Thursday, 21 September 2017

Buried Automotive Treasure!

How about this for a whole different kind of buried treasure? Whilst excavating a site on Salisbury Plain, archaeologist discovered the chassis of an MG J2 car!

Photo curtesy of Wessex Archaeology

As part of the on-going development for the Army Basing Programme, WYG Environmental Planning came across this classic MG whilst surveying the Larkhill site in Wiltshire.

The MG J2 is an extremely rare car, as only 2,083 were ever produced. The two-seater J2 was the most common choice in the J-line. Back in 1932 when the car was first rolled out, it had a top speed of 65 mph, and would have cost you £199; that's almost £10,000 in today's money!

It is believed that this particular car would have been used up until the early 1960s, when it is possible that it was dismantled for repair by a local solider, only to be seemingly abandoned. The discovery also shows another side to life in the barracks, away from the soldiers' military duties.

As this is such a rare car, there isn't much published material available, but we already have a number of great books on the other MG models of the era. Check out MG's Abingdon Factory or our Essential Buyer's Guide on the MG TD, TF & TF1500 to learn more about these great cars.

Who knows, maybe we could publish a book on the rare MG J-series in the future... Perhaps you have an idea for such a book? If so, drop us a line on

Never say never...

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – June

Oliver Winterbottom has been busy self-promoting his new book A Life in Car Design, and has been keeping a record of all the places he visits and people he meets along the way. In today's blog post, we have June's instalment. Haven't read the first part? You can catch up here

1 June  – Front page of the Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury as the only feature. Continued on all of pages two and three. Local paper delivered free to many (but not me!).

2 June – Buy Mercury. Visit Ketts Books, Wymondham, with my copy of book and info flyer. Thibault of Club Lotus France asks me to bring a book to Dijon for him to buy.

8 June – Chateauneuf en Auxios, France. Sell one book to Sonya, proprietor Le Bistrot du Port, and one to Julian, proprietor L'Auberge de Marronnier.

10 June – Deliver/sell one book to Thibault Venisse, Club Lotus France, and sign for him. One copy to Christian Roy, proprietor Le Hosteller du Chateau.

18 June  – Daughter Anne tells me that Jerrold's, Norwich, has three books on the shelf, front cover showing. Waterstones didn't have it and thought it was not in print yet.

21 June  – Emma from Veloce has advised Waterstones that the book is available.

25 June – Tom Smith (Texas USA Amazon review)
"As the title says, covers the career of Oliver Winterbottom's experiences, both the ups and the downs, in designing cars for many manufacturers. I am a long time Lotus owner and so I was mostly interested in his stories about Lotus and dealing with Colin Chapman. The author's candour about dealing with Chapman and others was insightful. About half the book was dedicated to Lotus. There are plenty of color pictures and the style is very easy to read. I especially liked the drawings and photographs of concept  cars he worked on, as well as modified one-off production cars that I hadn't seen before (e.g – a Europa with clear 'sails'). I'm guessing they were documents from his personal collection and thus, not previously published.
"All in all, I highly recommend this book for any Lotus enthusiasts as well as TVR, Jaguar and anyone else with a general automotive interest. Oh, and there's a chapter on his design work for Chapman's boat business which was very interesting!" Five Stars.

26 June – To Steve Cropley, Editor in Chief, Autocar. "Hello Steve, I guess you are very busy but I wondered if you had a chance to look at my book A Life in Car Design. I would love to know what you think of it."

Reply: "It's fab. Ran a piece about it in my column three weeks ago, including half-page pic pirated from the book of you, Kimberly and M90. Enjoyed your forthright opinions, which will fascinate other Lotus and former types, for sure."

"So glad you enjoyed it. Teaches me not to buy the hard copy of Autocar! If it is possible to get a copy of your words to me, I would appreciate it. Seems its not available online. Best regards, Oliver."

Ask Cropley for a copy as I do not get the magazine. It is not shown on their website. Edition probably Wednesday 7 June. As of 28 June, no response!

27 June – Email from Dave Sunter, Jaguar ex-apprentice now living in the USA.
"Oliver, I have just read the last page of your book. I have found it fascinating to say the least and have enjoyed reading all about your life's escapades in and around the car business. The shortage of money is nothing new when it involves building or even selling cars. Witness Barry's book on DeLorean, or the TVR story or almost any of the others. I do remember Stewart Halstead of TVR, formerly of Jaguar and of my home town of Burnley where his father worked as a mechanic at the same dealership as my father. I seem to remember something perhaps untoward about Stewart and his days at Jaguar. Maybe not. Best regards, David."

Sign book for Roger at Queen's Head, Hethersett. Met John Ashley (ex-Kings Heas) but have already signed his book.

28 June – I ask various folk if they can find a copy of the Autocar. Emma at the publisher, Veloce, comes up a winner and sends me the scan, below.

Web search unearths two reviews. It amazes me that some are totally inaccurate with facts supposedly taken from the book!

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure you check back in soon to read July's instalment of Oliver's diary!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Dog vs Machine

Man versus machine is a topic that is often discussed, but what about mutt versus machine? Not so much. Land Rover recently pitted their Discovery Sport against a team of champion sled huskies, and we have all the details of what went on.

  • Discovery Sport takes on a dog sled team in a unique race at Vesileppis Ski Tunnel in Finland, pitting their 286HP Ingenium 4-cylinder power against champion sled 'dog power'
  • Intelligent all-wheel drive technology, Terrain Response system1 and advanced Ingenium®  gas engine to help the Discovery Sport handle the slippery Arctic weather conditions
  • Land Rover helps sled dogs resume cold-weather training during the Finnish summer
  • Versatile Discovery Sport is now Land Rover's best-selling model, with 75,000 customers taking delivery globally so far in 2017
  • Watch the full race here:

August 25th, 2017

With an estimated 50 percent of Land Rover customers globally owning or regularly traveling with a dog, Land Rover has put its canine capability to the test by transporting a team of sled dogs to an underground snow tunnel in Finland for a unique training challenge.

This year's warm summer had left much of Northern Europe without snow. Land Rover took a team of husky dogs in need of training ahead of winter championships to the Vesileppis Ski Tunnel in Finland, for a much-needed sprint around a snow track.

The Discovery Sport SUV provided stiff competition for Finnish middle distance champion, Laura Kääriäinen and her team of six sled dogs. They went head-to-head in Vesileppis Ski Tunnel, Finland, in a unique 1km sprint around a dedicated underground tunnel.

The undulating tunnel is carved into the bedrock 115-ft below ground level and kept at a constant 28.4°F  to maintain a blanket of snow 8-in deep through the summer, making it the perfect place to put the Discovery Sport vehicle's all-terrain capability to the test.

Setting off in opposite directions, the dogs had a straightforward task. Once they had negotiated the first incline they were able to pick up and maintain speed – typically around 22mph. In contrast, the path of the Discovery Sport was blocked by a set of ice blocks, which put its wheel articulation to the test, on one of its laps. 

Over two laps of the tunnel, the sled team and Discovery Sport were closely matched but the Land Rover, which was forced to negotiate a set of unique obstacles along the way, won the challenge by a nose. 

Driver Karl Richards, Lead Engineer for Stability Control Systems at jaguar Land Rover, said "Snow is one of the most demanding surfaces drivers will encounter during winter around the world and Discovery Sport proved to be as comfortable in these conditions as the dogs. Land Rover's advanced Terrain Response® technology and intelligent four-wheel drive system ensure our premium compact SUV is in a class of it's own when it comes to off-road driving – whether you've got two legs or four.1"

Before the race, the dedicated accessories in the Discovery Sport ensured that lead husky Jami was safely transported to the now tunnel to join his snow-starved pack. An optional full height luggage divider from land Rover prevents pets from accessing the passenger compartment and easily fits into anchor points inside the vehicle, while and available rubber trunk mat protects the trunk floor and even contains minor spills.

Available convenience features including Land Rover's Gesture Tailgate made easy work of getting Jami in and out of the premium compact SUV while the surround camera system, accessed through the 10-inch central touchscreen1, allowed driver Richards to keep an eye on the dogs when manoeuvring inside the tunnel. 

1These systems are not a substitute for driving safety with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgement in driving. Please consult the owner's manual or your local authorised Land Rover Retailer for more details. 
2Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so.

About Land Rover

Founded in 1948, Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles in the United Kingdom. For almost 70 years the brand has built a reputation for providing its clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world; whether driving through the heart if the city of traversing the countryside on- and off-road. Today's Land Rover lineup includes the Discovery and Discovery Sport; Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and range Rover Evoque. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information, visit the official Land Rover website at

About Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is the UK's largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world's  leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world's premier luxury sports sedan and sports car marques.

The company employs over 40,000 people globally, with 330 in the US and supports around 275,000 more through our dealerships, suppliers and local businesses. Manufacturing in centred in the UK, with additional plants in China, Brazil, India and Slovakia.

At jaguar Land Rover we are driven by a desire to create class-leading products that deliver great customer experiences. The largest investor in R&D in the UK manufacturing sector, we have invested £12 nylon (USD $15.7 billion) in the last five year and in the current year alone will spend over £3.5 billion (USD $4.5 billion) on new product creation and capital expenditure. Last year Jaguar Land Rover sold over 583,000 vehicles in 136 countries, with nearly 80 percent of our vehicles produced in the UK being sold abroad. 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Veloce's International Intern

Whilst Veloce is firmly rooted to the Jurassic Coast – and very nice it is too – our books are sold worldwide. Of course, we couldn't do this by ourselves, and we have some fantastic global partners helping us spread our books far and wide. 

Recently, we were lucky enough to have an intern from our German publishing partners, HEEL Verlag, in Bonn-Oberkassel. We've been working with Heel since the early 1990s, and, as a part of his apprenticeship in digital and print media with HEEL, Henrik Johaentges came to work as an intern at Veloce for three weeks. Take it away, Henrik:

"My name is Henrik Johaentges, 22 years old, and I come from Bonn/Germany. For the last three weeks I was an intern at Veloce Publishing in Poundbury. Towards the end of my apprenticeship as a media agent for digital and print media at Heel Verlag in Germany, I had the chance to complete my internship abroad. 
"The contact to Veloce came about after long business relations and a good co-operation between the two publishing houses. Both, Veloce and Heel, have a strong focus on automotive books and they sometimes publish each other's books in their respective languages. Hence, I worked here in Poundbury from 7th to 25th August 2017.

"I hit the road towards England by car, four days prior to the start of my internship for vacationing. When I arrived in Poundbury, after short stopovers in Folkestone, Southampton and Bournemouth, I first decided to explore the village. Even though everything was well cared for and new, it was at the same time still held in an old, British style - what I really liked. The village was built according to the principles of Prince Charles as an urban role model for sustainable development. Pretty unique and impressive.

"The Veloce House is located in the Business Park in the south of Poundbury, just a 5-minute walk away from my Airbnb accommodation. Veloce is in this building since 2009, after moving there from smaller offices in Dorchester. Founded in 1991, the company has now a total of 16 employees. On the ground floor are the warehouse and the reception. The other offices are located on the first floor. The publishing house has three imprints in order to split up the publishing programme: Hubble & Hattie (animals), Battle Cry (military) and Belvedere (general). 

"On my first working day I was asked to arrive a little bit later at 9:30am, the usual working hours were from 9am to 5pm. At the beginning I was introduced to the Veloce team and welcomed by everyone with open arms. Then I was guided through the building to get an overview of the structures at Veloce.
"Afterwards, I was introduced to my main project during my time at Veloce. I had the chance to work on a new Mazda book [The book of the Mazda MX-5 Miata], which is expected to be published in March 2018. The first task was editing the new photos with Adobe Photoshop, as the image quality
had to be improved. In the following days I started to insert the pictures and the text into Adobe InDesign and put the different chapters together. This took me more than one week, but I believe the results were convincing. Then I made some small adjustments on order to make the document printable. The last task was to create the dust jacket for the book in InDesign as well. Overall, I really liked these tasks because I had never worked with Photoshop and InDesign before.
"Towards the end of the second week I was asked to scan old photos for a new Jaguar Book [Jaguar E-Type Racing Cars], which will be published in March 2018. After I finished scanning all the photos, I edited them with Photoshop, because most of them had not the best quality. This took me until my last day, but I learned a lot of new features in Photoshop and I also had several other smaller tasks for in between.
"During the third week I was given introduction on the work routine at Veloce. I got an in-depth look in the social media/marketing work of the publishing house. I learned about the different social media channels and what mainly counts using them. Furthermore, I got an idea of different kinds of eBooks and what to consider when creating them for different devices. On my last day I learned how Veloce acquires authors for new books to come and which systems they use to save time doing that. It was great getting to hear about these important topics for a publishing house. 

"On the weekends I spent most of the time exploring the surrounding area of Poundbury. The weekend before I started working I visited Weymouth, a nice town right on the coast with a beautiful harbour. I did a great hike along the coast of the Isle of Portland, which is the southernmost point of Dorset with a big lighthouse. Needless to say that I also stopped at Chesil Beach, an 18 mile long shingle beach which links Portland with the mainland near Weymouth. 
"On the second weekend I rented a bike and made a tour from Poundbury to Burton Bradstock and back, which was about 50 miles. The next day I set off to Durdle Door, which is a dramatic rock arch. The hiking there along the coast was the most amazing and spectacular thing I experienced during my free time here. On my way back to I also stopped at Maiden castle, a hill fort from the Iron Age, from where one has a great view over Poundbury.
"During my last weekend I visited Lyme Regis, The Pearl of Dorset. This special little town is mainly known for "The Cobb", a huge harbour wall, and for the fossils that can be found in the cliffs and on the beach. Finally, I walked to Dorchester on Sunday, which is the capital of Dorset and situated directly next to Poundbury. Unfortunately I could not spend a long time there due to the bad weather.
"I can definitely say that Dorset is a diverse county. Whether going on the beach, hiking along the coast, going on a bike tour or visiting beautiful towns. It's difficult to get bored here, at least if the weather is good.

"The time in England was an amazing experience for me, both from a professional and personal point of view. I was able to get an insight into the British culture and the lifestyle in the county of Dorset. At Veloce, I learned a lot about the work routine in a modern publishing house from a foreign country, as there are quite a few differences between the German and the English ways of publishing. I really appreciate that I was allowed to get responsible tasks from a new perspective. During my internship I could improve my English skills both in writing and verbally. In particular, I learned how to work with Photoshop and InDesign.
"Lastly, I would like to thank everyone from the Veloce Publishing staff for always being available for questions, making me feel comfortable, and giving me an enjoyable time. A special thanks to those from Veloce and Heel who gave me the opportunity for this internship by establishing a connection."

We would like to thank Henrik for choosing to come and intern at Veloce: working in a foreign workplace can be daunting, to say the least, but Henrik took on the challenge admirably. We'd like to extend the invitation to return at any time. 

As soon as you like. 

We're waiting ... !

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

What a difference 100 years makes …

Ford marks centenary of Model TT commercial vehicle that paved way for the transit

As you may know, we're big fans of the Ford Model T, the model that made the car 'mainstream.' Well, this press release, just received from Ford, marks the centenary of another Ford model, one that's not so well know, but just as historic … over to Ford …

BRENTWOOD, Essex, August 17, 2017
You’ve heard of the Ford Model T, but how about the Model TT? Though less well-known, it also had a big impact – as the forerunner to the modern day van and pickup, including today’s Transit.

First launched 100 years ago, in 1917, the Model TT was Ford’s first purpose-built one-tonne van. Owners could customise the chassis with a cargo bed to transport everything from letters to fuel – just as they can today in the 2017 Ford Transit Custom. The Model TT was first launched in the U.S, and later built at Ford’s Trafford Park factory in Manchester.

1917 Model TT van. Try doing that with a horse and cart.
The Model TT van was longer and stronger than the Model T car, with a cab that could seat one driver and one passenger. The engine was started using a cranking handle on the front. For a smoother ride, customers could choose modern air-filled rear tyres instead of solid rubber.

“It is amazing that while in some ways today’s vans are a million miles from the Model TT in how they have come on, they fundamentally do the same job as they were designed to do 100 years ago – providing a flexible means of keeping businesses on the move,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.

One hundred years later, Ford now offers the best-selling commercial vehicle range in Britain and across Europe, with four commercial vehicles now carrying the iconic Transit nameplate – Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier – as well as the Ford Ranger pickup.

In the UK alone, Ford has maintained market leadership in the commercial vehicle sector for 51 years – ever since the Ford Transit was introduced in 1965. In 2016, Ford recorded its highest-ever year of commercial vehicle sales with 118,000 units.

Transit sales passed its first million milestone in 1976, rapidly passing the next in 1985, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2013, which lined up end-to-end would circumnavigate the globe. On average, customers have bought a new Transit every 180 seconds during its lifetime.

A new study, which explores the use of brand words in the British dialect, reveals that the British public now commonly uses the word “Transit” as a generic term for van. The study of 2,000 consumers, conducted by Census Wide, reveals that almost a quarter used the word “Transit” to describe a typical van, and that 46 per cent of Brits believe that a “Transit” refers to a specific size.

Later this year Ford is launching 20 new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom vans - that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of inner-city trips – on a 12-month trial in and around London.

Among those taking part in the trial are the Metropolitan Police and British Gas, which will allow both Ford and the city of London to explore how electrified vans can contribute to cleaner air targets while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions. The Transit Custom PHEV van is planned for commercial introduction in 2019, part of Ford’s $4.5 billion investment into electrified vehicles by 2020.

* Sales data for full-year 2016. Ford of Europe reports its sales for the European traditional markets where it is represented through National Sales Companies. They are Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Reviews: Ford Design in the UK

Our recent release of Nick Hull's Ford Design in the UK is already proving to be popular, for customers and reviewers alike. The book charts the history of the company's design work in the UK, from the early days of Ford in Dagenham, right up until the latest generation of the Ford Transit, last year.

Veloce recently received a number of reviews from various different motoring publications, dedicated to both Ford and cars in general, and the ones we've seen so far are singing Nick's praises. Here are a few snippets to read, so you can judge for yourselves ...

"This book, an in depth- history of Ford's Dunton design operations, is long overdue. Author Nick Hull hasn't merely produced a catalogue, but a vital document made possible by his extensive car-design  connections. Classic designs like the Capri and Escort finally have their authors identified, early struggles for autonomy with Ford's American management are remembered, and everyone involved is interviewed ... It's the sheer richness of the previously untold stories that makes the book ... The quality and depth of Hull's storytelling is superb, and it's illustrated throughout with previously-unseen photos. We've already used it several times for research, which says an awful lot."
Classic Car.

"With a foreword by Chris Svensson (Ford's design director for the Americas) this is a great tribute to Ford UK, and especially the tireless efforts at Dunton since its foundation in '67 ... [It has] a huge wealth of illustrations including everything from team photos to styling sketches ... [It] goes to great efforts to show the human side to an important motoring past."
Classic & Sports Car.

If these reviews have piqued you interest, and you want to read Hull's book for yourself, then you can buy your copy here.

 Ford Design in the UK

  • V4986 
  • Hardback
  • 25x25cm 
  • £45 
  • 225 pages
  • 330 pictures 
  • ISBN: 978-1-845849-86-3 
  • UPC: 6-3684704986-7

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Racing 914s – A Review

Just in this month is this review from Doug Lloyd of Porsche Panorama, Roy Smith's limited edition book, Porsche – The Racing 914s. Here's the review in full.

"Dense, detailed, and comprehensively illustrated with 452 colour and black-and-white images, Roy Smith's Porsche – The Racing 914s is a rich history of the Porsche 914, in particular the 914/6 GT that raced in Europe and the US in the 1970s.

"With an introductory chapter that discusses the advantages of mid-engine racing cars as being more balanced and better handling that their front-engine brethren, the book continues to a history of the gestation of the 914. Originally a VW-Porsche joint project, the 914 was conceived as a 'people's Porsche' that should not diminish 911 sales but would also be suitable for racing. Succeeding chapters delve into 914/6 GT development and racing, including the 1970 and '71 seasons in Europe and privateer team efforts through the early '70s.

"As racing in Europe at the time was so much more than simple road course competition, there are also sections on hill climbs and rallying. A particularly interesting chapter is devoted to Herbert Linge's efforts to promote safety in auto racing, and blessing from Porsche for his team to develop a 914 into essentially the very first race-speed safety car, including emergency equipment, fire extinguishers, and other safety gear. Prior to that time, tracks had little interest in safety and its attendant costs, with some at best having an on-site retired fire truck. 

"Later chapters discuss 914 competition in the United States, and later private and vintage efforts leading up to modern times. 

"It is clear that Smith is very well-versed in his subject, as the detailed information in the book is meticulously researched, including numerous interviews with the racers, mechanics, and team owners. The last chapter is simply race records from the period. He also covers marketing and promotional challenges, and shares his thoughts about what could have been if perhaps the 914 had been better developed and made more powerful. 

"Porsche – The Racing 914s, is beautifully illustrated, but it is not really a coffee table book: Rather, it is a comprehensive historical look at the 914 and its place in Porsche's racing history."

Sound like a good book to you? You can purchase your copy here; hurry, they are limited editions!

For more on Roy Smith and his Racing 914s book, check out our full interview we did with him ack in December of last year, over on our YouTube page. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – May

So many good books have come off the press here at Veloce of late, that it can be hard to keep track of all that goes on around a publication. Luckily for us, author Oliver Winterbottom has been keeping a diary account of what he's up to in helping to promote his autobiography A Life in Car Design. Here, we have compiled the end of April's and the entirety of May's diary entries for your reading pleasure. We'll share more of Oliver's diaries over the coming weeks...

26 April – British Motor Museum, Gaydon say they have been notified of delivery. 
Mike Kimberley emailed re delivery and arranged a purchase.

29 April – Tom Smith in Texas, USA receives his book air mail, ready for Lotus X100 exhibition and book promotion.

30 April – Donington Park Historic Festival.

Angus Marshall bought 40 books from Darlington to Donington which have been delivered on 28th. I signed most of them, many with messages for member. Sara had five and I had three copies at right royal price pf £24.00, thanks to club discount. It was good to meet everyone who came along to Donington.

"Yesterday was a great day with Ollie Winterbottom signing his book (thanks for organising this Angus) and chatting with us. What an interesting guy – I've started to read his book and it is fascinating. The illustrations include many of his original drawings. I'd rate this as (so far) the best auto industry autobiography I've seen and it's well worth buying a copy for all of the historic information along." ATB Richard (Comment on lotus

3 May – MJK calls to say very much enjoyed the book. Thought the last chapter a bit brief/ Amazed at the detail earlier in the story.

8 Copies arrive for me by courier art 3:59pm (for a 4pm latest delivery!).

4 May – Andy Parsloe, school friend gets in touch after many year – buying the book.

6-7 May – Lotus X100 displayed at Keel and Wheel in Texas with some book publicity.

6 May – "Hi Oliver, Good to hear from you. I have spoken with your publisher and we will be starting to take pre-orders for your Big Bad Wedge Fest book signing within the next couple of weeks. It will hopefully add to both your book sales and the success of the event. Exciting times! Best regards, Howard." (TVR Wedgefest)

7 May – "Good day Oliver – I'd like to arrange for my copy to be suitably inscribed with one of those elegant yet pithy epigrams for which you are so well known. Can I arrange for it to be shipped to you, then on to a family member in York for eventual retrieval? Best regards, Clive" (Roberts, ex Lotus and China). Replied positive.

9 May – Steve from Barnham Broom had not had notification after requesting it in March. 
"Hi Liz, Do you think there are other enquiries that have got 'lost'? There are other people that I would have expected to have got a copy of the book by now – but no one has been in contact to say so! If the system has failed us, I could circulate my contact list suggesting they apply for a book again. Rather not do that, but will if you say so. Best, Oliver"
"Hi Oliver, I've just heard back from our web hosts. Apparently there was a problem with the server connecting properly. They have now fixed the issue but you are right – no-one from the last few months will have had any in-stock notifications for any of our books – so thank you for bringing this to our attention! We are able to get a list manually – so today I will have a look at the list and contact everybody that was missed to make sure they are aware the book has com in. For your book there was about 12 requests so I will be contacting them shortly. Sorry about all this! Best wishes, Liz.

11 May – "Hi Oliver, Hope all is well – I've just received my review copy from Veloce – looks very good at a first glance and I'm looking forward to reading through it. A copy of our latest issue of Club Lotus News with my review is in the post to you by the way. Speak soon – do stay in touch, Kind regards, Alan" (Club Lotus)

12 May – "Hi Oliver, Amazon have just delivered your book – I'm looking forward to a good weekend's read! I've delivered the TVR book to Crowood, and hopefully it'll be out before Christmas. Regards, Matthew Vale" (Author forthcoming TVR book)

15 May – Steve Cropley, editor Autocar claims not to have received the book. Liz at Veloce says Royal Mail have delivered it. Leave them to it!
Agree to do BBC Radio Norfolk interview & discs Tuesday 23 May 6:00-7:00pm. 

16 May – Club Lotus France invite me to their club HQ at Dijon Prenois race circuit Saturday 10 June. I will sign books if they have any (suggest direct from Veloce). I will be visiting France for 1 well including Dijon historic races.

Seems that club have 'sold out' of the book 13 May. "Angus, Can you still get signed copies? I know I am very late on this. I would like to buy 2 please. Justin"
"Sorry, there's only one left and I'd need at least 20 ordered to get the discounted price again. (and another event that both Ollie & I will be at to get them signed)
Steve Cropley finds his book!

17 May – Met Faye McCloud at Gaydon Museum / Jaguar Heritage to present book, photos and drawings for the archive as copyright 'payment'.

18 May – Jaguar ex-apprentices annual lunch, Coventry Transport Museum. Gave their gift shop book details, suggested they contact Veloce.

19 May – Eastern Daily Press interview at home agreed for 11am Monday 22 May. 
Stephen McAllister, Farnham Broom Bel gets book, I sign it. 

22 May – EDP reporter and photographer visit at home. Reporter doesn't seem to have read the book! Says will send report end of the week.

23 May – BBC Radio Norfolk Matthew Gudgin went very well. Good interviewer. Bell Pub said it was a good show!

24 May – Mr. Nelson next door heard radio and will get book. Phil Hopf in USA says book now available. Sally Pepper says radio good. Classic & Sports Car magazine out with TVR at Eleven and book mention.

25 May – Breakfast at Alvedon and show magazine to some of the staff who know of the original photo shoot last year. (I had already written to thank Lord Iveagh).

27 May – Letter forwarded from Veloce replied to. From an ex-Jaguar apprentice in Lancashire who enjoyed the book.

28 May – Eastern Daily Press 'on line' newspaper have my book review on the 'News' section. (Copy available).

29 May – Eastern Daily Press paper edition has my book review. Unfortunately don't have a copy as they did not alert me! 

30 May – Eastern Evening News, I am 100% PAGE 3 (totally clad!). Have 3 copies.

31 May – Jerrold's (Norwich booksellers) dept manager says book in stock and starting to sell.

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to keep checking the Veloce blog for the next instalment of Winterbottom's diary.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Beezumph 26

The twenty-sixth Trident and Rocket 3 Owners Club (TROC) annual rally – Beezumph – took place over July 14-15th, at Anglesey Race Circuit. We take a quick look at this year's event, with the help of Veloce author Chris Rooke.

The Beezumph will be more than familiar to any BSA Rocket or Triumph Trident owners out there, and, chances are, many other marque owners, too. The idea initially came from two TROC members, Chris Judkins and Richard Darby, who suggested renting a track for a day, for club members to ride their own bikes.

Superb MkII BSA Rocket III,
 with revised styling.
The original 'British bikes only' idea was expanded, encompassing the newly-launched Hinckley Triumphs, Honorary Members of TROC, and other bike clubs were invited to join in, too. The very first Beezumph was born, and – despite a heavy soaking from the rain – all agreed it was a great success.

That was twenty-six years ago, and the event has changed much over that time, growing from a one-day event, to a two-day rally, with camping from Thursday until Sunday … live music, BBQs, autojumble, food (of course!) … it's now recognised as one of the best (if not THE best) track-based events in the UK.

Beautiful MkI BSA Rocket III.
Friday gave participants the chance to noise-test their bikes, with the option of a 'No Limit' track day, or an organised ride around Anglesey's roads. This was followed by an evening of autojumble, and a short presentation, was rounded off with some local music.

Saturday meant an early start for those sessions on track, with the spectacular action taking place after the compulsory safety briefings and checks were complete. This was followed by a paddock  display of some superb Triples, with the best in each class receiving trophies for their efforts (plenty of photo ops here), followed by a raffle draw of prizes donated by sponsors.

A lovely example of a 'Nocket:'
a Rocket III engine in a Norton Featherbed
 frame. Nice!
For the non-riders in attendance, there was an all-day merchandising stand, a static Triples display, and exhibitions by the London Motorcycle Museum, Racing Triple, and George Pooley. George is famous for his hand-built specials (and for having a cup of tea almost permanently attached to his hand). Also in attendance was a certain Guy Martin, who needs no introduction, and who delighted everyone by taking his bike out on track. 

For the second year running, Guy Martin visited.
Inset, is his homemade Suzuki-based racer.

Saturday evening was party time, with a bar, a band, and a barbecue: what more could you want? Of course, it was early doors for some participants, as Sunday again had a No Limit track day … while those who had enjoyed, shall we say, a more 'fully-immersive' party experience, could quietly pack up.

A highly original race bike, brought to the event by the
National Motorcycle Museum.

Veloce author Chris Rooke attended, and could be spotted riding the circuit on his T150V and T160 (not at the same time, you understand), and taking along a few copies of his Triumph Trident/BSA Rocket manual (and a cheeky flyer for his book). He was also busy with his camera, and was kind enough to let us use some of his shots … thanks, Chris.

BSA Rocket IIIs at the parade.
Triumph Trident T160s line-up …
… and T150s on show.
Replica of Slippery Sam, the bike that won the Isle of Man TT
five years in a row, in the early 1970s.

Why not hop on-board and take a virtual ride around the Anglesey track with him, via the wonderful world of Facebook videos. Chris manages the Triumph Trident Restoration Manual Updates Facebook page, and posted his rider's-eye views there … full screen, sound up, enjoy! As you'll see, the weather didn't always play ball, but it didn't dampen the fun.

So, big thanks to Chris once again, and we look forward to the twenty-seventh Beezumph, next year … we might see you there!

You can pick up a copy of Chris' Triumph/BSA triple restoration manual from Veloce Publishing … click the pic …


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Veloce Sponsors Formula Ford Fest at Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb

Set amongst the patchwork fields of Wiltshire, Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb hosted the Hillclimb Formula Ford Fest, over the weekend of 22-23 July. In true British style, the battle was close-fought, the weather was changeable, and the conditions were challenging!

Now in it's second year, this competition for pre-1994 'Kent' engined Formula Ford cars takes place at one of our best known, best loved, hillclimb venues. Twenty-four drivers from all over the country took part this year, and the event looks set to grow and grow … it's already talked about as a 'must-do' fixture on the FF hillclimb schedule.

#123 Simon McBeath. (Courtesy Steve Lister)
This year is the 50th anniversary of Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb, and of Formula Ford itself, and with Simon McBeath and Ed McDonough, two Veloce authors, piloting their way to the finish, plus event sponsorship from ourselves, what better way to celebrate, and enjoy the sights and sounds of open-wheeled racecars sprinting up the hill?

Formula Ford came about in 1967, and has changed numerous times since, but the 1600cc Kent engine variant has endured. Adopted shortly after the formula was instigated, it persists today, in local, regional, and national championships worldwide. If you're clued-up on your engines, and are *ahem* of a certain age, you may know the Kent from the Ford Anglia of '59. This used a pre-crossflow engine, but the later crossflow version, as used in the Cortina GT, was, and is, the basis for the FF race cars.

#119 Andrew Henson.
(Courtesy Steve Lister)
All the cars use Hewland race gearboxes, and Avon treaded race tyres, designed specifically for FF use around the world. Formula Ford has also been the first step on the ladder of greatness for many famous racing drivers and F1 champs … Senna, Mansell, Hunt, Button … the list reads like a Who's Who of World Champions.

Unsettled weather across the two days, meant track conditions were different for every run, with three different leaders across Saturday's four practice runs. Paul O'Neil, former BTCC winner, and ITV4 BTCC commentator, led the field on the fourth practice, sharing Mark Alley's Swift FB91.

On Sunday, twenty-four drivers started the competition, with Simon leading by a small margin each time up. Staying just ahead of former record-holder Andrew Henson, in his Van Diemen RF91, Simon eventually took victory by just 0.34s. A well-deserved third went to Nev Rollason, who was just 0.21s behind, in a Jamun M90. Despite his performance in practice, O'Neil ultimately finished eighth, 0.59s behind Alley, while Ed McDonough, despite running in faster conditions, only managed 20th, in his Dulon MP15, after recording a Fail on his second attempt.

Winner Simon McBeath (centre), 2nd placed Andrew Henson (left), and 3rd placed Nev Rollason.

This year, as with last year, Simon donated his prize to the Marshal of the Year. Chosen by his or her peers, at the end of the season, the lucky winner will be presented with the prize at November's annual awards day.

Full results as follows …

Hillclimb Formula Ford Fest Gurston Down 2017
Name Vehicle
Run 1
Run 2
Simon MCBEATH Swift SC92F
Andrew HENSON Van Diemen RF91
Nev ROLLASON Jamum M90
Mark ALLEY Swift FB91
Richard SUMMERS Van Diemen RF80
Iain HOUSTON Van Diemen RF89
Russel HAYNES Zeus ZR163
Paul O’NEILL Swift FB91
Les BUCK Pringett Mistrale
Simon ANDREWS Van Diemen RF90
Charlie REILLY Van Diemen RF92
Shaun MACKLIN Swift SC92
Bernard KEVILL Van Diemen RF90
George HAYNES Zeus ZR163
Paul MORCOM Merlin Mk 11A
Samantha LESTER Van Diemen RF92
Chris GUY Reynard
Peter HAWKEY Reynard 89FF
Chris WARDEN Swift FB91
Nicola DEARDEN Van Diemen RF91
Doug AULD Swift SC93
Jeremy BOUCKLEY Swift FB90

Gurston Down has a packed programme … checkout its website for details of forthcoming events:

#107 Ed McDonough could only manage P20 in changeable conditions.
(Courtesy Steve Lister)

#118 Nev Rollason took third place, just 0.55s off the pace of Simon's winning time.
(Courtesy Steve Lister)

We'd like to say thank you to everyone who made the day possible, and BIG congratulations to Simon … it'll be fingers-crossed for a hat-trick next time!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

24 Hours in 24 numbers

The 24hrs of Le Mans – arguably the biggest motorsport event of the year – has now been and gone, and proved to be an exceptional event. A new qualifying lap record, two LMP2s on the podium, and a record win for Porsche, to name just a few notable events, saw the 85th edition of the 24 Hours marking itself as one that will be talked about for some time to come.

The Automobile Club de l-Ouest recently posted a summary of this year's event, taking a unique look at Le Mans through 24 numbers … so we thought we'd pay tribute to Le Mans and the ACO with this infographic – they're all the rage, don't you know! So, here's the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans in 24 numbers.

As with all things Le Mans 24hrs, it's a BIG … if you can't read the image below, click here to see a REALLY BIG version.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Audi's new 'volts wagon' … and Mercedes' AA Class

This month sees the debut of Audi's all-new A8 range, the first in the Brand's history to feature electrified drivetrains as standard. Featuring a 48-volt primary electrical system, these new A8s promise a new level of refinement, performance, and – of course – economy.

The new volts wagen from Audi – The all-new Audi A8 range will be the first in the brand’s history to feature an electrified drivetrain as standard. Its combustion engines will be equipped with mild hybrid technology based around a 48-volt electrical system which features as the primary electrical system for the first time. 

The A8's hybrid drive comprises two main components: a watercooled, 48-volt belt alternator starter (BAS), and a lithium-ion battery that acts as an accumulator. The BAS complements a conventional pinion starter, which is used only for cold starts, while the lithium-ion battery (stowed in the luggage compartment) has a 10Ah charge carrier capacity.

BAS's advantage becomes clear when approaching roundabouts or red traffic signals. If the traffic signal turns green during braking, while the vehicle is coasting to a stop or if a gap appears for the driver to move into, and the driver releases the brake, the combustion engine is started immediately. There's no delay in acceleration, thanks to the belt alternator starter, which is permanently connected to the combustion engine.

The fourth-generation A8s feature a new noiseless coasting mode, available between 34mph and 99mph, which switches off the engine altogether, for up to 40 seconds, giving zero-emissions. The moment the driver steps on the throttle, the BAS swiftly and smoothly restarts the engine. 

The new A8's stop/start function has been improved, too. It's now active from 14mph, and it can even distinguish between different traffic situations. If the road is clear, the BAS starts the engine promptly, so you can drive off swiftly. After a long standstill, or if the drive wants to turn up the aircon, the engine start up switches to extra smooth and silent mode. It even has predictive starting: if the vehicle in front of you moves off, the engine starts even if the brake is applied.

Of course, one of the big factors in hybrid tech, is the recuperation or regeneration of energy, and the A8 comes with some sophisticated management just for this. On-board computers process route data, front-facing camera views, and various sensor data, and calculates the best time to coast or recuperate (the system can even recuperate energy if you get too close to the vehicle in front). The upshot, is that fuel consumption is reduced by as much as 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

The new Audi A8 debuts on 11th July, at the first Audi Summit, in Barcelona, Spain. 

Further information on powertrain development at Audi is available at

Of course, Audi isn't the only German manufacturer to look into electrical power … Mercedes-Benz are also on the case, as this video highlights … possibly …


Thursday, 6 July 2017

10 mins = 2 long

We love cars – you know that. We also love animals. Sometimes, the two go very well together … sometimes, not … 

Hubble & Hattie, our imprint specialising in all things animal, has highlighted some important points about leaving pets in cars in hot weather, over on it's blog. Seeing as we're all about all things automotive, we thought we share some of its wise words with you here …

Not just dogs! This cockatiel nearly came
to an untimely end, left unattended and
without cooling in a local car park
(it was fine in the end).
Days out just aren't the same without our furry friends in-tow. When it's REALLY hot, it's best to leave your pet indoors, where it's shaded and cool (Hubble & Hattie have another brilliant post on just this, here). But, if you do have to take them with you, never EVER leave your pet in a warm vehicle.

Many people believe that leaving a pet in a car on a warm day, is fine, as long as the windows are open, and it's parked in the shade.

Don't be fooled: it's a highly dangerous situation for dogs and other small animals, even when 'normal' temperatures are resumed.

Automotive glass acts like greenhouse glass, trapping heat, and with an external temperature of 22ºC, the heat inside a car can rise to 47ºC within the hour.

On hot days, opening the windows simply won't make enough of a difference in a static vehicle. Dogs pant to cooldown, but heat and humidity make this less effective, and eventually, when the mercury gets to 40ºC, panting stops working. By then, it's likely to be too late.

According to DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs), distress and suffering occurs for pets when temperatures go above 25ºC for more than a few minutes.

Just 10 minutes … 

Wind down the window a crack, and pop into the shop for a few moments and Fido will be fine, no? No. Ten minutes is long enough to cause soft tissue and brain damage in dogs.

Just 10 minutes.

Here in Dorset, temperatures recently peaked around 30ºC. Think about that for a moment. In those temperatures, less than ten minutes in a hot car could be enough to cause permanent brain damage, and eventual death.

And it's not just cars: caravans, campers, and mobile homes can reach unbearable temperatures inside on hot days.

Here's Sergeant Harry Tangye, from Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, with some advice for the hotter days …

He looks okay … his tail is wagging!

Heatstroke in dogs is very serious, but there are early warning signs to look for. Heavy panting, barking, whining, and excessive salivation are the first signs. Of course, some dogs bark and whine more than others, but seasoned dog owners can usually spot the signs of distress, even in an unfamiliar dog, and even if a dog appears 'happy' to see you.

In hotter temperatures, these symptoms may only last a few minutes: glassy eyes, and unresponsiveness soon follow. By this time, cells have started to die, and seizures, coma, and death are likely to follow. There is no time to waste.

I'll break the window …

So, what if you do find a dog trapped in a hot car, and it's clearly distressed? Do you smash a window? Break in?

In the UK, only a Local Authority inspector or a Police Constable have the legal power to enter a premises (including vehicles) for the purpose of assisting an animal that is, or is likely to be, suffering.

Any member of the public who breaks into a vehicle, or attempts to, to assist an animal, would be subject to an investigation for the offence of Criminal Damage. It's possible that such an action could be classed as 'reasonable,' depending on the condition of the animal. UK law states that you have a 'lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.'

But, if Fido is fine, and you cause damage, you'd best get a lawyer!

Who ya gonna call?

The RSPCA seems like the first organisation to contact – BUT, it may not be able to attend quickly enough to help. Just as importantly, the RSPCA do not have powers of entry. Don't ask them to break in: they would be committing an offence, just like you or I.

If you're in a public carpark, such as a supermarket or store, ask the Manager to make a call over the store tannoy, requesting the owner immediately attends to remove or check on the dog.

If the dog is already showing signs of distress, dial 999 and report it to the local police.

Calmly give them as much information as you can: where you are, how long you've been aware of the pet in the car, whether the animal is responsive, showing signs of stress etc, and the car details, along with any efforts you may have already made to contact the owner, or otherwise help.

Once you've alerted the Police, call the RSPCA. Tell them that you've already called the Police, and give them the same info. Let them know what the Police are planning to do, or when they're likely to arrive at the scene.

They won't get here in time!

Sometimes the Police just won't be able to get to you in time to help the animal directly. If you think that it will be too late to save the animal by the time the Police arrive, and there is no other option left, ensure you do the following:

  • Tell the Police of your intentions
  • Take photos or a note of the car and licence plate
  • Take photos or videos of the dog
  • Take names and numbers of any witnesses

Even if you, personally, aren't taking direct action, it's worth doing this should you find yourself in such a situation, and remember …


Try to ensure that a crowd doesn't gather around the car, if possible, and that voices – and tempers – are kept low and calm. 

If the owner returns, and they become agitated, try to stay calm: being argumentative only results in more stress for everyone … including the dog. Tell them that you were concerned for the animal, and engage them: be as civil as you can, and wait for the Police to arrive.

If an animal has been removed from a vehicle, move it to a shaded area. Give it some water if you're able. Soaking a chamois or t-shirt in water, and rubbing this over them can help to cool them, as can fanning them, or spraying water over their coat.

DO NOT GIVE ICE CUBES IN THIS SITUATION; this can cool them too quickly, leading to complications. 

This (ever so slightly) tongue-in-cheek video from PETA offers some sound advice …

There is no law prohibiting the leaving of an animal in a hot vehicle, but there is a law against animal cruelty. In the UK, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, if an animal becomes ill or dies from being left in a hot car, the person responsible could face six months in custody, and a fine of up to £20,000.

Wondering what it would feel like to be stuck in a hot car on a hot day … why don't you try it? Park-up, and leave the car with the windows open a crack, and see how long you last. Don't forget, you can sweat to cool down – your dog can't, so he'll be feeling it 10 times worse than you. Just look how NFL Arizona Cardinals' player Tyrann Mathieu got on, when he tried to sit-out the heat for PETA … 

We hope you never need the above advice, but, should you come across an animal in distress in a vehicle, you know what to do.

You can keep up with Sgt Tangye on Twitter – @DC_ARVSgt – or on his blog at, whilst you can head over to the PETA UK website