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Repairing Classic Car Upholstery

December 3rd, 2013 by admin

Classic car enthusiasts know that owning one of these special vehicles can be exciting. The rewards are numerous but there are important details that always need to be addressed. Many new owners do not realize that its upholstery may need to be repaired or replaced. Research and planning ahead ensure that the right selections are made when considering this important issue.

Initial Considerations

There are two ways to go about repairing or replacing upholstery. Professional auto upholstery shops offer various services in a variety of price ranges. Do it yourself options may save money but could create damage that will be costlier later. The choice will depend on the extent of the damage as well as your own skill level and how much time you want to devote to this project.

Start by looking over the type of upholstery currently installed in the vehicle. You can see what types of fabrics were used in original models as a guide for replacement. Go over pictures of the car when it was first produced as well as any articles from the time for the most comprehensive details.

Do It Yourself Repairs And Reupholstering

For do it yourself enthusiasts, repair kits can be found at auto supply stores and fabric shops. These kits can repair a number of different problems such as rips and tears. They can also be matched to any colour or grain. Many kits include the full compliment of items needed to do the repair in a few simple steps.

If full reupholstering is the only option, a do it yourself installation can be difficult alone. Start by checking the frame to ensure that the body is in good condition. A re-weld may be necessary if any parts are broken off. Be sure to take care of any rust that may also be on the frame. Once clean, coat it with a rust preventative before painting. Before removing any items, take full photos of the vehicle for reference. This will prevent any items from being incorrectly replaced or reset during installation.

Foam padding can be found at many locations, including fabric shops. This ready-to-use item will fit most car seats. You can also purchase foam selection that requires users to create shapes that will accommodate seating areas. If you decide to use this method, seating should be modelled after the current selection.

Make sure you have the right tools for the job. Necessary implements often include scissors, hog clip pliers, utility knives and hog clips. Work from centre outwards towards the sides while anchoring with the hog clips. This will ensure a smooth finish. Batting is added next. It is used to fill the bolsters and held in place with foam or fabric glue. This will keep the seat free of lumps as well as any wrinkling that may occur.

Professional Upholsterers

Professionals auto upholsterers can be an expensive option for repairs. Their experience and work with other vehicles will dictate a large portion of the price. Their services range from reupholstering the entire car to dealing with small selections. Look for those professionals with a good reputation among car owners.

Upholstery should always be properly maintained in classic vehicles. Owners understand the unique look that defined their car at the time it was produced. Many classic car enthusiasts check we buy junk cars as they look for information on their distinctive makes and models.

The History of Aston Martin

February 16th, 2013 by admin

In 1913 Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded a new car company known as Bamford & Martin. A year later, they changed the name to Aston Martin, after one of their cars performed very well on the famous Aston Hill Climb.

In 1915, the first ever Aston Martin car was registered. For the next few years the company produced only a few cars and it sent its first competition car out in 1921. World War I and its after effects, hampered Aston Martin`s progress and it even had to close its doors in 1925. However, it started up again in 1926.

Following the Great War, the next two decades were tough for Aston. It changed ownership many times and then came World War II. With the company floundering, it was saved by David Brown who bought it in 1947. Under his control, the names of all Aston Martins would now feature the initials DB. In 1949, two DB2s were entered in to Le Mans and in 1950 the DB2 went into production. 1951 was a real breakthrough year as the DB2 took first, second and third places in its class at Le Mans. In 1954, Brown moved production to Newport Pagnell.

Production of the DB4 began in 1958 and this car paved the way for some of Aston Martin`s best ever years. Aston won several races and increased their range but more importantly, James Bond drove a DB5 in the early movies. The silver car, complete with ejector seat, was an instant icon.

However, not even Bond was able to save the manufacturer when the 1970s oil crisis hit and strict new safety regulations were introduced. David Brown was forced to sell Aston Martin in 1972. In 1975 only 21 cars were produced. During the 1980s, a host of fairly uninspiring V8 Vantages and Volantes kept the company going while it changed hands a number of times. Ford bought the majority of Aston in 1987 and finally bought the whole lot in 1994.

Under the ownership of Ford, the DB7 hit the market. It was a better car than those released in the 80s but it still felt a rather half-hearted effort. However, numbers went up and 5000 DB7s had been made by 2001. In 2003, the company moved to new premises in Gaydon and announced that it was returning to racing through the DBR9. It also improved the cars it was producing for sale with the V8 Vantage and DB9. The manufacturer`s total of cars produced since its inception reached 30,000 in 2006.

Recently, Aston Martin appeared on the big screen once more with the DBS debuting as Bond`s drive in Casino Royale. Ford sold the company in 2007 and it was snapped up by two international investment houses. Since then, Aston has continued its success on the track and increased its range, including the One-77 and Cygnet models. In 2009, Aston even announced that the Lagonda brand was being resurrected after decades of slumber. These days, Aston Martins are considered to be classic, luxury cars and have a price tag to match. They are not for people concerned with the cost of repair bill or in consulting an mpg calculator. The company celebrates its 100 year anniversary in 2013.

The Aston Martin Centenary

January 27th, 2013 by admin

As Aston Martin is one of the world’s most iconic brands, celebrating the centenary is something very special.

On the 17th of January, just two days after the exact date marking 100 years of Aston Martin, an Aston Martin Vanquish was with the help of a helicopter placed on top of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The Burj Al Arab, dominating the skyline of Dubai is one of the most iconic buildings in the world and therefore well suited for this spectacular event.

But there are more events to take place this year. One of the highlights will be the Nürburgring 24 Hours Race taking place from 17th-20th May 2013.
Visitors will not only be able to see impressive pre-race cars, but Aston Martin will also compete in the race with a spectacular line up of cars.

On the 18th of May a huge set of Aston Martin cars will be sold in an auction held at Aston Martin Works Service in Newport Pagnell, Bucks.

On the 6th & 7th of July the Aston Martin Owners Club Centenary race meeting will be hosted on Brands Hatch. Brands Hatch is one of the best known race circuits in the UK and two races with Aston Martin cars will take place there.

On the 20th of July there will be an Aston Martin birthday party in London followed by a Centenary Concours taking place in Kensington Gardens with car displays and the largest gathering of Aston Martins in the history of the company.

From 26th to 28th of July Aston Martin will play a major role in the Silverstone Classic.
More information you can get on the Aston Martin website.

American Muscle Cars

November 7th, 2012 by admin

The classic American muscle car celebrates the principles of brute force power and straight line speed. Where its more refined European counterparts are all about slick handling and sleek elegance, the muscle car is about doing it louder and faster than anyone else. Where post-WWII Britain gloried in its pop-culture achievements such as the Beatles and James Bond, 1960s and 70s America had its own icons, namely its muscle cars. Covetable for their affordability and fun factor, economic depression and the environmental movement meant they fell out of fashion by the late Seventies, but modern muscle cars are having a moment right now.

Based on the idea of a small or medium sized car with an original or retro-fitted outsized engine, any two-door coupe with a V8 qualifies, in theory, as a muscle car. The long, aggressive bonnet and short rear ends typical of the style inspired Britain`s Ford Capri, the Toyota Celica and a number of other imitators. However certain models have passed into legend as true, class defining classics, largely thanks to many starring roles in Hollywood films.

Ford Mustang
Appearing as King of Cool Steve McQueen`s co-star in 1968`s `Bullitt` cemented the Mustang`s place in the muscle car hall of fame. The film`s now classic car chase displayed the class`s virtues at their best, with the sound of its V8 booming around the San Francisco city streets and burning rubber at every corner, making movie history. The Mustang debuted on US race tracks with a lap time only slightly short of F1 and has been through a number of design and platform facelifts over the years, nonetheless retaining its muscle car characteristics. It is also notable for remaining in uninterrupted production for over five decades.

Dodge Charger
As the counterpoint to McQueen`s Mustang, Bullitt`s menacing Dodge Charger was so fast that stuntman Bill Hickman had to keep easing off the pedal to avoid outpacing the Mustang. The Charger`s Hollywood pedigree is just as impressive as the Mustang`s, being perfect for the chases and stunts, especially the high jumps, of the Dukes of Hazzard`s Bo and Luke. Named the General Lee, their Charger had its doors welded shut, like its NASCAR wining brothers. Dodge`s Challenger model was also a contender in the muscle car arena.

Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac`s aggressive looking answer to its muscle car competitors featured, at one point, an astonishing 7.5 litre engine, . Its Trans-Am edition was a major character in the Smokey & the Bandit series of films, as well as being the base for Knight Rider`s KITT. While achieving good sales figures for Pontiac, its massive power and consumption statistics were ultimately its downfall in an increasingly environmentally aware world.

Plymouth Barracuda
While the Barracuda didn`t achieve the same impact as the Mustang, for example, it is significantly more collectible, with its short ten year production schedule giving it some rarity value. Its brief lifespan nonetheless produced many facelifts, both to body and engine, but marketing focused on style over substance meant the Barracuda never quite gained the respect it deserved for its super sporty output.

Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet has always been a major player in the muscle car market, launching the Camaro to great fanfare in 1967. With more aggressive styling than its popular Corvette, Chevrolet intended the new vehicle to be a direct competitor to the Ford Mustang. The American boy racer`s dream car, the Camaro saw a new generation leave the production line in 2009, with a 2012 edition producing a 6.2l, 580bhp supercharged V8 proving, along with the popularity of high performance worshipping websites such as torquecars.com, that the muscle car concept still has plenty of life in it yet…

The Volvo P1800

August 1st, 2012 by admin

Volvo is renowned for safety and their well built cars, a Swedish philosophy which has seen them remain competitive in the car market. In recent years Volvo`s have been developed further with sleek coupe designs in the C30 and C70, whilst offering all road performance with the XC range.

What was the P1800?

The idea behind the P1800 was born in 1957, with Volvo looking to enter the sports car market with something stylish and innovative.

Throughout the years the P1800 was modified, with the introduction of the P1800S in 1963 with an improved engine and higher top speed. In 1970 the P1800E was released with a fuel injected engine giving the driver 130bhp. The P1800E was also the first model with four wheel disc brakes for improved stopping. The final model was release in 1972 with the P1800ES which was a coupe station wagon version of its predecessor. The engine capacity was reduced slightly to 125bhp though its handling and performance were actually improved as a result.

Why was it so special?

The P1800 was most famously driven by Roger Moore in The Saint which aired in 1962. The character Simon Templar drove the car with the number plate ST1 which played a key role in the show. The car itself goes into the history books as being iconic within television and film, just as the Aston Martin DB5 with James Bond and the Ford Capri in The Sweeney.

The P1800 entered the Guinness World Record books for being the world`s highest mileage car, with the owner clocking up 2.9 million miles by 2011. The owner Irv Gordon has owned the car since it rolled off the production line in 1966, having taken it across the Americas and Europe.

As a special treat for the Volvo Owners Club the 2011 Footman James Classic Motor Show saw the unveiling of a classic and very unique P1800. Built in 1961, it was fitted with an original Aston Martin prototype 2.5 litre DOHC four-cylinder engine for test purposes. Whilst the project itself never made its way to the production line the car survives and shows the world the benefits of combining an iconic car with an iconic engine.

How much will it cost me?

A P1800 in good condition can set you back over £10,000. eBay have a number for sale, one being a 1965 P1800 with 86,000 miles on the clock selling at £12,000. For a classic car it`s a reasonable price, a price you would expect to pay for a small family car but this is slightly more interesting and fun to drive. The P1800 is also a real head turner, so will stand out a little bit more than the average family hatchback.

Whether you`re driving a classic car or a brand new family hatchback it`s important that you are always prepared for the unexpected. AA roadside assistance will give you peace and mind and ensure that when you need them they will be there to help you get on your way as soon as possible.

The History of MG Sports Cars

November 10th, 2011 by admin

The British motoring industry used to be an iconic and thriving business but in the last 50 years has dwindled to almost nothing. Though Aston Martins, Rolls Royces and Jaguars will always be quintessentially English they’re now owned by foreign companies. A classic Land Rover or a 1960s Mini Cooper is instantly recognisable as a British car but nothing says “UK” more than a classic MG sports car.

Founded by Cecil Kimber in the 20s, MG’s original marque remained in continuous use for a massive 56 years following its inception and production of mainly 2-seater sports cars took place at their factory just south of Oxford. The name MG is garnered from the garage where Kimber began producing his own versions of customised Morris cars – Morris Garages.

MG’s first vehicles were Morris models, rebodied. Demand for these cars was such that in 1925 the company soon had to move to bigger premises and by 1927 to an even larger space. In 1928 MG occupied its very first stand at the London Motor Show. By this time they were operating in their Abingdon factory where MG remained until production ceased there in 1980. In 1930 the MG Car Club started for MG enthusiasts and owners.

In 1952 MG was absorbed in to BMC (British Motor Corporation). Though many MGs produced in the time of BMC ownership were simply rebadged versions of other marques, they continued to produce their iconic small sports cars.

By the time the Abingdon factory was closed MG was a dwindling business but was revived in 1982 when they teamed with Austin Rover to build high-performance models of their otherwise sensible Maestros, Montegos and Metros. For nearly 10 years these sporty saloons, hatchbacks and estates were produced and a few are still on the road today.

The earliest MG model, the 1924 MG 14/28 was a modified Morris Oxford but the first true MG was the 1928 MG 18/80. It featured the instantly recognisable MG grille and a year later a smaller version was launched beginning the long line of cars knows as Midgets, starting with the M-Type. MG were big players in the emerging motor racing sport and produced a line of T-Series Midgets which, following World War II, were exported around the world.

In 1962 the MGB was released followed by the MGB GT (coupe version). These cars, along with the 1961 MG Midget, are now true classics and can still be seen on UK roads whenever the sun shines. Updated continuously, the MGB was produced until 1980.

Though MG produced their high-powered Rovers from the early 80s they didn’t produce another 2-seater sports car until the 1995 MG-F, which was obviously more modern and comfortable than its predecessors but sold to the masses in an extraordinary way, being one of the best-selling sports cars of its time.

Rover was purchased by BMW and the MG marque was eventually passed on to the Nanjing Automobile Group. Though no longer a British company, MG still retains the sensibilities that made it so popular over 50 years ago and the 2011 MG6 GT is a worthy successor to the MGB’s iconic status. A classic car doesn’t have to be British of course, whether you own a 1950s used Citroën, a vintage imported Datsun or a 1960s MG Midget, it`s good to see classic cars still firmly on the UK’s roads.

Classic Car Events June 2011

May 29th, 2011 by admin

1-3 June 2011 – Morris Minor National Rally at Knebworth, Hertfordshire, click here to get more information.

1-4 June 2011 – Three Castles Welsh Classic Trial, a three day classic car event with regular rally, driving tests and concours taking part in the ancient landscapes of Angelsey, Gwynedd and Clwyd in North West Wales. More information here.

3-5 June 2011 – Alvis International Weekend at Brooklands, Surrey,  the birthplace of British Motor Racing with Alvis racing cars, featuring every one of the Alvis models manufactured during the years of production, with concours and driving tests. http://www.alvisoc.org

4-5 June 2011 – Klondyke Steam and Vintage Show at Draycott in the Clay, Staffordshire, engines in steam, open workshop, tractors stalls, hot and cold refreshments and more for a day out with the family. http://nsctec.co.uk

5 June 2011 – Bude Cornwall Motor Classic, the 2nd Classic Motor Show at the rugby ground of Bude, Cornwall for all classic cars and free to all entrants and visitors, with full bar and food facilities, situated next to the River Neat and close to the town centre, camping for entrants available if required. More information on the website.

5 June 2011 – 22nd Classic London to Brighton Run, start at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, Brooklands, Surrey with Sir Stirling Moss flagging the cars off, stopping point: Bluebell Railway, finish: Madeira Drive, Brighton, more information on http://www.classicmotorshow.com

Classic Car Show in Munich

May 2nd, 2011 by admin

Yesterday I’ve been to a Classic Car Show here in Munich, Germany and came back with a few photos.

I hope you like them.

 

Win a Free Chonkinfeckle Album

April 16th, 2011 by admin

The day Les and Tim filmed their video for “I’m from Wigan me!” was a great day in Wigan as Wigan Athletic on this very same day had a memorable win over Premier League giants Arsenal.

To celebrate their Anniversary, Chonkinfeckle, the ukulele duo form Wigan, Lancashire, England, are holding a competition and you can win one of three free CDs. All you have to do is name the winning score and the date of the match.

Check out the Chonkinfeckle homepage for more details and to take part in the competition. All correct answers given until April 25th 2011 will take part.

You can choose from the three albums “I’m from Wigan me” with 19 brilliant tracks about Wigan, its people and local history, “The Great Canvey Island Chimney Disaster”, a tribute to the great steeplejack and television personality Fred Dibnah, and “Road Kill”, the brand new album with 7 tracks about food & drink.

You can of course also buy all three albums directly on the homepage.

Give your Pride and Joy the Ultimate Destination it Deserves

March 23rd, 2011 by admin

You have a classic that’s your pride and joy. You have taken care of it for years; poured money into it, kept up with the maintenance; but despite your best efforts, one day every car will give up the ghost. The average life of a car is 13.5 years, and even though classic cars may far exceed that timeline, the day will come where you need to move on. But where are you going to go to dispose of it?

Classic Car © Roberto Verzo/flickr.com

Illegal scrapping is a large problem in the UK. Of the two million cars that are declared off the road every year, only one million of them are processed through Authorised Treatment Facilities and issued with a Certificate of Destruction. If a car is scrapped illegally, it is stripped of valuable parts then abandoned. Tyres pile up on the side of the road or in dodgy scrapyards. Oil and brake fluid are poured down the drain, causing immeasurable damage to our soil and our water system. Even more shockingly, some of these cars are unlawfully and unsafely put back on the road; leaving you as the unsuspecting owner likely to be liable for speeding tickets for a car you thought was long deceased.

So, how can you scrap your car safely? Giveacar is working to combat this problem as well as raise money for charity. They provide a safe, easy and ethical service that facilitates the collection of scrap cars. Then, depending on the age and condition of the car, it is either scrapped or sent to a car salvage auction. If it is scrapped then at least 85% of the car by bodyweight is recycled. A small administration fee is taken from the proceeds, then the rest is donated to the charity of the owner’s choice.

Giveacar has over 300 affiliated charities, from smaller ones such as Pathfinder Dogs to massive ones such as Marie Curie Cancer Care. Since January 2010, they have raised over £250,000 collectively for charity.