Cars & Motorcycles
Practical Classics

Practical Classics January 2016

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

‘Try my new Vodka flavoured beer, comrades.’ Sam Glover, Tech Agitator ‘I’m not a long way away… I’m just small.’ Alan ‘Red’ Bull, man ‘Soon we shall be marching forward (when the Maxi breaks).’ Matt George, Visionary ‘These classics are under workers’ control and management.’ John Simpson, Workshop Comrade ‘I’m no communist but I’m definitely in the red.’ Matt Tomkins, Trotskyite ‘If you try to displace us, we will be forced to throw displacers at you’ James Walshe, Assistant Secretary ‘A Maxi sit-in is actually a Maxi lie-in, brothers.’ Sam ‘Swampy’ Skelton Two contrasting anniversaries are marked in this issue. They both celebrate the ingenuity and flexibility of British engineers in entirely different ways and, while sitting at opposite ends of the market, created room for ongoing and long-lasting success. Rolls-Royce’s Silver Shadow was a masterpiece created by a small team for a bespoke…

1 min.
bluebird returns for washingtons’s 30th

HOMECOMING! James meets Trevor Simons, who was on the production line the day the PC Bluebird was built in 1987. Three decades after Nissan opened for business in the North East, we’ve reunited workers at the Sunderland plant with one of the many cars they built: Practical Classics’ own Bluebird. Marking a turning point for car building in Britain, the Bluebird was produced between 1986 and 1990 and found homes in driveways and taxi ranks across the country. Nissan’s investment in the British workforce has led to the Sunderland plant becoming one of the most efficient in Europe, churning out 8-million vehicles since 1986. Trevor Simons joined Nissan in March 1986, aged 23. He was in charge of installing the PC Bluebird’s main wiring harness, ignition barrel and sunroof. ‘Quality was the main objective.…

1 min.
the month in 5 pictures

H&H ran an auction at Duxford on October 14. Steeds’ XJ-C 12 from the The New Avengers, sold for £69,440 and George Best’s E-type SIII made £43,000. At the same sale a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT sold for £6.6million alongside a 1967 275 GTB/4 for £1.9million. Richard Colton bequeathed his collection to the RNLI. The oldest production Wedge has been restored by the Princess Club. The car was rescued by Nick Larkin in 1995 and it’s now in concours condition. The Rover SD1 turns 40 in 2016. To start the celebration we have brought the ‘Liver Run’ Police V8 out of retirement. See p62. Ann Wisdom has died aged 81. She was best known as the rally co-driver of Pat Moss, one of the most successful female rally drivers of all time.…

1 min.
starting handle

Britain has become a nation of aggressively swift drivers and it’s down to marketing and design. Those yowling young men with disproportionately bulky beards and skinny jeans who go giddy at the use of phrases like ‘thinking outside the box’ invariably don’t think in or outside of any boxes at all. They’re in focus groups, drinking cheap fizz and telling car manufacturers we all want to drive everywhere at 300 miles per hour – like the ‘winners’ we are. So the words ‘sporty’, ‘striking’ and ‘compelling’ infest our car brochures. But striking is rarely beautiful. Gaping plastic grilles, jagged scallops and swept back boss-eyed headlamps simply supply an air of mindless aggression. Add to this low profile tyres and a crashing ride, it all feeds the notion we share a compulsion…

1 min.
this month we love…

£21.31/£25.61/£30.55 including VAT TRIED AND TRUSTED That extra length comes in handy for jobs where you need a bit more leverage. www.lasertools.co.uk These ratchet drivers are not simply extra long for extra leverage, they’re also slim for access to difficult areas, balanced and fitted with 48-tooth ratchet mechanisms. They’re made from chrome vanadium with a chrome molybdenum square drive, ensuring they’re strong. Ratchets are also replaceable, making these drivers real tools for life. Available in three sizes – ¼in drive, 3/8in drive and ½in drive. www.lasertools.co.uk…

1 min.
scrappage comes back

Vauxhall has established a new means by which end of life classics are recycled. While they have reintroduced a scrappage scheme in which customers are offered a minimum £2000 trade-in value against their old cars and anything which cannot be re-sold will be scrapped, measures have been put in place to prevent destruction of rare parts. ‘We have an agreement with our vehicle disposal partners Autogreen,’ says Simon Hucknall from Vauxhall Heritage said. ‘If a classic Vauxhall is deemed uneconomic to restore by the dealer and is traded under our scrappage allowance, Autogreen will contact us and we will inform the relevant club.’ PC contacted Autogreen to discuss the agreement, and to query whether other manufacturers had similar existing or proposed agreements. At the time of going to press, we had…