Monday, December 27, 2010

The Reliant Regal: Sheer Logic

Reliant Regal advert

Seven solid reasons why you can afford a car after all

  1. Rising petrol costs: no problem.
    The Reliant 3-wheeler gives up to 60 m.p.g or even more. Top speed over 70. Yet there's plenty of room for 4 people and a large boot for their luggage.

  2. £25 licence: no problem.
    To licence the Regal costs only £10 a year.

  3. HP deposit: no problem.
    Reliant HP deposit is pounds less than for 4-wheel cars. Supervan is free of Purchase Tax too - and down payment could be 25% or less.

  4. Rust: no problem.
    Reliant body and doors are made, not of metal, but of tough, reinforced glass fibre. This is why you never see a rusty-bodied Reliant: why Reliants need no garage. Glass fibre cannot rust, ever.

  5. Maintenance, repairs: no problem.
    The engine block is all aluminium like a Rolls Royce's; it can handsomely outlast a cast-iron engine. And the body, being glass fibre, minimises the effect of any accident, so repairs are cheaper.

    The Regal, weighing under 8cwt., is also very easy on tyres. Average life is forty thousand miles. Only three tyres to replace anyway!

  6. Replacing your car: no problem.
    All cars depreciate but Reliants depreciate less than other cars. This means they command a good re-sale price when you buy your next Reliant.

  7. Insurance costs up: no problem.
    You can insure the Regal for as little as £10 a year depending on circumstances and type of cover.

See Reliant items for sale in my shop.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Zagato Zimp

It's the well dressed one...

Small Car takes a longer look at the Imp's rich new relation

From Small Car Magazine, January 1965

Small CAR Magazine, January 1965

Last month we showed you what Zagato could do to Rootes's rather prosaic smallest son with the elegant Zimp. This month we're going to show you what the Zimp itself can do in a full-scale road test. After dogging the stand throughout the Earls Court Show, we managed to grab one of the prototypes for seven days' hard thrashing just before it left to join its fellows at the tail-end of the 46th Salone di Torino.

Zagato Zimp 1

Zagato Zimp 2

Zagato Zimp 3

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Minnow-Fish Turbo Avenger

One hundred and fifty bhp from a 1498cc Avenger engine when most tuners are struggling to achieve 120 sounds incredible, but when it's done without spoiling tractability it sounds impossible.

From CCC Magazine, January 1972

Turbo Avenger 1

Turbo Avenger 2

Turbo Avenger 3

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blow by Blow by Blow

The UBM Ford Escort XR300T Turbo, Ford Escort RS Turbo, Lumo Ford Fiesta XR2 105T Turbo

From Hot Car magazine, July 1983

Although not strictly a road test comparison, certain parallels can be drawn from the three vehicles you see pictured in that they are all turbocharged and offer vastly improved performance over the standard models. The first to come under careful scrutiny is a modified XR3i from UBM of Winchester known as the XR300T, the second, a 'works' development car for the Ford Escort Rally Championship uses a kit that should eventually become available through RS dealers and thirdly we have the much acclaimed Fiesta Lumo 105T offered by Trimoco of Dunstable that is based on a brand new XR2.

Hot Car Magazine, July 1983

Blow by blow by blow 1

Blow by blow by blow 2

Blow by blow by blow 3

Blow by blow by blow 4

Blow by blow by blow 5

Blow by blow by blow 6

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tertiary Metronomics

From Hot Car Magazine, July 1983

To many people involved in racing, rallying, sprinting or hill climbing Minis or Metros, Ian (Mr Avonbar) Hargreaves is the guru of horsepower. So, when Ian invited us along to Goodwood to sample a couple of his products recently, we jumped at the chance.

Just to remind us where it all began, we brought along with us a standard MG Metro. Having the cooking version on hand proved to be quite useful as it helped to remind us of the base-line from which the other two cars - a 1400cc road car and the neat little Metro Challenge racer - owed their origins.

Tertiary Metronomics 1

Tertiary Metronomics 2

Tertiary Metronomics 3

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BMW M-Style, March 1986

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - Cover

As with their cars, BMW applies the highest standard to a sophisticated range of life-style accessories. In quality and style, in function and finish. The result - exclusive style and first-class quality Sportswear of an international standard. Tailor-made for an exclusive world of motoring and leisure-time activities. This is BMW M Style. BMW Accessories are the ideal choice for the really demanding connoisseur.

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 3

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 4-5

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 6-7

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 8-9

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 12-13

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 20-21

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 22-23

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 26-27

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 29-30

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 38-39

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 42-43

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 44-45

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 46-47

BMW M Style Clothing - March 1986 - page 48-49

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fashionable Colt - Beautifully styled clothing for discerning motorists

Mitsubishi Colt Clothing front

Throughout the UK, the Colt Cars have established a profound reputation for quality and reliability.

To complete your motoring image, Colt are delighted to introduce their newly commissioned collection of anoraks and sweaters.

Available as part of the Colt Accessory Range, these exclusive fashions are obtainable through the nationwide network of Colt dealers, and make ideal gifts for men, women and children.

So try the new Colt sportswear soon, and enjoy that special individual feeling that only Colt can give you.

Colt - All-Season Anoraks

A choice of lighweight or mediumweight, available in grey or blue. All anoraks subtly display the Colt corporate symbol on the waist-band, and are available in a full range of sizes.

Specially designed for all seasons, the collars have a zipped pocket which conceals a neat shower-proof hood with pull-ties. The anoraks are interlined with Spacecoat SP27, which is a unique lightweight material developed for use in the American space programme, and gives a comfortable balance of heat retention and body ventilation.

The inner lining is in cotton-chintz which with the cotton-polyester outer material creates a durable and attractive finish.

Mitsubishi Colt Clothing rear

The luxury of lambswool sweaters

Produced in 100% pure 2-fold lambswool, and manufactured in Britain, these sweaters are well suited for formal and casual wearing. The corporate Colt striping is featured at the 'V' neck and the Colt logo sported on the front.

Superb for driving and all leisure situations, the grey and blue colours are available in a full range of sizes.

Fold-up sunglasses for convenience

Colt fold-up sunglasses come ready packed in a practical tyre-shaped case, which will fit conveniently into your glove box.

Designed in the latest matt black style and lightweight for comfort, these Colt sunglasses are an asset for all outdoor activities, yet fold up and pack to a size less than 3.5" diameter!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Mini Designer by Mary Quant

Mini Designer Competition page 1

Mini Designer Competition page 2

The Mini Designer by Mary Quant is designed to look good anywhere.

In town or country, its economical little 1 litre engine will zip you through the traffic without zipping through the petrol.

The fashionable paintwork, tinted glass, push-button radio and stereo cassette, special coachline and exclusive velvet-trimmed seats - everything about this Mini Designer is "Special".

So why not see it for yourself!

Mini Designer Competition page 3

Mini Designer Competition page 4

Free Mary Quant Cosmetic Kit

Take a good look at the exciting new Mini Designer by Mary Quant.

Your Austin Rover dealer will be happy to show you some of the finer points that put this Limited Edition in a class of its own.

In return you will receive a special Mary Quant Cosmetic Kit, containing four items of fabulous Mary Quant product for eyes, lips and nails presented in a stylish cosmetic bag.

Mini Designer Competition page 6

Win a limited edition Mini Designer by Mary Quant

Plus exciting runner-up prizes to be won

Here's a great, fun-to-enter competition that's looking good for you.

There's a chance to win a special Mini Designer by Mary Quant. PLUS a healthy list of runner-up prizes that will not only get you looking good - but feeling great too.

All you have to do is describe how you would make up each girl's face shown above.

Choose from the Mary Quant Colour Cosmetics listed and enter your choices in the appropriate box.

For example, if you think Jo should have Beat Route Blush - enter "E" in the "Blush" box beside her name.

You can always ask one of the consultants at the Mary Quant Cosmetics counter for friends advice.

Put your lipstick choice in the next box and so on until you have created a colour plan for all four girls. Then simply tell us, in no more than 20 words, why you would like to look good in a Mini Designer by Mary Quant.

It's that easy and could put you on the road to being a prize winner.

Mini Designer Competition page 5

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gilbert Rice Ford Dealer, 1977

Gilbert Rice, originally uploaded by retromotoring.


I came across the pic of the FORD Dealer in Cambridge on your website - You asked the date ? (Policeman directs traffic)

Well I was working there at the time !
I'd say late 1976 0r 77 .

I parked the Transit Luton van and D Series Chassis cab on the left hand side in the photo - These were brand new vehicles for sale .

Just underneath the 'coppers' right arm you see a Mk1 Granada Ghia Coupe , in black with a tan vinyl roof . Its the sales managers car (Tony Burton) and was redg NVE1R !!.

It's great to see that pic - 2 years ago the buildings were demolished , including the MARSHALL Leyland garages on both sides of Gilbert Rice . Currently no new building work is going on due to the recession .

The premises were known as ......

Gilbert Rice Ltd
147 Hills Road


0223-48151 (Tel Number)

Gilbert Rice were owned by SEARS group and also AHS (Arun House Securities) at around that time .

They then became LEX FORD , then CITY FORD and then EMG Ford .

No longer trading these days . The FORD dealer in Cambridge is now their old rival MARSHALLS .

After Gilbert Rice vacated the building - A Peugeot dealer arrived - TIM BRINTON CARS . They too sold out to MARSHALLS .

Just before demolition - for a few months the building was used to sell Pine Furniture .

Hope this is of interest to you .


Colin Sneezum


Yes Colin, it definitely is of interest to me. Thanks for the information!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

GTI Spring Festival, Santa Pod

A busy event featuring some exceptional cars, both in the show’n’shine and out on track!

The GTI Spring Festival at Santa Pod over the weekend was a cracking way to start the outdoor VW show season. The rain stayed away (unlike at the Easter Thunderball a few weeks previously) although a cold wind meant that many show-goers went home with the characteristic red and sore weatherbeaten “pod face” that marks out many a Santa Pod visitor.

The event was very busy right from the start - we spent a good 20 minutes or so queuing to get in at 9am - the show’n’shine area filled out very quickly and the club areas were packed with interesting motors.

The track saw plenty of action, notable retro-cars included Andy Waite’s 4x4 Mk1 Golf which ran a series of 9-second quarter mile times, James Hodson’s Mk2 Golf with new slicks managed a 10.5 and Paul Jordan’s stunning Mk1 Scirocco Storm looked fantastic in the new colour and Berg-Cup style aero bodywork.

Although most of the cars there were non-retro there was still plenty of interest for the lover of the older watercooled VW. Some very nice Mk1 Golfs, a Santana (unusual sight these days) and some very straight Mk1 Sciroccos stood out amongst the more modern machinery. Favourites of the day for me were:

P4111776 (by retromotoring)

P4111958 (by retromotoring)

P4111959 (by retromotoring)

Paul Jordan’s Mk1 Scirocco Storm looking sensational on the track.

P4111784 (by retromotoring)

Inspired choice of wheels on this Mk3 Polo – from a Renault Espace!

P4111823 (by retromotoring)

The driver of this Oak Green Mk2 Golf certainly got value for money out of his RWYB fee, getting plenty of 12 second runs in throughout the day and entertaining the crowd with some huge burnouts.

Of all the different one-marque “scenes” the VW one is definitely the most fashion conscious and style-led and it’s always interesting to compare the trends here in the UK to what’s happening over in Europe. The flourescent wheel paint is still a strong theme this year, as is the fashion for stickering up wings and/or windows with various clothing and style logos. Rusty bonnets are still strong but there didn’t seem to be many stretched tyres about. Lots of stuffed toys or other random items tied to towing eyes but noticeably fewer roof racks for 2010. With the huge Woerthersee event now less than a month away I’ll be there with a keen eye to spot what has transferred across to the continent and what is likely to be brought over here!

The full gallery of my pictures is now online here!

The next main watercooled VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda event at Santa Pod is VAGFest in the summer.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Electric Shock

Sam Young and team set a new World Record for Electric Vehicles in their 1963 VW Beetle “Black Current”

11.95 second quarter mile black VW Beetle with electric power - no engine! (by retromotoring)

The 2010 Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway held host to the first round of the VWDRC championships for the year. Amongst several rookie racers competing for the first time was Sam Young in his black electric-powered VW Beetle. Competing in the VW Sportsman category the team started with a dial-in time of 13.49 seconds and ran a 14, going on to run a 12.37 second pass which made them eligible for the VW Pro category. After beating the current VW Pro champion James Hodson they set their record-breaking 11.95 second time in their bye-run through the semis, narrowly missing out on an overall victory in their first outing by losing to Dave Bridge in the final.

P4051636 (by retromotoring)

P4031388 (by retromotoring)

Record Breaker
“Black Current” has set a new UK and European record for electric vehicles with the 11.95 run. Sam Young, "We've been speaking to NEDRA (National Electric Drag Racing Associstion) in the US and apparently a tube chassis car with a shell over the top is classed as XS (Extreme Street) and in that class we are now the world record holders! "

Hinting at the potential yet unrealised in the car, Sam says "I believe there are two other quicker cars in the US, an 11.4 and an 11.08, but these are in a different class. I think if we can get hold of some Lithium Ion batteries things could get really interesting. "

P4031282 (by retromotoring)

11.95 second quarter mile black VW Beetle with electric power - no engine! (by retromotoring)

The car and the team behind it
The car is the work of masses of development and research by the team. Starting at an early age the two brothers Sam and Olly began by experimenting with an abandoned Milk Float and their work has paid dividends. Sam drives the car, Olly is the Crew Chief, whilst a friend Paul is their data analyst/consultant.

The record breaking car is powered by twin forklift truck motors with 60 12 volt batteries and a Gearvendor over/under drive unit. This set-up produces around 1200lb/ft of torque and a 0-60 time of around 3 seconds.

The 1963 VW Beetle that is the basis for the car has undergone a massive amount of work to ensure that it is able to deal with the loads and stresses placed on it by such a huge amount of power. The original bodyshell remains but the chassis is a custom Chromolly tube item built by Jim Smith.

11.95 second quarter mile black VW Beetle with electric power - no engine! (by retromotoring)

The Volkswagen Drag Racing Club
The VWDRC is the biggest one-make drag racing club in the world and is currently in its 22nd year. The classes are open to all vehicles built by the Volkswagen-Audi Group (including Seat and Skoda), and any vehicles powered by VAG engines. For more information visit their website at http://www.vwdrc.com/ .

The next round of the VWDRC championship is Big Bang at Santa Pod on the 23rd-25th April.

The Black Current team can next be seen competing in the alternative-energy championships on 23rd April and then in the VWDRC at the Big Bang event.