The latest from Eric's blog
Fresh posts, best read in a comfortable chair with a wee dram of scotch close at hand.
MG was great at celebrating. On 27 May 1971 George Turnbull, Austin Rover MD saw this Blaze GT off the line. It was given away as a National Sweepstake prize in America the following September. Posed alongside Old Number One, Cecil Kimber’s pioneer trials car of 1925 the MGB went on to half a million, but nine years later the factory was shut. British Leyland thought sports cars passé. Mazda decided otherwise and on 22 April 2016 broke its own Guinness World Record with its millionth MX-5. Its newest goes on sale in September. Classics do survive. MG Classics book 3.
McLaren hasn’t won a Grand Prix for six years. Vandoorne was a lap down in twelfth and Alonso didn’t finish at Monza. 1968 was the year of Bruce McLaren’s first win in his own new McLaren car, at Spa. My race report is a 50th anniversary tribute to one of Formula 1 racing’s best men.
Pin-ups were a bit naff. Trendy people tried to make statements through books or pictures of a different sort. I liked precise, geometrical framed prints with an engineering quality. No perspective, just careful detailing and exactitude. Hugh Evelyn prints I thought masterpieces. Beautifully reproduced, I used one in our MG Classics Book 2 1945-1965 to illustrate the transition from the TB of the 1930s to TC with which production resumed in October 1945.
The best MG for picnicking with the dog was probably the post 1931 Magna. At the time Cecil Kimber’s ambitions to challenge Bentley were flagging. The big 18/80 wasn’t selling and in only its second year the Midget was still a bit of a gamble. Kimber had to find something in between and Morris Engines was making a dinky little 6-cylinder for Wolseley that he could squeeze into a Midget. He didn’t much like the connection with staid old Wolseley so the cylinder dimensions were faked and steel plates fixed on the crankcase to cover it up.
Our latest releases and new editions of classic works.
Out of print for twenty years, the 2017 edition of Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion is newly revised and expanded and completely redesigned in colour throughout. This classic of motor racing celebrates the life and achievements of Jim Clark (1936-1968).
Covers the MGs of 1922-1939 with a detailed history of MG’s foundation by Cecil Kimber and WR Morris, through its struggles in the aftermath of the first world war to its triumphs before the outbreak of the second. Forty-seven distinctive examples of MG are detailed, illustrated and described along with comprehensive specifications.
Covers the MGs of 1945-1965 with a detailed history of MG’s postwar expansion into the export market, development of austerity-era saloons and sedans, and triumphant return to the motor racing track at Le Mans. Forty-one distinctive examples of MG are detailed, illustrated and described along with comprehensive specifications.
Covers the years 1965-2001 and follows the closure of the Abingdon-on-Thames factory in 1980 after the turbulent British Leyland years and the transition to MG-Rover. Despite modest resources MG kept up with the times and met stringent safety and emissions regulations imposed by world markets with landmark cars such as the MGB GT. Thirty-five distinctive examples of MG are detailed, illustrated and described along with comprehensive specifications.
Newly revised and expanded, this complete history of Vauxhall includes great Edwardian sports cars like the 1911 Prince Henry and the 1920s 30-98 up to the 2007 VXR8. Over 170 individual models are fully illustrated, with a 200-word description plus a full technical specification.
The Complete Bentley is the only single volume with an accurate comprehensive model-by-model guide with details, specifications and pictures of every Bentley made. It starts with the notable rotary aero engine of World War I and describes all the collectors’ classics, including a fully-illustrated chronology of the company and its racing since 1919.