Monday, 10 September 2018

Podcast - Goodwood Revival - A Jolly Good Weekend

Graham, Mike and Jim have a jolly spiffing weekend at the Goodwood Revival 2018, and speak to lots of people who are also convinced that the clocks have been turned back more than 50 years!

They also find that the classic car field is more than just old cars... Technology is helping to keep some beautiful cars on the road.

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Useful links:

Bespoke Rallies - Vintage and Classic car rallies around the world

Bonhams - Auctioneers - Cars and Automobilia

Hall & Hall - Preparing and restoring historic single seater and sports racing cars

Porsche Classic - Factory restoration of classic Porsche vehicles

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The trials and tribulations of motoring Sur le Continent

Like any responsible motorist, especially a motoring journalist, planning a long trip I prepared my car thoroughly...

Intending to drive around 1100 miles to southern France, and back, to visit friends lucky enough to have a euro bolt hole, I wanted a trouble free journey. The car I was using is a decade plus old (Classic?) Volvo estate. We needed space for 4 and our luggage.

I gave the car a full service a few days before, including checking all hoses, pipes, belts, exhaust sections, the tyres (including the space saver spare) and cleaning the entire air intake system while replacing the air filter. Oh, and I checked and cleaned the plugs. So far so thorough, but it's an old car so the day's work was well warranted.

Next I checked my tools and packed a small but comprehensive tool kit. A small bottle jack, a jump starter, a tyre-inflator and an aerosol tyre-inflator. A box of spare bulbs and fuses, cable ties and pipe clamps, and finally two warning triangles, two fluorescent vests and an old coat to lay on if needed. So, fully prepared for all eventualities ... or so we thought .. we set off...

The first 250 miles of day 1 were all ok until the roadworks on the motorway. I still don't know what we hit, something sharp on the road, at about 65mph. The front left tyre blew up, and tore itself to pieces.

Luckily no one was close by so we could roll to a hard shoulder halt. Triangle out, vests on, out comes all luggage on the side of the road, off comes a wrecked tyre and on goes the space saver.

It is then I noticed the right front also going down fast. Oh b#######, now we need the tyre aerosol inflator as well and a minor disaster just become a major problem.

Cue my daughter's O level French and mobile phone skills.

She finds a tyre place in the next town still open for just 2 more hours of today (Saturday), but closed on Sunday.

They have two tyres of the right size, and good price, so we limp there.

It's then they tell us, yes, they have the tyres, but are far too busy to fit them... "Come back Monday!!"

Enter teary grandson and pleading daughter and they say ok will do in one hour. 5 minutes later a mechanic appears, and since he has a gap he will do it right now.... brilliant.

Half an hour later we have two new tyres balanced and fitted and are ready to go after parting with 130 euros. They have even taken off the fitting charge as a gesture of goodwill or sympathy. That sum goes to 5 year old grandson as a performance fee!! 

However, not all the news is good.

The mechanic explains that the wheel is slightly damaged. And so it proves. Apart from vibrating around 55mph like having a missing wheel weight... it is warped but driveable.

We gently ease speeds up to 70mph/110 kph and all is ok ... phew. Let's hope that its problems are over...

... and they were for the next 850 miles until our journey was almost over.

Leaving the ferry, nearly home, we stalled, or so I at first thought, on the ferry's exit ramp. But car won't restart and ALL the warning lights are lit.

I then stepped out of the car and straight into a puddle of petrol!!

Not good.

Blocking the only exit, crew and several drivers push us off down the ramp and to one side. Time to call the breakdown service, but it's now about 4 am and they tell me earliest they can get to us is 2-3 hours. Ok, so be it... but then I put my thinking head back on...

If the car won't start, all the warning lights come on, and there is only new petrol under the car when I try to start it, there must be a fuel line problem.

Time for a torch and a look underneath. There I find that bumping on the exit ramp has neatly separated the exit pipe from the fuel filter which sits quite low on a V70. I push it back on carefully, and the car starts 3rd turn. Hooray!!

Cancel breakdown call, and DFDS ferry staff even assist us through customs and passport control so we don't have to turn the engine off again!

Soon after, home safely. Tired and relieved!

The moral of this tale .... You can be fully prepared for a trip abroad, reckon you've thought of everything, but two bizarre incidents can still catch you out.

If you want suggestions as to what to carry for emergencies take a look at our "What's in YOUR emergency kit?" video. I was never a Scout but I do try to be prepared.

Graham Benge

Friday, 24 August 2018

Podcast - Musical F1 chairs, FIST in action, and the Mike Hawthorn Grand Prix of Farnham

© Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
It's the time of year when F1 drivers get restless and start swapping seats... and it is hard to keep track!

The Fiesta ST has been on track, and bringing smiles to a few faces.

And we preview the Total Elf HTX Grand Prix of Farnham on 14th October...
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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Podcast - Race Prep 101, the New Focus, and Motoring Of The Future

UKMotorTalk's Michael Gates and James Baxter show us their track car, a Fiesta ST that they've acquired for some budget motor sport. They also discuss the brand new Ford Focus, and its competition in the market sector it joins.

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Monday, 30 July 2018

How to Increase Your Car's Resale Value

Naturally, you’ll want to recoup as much money as possible on a car when the time comes to move it on. While substantial depreciation means that you’ll make a hefty loss on it, there’s still a good chance of getting decent value on it – and possibly taking a whack off the amount of your next purchase – once the vehicle is kept in proper condition and all the paperwork is in order.

The best place to start is to make sure that the basics of the vehicle are working properly and that there is no visible damage. Windscreen wipers, steering wheel controls and lights all need to be bested to ensure that they’re in full working order, while all fluids should be topped up and the car should be given a thorough cleaning inside and out. It won’t do any harm, either, to take the vehicle to your mechanic so that they can check for any major defects which could seriously affect the car’s value. Even if all seems to be well, it’s a good idea to have it serviced while you’re at the garage.

After you’re satisfied that the car is in near-perfect nick, ensure that you have any documentation which the dealer or private buyer will need, such as the registration certificate, service records and history report, along with your most recent insurance policy.

If all that is in order, you stand a good chance of getting an above-average deal on selling the car. If you want to get even greater value from the sale, a little market research goes a long way. Does the car have features that prove popular with motorists? Emphasise these. Is the odometer approaching a significant milestone? Sell it before then, as a car’s value drops notably when it passes a certain landmark (i.e. selling at 99,900 miles will get you a far better deal than 100,050). 

Here is an infographic from Woodstock Motors with further tips on how to get the best possible deal on a car resale...
Thanks to: Woodstock Motors

Monday, 23 July 2018

Podcast - William Medcalf Vintage Bentley

UKMotorTalk's Graham Benge sits down for a chat with William Medcalf of William Medcalf Vintage Bentley.

William describes the importance of keeping vintage cars running, and running well using modern technology and business methods.

UKMotorTalk - William Medcalf Vintage Bentley

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