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✨ “Take it easy driving – the life you save may be mine.”
― James Dean
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I write this blog on behalf of my husband, Dave Clarkson, who supplies me with all the technical specs, info and interesting stories! Feel free to contact him on his cellphone at +27 60 637 2560.


Thursday, 31 December 2015

Why are men happier?

1961 Austin Healey 3000 MK.II Two-tone Blue 

Men Are Just Happier People -- What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack.

You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station rest-room because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress R5000. Tux rental - R100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.

The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. 

You know stuff about tanks. And engines. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. 

Your underwear is R8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck. 

You can play with toys all your life. Your belly usually hides your big hips. One wallet and one pair of shoes one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. 

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes. 

No wonder men are happier!

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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Saturday, 22 August 2015

1974 MGB GT


My latest acquisition - an Olde English White 1974 MGB GT with 3-door hatchback coupé body and Line-4 1799 cm3 / 109.8 cui, 62.5 kW / 85 PS / 84 hp (DIN) 5-speed manual powertrain.








1798cc 4 cylinder inline - 95 bhp @ 5400 rpm 
Gearbox : 4 speed manual with overdrive
Brakes : Disc front, drum rear 
Front suspension : Coil & Wishbone
Rear suspension v,
Steering : Rack and pinion

The MGB is a two-door sports car manufactured and marketed by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), later British Leyland, as a four-cylinder, soft-top roadster from 1962 until 1980. Variants include the MGB GT three-door 2+2 coupé (1965–74), the six-cylinder roadster and coupé MGC (1967–69), and the eight-cylinder 2+2 coupé, the MGB GT V8 (1973–76).

Replacing the MGA in 1962, production of the MGB and its variants continued until 1980, achieving sales for the MGB, MGC and MGB GT V8 combined of 523,836 cars. The MGB bodyshell was reprised in modified form with a limited run of 2,000 MG RV8 roadsters (1993–95).

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Quick list : Top 10 Classic British Sports Cars Ever Made

Jaguar XKE (1961–1974) 
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Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 5.3L V12 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Wheel Drive 
Made in Coventry, England 
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Morgan Plus 4 (1950-1961) 
Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 2.1L Inline 4 
Layout: Front Mid Engine with Rear Wheel Drive 
Made in Malvern, Worcestershire, England 
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Austin Healey Sprite (1958-1971) 
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Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 1.3L Inline 4 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Wheel Drive 
Made in Abingdon, England 
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Triumph Spitfire (1962-1980) 
Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 1.3L Inline 4 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Drive 
Made in Canley, Coventry, England 
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MGA Roadster (1955-1962) 
Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 1.6L Inline 4 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Drive 
Made in Abingdon, England 
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AC Ace (1953-1963) 
Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 2.6L Inline 6 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Drive 
Made in West Norwood, London, England 
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Austin Healey 3000 (1959-1967) 
Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 2.9L Inline 6 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Drive 
Made in Abingdon, England 
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Aston Martin DB5 (1963-1965) 
Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 4.0L Inline 6 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Drive 
Made in England 
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Bentley 4 1/2 Litre “Bentley Blower” (1927-1931) 
Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 4.4L Supercharged Inline 4 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Drive 
Made in Cricklewood, England 
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Lotus Elite (1958-1963) 
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Quick Info: 
Largest Engine: 1.2L Inline 4 
Layout: Front Engine with Rear Drive 
Made in Filton, England 
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Info from "Zero to 60"

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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Adding A Collectible Car To Your Portfolio For Fun And Profit


Well-heeled enthusiasts are dropping some serious money on collectible cars these days, not only as investments but as rolling works of art that can be appreciated as few appreciable assets can – out on the open road.

Collectible cars have always been a great investment and there are a lot of people out there who love cars and feel more comfortable putting their money in auto-mobiles than leaving it stagnate in a bank account.

Although there’s no crystal ball that lets an investor determine the future value of a collectible car, here are a few helpful tips for those looking to add one or more vintage rides to their portfolios as well as a wish list of 10 up-and-coming classic models that can be expected to grow in value over the coming years.

- Choose a particular model more for its personal and emotional appeal than strictly as an avenue for profit. Choose what you like, something you’ll enjoy driving and owning, and if there’s a dividend down the road – congratulations.

- But a word of caution - some cars may have great visual appeal that may not translate into value or reliability. In other words, do your homework and use the Internet and other resources to determine which models are most-desired by other collectors and to help estimate current values.

- Inspect the car thoroughly for rust, accident damage or any other faults

- As is the prudent course of action when buying any used vehicle, buy vintage cars only from reputable sources and have an expert mechanic check out a model under consideration to ensure it’s in good shape. Make sure the technician you choose is well versed in the peculiarities of the particular genre of vehicle in which you’re interested. If you’re buying a British sports car, you need to find a mechanic that understands British cars.

- Choose the best model in the best condition within a given class you can afford.

- Keep an eye out for originality – the fewer numbers of a particular model built or the rarity of a particular option combination included, the greater its value.

Even when stored properly, a car deteriorate when it’s not driven – by ‘exercising’ the car it stays in shape,. One of the best things you can do for a collectible car is to drive it. There’s no other investment that allows that kind of enjoyment!

TOP 10 (Starting at No. 10)


10. Morgan Plus 8. Built from 1968-2004
Take an unmistakably British roadster design, refrain from all but the most necessary updates to comply with regulations, build -- partially from wood -- in low numbers and, finally, become an icon. Now repeat. This was basically Morgan’s playbook for decades, and the team’s star forward was unquestionably the Plus 8. Built from 1968-2004 with few visual changes, this Moggie looked like ye olde sporting motorcar, but handled quite well and could keep up with many contemporary sports cars. Even today, there’s something quirky and fun about squeezing into one of these all-time British cars for a drive, especially the propane-fueled '84-'89 cars whose Buick-designed, Rover-sourced 3.5-liter V8 had fuel injection and a certain agility dulled by the bigger engines that soon followed.


9. Austin-Healey Sprite. 1958-1961
Donald Healey’s ultimate statement of affordable fun turns 50 this year, and even though the Austin-Healey Sprite’s demise came in 1969 (the less charismatic MG Midget cousin soldiered on another decade), it’s still one of the most popular all-time British cars for the street or, when modified, the track. Healey’s cost-saving approach depended on unabashed raiding of Austin and BMC parts bins, but the early Mk I Sprites of 1958-1961 featured an unmistakable front-end treatment: The Brits nicknamed these cars Frogeyes, whereas we nicknamed them Bugeyes. Regardless, these are the Sprites to own -- the ones wearing smiles, as big as their owners’.


8. Lotus Elise. First produced for Europe in 1996
Lotus founder Colin Chapman may have left us too soon, but his influence lives on with one of the all-time British cars worthy of being called a Lotus: the Elise. Chapman put Lotus on the map through obsessively cutting all unnecessary weight in his cars and tuning them for performance and handling. First produced for Europe in 1996, and finally appearing in the U.S. as a 2005 Series 2 model, some consider the Lotus Elise to be the car that saved the company’s bacon. Its success marked the long-overdue return of a genuine, reasonably affordable British sports car.


7. Landrover Series I, II and III. Between 1948 and 1985
Let’s make it perfectly clear: This is not about the squeaky-clean yuppie haulers that litter the suburbs. This is the British equivalent to America’s Jeep -- and to some Americans, the more desirable choice. Between 1948 and 1985, Series I, II and III Rovers were rugged and sparse, often matching the terrain they crossed. Like the Jeep, there was no pretense in the Rover’s presence, just incredible off-road ability. So as you might guess, this makes for a less than placid ride and handling on pavement. For the most agreeable compromise, shop for later Series IIIs from '82-'85 with their stronger half shafts and availability of limited creature comforts.


6. Aston Martin DB5. 1963
True, this is the model famous for its appearances as James Bond’s personal car, but even without all the 007 gadgets, an Aston Martin DB5 is quite a performer. Its 4.0-liter I-6 was smooth and powerful, offering up 282 horsepower and 8.1-second 0-60 mph acceleration on the way to a 143-mph top speed. This wasn’t half bad for 1963, and even now, a well-sorted DB5 doesn’t completely feel its age from behind the wheel. Production gave way to the DB6 in 1965, and the model’s celebrity association doesn’t make finding or affording one any easier. That’s not to say this all-time British car isn’t totally worth the effort.


5. Bentley Continental GT.
It was a tough call whether to recognize the impact of the 1920s 4.5-liter Blower Bentley or to celebrate the contemporary Continental GT coupe. In the end, the GT -- even if derided by some as a “German Bentley” due to the marque’s VW ownership -- takes the honor. Short of supercars at twice the price, there just aren’t many modern cars that make the statement of the Continental GT. Luxury and performance credentials are implied at a glance and immediately substantiated by the driving experience. Triple-digit speeds are attainable in a flash, but the whole affair is drama-free from inside the well-appointed cabin. Truly, that qualifies this all-time British car as a Bentley.


4. Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II. From 1959-1962
Today’s Phantom sedans and convertibles are impressive, but only time will tell whether their legends compare to the Silver Cloud’s. From 1959-1962, this car was the modern link to the marque’s earliest models that amazed buyers with durability, refinement and quiet, fuss-free operation. The Silver Cloud II featured understated improvements in cabin and exterior design elements that would live on in later cars for decades. Speaking of long-lived traits, the introduction of the Silver Cloud II also marked the debut of the 6.2-liter V8 and this all-time British car's “adequate” horsepower.


3. Jaguar E-type.
Earlier E-Type models from '61-'64 are seen as more desirable due to the covered headlamps and the entertaining 3.8-liter I-6 engine. For many enthusiasts, this is not a British car, this is the British car. Even Enzo Ferrari remarked that it was the most beautiful car ever made, upon its 1961 release. He wasn’t alone in this sentiment, as the immediately popular E-Type not only looked stylish enough to play with a Ferrari, it had the power to run with them. Jaguar press materials claimed 150 mph was possible, and if this was a little optimistic, it wasn’t off by much. Owners today probably aren’t as keen to explore their all-time British cars' upper limits, given the strong market and consistent demand. Earlier E-Type models from '61-'64 are seen as more desirable due to the covered headlamps and the entertaining 3.8-liter I-6 engine.


2. Austin Mini. 1959 to 1967
New MINI Coopers are typically dwarfed by just about anything on four wheels -- except maybe for the legend it’s based upon. And while the new car at least deserves an honorable mention in a review of all-time British cars, the original 1959 car made it all possible, even if it was somewhat by accident. Sir Alec Issigonis was only acting on orders to design a fuel-efficient car, not trying to create a legend -- but it turned out that both happened in the process. Thrift-minded consumers and celebrities alike celebrated the Mini, and it also made a name for itself in the racing world. Sales in the U.S. never matched those overseas, and tightening federal regulations didn’t help; so finding a decent '60-'67 model wasn't exactly easy.


1. MG TC. 1945-1950 
You have to wonder what the state of sports cars would be today without the 1945-1950 MG TC. On its own, frankly, it was nothing spectacular. However, MGs were nothing like the typical cars across the pond, so they became a hit with American GIs abroad. Some brought the little TCs home after World War II, while others quickly bought them as dealers sprang up. Regardless, the acceptance of the unconventional car within such a car-centric culture is likely to be a major factor in what followed here and around the world.

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Monday, 27 April 2015

15 Basic rules for driving in Gauteng


1. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Gauteng driver never uses them.

2. Under no circumstance should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, or the space will be filled by two Golfs, a BMW and an Uno, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

3. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.

4. Never, ever come to a complete stop at a stop sign. No one expects it and it will only result in you being rear-ended.



5. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving you a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs.

6. Never pass on the right when you can pass on the left. It's a good way to check if the people entering the highway are awake.

7. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as a guideline. They are especially not applicable in Gauteng during rush hour. That's why it's called 'rush hour...'.

8. Just because you're in the right lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that a Gauteng driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can go faster in your spot.


9. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tyre. Never stop to help - you will be mugged.

10. Learn to swerve abruptly. Gauteng is the home of the high-speed slalom driving thanks to the Metro Police Department, which puts holes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.

11. It is traditional in Gauteng to honk you horn at cars that don't move the instant the light turns green. This prevents storks from building nests on top of the traffic light and Indian mynahs from making deposits on your car.

12. Remember that the goal of every Gauteng driver is to get there first by whatever means necessary.


13. In the Gauteng area, "flipping someone the bird" is considered a polite Gauteng salute. This gesture should always be returned.

14. On average, at least three cars can still go through an intersection after the light has turned red. It's people not adhering to this basic principal that causes the big traffic jams during rush hour.

15. A solid white line is the same as a staggered line in Gauteng. The Metro Police Department just have to save paint to buy new cars for all the new directors. A solid white line next to a staggered line means they have sorted the directors out and the paint contract has been awarded to their wives.

 
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Classic cars as an alternative investment


Stocks and shares aren’t the only option for investing savings. Classic cars, vintage watches and fine wines are just some of the profitable ways to prepare for the future.

Traditional investment vehicles have taken a pounding in the last seven years and could become more unstable next year given Eurozone stagflation, setbacks in Japan, a debt-ridden China, oil-price collapse and diminishing returns from G7 monetary stimulus.


However, uncertainty in the markets is making the world of alternative investment increasingly attractive for those seeking returns on their cash. And let’s face it, a 1950 Ferrari 166 Inter Vignale Coupe and a case of Chateau Latour are sexier than a wad of share certificates!

According to Knight Frank’s Luxury Investment Index, alternative or “passion” investments such as fine art, antiques, classic cars and fine wine have outstripped the FTSE100 in the last decade.

Classic cars have proved particularly profitable. The Blue Chip index of classic cars, compiled by specialist Hagerty, which is made up of the 25 most sought after post-war cars, has more than doubled since the start of 2010.

1964 MGB Roadster pull-handle

Between 1992 and 2012, the value of classic and collectable cars rose by an average of between 18 per cent and 20 per cent a year. An MGB that would have cost £5,000 five years ago could now set you back more than £10,000.

The pattern is often repeated in other investment areas. Between 2005 and the end of June 2013, the price of collectible watches rose by 176 per cent while jewels returned 146 per cent.

In the art world, traditional Chinese artworks rose by 163 per cent between 2005 and mid-2013. Fine wine has also enjoyed a boom in the last 15 years and although the market saw blips in 2008 and 2011, it has begun to show signs of recovery in the last quarter.
Info from “The Telegraph”

According to the Knight Frank Wealth Report, classic cars were the top performing collectible investment in 2014, posting gains of 16 percent. That narrowly beat art, with 15 percent gains, and coins, with 13 percent gains. But cars left stamps, jewelry, wine, coloured diamonds and watches in the dust. Cars have also held the pole position over the longer term. They have posted the best 10-year performance—with gains of 487 percent—as well as the best over five years, with 140 percent.

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

How to avoid destroying the paint-job on your vintage car


Winter is upon us, and this sometimes means you'll be taking your vintage car out less than usual. Winter is the ideal time for 'spring cleaning', in your house, business as well as body, mind and spirit. Whether you're embarking on a new 'correct eating plan', or whether you've decided to implement your New Year's resolution early, Spring is always a good time to implement new ideas and plans.

Why wait for the so-called 'end of the year' or '1st January' or 'Monday'? The present time is all we have – yesterday doesn't exist and tomorrow doesn't exist – there's no time like the present. Make it your goal to be in love with every NOW moment. And that means this moment of NOW SPRING-CLEANING YOUR GARAGE and avoid destroying the paint-job on your vintage car!


There is nothing worse than a cluttered garage or workshop! A cluttered space is one of the main causes of lost tools, injuries and damage to your precious vintage car. It makes sense to clean up the space where you store your vintage car, so protecting your investment and ensuring your own safety and a safe and healthy environment for you and your family.


Obviously the first step is to unpack the garage, clean the floors and walls and then go through all your stuff and decide what to keep. Be ruthless. Throw away anything that you haven't even SEEN for years! Then pack what you want to keep in order of importance - then it will be easy to carry back and store it in order of relevance.

If you're a 'hoarder' like me, then preferably you should have a seperate store room for all the other 'necessities' that can't be thrown away. For example, I never throw away large sheets of cardboard or plastic, they're great to lie on under the car (if you haven't got a pit), but they should definitely be stored away from where you keep your car as they are a great fire hazard. All hazardous chemicals (petrol, paint, oil, etc) should also be kept in some other safe place.


The first step before you pack everything back, is to organise your now nice and clean garage with shelving, cupboards, tool boxes and peg board on the walls for easy access to the tools and equipment you use most. Make sure you leave enough room on the sides so that the car doors can easily open without bumping on anything, which can cause a lot of damage.

This is not an ideal situation. The motorbike is far too close to the car for confort!

Here are a few examples of some pretty neat clean, good-looking garages.






Before and after - a perfect clean-up operation!


Ideally,your workshop should be separate from where you store your finished project and here things can get a bit more messy. But it is still common sense to have a clean-up every couple of months to ensure safety and a comfortable working space.


A perfect example of a well thought-out workshop.

Classic cars are an incredible investment. Since 2008, the classic car market has grown enormously and the value of the cars has gone stratospheric.From the average collector’s point of view, it’s something that can offer a good pension pot. If you put your money into a nice classic now, you’ll probably double or treble your money when you sell it. Life’s too short not to enjoy what you are doing and if you can invest in a car or a boat or a piece of art – anything that you love and enjoy – then so much the better.

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