Practical Classics July 2020

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 a passion. At a time when we are all feeling the pressure and the pain, it is often the simplest things that keep us sane. Like going for a drive. During the tightest part of lockdown, I would look forward to driving to the shops like a starving man to a square meal. Especially in the Jensen (well, petrol is cheap at the moment). To be able to partake in your pastime during this period is a huge bonus and if you have your classic at home and can work on it – count yourself lucky. I have friends in the railway preservation movement who are unable to do anything right now, and the same goes for anyone in theatre, music or sport. They are facing…

2 min
mga is a class act

A Monte Carlo Challenge-winning MGA, which narrowly avoided being sent to South East Asia just days before lockdown, is now helping to spearhead the UK effort to help those affected by this year’s worldwide pandemic. Owner Charlotte Vowden had been due to embark on the trip of a lifetime, driving her 1960 roadster from Thailand to Nepal via Cambodia, Vietnam and China this spring. The car – nicknamed Frisky – had just been dropped off at Felixstowe where it was due to be loaded onto a container. Charlotte says that when the news took a turn for the worse, retrieval of Frisky took place in a matter of hours. ‘As soon as I had the car back, I decided that she needed to be driven with a new purpose, so I…

1 min
frisky in 5 pictures…

Ron Gammons and Paul Easter set off on the Monte Carlo Challenge in 1991. ‘Frisky’, a 1960 MGA 1600, was faultless despite heavy blizzards and icy roads. Frisky took the lead on the final night with Ron and Paul taking the honours in Monte Carlo the next day. The pair beat the second place car by two minutes. Charlotte’s late grandfather Raymond bought Frisky soon after race victory – pictured here with friend Dennis and MGTD, with whom he went to many events. Charlotte’s late grandmother Joan often joined Raymond on trips, often taking the role of navigator, enjoying the picnics and especially the champagne! Charlotte learned repair skills from dad Steve. On the night before it was to be shipped to Bangkok, the rad’ sprang a leak and it was Steve who came…

2 min
starting handle

Car makers have been hit hard by 2020’s worldwide pandemic, with UK sales of new models crashing to the lowest level since 1946. Just 4321 new cars were registered in April – down 98.7 per cent on the same time last year – with private buyers making up just 871 of those sales. Many will return to the showrooms, but in what numbers? With major increases in employees working from home and the likelihood of further financial instability for some years to come, there will no doubt be a weakening fixation on getting hold of the shiniest, swankiest new models as people prioritise grocery bills and mortgage payments. ‘Maybe now is the time to rethink our car habits’ While this is tough for the new car industry, maybe now is the time for…

1 min
pc is back on the job…

After weeks of planning, including the creation of live working protocols specifically tailored to the needs of the mag, Practical Classics editor Danny Hopkins, working with photographer Matt Howell, conducted the mag’s first photoshoot in eight weeks on Monday May 18. The cover shoot, for a future issue, involved four readers and their cars visiting the deserted car parking areas at the rear of Media House where the magazine is usually based. The entire PC team worked overtime to plan and prepare the day and the readers were carefully briefed beforehand. ‘It was important to use an area that was away from the public highway and was relatively private,’ said Danny. ‘Controlled conditions are a must in these bizarre times. It also helped to establish with our visitors that this was a…

1 min
key worker classics

We’re celebrating key workers who are using their classics to help the nation fight the COVID-19 health crisis – from NHS workers to police officers and many more, such as fire fighter Richard Knights, who drives his Escort to work at Colchester Fire Station each day. The sunny weather has been invaluable to key workers, who’ve been able to distract themselves from the difficult realities of daily life by working on their projects. To the people who risk their lives for us, or those who are out there helping the vulnerable in communities, we humbly salute you all!…