Cars & Motorcycles
Practical Classics

Practical Classics March 2017

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

‘That was amazing. She literally scared it clean!’ James ‘Buffer’ Walshe ‘Right you two – now you can do your side of the car...NOW!’ Lisamarie ‘Clean Queen’ Johnson ‘Sadly a broken ankle prevents manual labour…’ Matt ‘Plastered’ George ‘A torch and a tea. I’m here in an advisory capacity.’ Danny ‘Halfway’ Hopkins Never underestimate your classic – or if you do, don’t let it stop you from taking the odd risk. I thought I’d maybe reach the M25 on our Winter Warmers marathon to Switzerland and back, but on its first journey anywhere since 1982, my magnificent Rover P4 80 was made of sterner stuff. Not only did it get around the London Orbital in one piece, it also climbed many mountains and brought back much booty from the land of cuckoo clocks and…

1 min.
legend of the lake

Following the fiftieth anniversary commemorations (January 4, 2017) of Donald Campbell’s untimely death at Coniston, images have emerged of last minute changes to Bluebird K7, his jet boat. Donald is pictured here on Monday October 31, 1966 at the Surrey firm where K7 was designed, the day before heading to Coniston for the final record attempt. Alongside him is the engineering team responsible for modifications to the boat – including the installation of the tail fin, instruments and Orpheus turbo-jet cannibalised from a Gnat fighter jet. With Campbell is his faithful chief mechanic Leo Villa and designer Ken Norris, who had worked tirelessly on solving K7’s stability issues – particularly after Bluebird was damaged after hitting a duck. Weeks later – despite modifications – Bluebird flipped at more than 300mph, killing Campbell…

1 min.
the month in 5 pictures

Editor Danny is getting his Jensen ready for the PC Resto Show at the NEC on March 31-April 2. Want to be on its first drive? Book at necrestorationshow.com Judith Utley has become the first female chairman of the Riley RM Club in its 47-year history. She aims to keep the club active and encourage younger members. On May 20, 1967 a Hillman Imp leads the ‘Celticade’ away from Glasgow to Lisbon for the European Cup Final. Have any memories of the run? Contact the mag! The 1970 London-Lisbon Maxi – with its original crew – met with Marshalls of Cambridge, who prepared it in 1970. See the car in action at Race Retro on Feb 24-26. Nigel Cordwell, owner of the earliest Leyland Wedge, is looking for a museum or club who would…

1 min.
starting handle

‘Unlike most chains, you can get a good cup of tea’ Recently, some friends of mine revealed they no longer frequent motorway services. Before leaving home on a long distance journey, they instead spend ten minutes researching potential stop-offs in the areas they reckon that their children will most likely begin to leak. Usually, the target is just off a motorway sliproad – sometimes a village pub, but quite often a traditional roadside eatery. They love the transport café and despite the quirks of some establishments (they aren’t always the most modern), my pals enthuse about the plentiful portions and a sense of nostalgia. We at PC love the atmosphere, too.… being surrounded by people going places. And unlike most chains, you can get a decent cup of tea or coffee without being…

1 min.
classics escape vauxhall scrappage

Britain’s appreciation for classic cars was neatly illustrated by Vauxhall’s latest scrappage scheme, in which not a single vehicle older than 25 years was submitted for scrap. Mirroring the UK Government programme in 2009, Vauxhall offered £2000 discounts off a new car to anyone willing to sacrifice their old one. But unlike the earlier scheme, Vauxhall put measures in place to recycle or resell all vehicles over 25 years-old, and give clubs dibs on parts. ‘Classic car values have risen so much that in many cases you’d be a fool to scrap an old car for £2000 when you could realise more value on the open market,’ says Simon Hucknall, Vauxhall’s Product PR manager. Vauxhall still received flak after a publicity stunt by a dealer in Suffolk backfired, when the…

1 min.
this month we love ...

This excellent welder (part no: Y12012) comes complete (except for the gas cylinder) and is ready to weld 0.8mm to 4mm mild steel and stainless. Plus aluminium, using the Spool Gun. With adjustable wire speed and heat settings. (30-175-amp welding range and feeds wire at 58in - 471in per minute) the MIG 175 is designed for the professional or weekend enthusiast. It’s available from FROST, and it isn’t cheap. But being the only welder you’ll ever need means that actually, in the long run, it works out cheap. So much better to use a quality machine over a number of years than cheap bit of kit that fails quickly.…