PARTS BOOM RE­VIVES NA­TION’S CLAS­SIC CARS

Re­newed spares sup­ply helps to put YOUR cars back on our roads

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - David Simis­ter

Ef­forts by man­u­fac­tur­ers and spe­cial­ists to re­make more clas­sic parts is help­ing to put cars back onto the road. The re­sult is that 958 MGBs and 488 Minis are reg­is­tered as be­ing back on the road year on year. It’s a sim­i­lar story for other cars with im­proved spares sup­port.

‘ We reg­u­larly meet up with the clubs to find out which parts are tricky to source’ TONY O’KE­EFFE, JAGUAR CLAS­SIC

Ef­forts by man­u­fac­tur­ers and clas­sic spe­cial­ists to pro­duce more parts is help­ing to put more of the na­tion’s clas­sics back on the road, new DVLA data reveals.

The num­ber of MGBs, Minis and Jaguar XJ- Ss reg­is­tered as be­ing on Statu­tory Off Road No­ti­fi­ca­tions – or SORN – has dropped over the year lead­ing up to the end of 2016, the most re­cent pe­riod for which fig­ures are avail­able. It fol­lows ini­tia­tives by man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ing Jaguar Land Rover and Porsche to pro­duce more parts for their older mod­els, and work by spe­cial­ists like Bri­tish Mo­tor Her­itage to ramp up their parts sup­ply.

BMH’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John Yea says: ‘As­sur­ing good avail­abil­ity of re­place­ment pan­els and bodyshells for the Mini, MGB and other mod­els we spe­cialise in en­cour­ages our Bri­tish Mo­tor Her­itage ap­proved spe­cial­ists to stock the other items needed by en­thu­si­asts and re­stor­ers.

‘The com­bined ef­fect is a level of parts sup­ply nor­mally only as­so­ci­ated with cur­rent ve­hi­cles.’

The num­ber of SORN no­ti­fi­ca­tions has also dropped for the Tri­umph TR7/8, with 261 fewer cars be­ing listed as the off road, and the Porsches 924, of which 72 fewer cars are on SORN.

But the num­ber of SORN no­ti­fi­ca­tions for some clas­sics that are not as well sup­ported is still on the in­crease, with 30 more preFa­rina Mor­ris Ox­fords now be­ing listed as off the road and eight more Rover 3-Litres be­ing taken out of ac­tion.

Jaguar Clas­sic com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Tony O’Ke­effe says that in­creas­ing man­u­fac­turer in­volve­ment in parts for clas­sics is help­ing to put cars back onto the road, even if it ini­tially means that some of these prod­ucts are loss lead­ers for the man­u­fac­turer.

He says: ‘It’s def­i­nitely a con­tribut­ing fac­tor, and we reg­u­larly meet up with the Jaguar clubs to find out which parts are be­com­ing tricky to source. For in­stance, there was a short­age of XK8 wind­screen sur­rounds at one point – if your screen caused an MoT fail­ure you could find a re­place­ment, but the lack of sur­rounds to go with them was keep­ing cars off the road.’

Parts spe­cial­ist Rim­mer Bros says that con­tin­u­ing ef­forts to pro­duce new parts for clas­sics – in­clud­ing the launch of a new bodyshell for Mini MkIs last month – is en­cour­ag­ing more own­ers to keep cars on the road and to tackle un­re­stored projects. Sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager An­drew Mundy says: ‘ We’ve had a lot of feed­back from cus­tomers that parts we sup­ply have helped to keep cars on the road that might oth­er­wise have gone to the scrapheap.’

Sup­port from spe­cial­ists like Bri­tish Mo­tor Her­itage is pay­ing off – lat­est fig­ures show 488 fewer Minis listed as be­ing off the road.

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