by Steve Favill
My first car was bought for me as a gift from my parents at the age of sixteen. It was a 1961 Ford Anglia 105E, in Ford's Ambassador Blue, a rather nice colour that suited the little car perfectly. The registration number, 433CDA, would be worth a small fortune today.....
Mine was the base model, not the fancy one that became famous in the Harry Potter movie. The base model, as it turns out, was much rarer than the DeLuxe and Super versions which came with the full-width chromed grille and chromed strips, headlamp "eyebrows" and upgraded trim. The Super even featured a two-tone paint job, AND a glove-box lid, which mine never had.
I loved that little car. I named it after a girl that I had a crush on in high school which was as close as I ever got to the real thing, and being too young to drive it right away I learned how to find and fix the rust holes with fiberglass and body filler, and I generally messed about with it and developed an understanding of how everything worked. Upon reaching the age of seventeen I was able to get my provisional licence, display 'L' Plates front and rear, and wait impatiently for someone who had a "full" license to agree to come out with me.
It was light, fairly nippy for such a small engine, a 997cc overhead-valve inline four cylinder and with responsive steering. It was also fairly roomy, the goofy reverse-slope rear windscreen allowing a higher roofline and therefore more headroom in the back seat. Not that I ever got the chance to try it for myself, sadly.
I remember a trip to Solva near to the city of St. David’s in Wales, a canoe strapped to the roof, 'L' plates and a full-licence holder in the form of my best mate, Dave Cook, riding shotgun. Nothing too exciting but it was freedom!
I suppose that the biggest test of how good, how reliable, a car is remains in answering the question whether or not I would have another. The answer has to be a resounding "Yes". These are great little cars, full of character and easy to maintain, and in retrospect I have to say that these represent the perfect starter classic (although they were just old cars back then!) for getting a youngster off on the right foot. Parts are reasonably available even today, and club support means that finding body panels and trim parts will not be as difficult as it was a few years ago.
by Joseph Scott
Ian Callum is named “Best car designer working today” by Jalopnik for his work on Aston Martin DB7, DB9 and the Jaguar F-Type. How did he rank on the all-time designers list?
The long time British automotive designer and car enthusiast has worked with the best of the best including Ford, TWR, Aston Martin, and Jaguar. Currently he holds the position of Director of Design at Jaguar and has been instrumental in the design of many Jaguars including; the 2004 S-Type, 2004 X-Type Estate (Wagon), 2006 XK, 2008 XF, and the 2010 XJ.
Overseeing the project for the 2013 Jaguar F-Type may have been his crowning moment and has taken the brand to new heights. The F-Type has become the new face of Jaguar and has topped many lists in different categories. Many call the new F-Type the Crown Jewel of Jaguar.
Well known and respected automotive website Jalopnik said of Callum “With the Aston Martin and the Jaguar F-Type credit, Callum may well be the best designer working today – he’s leading the incredible renaissance of Jaguar with beautiful design, and if anyone could pull off a ‘performance crossover’ it’d be him.” The dashing 60 year old Scottish automotive designer is well respected among the car world and puts 100% into any project he is involved with.
The American automotive news site named Callum number 10 on their top 10 list of car designers of all-time and the list is full of names that need no introduction. Names include; Giorgetto Giugiaro (BMWM1), Malcolm Sayer (Jaguar C, D, and E-Type), Batisa Pininfarina (Alfa Romeo), Harley Earl (GM-Cadillac tailfins), and Bill Mitchell (Corvette Sting Ray).
Legend has it that Callum submitted an early car design to Jaguar at the age of 14 with hopes that they might like enough to hire him one day. As fate would have it, he began his career with Jaguar in 1999 when he succeeded Geoff Lawson as Design Director. At that time Jaguar had become a Ford Motor Company Subsidiary. He wore two hats at one time while he led the design groups of Jaguar and Aston Martin; this was reported as when he started the ground work on the Aston DB9.
When you think about car designers you picture this cool guy with lots of swagger, the type guy who you want to smoke a cigar with and chat about the future of automobile, Callum is that guy! He looks like a car guy with a twist of James Bond intrigue; he is a highly educated man with a long list of credentials. He is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Industrial Design and also graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with a post graduate Masters degree in Vehicle Design.
His website displays Callum’s philosophy on Design “Design creates order out of chaos, but chaos is often required to simply be creative”. Its guys like Ian Callum that will inspire the next generation of young automotive designers to think out of the box and push the envelope of cutting edge design.
Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition and bravo for the work you are currently doing at Jaguar. We can’t wait to see what you will unveil next.
See more at Torque News
by Joseph Scott
The highly anticipated all-new 2016 Jaguar XE compact sports sedan made its first US appearance at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, MI.
Jaguar says this car will not go on sale until 2016 and will be offered in the gasoline and diesel engines. Customers will choose between the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 capable of 340 horsepower with a zero to 60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed (limited by electronic control) of 155 mph or the diesel powertrain. We are still waiting for the full set of specs for this engine but we are hearing some rumors of over 40 mpg and that’s enough to get everyone excited! The 8-speed auto and rear wheel drive is sure to attract buyers looking for a break from the cookie cutter cars that most manufacturers are currently making. Early consumer reviews are raving about the styling and new technology Jaguar is ready to launch in the US.
Jaguar’s Director of Design says “Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE positioning as a serious driver’s car – the cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-Type and will stand apart in the crowd.”
Jaguar has invested a lot to time and money into this new project in hopes that it will be a worthy replacement for the X-Type (compact premium segment). The XE comes packed with all the latest electronic goodies for the tech savvy consumer, including the InControl infotainment system with voice control, USB, iOS/Android connectivity, and streaming audio through the Meridian audio system.
- See more here at Torque News
Jaguar XE Picture Gallery
(official images reproduced from Jaguar.com with thanks)
Ian Hope took delivery of the latest addition to the British Car Museum's collection this week - a beautiful cream Rover 75 (P4 Cyclops if you prefer). The car was originally bought new in England in December 1951 by a Mr WP Saunders, an expat Kiwi from Arrowtown. Total miles from new only 88,000.
The engine still starts first time and runs very quietly and smoothly. I know this because I had a little drive in it today, lucky me! I was also very pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the steering - this remains even today a really enjoyable car to be in and to drive.
BAckground (from wikipedia)
The Rover P4 series is a group of mid-size luxury saloon automobiles produced by the Rover Company from 1949 until 1964. They were designed by Gordon Bashford.
Their P4 designation is factory terminology for this group of cars and was not in day-to-day use by ordinary owners who would have used the appropriate consumer designations for their models such as Rover 60, Rover 75 and Rover 90.
Production began in 1949 with the 6-cylinder 2.1-litre Rover 75. Four years later a 2-litre 4-cylinder Rover 60 was brought to the market to fit below the 75 and a 2.6-litre 6-cylinder Rover 90 to top the three car range. Variations followed. In profile not unlike a crouching sturdy British Bulldog these cars were very much part of British culture and became known as the "Auntie" Rovers. They were piloted by topmost royalty including Grace Kelly.
The P4 series was supplemented in September 1958 by a new conservatively shaped Rover 3-litre P5 but the P4 series stayed in production until 1964 and their replacement by the Rover 2000.
Announced by Mr S B Wilks, managing director, 23 September 1949 the new Rover 75 — now the only Rover in production — was first displayed at the opening day of the Earls Court Motor Show on 28 September. It featured controversial modern styling which contrasted with the outdated Rover 75 (P3) it replaced. Gone were the traditional radiator, separate headlamps and external running boards. In their place were a chromium grille, recessed headlamps and a streamlined body the whole width of the chassis. A steering column-mounted gear lever was fitted.
The car's styling was derived from the controversial 1947 —is it coming or is it going?— Studebakers. To understand the controversy it should be noted that Rover's P3 had almost no boot at all yet that had been considered rather more than adequate. The new car's bonnet-like extension to its rear was ridiculed. Furthermore the driver sat well forward with a short bonnet and the rear wheels were set well back behind the back seat. All the new car's proportions were different from the previous Rover and all the other new English cars.
Another, at the time minor, distinctive feature but this one did not catch-on was the centrally mounted light in the grille where most other manufacturers of good quality cars provided a pair, one fog and one driving light often separately mounted behind the bumper. Known as the "Cyclops eye" it was not continued in the new grille announced 23 October 1952.
Power came from a more powerful version of the previous model's 2.1 L (2103 cc/128 in³) Rover IOE straight-6 engine now with chromium plated cylinder bores, an aluminium cylinder head with built-in induction manifold and a pair of horizontal instead of downdraught carburetters. A four-speed manual transmission was used with a column-mounted shifter which was replaced by a floor-mounted mechanism in September 1953.
A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1949 had a top speed of 83.5 mph (134.4 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 21.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 27.8 miles per imperial gallon (10.2 L/100 km; 23.1 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1106 including taxes. The turning circle was 37 feet (11 m).
Road & Track ". . . and I honestly believe (barring the Rolls-Royce) that there is no finer car built in the world today." Bob Dearborn, Tester Road & Track. Road test no. F-4-52, August 1952.
Written by Paul Sweeney
While writing about my Dad recently around the time of Fathers' Day in New Zealand, I touched on the subject of his interest in motoring and how his passion was passed down to my brother and me.
Obviously, when you look at the number of Classic Car Clubs and related events that happen around the world, we are far from alone and it occurred to me that others might enjoy my memories of cars my Dad owned, drove and in some cases suffered with from my earliest recollections to his death a few years ago.
So, this is the first instalment. If there is interest, I will continue with Part 2.
Standard Vanguard Phase 1 (1947-1953)
The Vanguard is the first car I remember Dad owning. I know he had a couple of cars before that, but I have no recollection and an equal amount of information about those, so this is where I will begin.
Having scrimped and saved to buy their first home with three young children to feed and clothe, Mum and Dad had made do without a car for several years when one of Dad's work colleagues - a man by the name of Len Prankerd - offered Dad the chance to buy his Standard Vanguard for £30, which was apparently a bargain price. This would have been around 1965, so I'm guessing the car was something like 18 years old by this time. I know that Dad's Vanguard was a 1940's model, as I clearly recall that it had only 3 forward gears and a steering-column mounted gear stick. The details later in this article tell us that in 1950, Standard introduced a gearbox with overdrive, so it certainly wasn't a 1950s Vanguard.
To this day, in my mind I can hear the odd whining sound the Vanguard made as it lumbered up through the gears; Dad used to say it sounded, 'Like a coal lorry'. Anyway, being a car-crazy 7 year old boy, I was desperate to accompany Dad to collect the car, which was parked in the road outside Len's house when we arrived. Dad went inside to 'do the deal' and I was thrilled to be allowed to sit inside the Vanguard to wait for him.
Imagine my terror as a nervous, shy lad when strong winds suddenly got up out of nowhere and the car began rocking from side to side. Petrified, I was convinced the car was literally about to be blown away and I pictured myself going with it a la Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I have no idea why I didn't simply get out of the car, but I sat there genuinely frightened until Dad eventually came to my rescue.
So, the Vanguard was the first family car I knew about. It enabled us to have a very low-budget family holiday at Weymouth on England's South Coast. The few memories I have of that are:
Some time later, Mum enrolled at a Teacher Training College and needed to learn to drive. She felt the Vanguard was too big and too heavy for a lady driver (women driving a car was still relatively rare back then) and reluctantly, Dad sold the Vanguard for £20 and bought something altogether different. But car #2 can wait for the next instalment ...
Fast forward to 2012 and I had emigrated from England to the Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand. I was out driving one day, going nowhere in particular - exploring, basically - when to my surprise in a very small settlement called Te Awanga, I came across the proudly-named, "British Car Museum". Now, I had for many years hoped to see a Vanguard like Dad's but despite visiting many more illustrious car museums, had never seen one.
So imagine my surprise when there, tucked away in a massive and cluttered shed in a rural backwater of New Zealand, were not one but several Vanguards! And not just any old Vanguards, but the exact same model and grey colour as Dad's. Apparently, most of them were in fact grey, but never mind. There was even one of the original sales brochures and a workshop manual.
Naturally I took photographs and here they are:
Around 14 months later, I had the good fortune to meet the Brock-Jest family who run Hooters Vintage and Classic Vehicle Hire Ltd here in Napier. David Brock-Jest is both a great chap and a genuine petrol head, with a collection of amazing British and American cars dating back to the 1920s.
I am fortunate enough to be allowed to drive many of the splendid cars in David's collection for tourists. But I digress ... the point is that I had never seriously considered owning a classic car. However since becoming involved with David and his daughter Ana at Hooters I must admit the thought occasionally crosses my mind. And of course, should I ever get around to doing something about it, at the very top of my shopping list would be - you guessed it - a Phase 1 Standard Vanguard. In drab grey, naturally. David Brock-Jest would, no doubt, shake his head in disbelief, but that's where my heart lies.