Undertaking a complex restoration project at home is never a straightforward task. I’ve battled my way through this technically challenging process twice in the past and fully appreciate what’s involved to bring a down-at-heel car back to life. So I take my hat off to Michael Harcourt, the owner of the pre-war baby Austin featured in this issue, as he managed to completely rebuild this little beauty from what was essentially a derelict non-runner that had to be trailered home. The restoration of this vintage survivor makes interesting reading and this talented owner is obviously a glutton for punishment as he’s now restoring a Triumph Stag and in the past has owned an enviable collection of interesting classics.
I’m not a huge fan of modifying classics just for the sake of it but the supercharged MGB featured in this issue is an exception as the many of the upgrades carried out to this car, such those done to the suspension, show how BL could have developed the MBG while it was still in production. Mind you, I still enjoy driving a bog standard 1.8-litre ‘B whenever I get the chance, especially a roadster and still mourn selling the one I restored over 20 years ago. It would be interesting to know if my former Snowberry White roadster is still around, so if you’ve got YPF 654G tucked away your garage, give me a call as it would be nice to see my old ‘B again.
The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show gets underway at Birmingham’s NEC a few days after this issue of Classics Monthly hits the newsstands and this year’s show promises to be bigger and better than ever. If you’re going to the NEC, take a good look at the scruffy red Mini lined up with all the shiny metal on the Lancaster Insurance stand, as after the show this little car will be joining our project fleet alongside our Jaguar XJS and Land Rover Discovery and we’ll be exclusively covering the Mini’s restoration in Classics Monthly.
While you’re at the show, don’t forget to call by our stand and say hello as it would be great to have a natter about what you’re planning to do to your car over the winter!