerable advances over the years. Todays cars make a lot out of small packages. Small engines, 1500 cc, are to be found powering huge cars by comparison to the past. Here is an example of quite the opposite.

Triumph 1800 Roadster
Triumph 1800 Roadster

This car was introduced with an 1800cc engine in 1946.

From Wikipedia:

On test by Autocar magazine in 1947 top speed was found to be 75 mph (121 km/h) and 0–60 mph (0–96 km/h) took 34.4 seconds.

In 1948 the Roadster was updated and fitted with a 2000 cc engine. Again, from Wikipedia:

On test the changes resulted in the top speed increasing marginally to 77 mph (124 km/h) but the 0-60 mph time was much better at 27.9 seconds

Still, the lack of speed ensured one had plenty of time to admire the fabulous lines of this car.

Another classic from my youth was the Ford Consul Corsair although I never understood why so many British car names had “Consul” included…. Here is a very smart example.

Ford Consul Corsair
Ford Consul Corsair

Reminds me of the joke that was going around at the time.

Question: How many cars can you get under a police womans skirt ?

Answer: About 50,000 Corsairs

I’m sorry !!

Another car sporting a rather snazzy visor is this very clean Volvo PV544 with the B18 engine from circa 1962.

volvopv544

The Renault Megane was not the first car to be showing a classy rear. There were quite a few fancy behinds on display, so here are a few prime examples.

trunk

bristol2
Bristol

bubble2
Isetta

Capri2
Ford Consul Capri

volvopv544_2
Volvo

boattail
Rolls Royce

Watch this space….. I have more to share …….

 

Classic cars on parade at Havant – Portsmouth News.

Happy Birthday – 100 Years of Aston Martin


It was on January 15 1913 that Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded Bamford & Martin Ltd., the company that would later become Aston Martin. The name change was in recognition of Robert Bamford’s success at the Aston Hillclimb in Buckinghamshire. A suitable showcase for the very first Bamford & Martin cars.

AstonMartin

The DB5 above, made famous as James Bonds vehicle of choice,  is the model that will forever be indelibly etched in people’s memory. However, the company had already been producing cars for some fifty years before the DB5 made its debut. Although the lines have changed over the years, Aston Martins are always instantly recognisable and the latest from the stable are just beautiful.

AM

Here’s to the next 100 years.

Proposed 2 Tier Road Tax – Unacceptable


According to The Sunday Times Whitehall officials are investigating changes to the UK road tax system.

Under the new proposal the tax could be split into two tiers – all drivers would pay the first charge. This would  allow them to use local roads and A-roads but then motorists wanting to travel on motorways and major A-roads would fork out for a second charge.

I can see how this might swell the governments coffers but ultimately this will be an unfair tax. Forcing those who cannot afford the additional taxation onto the minor roads. This in turn will increase congestion and cause delays and lengthen journey times.

My understanding is that road taxes do not currently pay for the UK road system, rather it is paid for by our general taxation. If that is true then we have all contributed to our road systems and should have the right to use any part of it.

If the government wants to introduce a taxation scheme that is variable but fair then they should scrap the road tax system and collect their taxes purely through the levy on fuel. In that way the heaviest road users would pay the most taxes.

Watch this space.