Brown Fury, our illustrious 1980 Allegro, has been on a road trip to Belgium, a feat it managed to perform virtually without incident. This was good news for Classic Car Weekly, but bad news for the Great Escape Cars Workshop as we didn’t have the All-Aggro to laugh at.
Fifty Shades of Saab
Luckily we found other things to amuse us, principally in the form of James, the multi-coloured Saab. James is named after E L James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, on account of James being, well, quite a lot of shades of paint, most of them grey. This is thanks to an altercation with a Peugeot 2008 last year, out of which the Pug fared considerably worse. We’ve just put the Saab back on the road after a year. It’s a rare 3 litre Turbo model, which we’ve had for several years, and now use for collecting parts locally. And, if the need arises, quickly.
Standard Vanguard Pick up
Our action car film projects often put us behind the wheel of some unusual vehicles. A Nash Metropolitan sticks in my mind, memorable for its self-opening doors. But this Standard Vanguard Phase 1 Pick Up ticked all the boxes. It’s in for a check over prior to filming, which starts next week. The Pick Up is a rare beast, which probably explains why this one is actually a replica, albeit a very, very good one. It’s owned by a Standard Vanguard enthusiast – he has several. It was a rare treat to see so many in one place when we collected it.
Mention Jensen to any car fan and they’ll rub their chin and sigh deeply. The West Brom battleships have a reputation for rot and being cantankerous and expensive to fix and with some reservations I’d agree. We have run two on hire for a while: a dark blue car that has been endless trouble and this car, which hasn’t. I’ve owned this one since 2006 – it’s the car that started Great Escape Cars in the first place. When it went for MOT in February it looked like just a minor rot issue. But with a Jensen, rot is never minor: the inner sills rot from the inside, but in a manner that is virtually impossible to see, even by MOT inspectors. So we’re fitting new inner and outer sills. It’s not a cheap or quick job but after 60,000 miles of Jensen ownership, I don’t begrudge it.
This 1964 B has just come off our hire fleet so we’re treating it to some major surgery ahead of its retirement. Although fundamentally sound, the car had started to deteriorate in the usual places – sills, arches, floors and so on. The paint had never been a great job so we attended to that too. The car you see here is at the refit stage of a four month project that has included chopping the rot and fitting new panels, a new roof and a full respray. In fact, a full respray twice: we weren’t happy with the first job so we insisted it was done again. This is a big investment on a B but the early cars command a premium and the owner will recover the cost if he ever sells. In the meantime he will have a very pretty MGB.
We’re on show
Hall 5 Stand 300 will be the place to be on 28th and 29th March. Well, if you’re Andrew and me anyway, because we’ll be manning the Great Escape Cars stand at the Practical Classics Restoration & Classic Car Show. We’ll be there with an E Type project car to talk about our repair and restoration work. We’ll be giving away a weekend in an E Type too so drop in. You’ve got to drop in to be in with a chance to win etc.
Cars & Coffee
Redditch, our home, is steeped in motoring history. BL had its HQ here, its management training centre was in Studley and Longbridge is just up the road. The town also has a massive number of classic car fans. And yet until now there has been no regular classic car meet in the town. We’re changing that with our Cars & Coffee event on 19th April. Entry is free and we’re giving away coffee and bacon butties to anyone who brings a car – as long as stocks last. We’re expecting a big turnout so even if you don’t have a car, come along and oggle. The event starts at 10am.