Spot a pre-war car

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spot a pre-war car/bike

From ' barn find' to 'good-as-new'.

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Author: Robin Batchelor Monday, 10 November 2014

From  barn find to good-as-new. 

Whether you like the term ‘oily rag’ or ‘barn find’ or ‘ripe for restoration’ you have a treat in store on Wednesday 12 November when H & H auctions will offer a car in just such a condition at their Pavilion Gardens sale. The 1928 Alvis 12/50 2-seater has spent the last 40 years stood on blocks after the vendor stopped using it. He bought it in 1965 and the fitting of a rear view mirror and trafficators suggest it was driven regularly and safely ( if you can get in the driver's seat without the handbrake going up your trouser leg!). It will be an easy and rewarding job to recondition this car for use whilst ( I hope) retaining all its patina acquired over many years of quality vintage motoring.

If you want something a little sportier then look at lot 65 – a 1935 Riley 12/4 tourer with twin-cam 4 cylinder engine of 1496cc and 4-speed pre-selector gearbox. In excellent condition all round, this car with modern indicators and full weather equipment is ready for you to settle into the leather upholstery and use it as every day transport.

I confess to having a weak spot for 6-light saloons – there’s something about their spacious sober lines that has a peculiar attraction. This 1934 Austin 16/6 York Saloon has had the benefit of a thorough re-build so its smooth 2.1 Litre 6 cylinder engine can offer trusty transport to its next owner whether it be family motoring, film work or wedding hire.

Another 1934 saloon, of French name but built in Britain, is a Citroen Ten Rosalie with 4 cylinder sidevalve 1465cc engine and 3-speed gearbox which offered 90kph in the year before André Citroën died. Watching the construction of the Eiffel Tower had triggered his interest in engineering and an early visit to Ford’s USA production line led to his success with his car assembly line.

There are three LHD Model A Fords to choose from – a 1930 convertible cabriolet, a red/black 1930 saloon and a grey over black 1930 saloon. All in good order and will no doubt find buyers in the growing band of British enthusiasts who are enjoying these strong reliable cars.

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy H&H auctions.


Welsh Trial 1

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Author: Anthony Barrett Wednesday, 05 November 2014

Welsh Trial

Fantastic showing for the Bentleys at the Vscc Welsh Trial.


China4C: A day of rest in Zaozhuang

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Author: joris bergsma Thursday, 16 October 2014

A day of rest in Zaozhuang

Sorry chaps, no cars today. Even a rallying reporter has to obey to the rules. And today - yesterday to be exact - was a day of rest & relaxation in the China Classic Cars Challenge. This to gain new energy in view of tomorrow's 200 mile trip. So this day we used up to explore Zaozhuang - also known as Shandong - the place of birth of philosopher Confucius and to indulge in the fabulous hospitality of course director Mr. Zong, here assisted by his most charming PA with a perfect Boston accent showing us how to prepare a local spicy pancake (as served in the top location depicted above). The outrageous variety of food and dishes is just one of the treats of this exotic rally along the highlights of China. Tomorrow back in the MG's bucket seats for a long day of winding and fast back roads leading to Nanjing.
Maybe we should end the day with the wise Confucius' words:

"Man who run in front of car get tired.
 Man who run behind car get exhausted.
 Man who drive like hell, bound to get there."

(source of these confucian sayings)

(Text and pictures Joris Bergsma)

China4C: Come to China or China will come to you!

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Author: Joris Bergsma Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Come to China or China will come to you!

You may remember the Red Flag or Hong Qi. And maybe also the 1965 Dongfang Hong, subject of recent car puzzle #92. Like we were trying to accustom ourselves with the Chinese classics while preparing for the 2014 Beijing to Shanghai we tried to challenge you in a similar way. And it was quite a revelation to meet these cars in real life over the past few days. This was not planned, but as classics in China hardly exist or survived there is a good chance to see the most important of them in one event. This makes participating to an event in China all the more interesting in two ways. You see and learn about classic cars you quite possibly have never heard about. And at the same time you have the chance to meet up with a billion people who never seen or heard of whatever classic you bring.

So take advantage of the fact that the hobby is still very young in this mysterious and massive country. We can hardly imagine a country where you get a better and warmer welcome than here. Aside that, rumours are growing that exporting cars to China may become a lot easier starting in 2015, so hey... be an early bird. And if you don't, keep this in mind. The Chinese are getting so clever in creating intense and interesting rallies, that before you have blinked twice they may be organising events in the US or Europe. No chance you say? Remember how we all laughed about the cheap poor quality products they started exporting to our countries 30 years ago? Nowadays they build your Iphone, your TV set, your....

(Text and pictures by Joris Bergsma)

China4C: The MG Beijing experience

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Author: Joris Bergsma Monday, 13 October 2014

China4C : The MG Beijing experience.

Yesterday morning we departed from the 6th 'periferique' of Beijing heading for one of the porches of The Great Wall. We don't want to sound like 'been there, seen it, done that'  but hey.., how many of you crossed under The Great Chinese Wall by MGB? We did. And we will never forget. Photos of course cannot capture the emotion or graphic experience of seeing and being there, we can only recommend to the same or similar on whatever remote continent you may visit in a lifetime. Getting to one of world's wonders in a classic is an experience in its own right.

The funny thing is that when you get there children will do exactly the same whatever the car, whatever the iconic location. Crawl all over it, jump in it, sit in it and ask for a sticker. And we could only say happily Yes to all requests (one more shot for our 2015 classic kids calendar!). One but last shot is showing Mr. Zong, director of the The China Classic Car Challenge 2014 who made all this possible, including the '71 MGB he most kindly made available to us. Thank you Mr. Zong! 

We also want to tell you about the amazing fast mountain trip (275 km /170 miles) to Tanjin, and about the most lively Chinese farmer villages we crossed on the way and the challenging traffic after dark. But that will need to wait a bit. After an 18 hour day-trip our bed seems a more  attractive alternative. So for the moment we close off (last pic) with a Chinese Wall modern style. Multi-story compounds are the modern way of life here. If you think we have many of those in Europe, forget it. Even our large cities are quiet country villages compared to what you see here. China nowadays has over 65 cities with each more than 5 million inhabitants. And they all want a decent life and maybe... maybe a bit later on an... MGB! (at least that's what they tell me).

(Text and pictures by Joris Bergsma)


China4C: Classic rally prep in Beijing

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Author: joris Sunday, 12 October 2014

CHina4C: classic prep in Beijing.

Imagine a country, a big country; a huge country, where the horse-drawn carriage and bicycle were the number one transport mode untill not too long ago. Imagine the world's big six motor manufacturers finding a way in there, always eager to enlargen their market share, soon resulting into world's largest motor market. The country exists and is called China. And we are there to drive a rally.
So when you want to rally China you need to learn a little history first. Less than 29 years ago, there were hardly any cars in the roads here. Currently Beijing is planning to build its 7th ringroad/ peripherique. Paris has 'only' 2 peripheriques. So China is a very young automative nation with zillions of cars. Road safety is asking for a totally different approach. In order to get a temporary drivers licence any foreign driver must take a safety training. The head of the traffic department of Tianji gave us a short history lesson starting with Karl Benz and the first automobile accident victim in the USA.

Bottomline of his speech was that preserving human life is the most important rule in Chinese traffic today. When all rally participants in the room had agreed on this with a handshake, he signed off our temporary drivers licenses (below). Off we go.

To be continued.

(Text and pictures by Joris Bergsma)


China4c Beijing Friday night

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Author: Joris Bergsma Friday, 10 October 2014


China4C: 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Park Ward

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Author: Joris Bergsma Thursday, 09 October 2014

China4C: Oldest car to participate

This is the oldest competitor in the 2014 Beijing - Shanghai rally: a fine 1929 Rolls-Royce Pantom I Sports Saloon by Parkward.

Morris Art The Hague

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Author: Joyce Bergsma Saturday, 04 October 2014

Art The Hague

This afternoon near Art The Hague

@ Binckhorst The Hague

Mind the old bus in the background!  Joyce Bergsma


China4C: To B or not to Beijing....

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Author: Joris Bergsma Tuesday, 30 September 2014

mg b_beijing_shanghai_2014_rear_end
We proudly introduce to you PWC's Beijing-Shanghai transport that we will use to cover the nearly 1000 miles betwen the two cities during the Classic Cars Challenge China. An early seventies MGB made available to us by friends. Now to those who may not be familiar with international registration plates,  the large B does not stand for Beijing. In this photo the car is still adorned with its Belgium registration. 

It is our humble guess that among the tens of thousands MGB fans worldwide not too many have travelled conquered the Great Wall of China so you will hear all about this experience through these pages. Stay tuned. The rally will officially start October 12, yet you may hear more from us  one or two days before.

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