Practical Classics December 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

Never underestimate the power of the motor show. The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, to be precise, on November 8-10. It is as close to the old Motor Show as you will ever get these days (unless you go to Geneva or Frankfurt), so it’s nostalgic pull isn’t simply about the cars – the event itself harks back to older, bolder, bigger, better days. If you went to a Motor Show back in the day then you’ll know exactly what it meant. The excitement, the buzz, counting down the days. My dad took me twice in the early Eighties, then, in 1985, I went solo with my best mate Adam. We were off the leash, and we hatched a plan. We put our best clothes on: Farah trousers, patent leather slip-on shoes…

1 min
35 alive!

‘1984 was a year of cutting edge high-tech developments’ Giving visitors a tantalizing glimpse into the future with its theme, ‘Take a Trip into Tomorrow’, the 1984 British International Motor Show took place a few months after the NEC’s very first classic car extravaganza – an event marked this year at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery (November 8-10). This year’s event is expected to draw in record numbers, with more than 3000 classics on display. The 1984 show was a shop window for all the latest developments – the NEC show guide at the time highlighting plastic impact-resistant bumpers and CD players as cutting-edge tech. It was also a chance for the motor industry to showcase a host of new models, including the Austin Montego, Bentley Eight, Ferrari 288…

1 min
nec ‘84 in 5 pictures

The 1984 British International Motor Show gave visitors a first peek at the hot new generation of Golf GTi, launched onto the market just a few months later. Reliant chose the show to launch its new SS1 (Small Sports 1). Despite plans for 2000 units a year, the Tamworth firm sold 1500 in ten years of production. With hot hatchbacks taking on the role of the defunct Brit sports cars of the Sixties and Seventies, the MR2 was a refreshing crowd-pulling sports car. Having debuted some months before at the Paris Motor Show, the new Testarossa was a highlight for many of the 696,183 visitors to the NEC in 1984. Both Saab and Lancia showed their Giugiaro-styled execs – the first evidence of the ‘Type 4’ platform used later by Alfa for the 164…

2 min
starting handle

‘There are good people looking after our interests’ In these chaotic and worrying times, it’s easy to be jaded. Social media often throws up a diet of bad news and panic to feed our sense of doom. So, this month I have limited my screen time and decided to live in the real world a bit more. Guess what? It’s OK out there. I don’t advocate sticking your head in the sand, but a diet of 24hr news or Facetwitt fake news is bad for the soul. And that goes for classic car groups, too. If I were to run my classic life based on what I read online sometimes, I would have sold my classics years ago. The real world truth is that no-one is after us, there isn’t an…

1 min
this month we love...

The PC team is starting to think about equipping the classics we run through winter with some winter boots. James’s Smart Roadster will wear these Vredestein Snowtracs from Vintage Tyres, which he’s fitted to a set of steel wheels. Their soft compound will provide improved grip in the cold while deep tread grooves with narrow cuts help to disperse snow and standing water. Investing in a set of winter wheels for the winter tyres to sit of is often a really cost-effective way of doing things, as the cost of re-fitting and balancing is removed each year. Make sure you store your summer wheels and tyres correctly through winter – deflated to around 10psi, horizontal and in the dark.…

1 min
remembering norman

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery is ready to go. Organiser, Clarion Events, has confirmed a special four-car display devoted to Jaguar development driver, Norman Dewis OBE hosted by the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club. The display will include the only XJ13 ever built, E-type, D-type and Ecurie Ecosse LM69. The Practical Classics team will be out in force. Visit stand 630 in Hall 4 to meet the team and two special cars. James Walshe will be there with his Citroën CX GTi Turbo – the car he saw at the Motor Show in 1984 that inspired him to become a petrolhead and Danny’s Jensen… a car that Danny fell in love with as a Corgi model and as part of his favourite game in Top Trumps… the show theme this…