Historic Vehicles - MoT Exemption Review


Earlier this month, the Department for Transport published a consultation on the possibility of exempting certain historic vehicles from statutory testing. This can be found at www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2011-27

 The consultation offers two options: to do nothing (i.e. leave things as they are); or to exempt all vehicles made before a particular date. Three choices of cut-off date are offered - 1920, 1945 or 1960. The proposals do not differentiate between different categories of vehicle, and the consultation suggests that there are too few pre-1960 vehicles to justify having different rules for different groups - in other words, if there is to be an exemption, it is likely it will apply to all vehicles manufactured before the chosen date, whatever they are, and to whatever use they are put. These proposals also appear to be ambiguous about submitting vehicles for a voluntary MoT test if they fall into the exempt category.

 Unlike other consultations, where the interests of historic vehicle owners are obvious, there are powerful arguments for and against all options. FBHVC needs to know what historic vehicle owners think before responding to the consultation.

 Time is short (the consultation closes towards the end of January) and the only practical way to assess opinion is by means of an on-line survey that it now accessible at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FBHVCMoT. We strongly advise that the consultation document is read before taking part in the survey.

 Please use all practical means to bring this information to the attention of historic vehicle owners.



Owners of classic and historic cars will shortly be able to notify the DVLA to make the number plate on their car ‘non-transferable’ through a simple request process.

 This action from the DVLA is in response to a request from the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs to make this facility available to owners, to quell the rising tide of dissent regarding classics being parted from their original registration numbers.

 The FBHVC asked the ministry to consider owners being able to request non-transferability, rather than a mandatory requirement. This should ensure that future generations researching the history of these cars have the ability to understand the difference between geniune issued plates and age-related numbers.

 John Vale, from the DVLA’s Corporate Affairs Directorate explained that ‘owners will be able to make an irrevocable correction to the official record, so that the mark can never be transfered off the vehicle or ever be removed from it in the future.’ 

This change should pacify owners who are concerned that at some future point, the cars they love are separated from their original registration number so that dealers and private individuals can maximise profit from a car.

 A recent survey of Ford owners from the Ford Y and C Register confirmed that 50 percent were  in favour of a voluntary scheme and 25 percent wanted original number plates to be compulsorily retained to the original vehicle.

 A vehicle which had no V60 and no log book that had the number re-united would be non-transferable anyway. Only being on the 1983 register ( held by DVLA) confirs tranferability.





No 2, 2009


“…to uphold the freedom…”



President:       Lord Montagu of Beaulieu

Chairman:       Chris Hunt Cooke

Editor:            Rosy Pugh

Secretary:       Rosy Pugh



All correspondence to the secretary at the registered office

Registered office: Stonewold, Berrick Salome

Wallingford, Oxfordshire. OX10 6JR

Telephone & Fax: 01865 400845

Email:  secretary@fbhvc.co.uk.





The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs exists to uphold the freedom to use old vehicles on the road. It does this by representing the interests of owners of such vehicles to politicians, government officials, and legislators both in UK and (through membership of Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) in Europe.

FBHVC is a company limited by guarantee, registered number 3842316, and was founded in 1988.

There are nearly 500 subscriber organisations representing a total membership of over 250,000 in addition to individual and trade supporters.  Details can be found at www.fbhvc.co.uk or sent on application to the secretary



A quick glance at the Federation website will show just how popular Drive It Day has become. Very many of our member clubs are getting in the spirit of the day and have arranged informal runs out or slightly more formal events. Many museums are also offering a deal with special parking areas for members taking out a classic vehicle and preferential admission rates. The other thing which is very noticeable is how many of these events are in aid of charity. Classic vehicle owners are very generous and on Drive It Day alone the money raised must make a significant contribution to worthy causes. Please do send in your photos of what promises to be a great day out for everyone.




Subscriber clubs and organisations may reproduce the text of items from this newsletter in their own publications provided that credit is given to FBHVC. Photographs and cartoons may be reproduced only with specific permission.  Those wishing to reproduce items can receive the text by email to simplify production if they wish. Please ask the secretary at secretary@fbhvc.co.uk






LEGISLATION on page 4 has news of consultations on continuous insurance, changes to the MoT test, impounding of illegally operated PSVs and HGVs and an update on commercial vehicle headlamp aim as well as driver fees, and rallies in the Brecon Beacons.


FUELS NEWS on page 5 has good news about the supply of leaded fuel and is followed by EU LEGISLATION (page 5) giving the latest on the proposed paint stripper ban.


There is a further article on IMPORT TARIFFS on page 5 which will be of interest to anyone importing classic vehicles.



DVLA inspections are explained on page 7, followed by the latest news of our TRADE AND SKILLS initiative.


On page 9 there is news of the CLUBS’ INSURANCE SCHEME and the restructuring of charges.


CLUB NEWS on page 9 is packed with news from FBHVC members and lists an impressive number of club and vehicle anniversaries.


EVENTS NEWS follows on page 15 with some questions about what is permitted equipment on an event.









DID, or RID if you are a wheel or two short of a car, is on Sunday, 26 April.  For all the information about vast number of events taking place that day go to FBHVC’s own site, www.fbhvc.co.uk. Many of our member museums are offering special parking areas and reduced entrance charges for FBHVC members.


FBHVC’s own activity will be to repeat what we have done for the last two years and go the Royal Oak at Bishopstone.  If you’re out and about in, or on, something over 25 years old in central southern England, why not include the Royal Oak in your itinerary? The secretary and one or two FBHVC directors will there from breakfast to evening and the press and TV have been invited to come along to see what is happening.


The Royal Oak is not on a main route, and the approach roads are narrow in places (so, sadly, it’s not really suitable for large commercials) but it is within five miles of the A420 Oxford to Swindon road (due south of Shrivenham), and similarly close to the A345/A419/M4 interchange.  Map reference: SU 245837 (OS 1:50 000 sheet 174).  Post code (for those using vintage sat-nav) is SN6 8PP.  Light refreshments will be served throughout the day and lunches from 1200 to 1500 (pre-booking for a sit-down lunch is essential - Tel: 01793-790481).  Clubs wishing to make the Royal Oak their focus for the day, or to include a stop there as part of an informal road run, are welcome to do so. 





Subscriptions for clubs, museums and individuals fall due for renewal at the end of May and as has been the case for several years any increases will be pegged to the Retail Price Index for the previous year. This rate will apply to new applicants immediately and to renewals for the 2009-10 financial year. The £25.00 minimum rate remains, and applies to clubs with 70 or fewer members. Trade supporter subscriptions do not fall due until the end of the year.  The rate is now £45.00 for two years.


Invitations to renew subscriptions will be sent to all subscriber clubs’ nominated addresses as well as museums and individual supporters early in May.


The renewal forms will also ask for the information we hold on our database to be checked. Please do let us know if there are any changes, particularly if this is to the nominated contact details.





David Hurley


Consultation on a Scheme of Continuous Enforcement of Motor Insurance


This is the official title of the long awaited document which we have previously called ‘insurance from the record’.


The FBHVC is supportive in principle of the government’s desire to reduce the significant number of uninsured drivers and vehicles in the UK and is preparing a response which will raise some detailed points as outlined in previous newsletters.


The consultation confirms our previous understanding that appropriate allowance has been made for the exclusion of vehicles which are under SORN, or pre-SORN (that is, were last taxed before 31 January 1998).


An important development is that in the first instance it is proposed that a warning letter will be issued, not an automatic penalty letter, which had been mentioned previously. It will be important that this should be reacted to – not left to one side and ignored!


The proposal envisages that if you only insure your vehicle for short periods you will be required to surrender your tax disc and declare SORN (even if it is a nil rate historic class) on expiry of the insurance cover. Inevitably this will increase paperwork and visits to the post office.


We will of course be keeping you informed.


Implementation of Electronic Headlamp Aim Measurement

This was reported in the last newsletter and relates to testing headlamps on HGVs and PSVs at annual tests. Because the appropriate minister had not actually signed off the age exemption before the last newsletter went to press we had to omit the actual date of the age exemption agreed by VOSA – it is 1 October 1969.


Delivering Better Services and Fairer fees

Beyond a ‘I hear what you say’ comment from VOSA we have had not feedback about the proposed consolidation of the vehicle licence fee of £40 with the HGV test fee for privately owned preserved commercial vehicles. Our response to the consultation has suggested an age exemption.


Minor Modifications to MoT Test Content and Fee Maxima

In essence this is the routine annual review of fees (being raised by inflation) but with two additional items being added to the MoT test.


The first addition is to check that any towing attachment fitted is not in an obviously unroadworthy state and is unlikely to become detached under load conditions. It is hoped that this measure will reduce the number of accidents caused by trailers becoming separated from the towing vehicle. The phrase ‘worn balls’ was not mentioned but came into your correspondent’s mind!


The second proposed measure relates to the more detailed inspection of number plates and contained text that seemed to assume that all vehicles carry reflective number plates. However the draft Statutory Instrument annexe did not show any amendment to the complicated age concessions that we currently enjoy for historic vehicles. We have however received verbal confirmation that the existing legislation remains unaltered. Our response emphasised that any text in the tester’s manual should make the position clear regarding number plates on our vehicles, rather than using the misleading statements in the consultation document.


The purpose behind this measure is to ensure that vehicles carrying plates with an illegal background which could prevent ANPR cameras identifying them will fail the test.


Local Transport Act 2008 – Impounding of Illegally Operated PSVs and HGVs

This is another consultation which is aimed at commercially operated vehicles but as it contains the phrase ‘have been used as’ in the small print the consultation thus also applies to preserved buses and lorries which were originally operated as such.


Whilst responsible enthusiasts should not fall foul of this proposed measure we will be making some detailed comments in the FBHVC response.



FBHVC has responded to the Consultation on Implementation of the Paint Product Regulations 2005 Addressing Monitoring and Enforcement Issues supporting the proposal to abandon a licensing scheme for the supply of paint products that do not comply with current legislation in favour of a code of practice for suppliers coupled with guidance notes for the benefit of local authority enforcement officers.


Recreational use of motor vehicles off surfaced roads (in Brecon Beacons) and motor rallies on roads.

The second phase of this consultation has now been postponed from January to May-June. The secretary had been informed that motor rallies on roads, organised by ‘responsible societies’, would be classed as a legitimate activity and therefore not subject to a ban.





Ethanol in petrol

Following our appeal in the previous issue for information about anyone who has experienced problems as a result of using petrol containing ethanol we have had two responses. The secretary has also contacted four companies who sell petrol tank sealants to ask if the product is suitable for use with biofuel. So far only two have responded, one confirming that there are no known problems, and the other with a ‘don’t know’! We hope to have more to report next time.


Bayford & Co Ltd slashes leaded petrol price

Bayford & Co Ltd, has been working hard this winter with their new blending partner to increase efficiency within their blending and supply chain. The result: a reduction in the price of leaded petrol by up to 65 pence per litre (a reduction of £2.95 per gallon in old money) for leaded petrol in 2009 compared to 2008.


It is because Jonathan Turner, CEO of Bayford & Co Ltd, is an enthusiastic supporter and collector of veteran, vintage and classic cars and has such enthusiasm for the classic car industry that Bayford applied for a licence from the EU to continue to supply the product, when all other oil companies were allowing leaded petrol to pass into history.




(Extract from FIVA’s regular update provided by its lobbying service, EPPA)


European Parliament approved paint stripper ban

The European Parliament has supported a proposal made by the European Commission last year to ban the use of dichloromethane in paint strippers. The proposed ban will not apply to licensed professionals who will be allowed to continue to use dichloromethane in paint strippers under stricter conditions. This exemption is very important for historic train and building restorers – and also some vehicle restorers – as the banned product allows paint to be removed from wood surfaces without damaging the wood.





Newsletter 1/2009 carried a report (p.11) on a High Court decision allowing a 1950s Ford Zephyr convertible, that had been imported from New Zealand, to qualify for tariff heading 97.05, the heading for collectors' items of historical interest. The benefit of importing under this heading, rather than the more usual 87.03 heading for cars, is that there is no import duty, and VAT is reduced to an effective rate of just 5%. Following an introduction by FBHVC, the case was pursued by Martin Emmison of FBHVC Trade Supporter solicitors Goodman Derrick LLP. 


Although the case has helped clarify one of the criteria that need to be taken in to account, namely the meaning of ‘high value’, this and other cases have highlighted the difficulty of interpreting tariff heading 97.05. Jeremy Barker, of CARS Europe, another FBHVC Trade Supporter who specialises in transporting cars round the world, knows only too well just how difficult it can be to obtain consistent Customs treatment. CARS Europe deal with these issues on a daily basis with HM Revenue and Customs. It transpires that HMRC is already lobbying Brussels for clarification of the explanatory notes for this tariff, and would welcome a submission from an appropriate organisation representing the UK trade. Goodman Derrick LLP and CARS Europe will be working with FBHVC to ensure this is done for the benefit of all UK trade and private importers.




Nigel Harrison


Thank you to everyone that took the trouble to write in about the DVLA procedural trial and proposed workshop session for DVLA V765 Scheme signatories. It is anticipated that the Federation will be organising a workshop session on a weekend later in the year in a central location.


List of Vehicle Owner Clubs (V765/1)

The new list has just been issued. For those of you with internet access, the list can be downloaded from www.direct.gov.uk/motoringleaflets, otherwise you will need to contact DVLA and ask for the new version, dated 2/09.


Inspections - look beyond the chassis plate

The following is background information for the owner of a vehicle that is going to be subject to an inspection. With the specialist vehicle clubs, it would be expected that the suitably briefed inspector would have sufficient knowledge to look beyond the chassis plate to determine if it is reasonably likely that the plate at present on the vehicle is the same one that was there when it left the factory. Where, for reasons of aesthetics, there is a replica chassis plate on the vehicle, is it reasonably likely that the number on that replica chassis plate is the same number it had when left the factory? Many manufacturers also stamped that same number directly onto the chassis, or onto a plate riveted onto the chassis. With some manufacturers, the number on the maker’s plate, and the number stamped onto the chassis were different. Other manufacturers stamped the chassis at its extremity, which is just an ideal position for it to be inadvertently removed and discarded during accident repairs. Sometimes the stamped number on the chassis is obscured by bodywork. The same points are also applicable to vehicles of integral construction.


Part of the inspection is to find this second stamped number if it is there to be seen on an assembled vehicle. The other skilful part of the inspection is to establish if the physical characteristics of the vehicle are consistent with the number on the chassis plate: ‘look beyond the chassis plate’.


Geographically based, non-make specific clubs

It is understandable that some geographically based non-make specific clubs may not have the detailed knowledge to ‘look beyond the chassis plate’. It is quite reasonable that before a geographically based club inspects a vehicle for which they have a smaller amount of knowledge than the particular specialist club, that they contact the specialist club contact (as listed on the V765/1 list) to find out the particular characteristics of the vehicle concerned. After all, when the club signed up to the V765 scheme it was agreed that the inspection should be carried out by ‘an appropriately knowledgeable person’. (DVLA Guidance Notes V765/3, page 2.) None of us know everything, so if knowledge is lacking, please ask.



Applications for reclaiming original numbers or for the issue of age-related numbers should be processed with extreme caution. An inspection of the vehicle by someone independent of the applicant should be undertaken as the norm.’ (DVLA Guidance notes V765/3, page 2.)


The only justifiable reason that I can think of why a vehicle would not be inspected is for geography. However, there are some geographically based clubs in the remoter parts of the UK which might be able to assist a specialist make club with an inspection. I am sure that in many clubs the club membership secretary already assists the club’s DVLA scheme signatory in finding potential candidates for inspectors by checking the membership list to find a local member. I am aware that some geographically based, make-specific clubs are developing reciprocal arrangements for vehicle inspections. This is all to the good, because improved positive communication between clubs must be a good thing.


As a guide, the Outer Hebrides would certainly be considered ‘remote’ - but recently one club suggested that the inspection had not been done because the vehicle was in Devon – which could not be considered remote at all.


Appeals for historic vehicle status

In the last month, the Federation has received a flurry of enquiries where a particular vehicle is recorded with DVLA with a manufacturing date of 1973, but the owner has ‘evidence’ that the vehicle was actually made in 1972, and so should be classified as an historic vehicle, which of course has a nil rate of vehicle excise duty.


These particular applications are normally towards the specialist club, however, where there is not a specialist club registered with DVLA these applications come to the Federation, and we follow exactly the same procedure: the owner needs to provide photographs of the vehicle, legible photographs of all chassis numbers, the engine number, and other numbers on the vehicle and a copy of the V5/V5C. With these cases, as in all others, the Federation seeks out the appropriate specialist knowledge and dating documentation and that the key dating evidence, e.g. the Heritage Certificate, or page from Glass’s Vehicle Check Book, are certified copies. Also, it is essential that the vehicle is inspected, and as explained above, that the inspector has the knowledge to ‘look beyond the chassis plate’.


Seeing that the cost saving for historic vehicle status could be £185 per year, this is just the case where an inspection in the Outer Hebrides is justified. Alternately, if it is already taxed and insured the vehicle could be driven to the inspector.


The actual application to DVLA is made by the owner at his local DVLA office. The application would include the club dating letter (which would mention the date of inspection and what was found on that inspection), the evidence for the revised date of manufacture, e.g. Heritage certificate, together with the photographs of the vehicle, and photographs of the various numbers on the vehicle, including the chassis number.


Although the owner might receive the historic vehicle tax disc at the DVLA local office, this is always subject to verification at DVLA Swansea. In addition, as with any application, DVLA may wish to inspect the vehicle.




Tony Davies


We can now report that progress is being made with the FIVA Trade and Skills initiative - we now have ten ANFs (the FBHVC being one) signed-up for the pilot scheme that closely follows what we are trying to do in the FBHVC. The countries signed-up are: Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.


The key objectives of this initiative can be summarised as follows:


·  Identify and recruit traders as members;

·  Put together a package of benefits to provide an incentive for them to become involved;

·  Quantify traders’ contributions to national prosperity and communicate effectively such information to government;

·  Identify skills training providers and sponsors;

·  Encourage skills training;

·  Identify sources of funding for skills training;

·  Persuade a small number of key traders to become actively involved with the ANF and skills training providers;

·  Foster and facilitate skills transfer and retention.


Furthermore we intend to base the conference topic in October on the theme of trade and skills. This will be of interest to traders and end-users alike and we would welcome suggestions for speakers as well as volunteers to present a topic.


We are currently seeking to expand our trade membership and would welcome the names of any traders that members may know, who may not advertise nationally. If any member would care to have some leaflets explaining the benefits of trade membership to pass on to local companies, please ask the secretary. Without historic vehicles the Federation would have no members and our traders would have no customers, so we need to all work together.


Welcome to the following companies who have signed up as supporters:


Harvey Wash Ltd

I Cleenz Macheenz

EB Mould, Coachbuilder

Vincent Owners Club Spares Co. Ltd

Lancaster Insurance

Caburn Classics

RetroMarques Ltd

H & H Group Holdings Ltd





Aston Scott has been working hard to make improvements to the FBHVC clubs’ insurance scheme and there are a number of developments to report.


They have negotiated with the underwriters reduced rates for the North American extension and a ‘regalia only’ North American extension for just £200; there are now reduced rates for product liability insurance – cover can now be from £150; clubs can now add professional indemnity cover.


To make the scheme financially viable Aston Scott will be adding a small administration fee to all new business with effect from 1 March and to all renewals from February 2010. The charges should not increase clubs’ premiums as the savings made to the premiums should balance this out, but we will of course be monitoring this on behalf of all clubs.


Please do contact Aston Scott Tel: 01483 899495 if you require further information.





All of our member organisations are listed by club name on our website, but it is down to the individual clubs to add or amend their own details – see www.fbhvc.co.uk


Welcome to the following clubs who have recently joined:

BSA Bantam Riders

Classic and Vintage Motor Racing Club of Jersey

National Transport Festival of Wales

Teesdale Motor Club

1959 Mini Register




David Davies


In the Fairford Classic Car Club magazine there is an illuminating article correcting some of the inaccuracies surrounding the genesis of the Spitfire fighter aircraft.


The Journal of the Steam Car Club of Great Britain is keeping us up to date with progress on the steam land speed record vehicle, the steam powered Landrover and the projected steam powered MINI. The highly creditable performances of the steam contingent in the London-to-Brighton are also worthy of note: www.steamcar.net


Staying with both Minis and the London-to-Brighton Run, there is a reminder in the magazine of the Mini Moke Club of the big one - a London-to-Brighton run on 7 May to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mini www.mokeclub.org


Still on the topic of anniversaries, the Greeves Riders’ Association will be celebrating their silver Jubilee on 6 April www.greeves-riders.org.uk.


The Austin Maxi Owners Club is celebrating 40 years of the car with a run from Longbridge to the Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, near Bromsgrove.


Many happy returns to the Mark II Cortina Club who celebrate their 21st anniversary this year.


2009 is the 40th anniversary of the Austin Seven Owners’ Club - the club’s magazine for January contains a brief but most interesting biography of Herbert Austin and a plea for information about three-cylinder, six hp Austins.


Congratulations to the Midland Vehicle Preservation Society who were founded 40 years ago and are still flourishing. To be part of celebrations see www.themvps.co.uk


The journal of the Daimler and Lanchester Owners’ Club has the latest news on the fate of the Swandean Spitfire which now resides in America. There are also details of the rallies and other activities planned for this year which sees the Golden Jubilee of the SP250 see www.dloc.org.uk


The Bullnose Morris Club magazine has a useful dating tip. The numeral to show the delivery office was first added to the London district initials (e.g. SW, EC etc) in March 1917.


The magazine of the Austin Counties Car Club reminds of some the highs and lows of life 50 years ago. The lows included the average wage of £7 a week, and four-year waiting lists for new cars and severe fuel rationing – including a complete withdrawal of all petrol for private motoring for six months in 1948. The highs (such as they were) might include the introduction of a flat-rate road tax of £10 and petrol (when you could find it) at two shillings (10p) a gallon. The BBC decreed that there should be no mention on air of: lavatories, honeymoon couples, fig leaves, drunkenness or (ladies) underwear!


For bibliophiles, the Singer Owners’ Club has details of a new Rootes book, Rootes Maestros, by Graham Robson.


The Magazine of the Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club reviews favourably Barry Jones’ biography of Granville Bradshaw: ISBN 978-0-9556595.


The Journal of the Morris Register commends Ninety Years of Morris Motor Cars – the current status of premises associated with Morris in Oxford by Graham Bushnell - price £15.00, details from www.morrisregister.co.uk


The magazine of the National Traction Engine Trust commends a new book, Jerrycan, 70 Years and Still in Service, the definitive history of the things, by Philippe Leger ISBN 13-978-2-84048-244-4 Without doubt, the present for that someone who has everything.


In the Riley Register Bulletin there is an impressive photograph of the company’s steel stores – taken in the1930s accompanied by an article on the applications of the different qualities in the factory.


For something completely different, in the Ariel Owners’ Club magazine there is advance notice of the 34th Annual Veteran Motorcycle Rally in Finland on 7-9 August. The journey to and from such an event is an event in itself – all details from David Bullivant: bull4you@gawab.com


The cover of Minor Matters, the Morris Minors Owners’ Club magazine, is a splendid photograph of one of those Minors – the lilac beasties produced as part of the ‘Million Minors’ celebrations (they appear better in real life than the description suggests…) In the background is one of the few surviving classic AA boxes.


In the magazine of the Midget and Sprite Club is an account of yet another example of unscrupulous con artists activities on the ether. It would seem that an insistence on the use of ‘moneygrams’ and/or Western Union for the transfer of money is something that should raise one’s suspicions.


A few words of warning appear in the magazine of the Velocette Owners’ Club on the perils of excess gasket cements and sealants finding their way into the oil galleries of the engine.


There is a fascinating article in the Bean Car Club magazine, taken from Motor Sport November 1982, on early in-car entertainment in 1923. There is an illustration of a certain Capt Twelvetrees with a couple of suitcase-sized boxes at the side of his Bean car with the caption:  ‘The radio equipment could be removed and tuned in to a station in three minutes’.


T Topics, the magazine of the Model T Ford Register tells us about the re-run of the 1909 Ocean-to-Ocean Endurance Race starting from New York on 14 June and finishing in Seattle on 12 July. Together with a representative from each state, the Model T Ford Register of GB is represented by Mick Kemp, Larry Riches and Jeremy Wilkinson – we wish them every success. Another interesting snippet from this magazine is an advertisement for the restoration and repair of trembler coils.


The Standard Car Review reminds us that the Standard Motor Company built more than 1000 De Havilland Mosquito fighter-bombers and a slightly lower number of Ox Boxes - the Airspeed Oxford used as the advanced twin-engine trainer. Amy Johnson was lost whilst delivering an Oxford from Blackpool to RAF Kidlington in 1941.


The Mini Cooper Register for December has a very useful and highly informative article on road rallying and how to do it by Peter Barker: www.minicooper.org


An observation to reflect upon from the magazine of the Classic and Historic Motor Club: ‘Nothing is so absurd, so pointless or so appalling that it cannot be made the Law of the Land’. The NECPWA magazine for December contained a brief but informative article on the Napier: www.necpwa.org.uk


The Highland Classic Motor Club magazine can be relied upon for surprises. A mound of unidentifiable scrap claiming to be the mortal remains of an Escort Mexico, with V5, has been sold on eBay for £650 is featured in the magazine. www.highlandclassic.org.uk


Floating Power, of the Traction Owners’ Club, informs us that this year sees the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the Traction Avant. The centre for the celebrations is Arras: www.75heurespour75ans.com/accueill.gb.htm and in conjunction with these festivities will be a five-week Paris-Moscow-Paris tour, which will follow the Lecot route of 1934. For details of this epic endeavour, have a look at www.caar.nl/


Alan Abrahams, President of the British Two-Stroke Club and organiser of the acclaimed International West Kent Weekend would like us to know about his low-key low-speed European tours for small groups of motorcyclists. For more information, have a look at the website www.lostinkent.co.uk


The Citroen people are not the only FWD enthusiasts with an excuse to celebrate. The BSA Front Wheel Drive Club is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the beasties over the weekend of 18-19 July at Gaydon - see the website: www.bsafwdc.co.uk


There is a warning in the magazine of the Vanden Plas Owners’ Club of the perils of using sub-standard rotor arms.


We have had a response from the Road Roller Association to our report on the destruction of fake watches. A photograph appeared in LT News for 9 July 1982.


The Highland Classic Car Club does not have a monopoly on photographs of dereliction, from Safety Fast, the magazine of the MG Car Club - we have a well rotted-down MGA somewhere in the United States. The same magazine contains some useful advice for anyone contemplating the purchase of a Y type: www.mgcc.co.uk


The HRG Gazetteer makes the observation that a woman will worry about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.


There is a bit of photographic license on the front cover of The Globe, the magazine of the Triumph Razoredge Owners’ Club. ‘Renown’ has been installed in the Rotunda of the RAC in Pall Mall. The same publication has a useful article on batteries and their care and maintenance.


A safety tip from the magazine of the Pre-war Austin Seven Club: do not be tempted to use insulation tape as a substitute or replacement for the rubber based tape used for wire wheels. Accident investigators have encountered instance where the plastic tape has cut into the inner tube causing rapid and sometimes fatal deflation.


If you think that you have restoration problems, think of Mike Stallwood, who has just imported 16 M3 Stuart tanks from Brazil. The full story can be found in that excellent magazine, Windscreen, from the Military Vehicle Trust.


Two questions from the Sentinel Transport News Do you know of any Sentinel Portables that survive? And does anyone know the significance of the statue on Holborn Viaduct – who appears to be holding a set of Sentinel firebars.


A rather sad photograph appears on the front cover of the Cumbria Steam and Vintage Vehicle Society magazine - a ‘Routemaster’ ‘bus being devoured by a fearsome set of shears in a Cumbrian scrap yard. The same publication tells of a warning given to local farmers in Glendale, near Wooler, to desist from helping with the organisation of the local agricultural show if using tractors to move equipment fuelled with red diesel - as HMRC inspectors seized one of the tractors involved, claiming that this was a ‘non-agricultural use’.


The newsletter of the Austin Cambridge Westminster Club carries the sad news of the passing of Pat Moss – sister to Sir Stirling - who had a long and illustrious career as a rally driver. There is another acknowledgement in the magazine of the Cambridge and District Car Club magazine – which reminds us of her tenth place in the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally in an Austin A40.

The Bullnose Morris Club magazine reprints a thought-provoking advertisement from 1924 emphasising the cumulative effect of even a small leak of oil. There is also a photograph of what must have been one of the first motorhomes - a substantial three-bed ‘edifice’ inflicted upon a small Morris lorry. www.bullnose.org.uk


The magazine of the Reliant Kitten Register has a sad tale of a member who had not taken out agreed value insurance, including the right to retain the salvage, on his Kitten thus losing a vehicle that was capable of being repaired.


Lakeland Motor Museum at Holker Hall which is close to Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria has confirmed its intention to relocate to new and purpose designed premises at Backbarrow near to Newby Bridge and the southern shore of Lake Windermere.


As this issue went to press we heard of death of Winstan Bond, aged 72, from cancer. Winstan was a leading figure in the development of the National Tramway Museum at Crich for nearly half a century and the honorary treasurer for the last 36 years.


And, last but not least, there is a feature in Stardust, the magazine of the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register, on the original Rootes business on the corner of Western Road, Hawhurst - now a charity shop. There is also a nice little story about Winston Churchill. Apparently, he was very attached to his Humber Pullman and sought a replacement in 1954 – even thought they had been out of production for several years. Never daunted, Sir William Rootes tracked down a low mileage example, had it disassembled and re-manufactured as a tribute to his friend the wartime Prime Minister. Has it survived?




Colin Francis


The Royal Automobile Club of Belgium has acquired the names of a number of historic events and has announced a revival of the Liege-Rome- Liege event for 16-26 June 2010. They have produced a glossy brochure but it is very slim on real information including the cost. I think it is merely a way of testing any interest although it does say it will cover a distance of 4,500 km with seven night stops through Benelux, France, Switzerland and Italy. It looks like a long journey but with the name ‘Liege’ may get a worthwhile entry.


The FIA are getting more interested in regularity events and I navigated on the sixth running of the Costa Brava Historic Rally at the end of February as it is a round in the FIA regularity championship. It was a tremendously well organised and atmospheric road event and had an amazingly good deal for members of the HRCR club. It attracts modern classics, the oldest car being a Mini Cooper, but if you have a suitable car I would include it ahead of the Monte Carlo Historique for your winter event in early 2010. What is interesting is that it has a category for pairs of motor cycles which are a feature of Spanish events. One rider navigates and one does the timing.


A totally different type of event is the Micro Marathon run by Classic Rally Press Ltd and Malcolm McKay on 5-12 September 2009. Timing is mostly irrelevant but it is a competition which involves navigation and taking photographs of your car at certain places each day and a few kart circuits. It starts and finishes at Toulouse and goes to San Sebastian, Lograno, Andorra, and Tarragona. There are arrangements for you to take your ‘small’ car (it is for cars under 700cc built before 1970) there by rail from Calais. More details are on all these events websites.


My next event will be the Mountain Classic in Greece on 3-5 April in a 1939 MG TA driven by Cliff Knight who lives on the island of Skopelos. The same organisers are running the Ionian Classic Rally on 20-17 June in the north west of Greece and it promises to be a very good experience. One does not have to fight with the chronometer and odometer if one is not interested. The ambience and experience alone is well worth the visit. Full details from www.mroe.org. Unfortunately the Ionian event clashes with the 21st running of the Classic Marathon, where I am part of the organising team: www.ClassicRally.org.uk), and the 25th and last running of Claret and Classics, deeley.classics@virgin.net and both those events already have a good entry. These two events were among the very first for classic cars owners back in the 1980s although they are about as different from each other as is possible. Although one will never experience the Claret and Classics ever again next year’s Marathon is going to the Arctic Circle, so start thinking about it now.


Measuring instruments

This section is prompted by recent correspondence with Philip Young of the Endurance Rallying Association about the measuring instruments allowed and used on events. It was also brought home to me when I was recently asked if the FIA or FIVA had any specific rules covering measuring instruments. The answer is a resounding ‘No’ as this is a matter for the individual organisers who all have different views on the subject.


Some organisers, particularly those in Greece, go into this matter in some detail with photographs of the instruments allowed on their events. Others say that mechanically operated measuring instruments are allowed, or electronic ones are not allowed, while others allow no instruments other than the original odometer fitted to the car. In my discussion with Philip Young we discussed what being attached to the car meant, although at the time we were discussing the use of a GPS which includes means of measuring distances! We concluded that a wire into a cigarette lighter on the car means it is attached whereas an instrument powered by batteries is not attached. This highlights the problem. Once an organiser imposes restrictions and penalties they should, if only to be fair on these who obey the rules, ensure that cars are checked and crews found to have instruments that are not allowed are penalised. Easily said but not easily done. The rerun of the Rome Liege Rally some years ago allowed no additional instruments but I suspect that many crews found ways if getting around this. A number of crews were found to have an electronic tripmeter in the car’s glove compartment.