Practical Classics July 2021

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
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
welcome to the workshop

If you are like me, every new news announcement regarding COVID-19 is interpreted with cars in mind. Will the new variant mean a delay to indoor shows? When will I be able to drive in Europe without worry? Truth is, what will happen will happen, so there’s little point in worrying about it. What we all know is, despite the ongoing struggle against this deadly virus, we are going to be out and about in our classics as best we can. My second jab (third if you count my fortuitously registered Allegro) is in my arm and I feel more inclined, now, to dive into the summer and get back on road. Let’s face it, the country needs us back on the road, simply for the great big smiles we all…

2 min
frontera is 30

All you need to know about everything important No celebrations have been planned, no ‘30th’ fanfares or retrospectives, but the auctioning off of eight cars from the Vauxhall Heritage Collection at Manor Park Classics on April 27 provided an opportunity to purchase a very special example of the Vauxhall Frontera, the last one ever to be made. Frontera number 328,468 was built in Luton on December 27, 2003 and registered by Vauxhall on March 9, 2004 when it entered the Heritage Collection. For the past 17 years it has been the collection’s tow vehicle, taking historic Vauxhalls all over Europe. As the last Frontera, it was also the last passenger vehicle to be built at the Luton plant, 98 years after the first car left the factory. Practical Classics editor, Danny Hopkins, who…

1 min
frontera in 5 pics

► Building the Frontera in Luton in 1993. Essentially an extensively reworked Isuzu Mu, it was in production for 12 years, including two when it was Europe’s bestselling off-roader. ► In Japan the Frontera/Mu was sold as a Honda Jazz! It was a domestic market SUV between 1993 and 1996 and featured the words ‘Pleasure Field’ on the side. ► Vauxhall didn’t exactly create the off-road/leisure vehicle market, but it made it more accessible. The Frontera was a hit from the moment it was launched. ► Under the skin it was ‘known’ technology. The two body styles, Tonka Toy two-door or ‘Budget Discovery’ five-door remained to the end. ► No technical innovations, but a whole catalogue full of marketing ones. The accessories list was huge and aimed directly at the post-GTI young professionals.…

1 min
starting handle

I’ve got to be honest, my dad and I didn’t want to spend seven grand on a Frontera, but there was method in the apparent madness. It started with the sale of almost twenty cars from the Vauxhall Heritage collection. For many, particularly those of us who count Luton as home, it sounded the alarm bells. The Frontera is the last passenger vehicle built in the town by Vauxhall (IBC), after 99 years of continuous production. It had to be saved by someone who recognised its significance. That is why I called my dad. The current collection has been ‘rightsized’ for a destination that is not Luton. I want to ensure we create an opportunity for it to ‘come home’ to a permanent base – in Luton. If that happens…

1 min
clarke crt130 rotary tool £35.98 This handy multi-purpose rotary tool kit will shape, engrave, grind, clean, sand, polish and cut at a maximum operating speed of up to 31,600rpm. Supplied with a 40 piece accessory kit, it’s a great addition to your tool arsenal whether for marking components using the engraving tool or even porting and polishing combustion chambers for better flow. The one metre long flexible drive makes use easy and unencumbered, ideal for detail work, and the height adjustable stand with clamp allows the tool itself to be conveniently supported nearby. Part no: CRT130.…

1 min
real world museum opens

The long-time dream of entrepreneur Richard Usher finally came true on May 19 when his new museum project, The Great British Car Journey, was officially opened by McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt. During the ceremony, Richard thanked the team that has made the museum possible and described the difficult journey to opening: ‘There was serious illness and flooding. Oh, and a worldwide pandemic, and yet here we are – the museum is open and ready for business.’ The Derbyshire venue celebrates the real world British cars we all remember and includes just under 150 British classics. Many of the vehicles were originally part of the well-known James Hull collection, but also includes the car that started it all, Richard’s own Austin Maestro: ‘I thought that it was a great little car.…