Cars & Motorcycles
Practical Classics

Practical Classics May 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

‘Don’t keep asking me why Reg, it just happens to be that year…’ James Walshe ‘If I polish hard I can actually see my caravan!’ Danny Hopkins ‘I’d still have my Mondeo over this, but it’s close. Matt George ‘Eccles and Austin. Truly we’re living the dream.’ John Simpson ‘Three on the road: is the VDP Britain’s rarest classic?’ Matt Tomkins It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but our venerable traditional classics seem to be as popular as ever. The annual Footman James/ Practical Classics survey, where we collect answers from thousands of enthusiasts through a variety of portals, has revealed that the Morris Minor is as popular as ever. Good news for the MMOC, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and testimony to its efforts to introduce a new generation to the delights of our most owned…

2 min.
moggie on top

‘The Swinging Sixties are still very much in fashion with enthusiasts’ Our love for the venerable Morris Minor is as strong as ever and according to the PC/Footman James Classic Survey (p14-15), enthusiasm for the Minor is actually growing. Data from the research shows ownership numbers outgunning the MGB and Triumph TR models, in second and third respectively. The Morris Minor Owners Club is also proving to be the most popular car club in the UK, surging ahead of Jaguar and MG. There was good news for other clubs – with figures suggesting a more people are joining up compared to four years ago, when 69 per cent of owners told us they belonged to a car club. That figure rises to 78 per cent for 2016. Conducted by Footman James in conjunction…

1 min.
the month in 5 pictures

Jaguar Land Rover Heritage has rebranded as Jaguar Land Rover Classic. The company will be based at Browns Lane and a new workshop Solihull. Ford Fiesta 40th celebrations will include a run from Dagenham to Brighton on July 16. The Mk1 Fiesta Club will be celebrating at the Ace Café on June 18. 70 classics from one collection will go under the hammer at Protruck Auctions on April 23. Owner Gary Cooper admits things had ‘got a bit out of hand’. Allan Marshall’s huge Humber collection is up for sale. Allan wants to keep the 24 cars, most of which are in the same livery, together. humbercarmuseum.co.uk MGLive at Silverstone on June 4-5 is shaping up to be a massive show this year with more activity planned than ever before. www.mgcc.co.uk…

1 min.
starting handle

‘Government funding for apprentices is available’ The historic vehicle movement is estimated to be worth between £4.3 billion and £5 billion a year to the UK economy. That figure was £1.6 billion in 1997 and £3.2 billion in 2006 – we’re in a genuine boom industry. And yet, out of 98 restoration companies asked by the FBHVC in 2014, 92 agreed there was a need for a training programme to bring new life into the sector. Good intentions from the FBHVC and the support of its patrons is not making enough of a difference – yet. Of the 216 general Further Education colleges in the UK, we think only one is running car restoration apprenticeships. The problem is money. Colleges will not put on a course unless it pays them to do so…

1 min.
plasma cutter with built in compressor

£1,078.80 inc VAT www.weldingsuperstore.co.uk Weighing in at only 12kgs, and capable of cutting up to 10mm thick steel, this neat little plasma cutter is a must have tool for anyone doing a lot of fabrication. It runs off single phase, while the inbuilt compressor gives it fantastic portability. It’s equipped with a long torch, making working on a ramp easy with no need for a stand or cumbersome extension leads. It might be costly, but it’s massively time saving, precise and, makes light work of thicker material.…

1 min.
skills gap is still widening today

‘There are positives to take from the scheme’ Craftsmen with traditional skills are still retiring from the classic car industry faster than they can be replaced, according to both the FBHVC and PCs’ own survey of restoration businesses. More alarming still, efforts to bring more young people into suitable training have had only limited, localised success. Twenty specialists spoke to PC and their views reinforce the findings of a survey commissioned by the Federation in the 2011. These include a shortage of young people keen to join the trade, and in particular shortage of skilled panelbeaters and trimmers. This is despite a concerted effort in 2014 by the FBHVC and supporting patrons to address the issue with the creation of a new apprenticeship focused exclusively on classic vehicle restoration. ‘We currently have about 50…