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  •   Malcolm McKay reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Car #Humber-Hawk-Estate / #Humber-Hawk / #Humber / #Humber-Hawk-Series-II / #1964-Humber-Hawk-Estate /

    Year of manufacture #1964
    Recorded mileage 58,584
    Asking price £9450
    Vendor Pioneer Automobiles, near Newbury, Berks; tel: 01635 248158; www.pioneer-automobiles.co.uk

    WHEN IT WAS NEW

    Price £1261 (’1957 UK)
    Max power 73bhp
    Max torque 120lb ft
    0-60mph 21 secs
    Top speed 87mph
    Mpg 21

    This well-preserved Series III estate has had only four owners, first being registered to Rootes, and the latest since 2013 during which time it’s covered minimal mileage. It wears a decent older repaint and the chrome is all good, although a couple of the wheeltrims are lightly dinged.

    There’s been some welding along the sill bottoms, which you’d expect, but the structure appears solid thanks to oil leaks. The door bottoms have been repaired and remain relatively rust-free. The 2007-dated Camac tyres have plenty of tread, and there’s an unused newer Nankang spare.

    Inside, the leather is well preserved save one patch and the top of the front seat has been redone in vinyl. The carpet to the load bed and tailgate is newish, under which the rubber facings are original. The rear door cards are coming apart, but will be easy to re-glue. There are a couple of small cracks on the dashboard but the door cappings are smart.

    There’s been some recent rewiring work and the washer pump is new, along with the coil and battery, and the heater ducting has been repaired. The coolant is the right colour, but the oil needed topping up.

    The engine starts instantly and shows 50psi oil pressure, which never drops, the temperature sits just under ‘N’, the ammeter charging and even the clock works. Progress is a bit less stately than its bulk promises (look on the web for Team Tinworm for some hilarious racing exploits in the States), and the torquey 2267cc ‘four’ pulls well, with reasonably easy gearchanges from the column-shift, four-speed ’box. The overdrive (on top only) didn’t work, but apparently it did on the drive to Pioneer and, according to the warning light, the electrics for it operate, so we’ll assume that a few miles ought to unstick it. The ride is excellent and clonk-free, the steering nicely fluid and the brakes do their job effectively.

    The Hawk will be sold with spare keys, workshop manual and parts list, plus an MoT until 25 February. There was an advisory for an oil leak, but on older British iron we’ll count that as a positive for preservation.


    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR Fairly straight, with an older repaint that’s holding up well
    INTERIOR Generally well preserved, just needs a little attention
    MECHANICALS Feels in excellent health
    VALUE ★★★★★★✩✩✩✩
    For Practicality; comfort
    Against A little thirsty
    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    If you need a period antiquehauler, or you want to do Beaulieu Autojumble in style, it’s a huge, well-made old load-lugger.
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  •   Matt Robinson reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    OSCA 1600GT. What Maserati’s founding brothers did next. Size doesn’t always matter.

    This tiny Italian concern built a tiny number of tiny cars - but its founders are among the giants of Italian motoring lore. Words Richard Heseltine. Photography Mark Dixon.

    Great changes tend to have great side effects. For Italian carrozzerie, the 1950s and early '60s represented a period of tumultuous upheaval as grandees of the movement expanded out of all recognition. Traditional coachbuilding gradually made way for mass-manufacture as the likes of #Bertone , #Pininfarina and #Zagato became subcontractors to major players. Touring of Milan was among their number, the difference being that adapting to new circumstances and chasing volume would prove to be its undoing.

    In #1961 , Touring bodied only two OSCA 1600GTs, but the parallels between marque and coachbuilder are apposite. OSCA had struck a deal with a major brand that should have acted as a protective cloak for a company that was habitually underfinanced. Yet OSCA failed to see out the decade.

    Italian motoring lore is littered with fallen acronyms and few ever matched OSCA for sonority and brevity. Strictly speaking, it should be OSCAFM, but the last two consonants were dropped on account that it was impossible to pronounce. Yet it's the 'FM' bit that matters, for it stood for Fratelli Maserati. You see, for a decade or so, 'real' Maseratis were OSCAs.

    The fratelli were Ernesto, Bindo and Ettore, who had sold the marque that bore their name to #Adolfo-Orsi in #1937 , five years after sibling and guiding light Alfieri perished in a racing accident. Retained under contract for a further ten years, a decade that was said to have been less than amicable, the brothers left #Modena the moment the agreement expired. They regrouped and set up shop in a disused part of the original Maserati factory in their home town of Bologna to build small-displacement racing cars. Orsi retained the rights to their surname, so the brothers contrived the alias Officine Specializzate per la Costruzione di Automobili - Fratelli Maserati SpA.

    With Ernesto as designer, Ettore the artisan and Bindo running the show, the trio introduced their first model, the MT4 (Maserati Type 4), in 1948. This skimpy device was aimed at the 1100cc category that was popular on the home front. OSCA was soon at the sharp end of the tiddler class; often in contention for outright wins, too, attracting such stars as Gigi Villoresi, Felice Bonetto and Luigi Faglioli. After an embarrassing foray into #Formula-1 (and F2), the brothers stuck to sports cars thereafter, the highlight being outright victory in the #1954 Sebring 12 Hours for Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd aboard their MF4 1450 barchetta.

    By the dawn of the 1960s, it was a different story: OSCA was ill-equipped to bat away competition from the emergent British garagistas. There was some light on the horizon, however, as the firm's 1.5-litre twin-cam engine, as used for that Sebring win, had attracted the attention of Fiat. The Turin giant was looking to create a competitor for the sporting Alfa Romeo Giuliettas, and approached OSCA with a view to using the alloy-headed four in its proposed 1500 model. The brothers were receptive to the overture, but OSCA was in no position to produce the engine on an industrial scale given the amount of machining, honing and laborious fettling required per unit. Fiat was undeterred: a deal was struck whereby it would manufacture the engines in volume and supply them back to OSCA.

    In a roundabout way, this led to OSCA producing proper road cars as opposed to street-legal racing cars. This began with an approach from an existing customer who requested a small gran turismo, the resultant Tipo 1600GT becoming a catalogue model after it broke cover at the #1960 Turin motor show. The work of ever-creative pen-for-hire Giovanni #Michelotti , the prototype was dramatically - some might say controversially - styled, but it struck a chord. Beneath the square-rigged skin, this new strain featured the proven four-cylinder allied to a five-speed gearbox, mounted in a tubular ladderframe chassis. Suspension was all independent by double wishbones and coils, and there were Girling disc brakes front and rear.

    Predictably, numerous styling houses treated the 1600GT as a blank canvas, with Zagato's pretty take on the theme proving the most popular. Offered in various states of tune from 95 to 140bhp in twin-plug GTS spec, a full-house 710kg (down from 817) version was added to the line-up in 1963 with dramatic - some might say ugly - #Zagato coachwork. Only one was made. That same year saw the Maserati brothers sell out to the Agusta motorcycle/helicopter combine, and 1600GT production ended.

    The new regime instigated new models in time for the #1964 Turin motor show. The 1600TC (Trave Centrale) featured a backbone chassis (hence the name) and 'shock-proof' glassfibre body, but it failed to find favour. Same for the 1050 Coupe and its Spider sibling, which were based on #Fiat 850 platforms. The final ignominy heaped on this once-respected marque was the bizarre MV1700 - which featured 1.7-litre #Ford-V4 power and open or closed bodywork moulded by boatbuilder Corbetta. In 1967 it was all over. Tooling was destroyed, as were remaining spares.
    That wasn't quite the end of the story. The name was revived in #1999 using Japanese finance, yet the Ercole Spada-styled, #Subaru flat-four-powered 2500GT (or Dromos) remained unique. To many, the 1600GT remains the last true OSCA, yet precise production figures are a source of debate. Chassis numbers started at 001 and ended at 00127, of which Zagato bodied 98 (with three subtly different body styles), Fissore 24 (three of them convertibles), Touring a pair, Morelli just the one and Boneschi a trio of angular coupes. The problem is, some historians believe there are gaps in the chassis log and that the actual figure is closer to a mere 66 cars.

    Either way, the 1600GT is uncommon in any of its many flavours. 'Our' car was first seen on the OSCA stand at the #1961 Turin motor show, Road & Tracks Henry Manney III going so far as to describe its outline as being 'pleasant'. He went on to ponder the likelihood of it entering series production as a standalone variant. No chance: Touring had bigger fisher to fry.

    That same year saw Touring's principal Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni entertain George Carless, the ironically named general manager of the Rootes Group's newly established Italian headquarters. This led to an agreement whereby Touring would open a facility big enough to accommodate production lines. Britain was outside the European Common Market at the time, so it made sense to have a manufacturing site within the EC's borders. Sunbeam Alpine and Hillman Super Minx models would be assembled there, with Touring tailoring niche models.

    Touring had contracts with other manufacturers, but they were pared back in preparation for the manufacture of 10,000 Rootes products a year. Rootes then got cold feet and Touring employees went on strike in 1963. The firm's Nova Milanese factor}’ was never used to its full capacity - not even close - and it lurched into receivership in March 1964. There were attempts to turn around its fortunes: a batch of 400 Hillmans was assembled in short order from CKD kits, along with 100 Sunbeams. There was also the stop-start construction of #Lamborghini-350GT and #Alfa-Romeo Giulia GTC bodies. A year later, Touring was given the task of repainting a thousand unsold #Lancia Flaminias that had remained on the company's books. There were other orders, but none that could possibly return the company to prosperity. By late 1967, the game was over.

    It was a sad end for a carrozzeria that had produced a slide-show succession of design icons spanning several decades. Following its Turin showing in #1961 , chassis 0014 was sold to a trader in Genoa who moved it on the following year to a woman from Pasaro. She retained the car for 50 years before selling it to a dealer in Bergamo. It was acquired by arch-collector Corrado Lopresto in 2012. He is at pains to point out that the car hasn't been restored so much as titivated. It was mechanically overhauled, while the bodywork is largely original. The 1600GT has, however, been returned to its original colour, having been painted in a lighter shade of green early in its life. It has since gone on to win several concours prizes on more than one continent, most recently at the #2014 Warren Classic.

    Photographs don't really lend a sense of scale: the OSCA is barely 3900mm long, 1497mm wide and approximately 1200mm high. As such, there's an art to getting into it that doesn't involve you banging your noggin against the delicate ally skin. What's more, it's worth the effort. The cabin trim, from doorcards to carpeting, is all original, having merely been cleaned. The body-coloured dash is fronted by an attractive alloy-spoked wheel, its array of Jaeger instruments bearing the legend 'Fratelli Maserati Bologna' at their bases. The speedo runs to 200km/h, the revcounter to 8000rpm. There's no redline.

    Prior experience of OSCAs informs you that they're unhappy in traffic, not least because of the high-profile cams, yet this example is wonderfully well-mannered, if noisy. That rather goes with the territory - but what a noise. There's little urge below around 2000rpm but, once free of hectoring commuters and on less congested roads on the outskirts of Milan, the 1600GT comes into its own. It thrives on revs, becoming increasingly choral past 5000rpm. It feels like a thoroughbred engine, and it is precisely that. While Fiat made ample use of the OSCA unit, it supplied the blocks to OSCA unmachined. These in turn were honed and modified to the point that there were significant differences, not least increased oil flow to the journals, the use of special pistons and so on. Its competition heritage is palpable. It crackles with energy.

    The in-house gearshift is close-coupled to the point that it's all-too-easy to fluff a change and move from first to fourth but, with familiarity, it's delightfully precise. The steering, too, is light but accurate with it. You guide the #OSCA with smooth, minimal input rather than sawing at the wheel. Turn-in is crisp, and there's little discernible weight transfer. The ride is a little unyielding, but even the briefest of sorties is an immersive experience. It's a wonderful car, and one with bags of character.

    Whether success eluded the #1600GT or it eluded success is a moot point. It's a step above most small-series sports cars of the day, one that was capable of sub-8 second 0-60mph times, depending on state of tune. What's more, it had an enviable competition pedigree and wore distinctive outlines conjured by some of the more celebrated styling houses of the day. If not quite its final curtain, this was OSCA's last triumph.
    THANKS TO Corrado Lopresto, his son Duccio, and Massimo Delbo.

    Car #1961 #OSCA-1600GT
    ENGINE 1568cc four-cylinder, DOHC, twin Weber 38DCOE carburettors
    POWER 115bhp @ 6800rpm
    TORQUE 105lb ft @ 4800rpm
    TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
    STEERING Rack and pinion
    SUSPENSION
    Front: double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar.
    Rear: double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers.
    BRAKES Discs
    WEIGHT 817kg
    PERFORMANCE Top speed 118mph

    'This ear was first seen on the OSCA stand at the 1961 Turin motor show’
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  •   Richard Meaden reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    A Modern DB
    A fresh take on an iconic shape /// Words by Eli Solomon /// Photos from #David-Brown-Automotive / #David-Brown-Automotive-Speedback-GT / #Aston-Martin / #Aston-Martin-Speedback-GT / #Aston-Martin-Replica / #Aston-Martin-DB-Replica / #2015 /

    Rarely will you find a car where the phrase classic meets modern can be applied. The David Brown Speedback GT is one of them.

    At this year’s The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering, I did a double take when I walked past an attractive silver birch GT. Instant recognition, an apparition, a distant memory of something I’d seen before. Monty Norman’s #James-Bond theme song, synonymous with every Bond movie since #Dr-No , resonated in my head. Was it a vision from the Bond movies Goldfinger and Thunderball?

    The signage above the pavilion read David Brown Automotive. A triangle Union Jack provided a backdrop to the name. I’d read about this car previously, but I was still caught by surprise. The man who gifted the DB moniker to post-war Aston Martins (having bailed out the company in 1947) had passed on in 1993. Could the two David Browns be related?

    David McKirdy, our intrepid editor from Hong Kong, was beside me. He’d been a navigator in the very car in The Quail Rally that week. “Jaguar underpinnings,” my friend remarked. It’s not often I pay attention to modern machinery and there were enough new cars on display to drive the average motoring journalist berserk. Here, however, was a rare opportunity to appreciate a very distinct design. David Brown stepped forward and introduced himself. No PR ring fencing.

    There is an uncanny similarity between the David Brown I am talking to and Sir David Brown of the Aston Martin fame. Sir David Brown (1904-1993) was the legendary tractor manufacturer and gearbox maker who rescued Aston Martin in 1947. The DB cars that emerged from Newport Pagnell bore his initials – the DBR race cars, DB2, DB2/4, DB3S (one famously won the Macau Grand Prix in 1958 and the Singapore Grand Prix in 1961), DB4, 5 and 6…evocative Superleggera designs. When Ian Fleming’s indomitable Royal Navy Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR, was gifted a silver birch DB5 in the movie #Goldfinger ( #1964 ), the brand appeal was forever cast in stone.

    The younger Brown, builder and marketer of the Speedback GT in question, has had a career in making construction equipment. He’s also had some exposure to rallying and building rally cars. “So I thought, building a car’s easy. And it is, providing you know what you want to do,” Brown told me. The “emotional values” and skill set so readily available in England allowed Brown to sink his teeth into the monumental undertaking of creating a marque of his own. There, the similarities to the Aston Martin name end. Brown is very hands-on, and remains so. Given the firm’s location in Coventry, the industrial heart of Britain, production was easily subcontracted out, leaving his company as a design and marketing house. It keeps his payroll manageable, he says, but it must be a monumental task ensuring quality is maintained.

    It takes the firm around four to five months to put together a car from the point the donor chassis, a Jaguar XKR the company purchases complete, comes in the door. The underpinnings may come from Jaguar, but from the outside, there’s nothing that suggests an even remote connection.

    The “demo” GT that did its rounds at The Quail has chalked up over 18,000 miles of driving. “It is a very, very comfortable car to drive,” Brown said. He’s taken the car through its paces with an exhaustive run from Geneva to his home in Yorkshire via Stuttgart in a day without feeling the strain. It suggests he may have hit upon a real gem of a design – a true Gran Turismo in the style of the older Maseratis and Lagonda.

    The Speedback’s rolled aluminium styling is the work of Alan Mobberley, formerly of Land Rover. The first renderings on a piece of paper to the launch of the Speedback took a year, supremely quick by any standard. “We knew what we wanted,” Brown assures me. “It was something we wanted to create. When we went into the design studio, we put some pictures of Sophia Loren on the wall, and some Riva speedboats, and we played rock music… and got into the zone,” he explained.

    To date, Brown has sold six cars in Europe following the launch of the Speedback GT in Monaco in April this year. Given its Saville Row status and a high level of interest from The Quail’s guests, I expect there would have been more deals done in the United States during Monterey’s Car Week. A production target of 100 cars is envisioned and 10 are in production. “Even if there was great demand, we wouldn’t build more than a hundred,” he emphasised before our conversation shifted to his expedition of driving his classic AC from Singapore to Myanmar last year. The first lucky owner of the car should receive his Speedback in September this year.

    Former Land Rover desiger Alan Mobberley (left) styled the Speedback for David Brown (right).
    The Speedback’s unique pull-out picnic seat on display at The Quail in August.

    ENGINE (Manufacturer’s Estimates) / PERFORMANCE (Manufacturer’s Estimates)
    Acceleration 0-60mph (0-100km/h) seconds: 4.6 (4.8)
    Top speed mph (km/h): 155 limited (250)
    FUEL CONSUMPTION Urban mpg (l/100km): 14.9 (18.9)
    Extra urban mpg (l/100km): 33.0 (8.6)
    Combined mpg (l/100km): 23.0 (12.3)
    Carbon dioxide emissions (g/km): 292
    Tank capacity (litres approx.): 15.5 (70.6)
    5.0 V8 510 Supercharged Coupé
    Cylinders/valves per cylinder: 8/4
    Bore/stroke (mm): 92.3/93
    Capacity (cc): 5,000
    Maximum power EEC-PS (kW): 510 (375) @ rev/min: 6,000-6,500
    Maximum torque EEC-Nm (lb.ft.): 625 (461) @ rev/min: 2,500-5,000
    Compression ratio: 9:5:1
    Transmission: 6-speed automatic
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  •   Antonio Ghini reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    The #Jem-Marsh#1930 - #2015 Marcos instigator Jeremy George Weston ‘Jem’ Marsh died on March 2. He was 84. Richard Heseltine, who interviewed him several times, remembers him...

    Jem Marsh, the notoriously selfdirected motor mogul, left an indelible mark on the British specialist sports car industry, and for a variety of reasons. Arguably his greatest gifts were his tenacity and high tolerance for suffering, Marcos history being a story of peaks and troughs.

    Like Colin Chapman and Eric Broadley, Marsh was a product of the 750 Motor Club finishing school, the Westcountryman joining kit car pioneer Dante Engineering in 1955 on leaving the Royal Navy. Concluding that he could do better, Marsh left to form Speedex Castings & Accessories two years later. By the end of the decade, he had established himself as the UK’s premier supplier of Austin Seven gofaster parts along with a range of aluminium and glassfibre ’shells.

    Nevertheless, Marsh wanted more, a chance meeting with aerodynamicist/designer Frank Costin leading to what became the first Marcos (the tag being a contraction of the two principals’ surnames). In early 1959, the pair conceived an ultralightweight ‘Clubmans’ car, and one that would employ a plywood monocoque.

    The resultant device wasn’t remotely pretty, but it could hit 110mph with only a mildly-tuned 1172cc Ford sidevalve ‘four’. The first car was sold in May #1960 to Bill Moss, the former #ERA pilot winning nine races from ten starts. Costin vacated the scene in early 1961, having been at odds with Marsh over the marque’s future direction. The car which earned the marque legendary status – the time-defying 1800 – arrived in #1964 , its outline remaining broadly a constant for the next 40 years. Remarkably, it was conceived as a stopgap until a three-seater, midengined car came online. It never did.

    Rather less aspirational was the Mini Marcos which, like the closely-related Mini Jem, was rooted in the one-off #DART ‘special’. While it wasn’t the prettiest of cars, it was cheap and sold in huge numbers following its launch in 1965. One example was the first British car home in the ’66 Le Mans 24 Hours, although a ‘works’ attack on the endurance classic a year later – with Marsh being joined by Chris Lawrence – ended after just four hours of racing.

    Arguably Marsh’s greatest gift was his ability to attract backers into sharing his vision. Nevertheless, the original Marcos Cars concern crashed in 1972. Marsh moved next door and continued to offer the Mini Marcos prior to selling the rights in 1974, along with spares for the ‘big’ cars. He revived the classic Marcos outline in 1981 in kit form, although he loathed the term ‘kit car’ and would waste little time in telling you so. Despite serial ownership into the following decade, Marcos continued to attract custom with Marsh being very much the public face of the marque.

    Nevertheless, he enjoyed baiting journalists and wasn’t above tearing a strip off anyone who dared criticise his products in print. However, if you ‘got’ Marcos, Marsh could be great company and a fund of amusing (and often libelous) stories. He will be missed on many levels.

    Top left: The 1800’s timeless shape remained a #Marcos marque constant. Above: A youthful Jem Marsh, pictured in 1959. Below: En route to winning the 750 Motor Club’s drivers’ title the same year.
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 5 years ago
    #1964 #Morris #Mini #Cooper ‘S’
    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £756
    Max power 75bhp
    Max torque 79lb ft
    0-60mph 9.7 secs
    Top speed 99mph
    Mpg 28-35

    This #Mini was used by Jeremy Coulter in his campaign to win the #FIA European Historic Rally Championship, which he wrapped up in 1991 . He’d bought it as a two-owner car in #1990 and had it prepared by Mighty Minis. In #1992 , it went to Frank Fennell, who won that year’s Circuit of Ireland with it, and it has recently emerged from 18 years in his Dublin museum.

    The shell is rot-free, with some plating in the floors, open drain holes in the sills and the jig brackets under the floors still present, the jacking points welded over. Its subframes are in good shape. It has the usual rally mods, such as all lines and brake servo inside, the washer reservoir in the navigator’s door pocket and a heated windscreen. The seats and belts are new, and lifed until #2018 . There’s a big Lifeline extinguisher in the back, and provision for a hand-held on the co-driver’s floor. The tyres are decently treaded #Yokohama A008s, with two spares in the car because the boot is almost full of foam-filled aluminium fuel tank. There was some play in the steering, but the wheel just needs tightening on its splines.

    Under the bonnet, the 1293cc Bill Richards motor, dynoed at 112bhp, is tidy, with rev limiter and an electric fan with manual over-ride. The oil is cleanish and to the top level, although the water needed a top-up.

    It’s quite civilised to drive for a competition car, with a mild limited-slip diff and a straight-cut Jack Knight gearbox that isn’t much noisier than standard. It doesn’t ‘tug’ in the way that a tightly wound rally Mini can and still has synchromesh. The brakes are firm, the oil pressure when warm is 70psi at any revs, and the coolant temperature under 90ºC.

    The #Cooper ‘S’ will be sold with an MoT current up to 2 June #2015 and #FIA papers valid until #2019 , plus a file of its rally exploits.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR
    Straight and smart for a rally car.

    INTERIOR
    Tidy, with new seats and belts.

    MECHANICALS
    Healthy and recently sorted.

    VALUE ★★★★★★★★✩✩

    For A blast to drive, and almost ready for more competition.
    Against Won’t win outright against a Mk2 Escort (but it’s half as much).

    SHOULD I BUY IT?

    The HRCR would like to see it out again, it’s not greedy money and you can drive it to the shops, too – all at the price of a concours road car.

    Morris Mini Cooper ‘S’
    Year of manufacture 1964
    Chassis No: KA2S4-488619
    Engine No. 9FSAY31031
    Registration No. 487 FDA
    Recorded mileage 11,844
    Asking price £30,000
    Vendor Robert Glover, Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire; tel: 07779 079827
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