PARTS BOOM REVIVES NATION’S CLASSIC CARS
Renewed spares supply helps to put YOUR cars back on our roads
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.