Sunday, 25 May 2014

Issue 3 of the Mini Se7en Racing Club Newsletter out now

Issue 3 of the Mini Se7en Racing Club Newsletter is now available to read online or download.

Check out the report from Brands Hatch and preview to Cadwell plus much more.

READ ONLINE: http://issuu.com/lovemini/docs/m7rc_issue3

DOWNLOAD: http://www.mediafire.com/download/cjqkra2rv43g3fh/M7RC+Issue3.pdf

WWRS R.A.C. Championship heads for the Severn Valley

The West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship heads back to Wales for round four on the Severn Valley Stages (Saturday 31 May). The classic stages in the Crychan region will deliver another great event for 70 championship contenders on a rally that is one of the most popular on the schedule.

The event will mark the third event in the Geoff Jones Motorsport Welsh Challenge as well as the next round of the highly successful Kumho Clubmans Challenge for crews competing on a maximum of six tyres for the event.

Once again, there is a tremendous line-up of 19 pre ’68 cars in the Walker Diecastings Category 1, which includes contenders in the Aldon Automotive Mini and Imp Cup. Heading the field away, thanks to two victories in Wales already this season, is the Mini Cooper of Ray Cunningham and Gary McElhinney and the Irish crew will fly on these stages. However, Tour of Hamsterley winners Graham Waite/Gill Cotton will be hurling the Volvo Amazon around in fine style and a trio of Lotus Cortinas will be right in the mix in the hands of Gwilym Roberts/Don James, Simon Wallis/Graham Wride and Paul Mankin/Desmond Bell. Ranged against the Cortinas in class B4 will be the Volvo PV544 of Ian Beveridge/Paul Price and the Alfa Romeo Junior GT of John Everard/Mark Sharpley.

Class B3 should be a battle of three classic Fords: the Cortina Mk2 of Bob and Dale Gibbons, the Ford Anglia of Peter Stimson/Mark Butler and the Cortina Mk1 of Callum Barney and Ron Channon, who make a welcome return after rolling out of the opening event of the season.

Adding tremendous depth to the Mini and Imp Cup are the Minis of Ross and Arron Forde and Clive King/Bob Ward as well as the Sunbeam Imp Sport of Geoff Taylor/Steve Greenhill. With the Porsche 911 of Edmund Peel/Jane Edgington and the Saab 96 of Stephen Higgins/Don Bramfoot, it is another glorious Category 1 entry for the R.A.C. Championship.

The rally will be based at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells. The first historic car will start at 8.30am and return to the finish shortly before 3pm.

The Severn Valley Stages is organised by Midland Manor Motor Club. For more details about the event please visit www.severnvalleystages.co.uk.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Classic Motor Show tickets now on sale

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show has revealed a stylish new look as tickets for its 2014 season finale, held at Birmingham’s NEC from 14 to 16 November, are now on sale.

Whilst the show badge has remained in the shape of the familiar shield, the new ‘Montage’ imagery highlights all the elements the show has to offer across the eleven halls spanning over 80,000 square metres.

Show Director Dan Nwaokolo explains: “As the show has expanded, it has become more difficult each year to sum up all the facets of the show in one image for our advertising. While the show is the UK’s biggest - and as we are often told - best show of its kind, it also has areas that appeal to different types of enthusiasts that we want to highlight.

“Of our 65,000 attendees, some visit to meet up with fellow club members while others attend with a shopping list firmly in hand, ready to tackle the Trader Village and Autojumble. The addition of Silverstone Auctions and more dealers with cars for sale attracts those looking to invest in a classic while the sheer volume of 1,700 cars appeals to the general motoring enthusiast who just wants to appreciate the various marques displayed.”

“Everyone has their own favourite area. That’s what makes the show so special. As much as it’s about the motors on display, it is also about the social aspect of the classic scene, and the opportunity to learn more about your marque of interest.

“The Montage not only visualises all the show has to offer but is a metaphor for each visitor. They can create their own montage by planning which elements of the event they want to visit while at the show.”

While there might be a new look and a brand new website for the 2014 show, one thing that hasn’t changed is the ticket prices. They have remained the same as in 2013, having been frozen for the past three years, with discounts for buying single day, weekend and three-day tickets in advance. Family passes also offer significant discounts for early bookers.

The new look is the first of a series of announcements for the 2014 show that will see existing feature areas such as the Wheeler Dealer Live Stage and Restoration Theatre being developed alongside the introduction of new attractions and the launch of this year’s club theme.

The 2014 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show will be held from 14th to 16th November. For more information on the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show or Classic Motorbike Show, visit www.necclassicmotorshow.com.

TV date for R.A.C. Rally Championship round three

The television coverage of round three of the 2014 West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, the SG Petch Tour of Hamsterley, will be broadcast on Motors TV this weekend.

The 90-minute programme, produced by Olly Dickinson and narrated by David Addison, covers the full story of the Co Durham event as another tremendous field of R.A.C. crews tackled stages in Hamsterley forest and Raby Castle. The programme will be repeated several times on Motors TV, including at 11.30am on Bank Holiday Monday (26 May).

Alongside the TV coverage, the entire R.A.C. Rally Championship will again be available on iRally and will build on more than one million views achieved in 2013 for the championship and the Roger Albert Clark Rally. The free iRally App is available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices and offers an incredibly popular rally video channel.

Support for coverage of the 2014 WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship comes from TV partners Amigos, JD Garage Equipment, Jordan Road Surfacing, Lloyd-Thomas Opticians, Lynwood Classic Engines, Rally and Competition Equipment, rallyprep.co.uk, Robinson Road Planing, Skipton Ford, Sherwood Engines and Swift Leisure.

The West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship is the only championship that runs historics first on the road on all events.

VIDEO: MINI Superleggera

Following the release of information on the coachbuilt MINI Superleggera, MINI has released a video with Chief Designer Anders Warming guiding through the design process.


Friday, 23 May 2014

New concept MINI 'Superleggera' shows off Italian coachbuilding

The BMW Group celebrates the meeting of the time-honoured and the contemporary at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 with a very special concept: the MINI Superleggera™ Vision. This exclusive interpretation of an open-top two-seater was created by MINI and Touring Superleggera, the tradition-steeped design and coach building house based in Milan. The MINI Superleggera™ Vision is on the one hand a classic roadster, a compact and agile two-seater, expressing the most minimalist and emotional style of motoring; and on the other hand its electric drivetrain gives the car distinctly modern driving dynamics. In collaboration with MINI, Touring Superleggera™ has designed and built an elaborately crafted, unique model which blends the tradition of classic coachwork construction with the MINI’s authentic British styling to create timeless aesthetic appeal.
  • Modern Britishness meets Italian flair: the iconic design of MINI meets elegant, athletic beauty - interpreted in contemporary style.
  • Classic Italian body construction and hand-shaped metal sheeting give the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision a unique emotional appeal.
  • Both on the inside and outside, the form is reduced to the maximum extent so as to achieve a clear focus on the distinctive driving experience.
  • The interior reflects traditional coachwork construction in terms of materials and styling, combined with the icons of MINI interior design.
  • High-end materials such as leather, aluminium and black chrome highlight the clear aesthetics of the interior.
Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design on the concept: "Touring Superleggera and MINI have much in common: both companies attach great importance to their history and this is something which defines their outward appearance to this day. What is more, they both emphasise iconic design and distinctive solutions. These elements are merged in the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision to create an elegant automobile which interprets a British roadster under the influence of Italian style and hand craftsmanship."



British design with an Italian accent - the exterior design.
"The MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision elegantly perpetuates what the Classic Mini started 55 years ago: reduction to the essentials. Its energetic, minimalistic design embodies the dynamic essence of an automobile. At the same time it creates unique emotional beauty in combining the past and future of the automotive industry, i.e. traditional coachwork craftsmanship and modern design styling. It was a pleasure for me to design a concept like this." says Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design.
The perfectly balanced proportions indicate at first glance what the electrically powered MINI Superleggera™ Vision has to offer in terms of a driving experience: the stretched bonnet, long wheelbase and cool, short overhangs convey pure driving fun. As in every MINI, the wheels are set widely on the body, promising a high degree of agility. The passenger cell is slightly set back, further underscoring the car's dynamic impression. The overall effect of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision is sporty, elegant and dynamic.
The front of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision features the traditional MINI design icons: two circular headlights and a hexagonal grille define the unmistakable front section, providing a contemporary interpretation of features which have become firmly established over decades. There are also striking classic sports car elements such as a wide track and distinctively curved wheel arches that give the front a dynamic presence. The classic MINI bonnet stripes are three-dimensionally embossed and run on into high-quality polished aluminum accents. The inlaid bonnet harks back to classic British roadsters of bygone days.
Meanwhile the horizontal rib look of the radiator grille adds a classic sporty touch. The fact that it is closed is a discreet indication of the car's electric motor. The two fog lights echo the circular contours of the headlamps, providing a smaller interpretation of them in the radiator grille. The air inlets are also circular, giving the front section a distinctive touch. A flat front splitter made of carbon fibre closes off the front to the road, thereby underscoring the car's sporty statement down to the last detail.

Classic coachwork construction in a cutting-edge interpretation.
The striking element of the side view is the characteristic “Touring” line. It embodies both the high art of coachwork building and classic aesthetics. Surrounded by tight, seamless surfaces, it traces a precise, vibrant movement from the front wheels through to the rear. This reflects the great craftsmanship and longstanding experience of Touring Superleggera in area of body construction: ever since it was founded the company has stood for fine, light sports car bodies. To this day, Touring Superleggera™ shapes large aluminium sheets by hand using the most performing frame structures. The hand-crafted style of construction gives the MINI Superleggera Vision an aesthetic form which would be virtually impossible to achieve by machine manufacture.

“MINI and Touring both believe that proportions are the key factor of beauty, and share the same values of essentiality and innovation” says Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of design of Touring Superleggera. “In this car all unnecessary equipment or decoration is sacrificed, as performance is gained through lightness and efficiency of the bodywork and interior. The Italian touch is in the proportions and the typical waistline.”


There are very few gaps in the body since it is constructed from large sheets of metal. The result is a closed look that conveys high-quality elegance. The specially developed exterior paint finish Como Blue, almost liquid in effect, stands for both classic and modern style. It particularly underlines the refined Italian touch of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision. The elaborate rims and the elegant exterior mirrors in long-hole look complete with a mirror base in polished aluminium add exclusive accentuations at the side. Echoing the front section, the discreet CFRP sills underscore the sporty character of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision.
Meanwhile the striking fin defines the look of the rear, adding a touch of extravagance. It gives the MINI Superleggera™ Vision a particular longitudinal dynamics while at the same time embodying the unconventional air of both MINI and Touring Superleggera. Like the “Touring” line at the side, it is modeled with enormous precision. The highlight of the flat, wide rear is the unusual lights: designed in the form of a Union Jack divided in two, they combine functionality and symbolism in a way never seen before. In this way they express the British roots of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision while at the same time emphasising the modern LED technology as already used in the new MINI. A chrome bar demarcates the rear lights at the centre of the rear, making this area a classic British jewellery icon. The CFRP diffuser rounds off the rear to the road in sporty style.

Echoing the exterior - the interior design.The exterior and interior design of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision merge seamlessly. Only a surrounding shoulder line in polished aluminium visually separates the exterior and interior from each other. The border creates an encircling, sporty gesture that consistently perpetuates the clear elegance and generous surfaces of the exterior.
In its styling and in the look and feel of its materials, the interior design celebrates the tradition and the essence of classic coachwork construction. It reflects how the automobile was created: the essential features are quoted -  the untreated aluminium sheeting and the tube-shaped structural elements - and they are made visible in the interior by means of a high-quality interpretation. This is most striking in the dashboard. The latter is created from a single aluminium sheet and has been left in the state the automobile body would look like without a paint finish. The generously sized unpainted surfaces and the clearly visible hand craftsmanship of the dashboard go together to reflect the skilled artistry of the coachbuilders. The doors and the sporty 3-spoke steering wheel likewise reveal the traditional method of construction. The structural elements in the doors form a Union Jack, discreetly indicating the British origins of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision.

The Center Instrument in the middle of the instrument panel draws on MINI design styling and has been extended for the MINI Superleggera™ Vision to include a touch-sensitive control element and two circular instruments with metal surrounds on the right. In addition to the analog clock on the far right, the second framed instrument activates the camera which is integrated between the driver and front passenger seat. It has the function of capturing those particularly worthwhile moments on the road.

Classic and modern to equal degrees - colour and material design.
The classic materials aluminium and leather in a virtually untreated state define the reduced aesthetics of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision in the interior. Below the shoulder covered in brown leather in the classical color Sabbia, the materials are kept to the essentials. The structural elements in the doors and centre console are finished in high-quality black chrome, exclusively set apart from the aluminium surfaces and the raw, matt textured paint finish in the footwell area. This deliberately contrasting mixture of structured surfaces and high-end materials gives the MINI Superleggera™ Vision an exceptional charm. The sporty bucket seats are reminiscent of bygone MINI motor racing achievements and are covered in high-quality black leather. True to the MINI Motto "Hide & Reveal", accentuations in Misty Magenta provide a touch of Italian flair in tongue-in-cheek MINI style in concealed spots such as the two hot air outlets under the instrument panel and inside the door openings in the structural elements of the doors.


Coachbuilding in 2014.
Since 1926, Touring Superleggera is forerunner of advanced automotive design and custom coachbuilding. The company is one of the rare firms offering the whole in-house productive cycle from the first sketch, all the way through surface engineering and structural analysis, style models and prototypes, to turn-key, low-volume production of special bodywork.
“We are delighted that MINI wanted to stimulate an independent initiative and particularly Italian design for the first time”, says Piero Mancardi, CEO of Touring Superleggera. He continues: “This project also shows MINIs attention to preserving and nurturing the skills of craftsmanship incorporated in modern coach building.”
The MINI Superleggera™ Vision epitomizes the potential of “Carrozzeria” in today’s automobile industry: blending creativity and flexibility with rigor and respect of high standards. The result is a car of classic beauty that is also state of the art.

Friday, 16 May 2014

£100million collection of classic British cars up for sale


James Hull, owner of Britain’s largest, privately owned, award winning collection of cars, announced today that he is in search of a new home for his 457 British classics, estimated to be worth £100Million.

Many of the vehicles have their own rich history and celebrity lineage.  The collection includes a Mini Traveller owned by the late Lord Mountbatten, which was offered to a young Prince Charles; a Bentley formerly owned by Elton John; Keith Floyd’s ‘woodie’ Traveller; a Humber belonging to the judge presiding over the Profumo Affair; and a 1961 E Type Jaguar owned by Britain’s world motor cycle champion Mike Hailwood, complete with a Donnington medal. A car owned by Winston Churchill offered up a heavy wooden box containing silver maps of France, allegedly given to Churchill by Roosevelt.
 

His collection of cars covers each decade from the 1930s to the present day, reflecting the history of the British automotive industry. It ranges from the first 1961 Jaguar E Type roadsters to a Sir William Lyons Jaguar Mk10 which sits alongside many other unique and rare SS models.  Two 1954 Bentley Mulliner R Type Continental fastbacks are flanked by an Alvis Super Graber convertible and an Allard “woodie” station wagon. Add to this a Sinclair C5 and the eclectic nature of the collection becomes apparent.

Hull has travelled extensively around the world tracking down some of the rarest, original British models, shipping them back to the UK where they are disassembled (down to the smallest nut and bolt) before being restored, repainted and re-assembled by his team of mechanics.  This process, requiring extensive research to source original components and fittings, takes typically 3 years per car and has ensured the vehicles in this collection are world renowned for their quality and integrity.

The collection has made appearances at many high profile automobile events including the Queen’s 80th Birthday parade, Italy’s ‘Mille Miglia’ car rally and Jaguar’s “Bloodline” Tour of China. It has also played a part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Geneva Motor Shows as well as appearing at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum. 

James Hull is a dentist, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has battled and survived cancer on three occasions in the past four years, earning him the nickname ‘Lazarus’ among friends and family.  While his desire to find and restore old classics remains undiminished, given his health problems he now feels it is time to identify a like-minded partner to carry on the “mission”. Hull says “I’m merely a passionate custodian of this hugely significant part of British history and, with luck, I will succeed in finding a home that can not only be enjoyed and treasured by the British public but also be admired by visitors from across the world. It will  be  memory-evoking display. It’s the culmination of a life-long hobby.  Each car has its story and all have played a part in the history of British motoring. It is part of our heritage.”

While Hull, who has been amassing these cars for 35 years, is keen for the collection to remain in the UK, there is significant interest from overseas buyers.  In the UK he is in discussions with a number of potential suitors including 5 Local Enterprise Partnerships (Cardiff, Hereford, Birmingham, Bristol and Wales) hoping to create a purpose-built, world class, affordable, family entertainment destination.

It is supplemented by an assortment of 365 original pedal cars spanning the same period, a selection of working model aircraft and a range of industry memorabilia.  Hull describes it as a “living memory collection” inspired by childhood memories of his grandfather’s Jaguar and father’s Alvis.  While prestige models dominate, including a number of ultra-prestige Vandan Plas and continental models, there is a proliferation of other classics such as the famous ‘woodies’, produced by the likes of Austin and Alvis, as well as a fantastic assembly of Triumphs, Morris Minors, Standards, Rileys, Wolseleys and Mini Coopers. There is also a memory evoking collection of British campervans from the 40s, 50s and 60s, and within the 4x4 section early Land Rovers and pristine classic Range Rovers.

Asked what he will do with the empty warehouses once his beloved cars have gone, he says “I’m a collector, so who knows what will turn up next! My wife hopes it will be something smaller like stamps!