Classic move

Hannah changes gear this month, and looks at the technical challenges represented by classic cars

Published:  10 January, 2019

All my recent writing has involved modern cars and techniques, but this month I have decided to write about my main passion of classic cars. The classic car market is huge and people are now seeing a lot of classic cars as an investment.

All my recent writing has involved modern cars and techniques, but this month I have decided to write about my main passion of classic cars. The classic car market is huge and people are now seeing a lot of classic cars as an investment.

Recently I set about scouring eBay and Gumtree for a restoration project or ‘barn find’ as people like to classify anything that has stood unused for a length of time. The reason for the project is that it is my Dad’s 70th birthday was just before Christmas and what better present than a dusty and rusty old MGB GT? The British classic is top of my shopping list. Dad used to have a white MGB GT and I have always wanted an affordable classic so I have come to the conclusion that the MGB fits the bill perfectly.

Luckily I have found the perfect car. A lot of money can be lost due to poor bodywork issues. Welding is definitely not my forte, but luckily this particular MGB is solid underneath. That said, the interior needs a good clean and some repair and the engine requires a good service and tune up. The previous owner hadn’t used the car for over seven years but the little 1.8 litre engine ignited just fine. Admittedly it was running slightly lumpily, but it was drivable and solid for well under £1,000. In my eyes it was an absolute bargain.

As I write this I haven’t yet unveiled the car to Dad but I have ordered the parts catalogues with a view to what this ‘blank canvas’ can become. I am keen on a Sebring kit and Minilites. While getting a complete respray, the exterior paint is as dull as a wet February day. However, I keep having to remember that it is a present and not my car. I will certainly push what I think is best for the car.

Connection
Over the years I have restored and re-commissioned plenty of vehicles.  It is something I thoroughly enjoy doing and means you can really implement simple engineering techniques such as turning the mixture screw on a carburettor. I always feel that when a classic car comes in for work that the owner has a closer connection with this vehicle rather than their everyday one. I enjoy communicating with the owner in how they would like to restore the car, cars such as the iconic British Mini and MGB can be customised without losing their vintage style. Parts are so plentiful for most classics that there isn’t that time delay when restoring.
    
The MGB GT I have purchased comes with a thorough and plentiful file full of receipts mounting up to tens of thousands of pounds, and this certainly is not uncommon. Classic cars are a great chance for escapism in this modern world where an OBD port is the most commonly used part of the car. Instead I get to  enjoy being able to tune an engine with just a flat head screwdriver.





Related Articles

  • Classic move 

    All my recent writing has involved modern cars and techniques, but this month I have decided to write about my main passion of classic cars. The classic car market is huge and people are now seeing a lot of classic cars as an investment.
        
    Recently I set about scouring eBay and Gumtree for a restoration project or ‘barn find’ as people like to classify anything that has stood unused for a length of time. The reason for the project is that it is my Dad’s 70th birthday was just before Christmas and what better present than a dusty and rusty old MGB GT? The British classic is top of my shopping list. Dad used to have a white MGB GT and I have always wanted an affordable classic so I have come to the conclusion that the MGB fits the bill perfectly.

    Bargin
    Luckily I have found the perfect car. A lot of money can be lost due to poor bodywork issues. Welding is definitely not my forte, but luckily this particular MGB is solid underneath. That said, the interior needs a good clean and some repair and the engine requires a good service and tune up. The previous owner hadn’t used the car for over seven years but the little 1.8 litre engine ignited just fine. Admittedly it was running slightly lumpily, but it was drivable and solid for well under £1,000. In my eyes it was an absolute bargain.
        
    As I write this I haven’t yet unveiled the car to Dad but I have ordered the parts catalogues with a view to what this ‘blank canvas’ can become. I am keen on a Sebring kit and Minilites. While getting a complete respray, the exterior paint is as dull as a wet February day. However, I keep having to remember that it is a present and not my car. I will certainly push what I think is best for the car.

    Connection
    Over the years I have restored and re-commissioned plenty of vehicles. It is something I thoroughly enjoy doing and means you can really implement simple engineering techniques such as turning the mixture screw on a carburettor. I always feel that when a classic car comes in for work that the owner has a closer connection with this vehicle rather than their everyday one. I enjoy communicating with the owner in how they would like to restore the car, cars such as the iconic British Mini and MGB can be customised without losing their vintage style. Parts are so plentiful for most classics that there isn’t that time delay when restoring.

    Escapism
    The MGB GT I have purchased comes with a thorough and plentiful file full of receipts mounting up to tens of thousands of pounds, and this certainly is not uncommon. Classic cars are a great chance for escapism in this modern world where an OBD port is the most commonly used part of the car. Instead I get to  enjoy being able to tune an engine with just a flat head screwdriver.



  • EVs and hybrids show growth in falling 2018 new car market 

    EVs and hybrids rose in popularity during 2018 in what was otherwise a very challenging market for new car sales, according to the latest figures released today (Monday 7 January) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

  • Don’t join the gold rush, sell shovels  

    Futurologists have predicted it for years, but now, it’s actually starting to happen. The impact of the sharing economy on the automotive industry has upended the status quo and companies are scrambling to gain first-mover advantage within a radically reconfigured marketplace.

    In the US, in March 2018 alone, an Ohio dealership launched a monthly subscription package that allows customers to switch between different brands of luxury cars, and GM announced a plan to allow their customers to rent their cars directly to each other. Meanwhile, ride-hailing is rapidly taking share from traditional car rental in Certify customers’ business travel expenses.
    In the UK, a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) App called Whim is in trial in the Midlands, offering unlimited public transport, hire cars and short taxi rides for a fixed monthly payment of £440. Meanwhile, personal contract purchase (PCP) deals – essentially car rental, with the option to pay off the rest of the car’s value after three years – have already become the preferred method of new vehicle purchase.
        
    The problem is that hundreds of companies in the automotive world have set their sights on the same goal: To be the go-to choice for consumers. That’s fine if you have billions to invest in marketing, but if you’re not at the level of Ford, Uber or Google, that fight is going to get ugly. Rental agencies, dealerships, and business leasing providers – all of whom are used to owning customer relationships in the pre-mobility world – are among those who are going to be out-gunned.

    The good news is that there are two clear ways for businesses to thrive in this new marketplace in a way that won’t be disrupted by technological advances. Both strategies involve selling to businesses rather than consumers, which means they can deliver sustainably higher margins without requiring a huge spend on marketing and customer acquisition.

    Strategy one: Sell a service to the dominant platforms
    The most obvious low-risk, high-reward model is to provide an indispensable service to enable the mobility being sold by others. This would involve contracting with whatever mobility platforms dominate, be it Ford, Uber or Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit. A business might decide to become the leading company that deliver services around.
     

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  • Blast it! How to disinfect air con systems  

    With cars having been using their air con in full during the warmer months, Helen Robinson, Marketing Director at Euro Car Parts, wants to remind garages that cleaning air conditioning systems remains a good opportunity into the autumn and beyond.
      
    “We’ve all done it – you turn on the air con after not using it for a few months, only to be greeted by a terrible smell. The reason behind this, however, is quite simple. Stagnant water droplets trapped in your dormant system are blasted out, leaving behind a foul odour and some nasty bacteria. While this is a common driver complaint, not every garage is taking the opportunity to upsell and provide a thorough cleaning and disinfection service. Fortunately, you can take three essential steps using products from Normfest that have been specifically designed and formulated to help these troubled drivers.
        
    “The first step is to ‘bomb’ the system with Viro Dry Shot Plus, a powerful anti-bacterial cleaning agent. Using the product is simple – spray it directly into the air intake nozzles that are usually located in the passenger footwell. The spray then disperses throughout the air conditioning system for a thorough, quick and hygienic clean. Viro One Shot Plus eliminates microorganisms, prevents allergic reactions and leaves a lasting pleasant smell. A single can is enough for one application.  
        
    “In the second step, Viro Air Fresh Plus is sprayed directly into the air vents and gets to work on the air conditioner’s piping. Over time, a layer of dirt collects in the ventilation ducts and becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould. Viro Air Fresh Plus eliminates these odour-causing particles with direct application, enabled by the included tube nozzle. It provides a long-lasting disinfection and leaves a pleasant citrus fragrance. One can contains enough spray for three applications.
        
    “For the third and final step don’t forget the evaporator. For a complete clean, it is recommended that garages also use Viro Vaporizer to disinfect the air conditioner’s evaporator. A layer of dirt can accumulate on the evaporator fins over time, which provides ideal conditions for microorganisms to reproduce. The product cleans with high-pressure flushing, acting across the evaporator’s entire surface. It quickly kills bacteria and fungi and prevents their resettlement. The product is supplied with a 60-centimetre long tube with a rotary nozzle, helping the user to reach all corners of the evaporator. Viro Vaporizer contains enough spray for one air conditioning system. This final step completes the process, providing comprehensive protection against bacteria and bad odours.”
        
    In conclusion, Helen added: “Disinfecting a vehicle’s air conditioning is not just about removing bad smells. It is important to periodically remove the build-up of bacteria, dirt and dust within the system to avoid discomfort, allergies and health complications. This simple three-step process could be combined with a re-gas and a new cabin filter for a complete system rejuvenation. It presents a great opportunity for garages to upsell and provides a service that directly benefits customers – solving a common driver complaint.”  


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