June 6, 2024

Celebrating Our Achievements at the Newspress Awards 2024

We recently shared that several members of the Bridge Classic Cars team were shortlisted in three categories for the Newspress Awards 2024. Although none took home the top prize, the recognition of being shortlisted is a great example of the dedication, talent, and hard work of our team. Being shortlisted among the best in the industry is an honour that we still want to celebrate.

Rising Star Journalist: Rob Harvey

I was extremely pleased to make the shortlist in the Rising Star Journalist category. I put lots of time and effort into writing in an engaging, informative, and easy-to-read style. While I have been writing professionally for a long time, I have only moved into the automotive industry exclusively over the last couple of years.

Although disappointed I didn’t win, I am still very proud to have my work recognised and I hope this carries on as my automotive career continues.

Read my work here.

Automotive Photographer: Nick Skinner

A huge shoutout also goes to Nick Skinner, who was shortlisted for the Automotive Photographer category.

Whether it’s the sleek lines of a new car or the history-filled body of a classic car, Nick’s photography is always stunning and the judges said in their feedback that it was an extremely difficult decision to find a winner in this competitive category.

Making the shortlist is a well-deserved recognition of Nick’s talent.

Take a look behind the scenes of the photoshoot that helped Nick make the shortlist here.

Automotive Video: The Whole Team

Finally, our entire team was honoured to be shortlisted for the Automotive Video category. This nomination is particularly special as it acknowledges the collective effort, creativity, and teamwork that goes into producing our videos. From the initial concept and scripting to filming and editing, every member of our team plays a crucial role. Our videos aim to not only inform but also engage and entertain our audience, and being recognised in this category validates the hard work we put into every project.

The video that got us recognised was the beautiful ‘Memory Lane’ featuring our Jaguar E-Type.


Pride and Gratitude

While we may not have won, being shortlisted in three categories is a significant achievement that we are immensely proud of. It shows the high standards we set for ourselves and our commitment to excellence in everything we do. We are grateful for the recognition and for the continued support we receive.

This experience has motivated us to keep pushing the boundaries and we look forward to bringing you more exceptional journalism, stunning photography, and engaging videos in the future.

Full List of Winners

  1. Commercial Vehicle Writer, Sponsored by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – Jack Carfrae
  2. Automotive Business Journalist – Natalie Middleton
  3. Classic Car Writer – Simon Hucknall
  4. Automotive News Journalist – Jack Carfrae
  5. Automotive Business Publication – Fleet World
  6. Automotive Consumer Journalist – Ray Massey
  7. Automotive Feature Writer, sponsored by Kia – Stephen Dobie
  8. Automotive Photographer – Adam Shorrock
  9. Automotive Video, sponsored by the Marcus Rutherford Foundation – CAR magazine
  10. Automotive Rising Star (Journalist), sponsored by Suzuki – Jesse Billington
  11. Road Tester – Yousuf Ashraf
  12. Automotive Technology Writer – Paul Horrell
  13. Automotive Website – The Car Expert
  14. EV Writer, sponsored by Kia – Erin Baker
  15. EV Publication – Electrifying.com
  16. Rising PR Star – Will Rees (Kia)
  17. Automotive Press Office – Kia
  18. Automotive Consumer Publication – Classic Car Weekly
  19. Automotive PR, supported by WOMAC – Dan Sayles (Kia)
  20. Automotive Editor – Erin Baker
  21. Lifetime Achievement Award – Alun Parry

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New washer pump on the 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas

Steve has been working on our 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas this afternoon, as part of his inspection of the classic he noted that the washer pump wasn’t working. So, he easily replaced the unit and cleaned out the washer bottle and checked everything worked correctly.

Getting the cylinder head back on our 1971 MGB Roadster

Our 1971 MGB Roadster has been in the workshop of our Suffolk HQ for our technician Steve to begin work on getting the top end of the engine back together.

The car came into us with a blown head gasket so the team stripped down the engine to remove the cylinder head and inspect for any damage. Thankfully it was minimal to none so the cylinder head was packaged up and sent off to a trust engineering works to be checked, skimmed and rebuilt. Whilst it was away, the team have cleaned up the mating surface for the gasket to ensure the best seal possible for when the head returned.

Once it was back with us, after also having hardened valve seats installed to be used with unleaded fuel, Steve got the cylinder head back onto the engine and then began the process of getting everything back together before the car begins road tests shortly.

Homeward Bound – Our 2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport heads to its new home

Our 2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport, which was won recently by Hugh, has been transported safely across the country right to his door step – which is where we delivered our Bentley Turbo R several months ago as Hugh is now part of a very small member of our double winners!

Tony, our incredible transport driver, cleaned and loaded the sports car into our covered trailer yesterday before setting off this morning to bring Hugh his new pride and joy. We wish him many happy miles with his new car.

Primed and Ready – Getting the 1960 MGA Roadster ready for colour

Mauro has been continuing to work on getting the 1960 MGA Roadster ready for its colour by keeping up his diligent and obsessive pursuit of perfection when it comes to the bodywork of the classic sports car.

With the car wearing a coat of polyfan, Mauro has painstakingly hand sanded every single inch of the car to make sure that each angle of the car is as good as it could possibly be. With the polyfan completely sanded off the car, it is a visual indication that each panel is exactly as it should be which means its time for the car to head into the paint booth for final primer.

Once the car had been carefully moved from the prep area at our Suffolk HQ, it was put into our booth for Mauro to lay down several coats of final primer on the car. All of the prep work on the car leads up to this moment, and as you can see the primer laid down near enough perfectly on each of the panels of the car.

Working on our 1956 Jensen 541

Interior:

Our trimmer Lydia has been working on getting the interior pieces in place to our 1956 Jensen 541. At this point, she has installed the bespoke carpet set into the car which has been made specifically to fit the contours of this particular chassis to make sure that it fits perfectly. So well in fact, that it is held in place with press studs which have to be aligned to make sure that each piece sits perfectly in the car.

Mechanical:

Alongside Lydia in our trim shop, our technician Paul has been handling the mechanical side of the classic GT car. Continuing his work under the bonnet, Paul has installed the wiring harness and secured it in place before routing the connectors and wires to the specific areas, such as the headlight buckets and other lighting. Paul has also fabricated and installed the mounts and brackets to hold the horns in place.

With the core of the interior now in place and the wiring loom ran to the headlights, Paul could fit the foot operated high beam switch into the footwell of the Jensen and wire it into the harness. From there he began work on modifying the exhaust heat shields, fabricating support bars for the radiator and fitting up the carburettor overflow pipework in the engine bay.

First step to getting our 1952 Austin A40 back on the road

Our technician Julian has been working on getting our barn-find 1953 Austin A40 back on the road after laying dormant for over 60 years. You can see the short film we did here of releasing the car from its hiding place.

To begin with, Julian worked on freeing up and rebuilding the entire brake system with new wheel cylinders and replacing any lines which had corroded or cracked. The previous owner had done a sterling job at preserving the cars bodywork and also its mechanicals, but over time rubber will perish and degrade regardless of its upkeep.

Next, Julian began to work on getting the original engine to fire up. This involved gently adding oil to the bores over a period of time and applying gentle pressure to the crank shaft to free off the pistons which had become corroded to the cylinder walls. Once it span over freely, he could check for spark and ignition which required a replacement coil and the little engine fire straight back into life. We couldn’t run it up for too long as Julian noted that the water pump and thermostat had been packed solid with corrosion and debris, so these were removed along with the radiator to be recommissioned.

Topless Retro Land Rover Defender

British Formula 1 driver Lando Norris is turning heads on the French Riviera this summer with his latest purchase: a bespoke, topless, retro-styled Land Rover Defender. Delivered to him in Monaco, this custom vehicle blends rugged Land Rover Defender 90 aesthetics with personalised, luxury features that reflect Lando’s unique style.

A Bold New Look for the Classic Defender

The most striking modification to this Defender is the complete removal of its roof—a first for Retro Automotive, the specialist restorers behind this unique vehicle. The topless design, paired with a distinctive McLaren-inspired colour scheme, sets this vehicle apart from any other on the road. The car’s Nardo Grey exterior, a custom pearlescent mix created exclusively for Lando, is complemented by luxurious Muirhead Egyptian Blue leather, giving the vehicle a cool Mediterranean vibe.

Ben Davies, director at Retro Automotive said “When we consulted with Lando about his customisation project, he was clear that he wanted the car to be completely topless, without any form of roof or sticks. We’ve never had that request before. Customers normally want some form of roof on it, so this really enhanced the individuality of the creation.”


Personalised Details and Superior Craftsmanship

This bespoke Defender is more than just something nice to look at. It features 3D-printed metal ‘Lando Norris’ iconography throughout, including on the hand-finished leather steering wheel. Designed with both comfort and usability in mind, the restoration was built up from bare metal and took over 1,000 hours to complete. The result is a vehicle perfectly suited to the Monaco lifestyle.

Ben Davies pointed out “Monaco is perhaps one of the most head-turning locations in the whole of Europe, so our creation for Lando will certainly be in good company. I’m sure eagle-eyed visitors to the area will be photographing the car for social media, which is exactly how Lando’s interest came about.”

“Lando had been sitting around the dinner table with some fellow F1 drivers and they were all chatting about how they loved the car and what the brand stood for. After he sent us a DM, we explained a little more about our philosophy, craftsmanship and attention to detail, and we then set about consulting with him to create his own bespoke retro-styled Defender that will sit proudly alongside his existing collection of other head-turning supercars.

Built for Performance and Comfort

The Defender’s adjustable air suspension ensures it can adapt to the varied terrain of the Riviera, from low and sleek in the city to beach-ready at the flick of a switch. The extended rear bench seats mean Lando can bring his friends with him, while the Pioneer head unit with Apple CarPlay and a removable Marshall Kilburn II cubby speaker system ensures high-end entertainment both in and out of the car.

Exclusive Creations from Retro Defenders

Retro Defenders, known for producing only 15 vehicles per year, ensure each creation is a unique masterpiece. The process from consultation to delivery typically takes at least six months, with customers kept updated via a personalised build portal app. Factory visits and a final VIP vehicle handover at the luxurious Swinton Estate in Yorkshire add to the exclusive experience.

Having delivered Lando’s custom Defender to Monaco, Retro Defenders continues to work on other high-profile projects. So, if you spot an eye-catching Defender on your travels, it may well be another creation from the Yorkshire-based company, driven by yet another celebrity.

Specifications

RestorationFull, bare frame, nut & bolt rebuild
TransmissionManual R380 rebuilt Hobsons Industries
FrameShot blasted back to bare metal, primed & painted in Raptor
Driver SideLeft hand drive
RadiatorUprated
Steering BoxFully reconditioned
BrakesRetro big brake kit with new conifer brake lines
Chassis CareDinitrol
Transfer BoxLT230 rebuilt by Hobsons Industries
Sound ProofingSeat box & bulkhead
EngineRover 3.9 EFi V8

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Caterham Relocates To New Global HQ

Caterham has announced its new factory has opened.

Still located in Dartford, Kent, the new state-of-the-art building will be home to Caterham’s production, engineering, motorsport and commercial teams.

A multi-million-pound investment from owners VT Holdings – one of Japan’s largest retailer groups – will see Caterham increase its production capacity by 50%, to 750 units annually.


The 54,000 sq ft facility is situated in a brand new nine-acre industrial park development called Dartford X. It is within close proximity to the existing factory, enabling the retention of the skilled workforce who are responsible for hand assembling all cars.

Following a nine-month fit-out and transformation, the new building now features the very latest paint booths, an engine shop, a parts warehouse and 33 individual bays, where each car builder is responsible for the complete build of a Seven. The additional floor space and layout will enable the business to operate in a more streamlined and efficient manner.

Now the new HQ is open, Caterham enthusiasts can book a factory tour of the new facility. The brand also plans to offer a range of other customer experiences including events and vehicle handovers.

Mr Kazuho Takahashi, CEO, VT Holdings, said: “We are thrilled to announce the start of operations at the new Caterham factory. This modern facility exemplifies VT Holdings’ unwavering dedication and support for the iconic British sports car brand, Caterham. From this new location, we will continue to take pride in delivering increasingly high-quality vehicles to our customers worldwide.”

Bob Laishley, CEO of Caterham, said: “Moving into our new global headquarters is a significant moment in our brand’s history and will be transformational for the business and the future of the Seven.

“Not only will we be able to increase our production capacity by 50%, but for the first time in our 50-year history the production, engineering, motorsport, and commercial teams will all be housed under one roof. It will make us a more efficient, streamlined business.

“Caterham fans and customers will also be able to see first-hand where our cars are assembled. It’s a hugely impressive modern facility and I have no doubt they’ll be blown away by it. I certainly am and I know our staff are thrilled to be operating in such a world-class facility.”  


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