Practical Classics November 2019

Practical Classics magazine has a 30-year tradition of delivering the very best, hands-on classic car experiences to its readers. Every staff writer and contributor works on and restores their own classics. Each issue is packed with: * Rigorous buying advice * Real-world product tests * Inspirational classic driving features * Fascinating historical insight Practical Classics is also a campaigning title, taking the concerns of classic car owners to Parliament and keeping its readers' classics where they belong - on the road. So come and join PC in the workshop - the kettle's on.

United Kingdom
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
welcome to the workshop

A Mini or Maxi couldn’t happen today. Pure, engineer-led, car design is a thing of the past. In the 21st century, designs are clinically engineered from the focus group backwards. They must conform to every expectation, within projected costs, market parameters and service schedules. And moderns are complex – development budgets tell us everything we need to know about that. But buying and using them is simple. Manufacturers deliver ‘product’ that is competent. Blindingly, inhumanly, brilliant. Reliable, economical, practical, connected with design eccentricities that are built-in to answer a focus group’s request for ‘a bit more character.’ Modern cars come out of a process in which hundreds of design engineers will have had a hand. These engineers will have enjoyed more computer power than the entire planet in 1970… let alone…

1 min
all the fives

A host of events to celebrate the Maxi’s 50th birthday will conclude with a bumper display at the Classic Motor Show in November (Hall 4-570). The Austin Maxi Owners Club will showcase a range of models spanning the hatchback’s 11-year lifespan, after well-attended gatherings this year at Gaydon, Nuffield Place and, most recently, the BL Autumn Rally in Milton Keynes on September 29. The Maxi was born in a storm of politics and a period of in-house upheaval for its maker, leading to the sidelining of creator Alec Issigonis, a saloon version being ditched and, while questions hovered over the infamous gearbox arrangement and a last minute front-end restyle. Nevertheless, the final product of BMC is now recognised for its influence on the industry thanks to its front-wheel-drive platform, five doors…

1 min
the month in 5 pictures

On September 21 the Metro Club’s oldest member, Eric Dupont, celebrated his 100th Birthday. Eric still owns the 1985 MG Metro 1300 that he bought new. On September 7, 1326 Ford Mustangs converged on Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground to celebrate the car’s 55th birthday – setting a new world record, too. The Beaulieu Autojumble once again attracted big numbers – 33,293 enthusiasts snapped up bargains from 2176 stands packed with motoring spares. Even though reader Richard Wells didn’t win our Rover V8 earlier in the year, he still managed to fix his 1989 V8 up for his wedding to partner Sue. Congratulations! Goodwood Revival attracted over 150,000 visitors and included a D-Day commemoration by the Duke of Richmond, along with a Mini 60th cavalcade.…

1 min
starting handle

Each year at the Beaulieu International Autojumble, I bump into a young car enthusiast who will – for obvious reasons – remain anonymous. In his early Twenties and exceptionally talented under the bonnet, he is absolutely passionate about his Eighties classic and recently decided to have a specialist do all the hard work before applying a shiny new coat of paint. This was to be the restoration of a car he has owned since passing his driving test at the age of 17, involving a big chunk of his savings. On its return, the ‘professional restorer’ presented a lesson in careless welding and distorted metalwork. Paint defects abounded: orange peel, dirt in the paint and paint runs. Court proceedings have now, thankfully, commenced and we wish our unfortunate young friend luck. ‘Let’s…

1 min
this month we love...

Yes, really. This supermarket staple can be as useful in your workshop as it is in the kitchen. Whether it’s for wrapping your freshly-stripped gearbox components to keep them together and dust-free, or preventing dust and debris from entering an engine mid-rebuild, it’s deployment can prevent hours of extra work or premature failure. It’s also great for covering paint stripper, either on a body panel or wrapping individual components, to prevent evaporation and maximise effectiveness. Cling film really is a must-have on the workbench – you’ll be amazed just how often it comes in handy. Please use it sparingly though – cling film is a single-use plastic and is currently unrecyclable.…

2 min
35 years of the nec

The 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, will include an anniversary line-up. It which will be the focal point of Hall 8. Called ‘35 Years in Motoring with Greatest Hits Radio’ the eight-car timeline will be accompanied by Eighties and Nineties music. The first car in the special display will be Mark McClelland’s 1984 Vauxhall Astra GTE (the Astra is also celebrating its 40th birthday this year). To mark this special anniversary, on his drive to the show, Mark is planning to make a special commemorative pilgrimage all the way from his home in Kilmarnock to Birmingham’s NEC. Representing 1989, John Davies’ Land Rover Discovery MkI was one of the press cars used by Land Rover for its UK launch. Having just completed a full restoration, the ‘Disco’ is back…