The latest from Eric's blog
Fresh posts, best read in a comfortable chair with a wee dram of scotch close at hand.
The Guardian was an unlikely medium for a sports car feature. In 1969 I was its motor racing correspondent, a contributor to its motoring column and now that Morgan has made its last V8, here is what I wrote about its first. I drove to Malvern to try out the first demo Plus 8, along with Autocar’s Eoin Young. I don’t expect The Guardian, or me would write about “a masculine car” any more. This was half a century ago.
Aged 30 at the height of Word War 1, WO Bentley was supervising production of his 24.9 litre BR2 rotary aero engine. Already a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), a cadre of civilian volunteers, which had quick means of promoting wartime officers in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) he had been sent to Derby, where Rolls-Royce made air-cooled Renault aero engines, to meet Ernest W Hives (later Lord Hives) with whom he formed a bond lasting twenty years.
I asked Facebook and Twitter about this picture. That’s me behind Jim Clark’s Lotus photographing its new engine during practice at Zandvoort. I started commenting on it then mis-keyed and couldn’t find where it came from, but delving into my photographic archive I was pleased to find the pictures I was taking that day (below - Jim Clark’s legs on the right) in front of the Lotus pit.
Vorsprung durch Project Fear
Audi Lincoln was right. I have a problem with my A3’s Dunlop Maxx tyres. It was a bit like Mark Carney’s “scenarios”, or a greedy consultant urging surgery and I was sure I didn’t need to part with £456. But it raised questions 1) Will Audi and Dunlop call in a batch of tyres made in 2017? 2) Do Audi owners question alarmist videos? 3) Are the rules on redress for faulty tyres adequate?
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.