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December 2015


Sounds typical of British Leyland. The wife of a teacher at school had one. She heard a funny noise and took it to the main dealer (the car was three months old). The engine had come from its mountings and was completely loose in the engine bay. Read more

the Ford tempo shared nothing with the Sierra except a vague side profile and it was front wheel drive where the Sierra was rear wheel drive. Engineering wise it was a stretched Ford escort

The Stellar shared the Mk4/5 Cortina's floor pan. The Sonata eventually appeared as a Granada sized saloon. Read more

Cappuccino Break

Is the Mondeo on the verge of classic status? It's more than 20 years since it was launched and those MKIs are becoming increasingly rare, especially as an estate. If you had one, would you consider it a classic or would you scrap it? Read more

Datsun Dave

Mk1 Mondeo and Mk1 Focus will be future classics, without doubt. The were so different from anything Ford had done before (inside and out) and they'll be super rare in years to come, because no one has looked after them.


Hi, i was living in italy in those years and i cannot remember a fiat 133 or anything that looks like the car in the photo. I think it was a Seat that was never sold in Italy, if it was sold in Italy it must have been sold in very small quantities. More likely it was built and sold in Spain as Seat.

Fiat named with higher numbers like 130-131-132 used to be big cars, the higher the number, the bigger the car. Of course the 500 and 600 are not from the same period.... Read more


Hi Giuseppe

Yes, as the article says, the 133 was a SEAT built in Spain - but it was sold in Britain (for a very short time) as the Fiat 133....

Cappuccino Break

What a heartbreaking story. Hope he gets a decent payout at least. Read more


I thought I might share with you some of my concerns about the quality of spare parts that are currently being procured to support the continued use of classic cars in this country. Visiting many of the marque forums on the internet you quickly get a picture that all is not well with items supplied by British Classic Car Specialists and manufactured in the Far East. There is much consternation and frustration that parts now being supplied are not fit for purpose and whilst 'original equipment's' may have lasted years and decades, the poor quality items available today may only last weeks and months. In some instances the spare parts that can be considered 'safety critical', covering brakes, suspension and drive train are failing without warning and could in the wrong set of road circumstances could lead to some horrific accidents.

One example I will give you is the humble 'Brake Pressure Switch', an item that when the brake pedal is pressed operates the brake lights to signify to all following that you are slowing down. If you buy a new one today it may only last months as apposed to the years and decades of original equipment and you will not know of its failure until someone considerate tells you or your vehicle fails its MOT. These switches, formally made by Lucas, were fitted to most British and some European cars from the mid fifties through to the mid seventies and I estimate there are still some 50,000 classic cars still on the road that are using it so you can see how big this problem is!

I am a retired aviation quality engineer with 36 years experience in the supply of aircraft spares and the assurance of product safety and integrity. Now that I have time on my hands I enjoy my own classic cars and help others with theirs and it is through my hobby that I have begun to find this worrying trend with so many spare part failures. So much so that I have begun to collate the physical evidence that points poor management from our British Suppliers that leads them to the mercy of the Far East (China) and the shoddy goods that they are prepared to produce. Indeed, some of my evidence points to 'copy manufacturing' with a scant regard to the original products material specifications and or its intended safety related use.

I have tried lobbying the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) and the Parliamentary Committee that represents Historic Vehicles but neither has had the common courtesy to reply. I have had some success with the Classic Car Media and interest from some of the marque forums but their influence is limited. I am at a loss as to where to take this serious problem next and was wondering if anyone had had an interest in this subject and are in position of persuassion. It certainly needs someone to wake up those who can influence positive outcomes before their are fatalities involving classic cars. Read more


It is difficult to bring trading standards into the equation at the moment. Within individual marques the purchasing of poor quality parts is sparodic and of course with a popular marque like mini its spread across many different traders. For example how many brake pressure switches are sold in a week across all domains, a dozen or so I would quess. Buyers are often frustrated too, experincing one failure they will turn to another trader only to be thwarted by another failure which in reality is spread out over weeks. Its not like a dodgy batch of chicken from a supermarket where masses are going down with food poisoning.

There is large scale complanecy and acceptance too across all marques, an underlying reluctance to do something about it. Some people are content to do work arounds, retro modifying, sourcing new old stock if you can find it. There is the old adage too that if you buy cheap you get rubbish. That is a complete misnomer in the quality world, if you manufacture something specific, market it then it must be fit for purpose. Acceptance of the problem has really sunk in, many now see it as a norm to be contstantly changing a wheel bearings, treating as a service part. Many of these parts fail without warning one day they work, the next they don't. I'm afraid its going to take some fatalities before they will take notice!...

Cappuccino Break

This must have been a record year for the number of cars going through auction. Read more


On my way into work, I normally see quite a few classic cars. But in the past two weeks, I've seen barely any. The last one I saw was a very early Renault Espace a few days ago. Anyone else seen any interesting cars on their way to and from work? Read more

Cappuccino Break

Thinking of getting another small Japanese classic to compelent my Cappuccino. Which would you lot suggest? Read more

Cappuccino Break

They're so difficult to get hold of though. Any idea of where I can get one from?


I fancy getting a new classic car for winter, but not really sure what I can get for about £1500. Anyone seen anything worth buying? Read more


Ever driven one? They’re God awful things. Something from the 90’s, Volvo 240/850/940 preferably an Estate will always make a useful winter smoker.