1962 – it was the year of the Beatles first single, ‘Love Me Do’, and the inaugural Bond film, Dr No. It was also a vintage year for UK car launches, and among the many now coveted classics that broke cover during those hectic 12 months were the AC Cobra, Lotus Elan, Ford Cortina, BMC 1100, Jensen CV8, MGB and Triumph Spitfire.
Spridget fans may blanch at the thought, but figures suggest the Spitfire outsold its BMC competitors for almost two decades.
1962 – it was the year of the Beatles first single, ‘Love Me Do’, and the inaugural Bond film, Dr No. It was also a vintage year for UK car launches, and among the many now coveted classics that broke cover during those hectic 12 months were the AC Cobra, Lotus Elan, Ford Cortina, BMC 1100, Jensen CV8, MGB and Triumph Spitfire. We’d love to have paid tribute to them all, but sadly we only had space to celebrate two on this occasion – the ubiquitous MGB and the Triumph Spitfire.
This issue’s Classic Character was neither a designer nor industry mogul, but a much adored eccentric who brought motorsport to life for thousands of fans via his monthly race reports and assisted Sir Stirling Moss to arguably his greatest victory. We are, of course, talking about the one and only Denis Jenkinson. The Missing Moniker is WSM – the tiny company that ceased manufacture of its pretty, special-bodied Austin Healey Sprites in 1965, but sprang back to life in 2009.
British Motor Heritage’s MD, John Yea, talks us through the coming season’s Motoring Classics-sponsored Thoroughbred Sportscar racing series, and outlines the many exciting motorsport events planned for racing MGBs during 2012. He also details how classic braking systems can be suitably updated for modern motoring.
Last but not least, we bring you details of some new British Motor Heritage products and review the fascinating findings of the FBHVC’s latest survey on the UK’s £4.3 billion historic vehicle movement.
There have been many fourwheeled casualties of Britain’s up-and-down motor industry, and the Triumph Spitfire very nearly swelled the list. A new sports car had been mooted by the company for a while, but finally began taking shape in 1960 in response to the success of BMC’s Frogeyed Sprite.
Who Put The B In Britain?
Well MG of course, and the 50th birthday of this immensely popular sports car is now being celebrated the world over – not least in North America, to where around 80% of the production was exported. Though technically unremarkable, the B was good enough at everything to win the hearts of all manner of motorists and etch its name into a veritable library of record books.
Welcome Home: The last MGB Roadster makes a dramatic return to Abingdon
British Motor Heritage’s usual role is manufacturing replacement parts for others to fit. Its input in December’s dramatic homecoming of the last production. MGB Roadster was rather different. The car belongs to the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon and has been placed on indefinite loan to the Abingdon County Hall Museum.
Missing Moniker: WSM
There’s a bit of journalistic licence in choosing WSM as the second manufacturer in our Missing Moniker series – although the last of the original cars was built in 1965, the marque made an unexpected, phoenix-like re-emergence 44 years later and is therefore missing no longer.
Classic Character: Denis Jenkinson (1920-1996)
It has been said that achievers achieve and the rest of us either tell them what to do (teachers) or report on their results (journalists). But there will always be exceptions – multitalented characters for whom one classification is insufficient. Denis Sargent Jenkinson was just such a mortal.
Classic Motorsport 2012
British Motor Heritage MD John Yea previews the Motoring Classics-sponsored MGCC Thoroughbred Sportscar Championship and his own season on track.
Fresh Facts From The Federation: Our hobby now contributes £4.3 billion to the UK economy
We owners and drivers of historic vehicles know better than to assume they will start first time, or that air will have remained in their tyres since the last outing. However, we do take it for granted that, once they’re firing on all cylinders, we can drive them exactly where and when we choose.
Braking News! from Motoring Classics by British Motor Heritage MD, John Yea
Efficient and effective brakes are a necessity for safe and enjoyable motoring. They are the second most important part of any car in my personal opinion, coming only behind tyres.
About British Motor Heritage
British Motor Heritage
British Motor Heritage Limited was established in 1975 to support owners and the marketplace by putting genuine components for classic British cars back into manufacture, using original tools wherever possible. Since 2001, when the company was acquired from BMW, it has been successfully run as an independently owned company.
British Motor Heritage is the largest organisation of its type in the world. With access to unparalleled knowledge, authentic production information and original drawings and patterns, the company manufactures previously unobtainable body parts for British classic cars.
It occupies a unique position since it assembles 32 derivatives of body shells and has built total production volume of over 7,000 for the MGB, MGR V8, MG Midget, Austin-Healey Sprite, Triumph TR6, Original Mini and Mini Clubman using original press tools and assembly jigs.
Tex Motor Accessories have been manufactured in England for over fifty years, and many of our products are still produced in our factory in Witney on the original tooling.
Since their first appearance on British cars in 1947, Tex products evolved over the years to keep in step with changing car designs. The current range includes wipers and mirrors that were original equipment on a huge range of Austin, Ford, Morris, MG, Triumph, Vauxhall, etc. from 1974 to 1983.
Tex are also major distributors of the Renovo car care product range (specialising in hood refurbishment) and Samco Silicone hose Kits.
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