Practical Classics November 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

2 min
welcome to beaulieu

N Let’s be honest, it has been a uniquely rubbish year all round. The only saving grace being, for those of us with a project in hand, that we have probably been able to get on with it unencumbered. Hopefully the magazine has helped. We aim to inform and entertain, even when we are suffering the same restrictions as you. Inform, entertain and celebrate, actually. We are in awe of your workshop brilliance… which, in this issue, translates into a huge ‘well done’ to Richard Skinner for winning Restorer of the Year. It also means saluting the man who helped inspire the ‘shed hero’ in all of us, John Haynes. At this time, when the shed is the only car option available to some of us, John’s legacy is as important…

1 min
metros gather

More than 100 Metros turned up at Gaydon to mark 40 years since the car was first seen by the public. Gathering at the British Motor Museum for the BMC and British Leyland meet earlier this month, organisers were overwhelmed by the numbers attending. Jamie Field, of the Metro Owners Club, says it was a heartwarming sight. ‘We had 71 Metros on the stand but many more arrived from all over the UK. It was brilliant to have so many with us for the day but it was a challenge to fit them all in - especially with the strict social distancing rules - but we managed it and everyone had a great time.’ In a year when the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out many a show, the day at…

1 min
2020 birthdays in 5

► 1960: Launched as a 2-stroke and later getting a V4, the Saab 96 was loved by Erik Carlsson who took the car to RAC and Monte Carlo rally victory multiple times. ► 1970: First unveiled at the Paris Salon, the Citroén GS/A got an air-cooled flat-four, hydropneumatics, disc brakes all-round and remained in production until 1986. ► 1980: Billed as a true Eighties people’s car, almost 4.5-million Giugiaro-designed Pandas were sold from its launch at Geneva until the last was built in 2003. ► 1990: Honda started work on the NSX in ‘84 but sales didn’t start for another six years, by which time a certain Ayrton Senna had helped to refine the chassis. ► 1995: Now celebrating its quarter century, the Z3 was BMW’s first mass-market stab at a roadster after the…

2 min
starting handle

The Austin miniMetro never came to America, I went to it. Not by design, but by chance when I accompanied a friend from our New Jersey hometown on an ill-fated old-car-buying excursion to the British Isles in 1981. Arriving at Heathrow, we headed to an off-site and decidedly off-brand car rental depot where we were handed the keys to a brand-new Metro. Finished in a fetching shade of avocado green, remarkably I could identify it, even though BL exited America years earlier. I knew the Metro because I was one of a handful people in the USA who subscribed to Britain’s Autocar. Relatedly, our town, Leonia, NJ, was the headquarters for BMC, then British Leyland, so I grew up with the belief as a young boy that people across America drove…

1 min
pc roty… it is chitty!

The coveted Practical Classics Restorer of the Year title has been won by Richard Skinner for his meticulous Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang recreation. The project saw Richard go into obsessive detail, scouring the globe for materials and using the studios’ original drawings and templates to make a replica that is pretty much perfect in every detail. ‘I am over the moon,’ he told PC editor Danny Hopkins, who handed Richard the Golden Spanner trophy. ‘This has been a passion project from day one and it is absolutely amazing to have it recognised in this way. It makes all the late nights, grazed knuckles and the many blind alleys I went down, worth it. I’m really made up.’ OUR WINNER The final decision was meant to be made through a ‘live’ vote at the…

1 min
the month in 5 pics

► As we went to press, the NEC show will take place on November 13-15 - with temperature checks and extended hours, plus wider aisles and limited tickets. ► The Bicester Heritage Classic Car Drive in over September 18-20 was still planned with thousands of visitors expected, plus clubs and manufacturers. ► Barn finds are still stimulating big responses at auction. H&H offered this 32,864-mile Singer Vogue with no reserve at its September 16 auction. ► Rod Porteous from Hayling Island needed a lift-out for his completed Berkeley restoration. The four-year project ended with this dramatic scene! ► The J40 pedal car has been reimagined. Two concept cars unveiled by J40 Motor Company have been designed by Stefan Marjoram.…