Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager - Bridge Classic Cars

Fuel Pickup

The new fuel pickup for our 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 fits other models so has longer pipes than needed. Steve has modified it so it

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Transit Fuel Sender

Steve has dismantled and cleaned the fuel sender in our Ford Transit Tipper MKII. This cured the bad contacts before the top part of the

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Competition Prep

Jonn has continued his work on our 1989 Daimler Double Six. His notes are below: Continue to replace spark plugs. Remove throttle tower and cruise

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A Suffolk Barn Find

Earlier today, several members of the Bridge Classic Cars team headed to Ipswich to take a look at a true barn find. We’d heard about

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Daimler Repairs

Classic car technician Jonn has been making some repairs on our 1989 Daimler Double Six. Here are his notes: Investigate viscous fan rubbing cowling. Slacken

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SS100 Refit

Julian has refitted the wings and rubbers on our 1939 Jaguar SS100. The headlights have also been refitted along with the inner panels. Chris also

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PDI And Transport

Our 2006 Morgan 4/4 has undergone a pre-delivery inspection with Jonn before being loaded into the trailer by Tony to deliver it to lucky winner

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A New V12

Every so often, Aston Martin introduces a revolutionary engine that redefines ultra-luxury driving, and their latest creation is a powerful new V12. Staying true to

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Pre MOT Check

Our 1985 Mercedes SL280 has been undergoing a pre-MOT check with technician Jonn. After sucking out the coolant from the header tank and replenishing the

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H&H Auction

Craig and Gordon went to the H&H auction last week. It was a successful day out and they ended up buying several cars that will

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Lots Of Change

There is a lot of change happening at Bridge Classic Cars as of late. New workbenches have arrived which will go into The Atelier as

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Almost There

Our 2022 Bridge C-Type Replica is getting closer and closer to being finished and ready to get out on the road. Jonn has been continuing

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Daimler Repairs

Classic car technician Jonn has been completing some repairs on our 1989 Daimler Double Six. Here are his notes: Finish inspection and start repairs. Top

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More Welding

Our 1951 Austin Devon has continued its start in fabrication with Chris. He has welded in the floor corners and seat base frame. He also

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Newspress Awards 2024

The shortlist for the Newspress Awards 2024 has been announced, revealing who is in the running to be recognised as the stars of the UK’s automotive journalism and PR industries. 

We have made the shortlist in 3 separate categories – me in the Automotive Rising Star (Journalist) of the Year sponsored by Suzuki, Nick in the Automotive Photographer of the Year, and the Bridge Classic Cars team in the Automotive Video of the Year sponsored by the Marcus Rutherford Foundation.

While the competition is extremely tough in all categories, making the shortlist is an achievement we are all proud of and we look forward to sharing the results when they are announced soon.

Awards CategoryShortlist
Commercial Vehicle Writer of the Year –
sponsored by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
 George Barrow
 Jack Carfrae
 Richard Gooding
 Tom Webster
Automotive Business Journalist of the Year Jack Carfrae
 Tom Geggus
 Richard Gooding
 Jonathan Manning
 John Maslen
 Natalie Middleton
 Tim Rose
Classic Car Writer of the Year Jesse Billington
 Trinity Francis
 Simon Hucknall
 Karl Ludvigsen
 Charlotte Vowden
Automotive News Journalist of the Year Jack Carfrae
 Ellis Hyde
 Ray Massey
 Tim Rose
 Shazhad Sheikh
Automotive Business Publication of the Year Automotive Management/AM Online
 Automotive Testing Technology   International
 Autovista24
 Crash Test Technology International
 Fleet World
 Tire Technology International
Automotive Consumer Journalist of the Year Stephen Dobie
 Graham King
 Ray Massey
 John Mayhead
Automotive Feature Writer of the Year –
sponsored by Kia 
 John Barker
 Giles Chapman
 Stephen Dobie
 Will Dron
 Maurice Hamilton
 Sean Rees
 James Taylor
 Charlotte Vowden
Automotive Photographer of the Year Jayson Fong
 Ben Midlane
 William Neill
 Aston Parrott
 Adam Shorrock
 Nick Skinner
 Nick Williams
Automotive Video of the Year –
sponsored by the Marcus Rutherford Foundation
 Yousuf Ashraf
 AutoEV
 Bridge Classic Cars
 Deutsche Welle REV
 Tim Rodie Drives Stuff
 CAR
Automotive Rising Star (Journalist) of the Year –
sponsored by Suzuki
 Jesse Billington
 Dino Buratti
 Rob Harvey
 Tom Hooker
Road Tester of the Year Yousuf Ashraf
 Stephen Dobie
 Will Dron
 Richard Gooding
Automotive Technology Writer of the Year Jack Carfrae
 George Barrow
 Rachel Evans
 Richard Gooding
 Paul Horrell
 Karl Ludvigsen
 James Taylor
Automotive Website of the Year Autovista24
 Fleet World
 The Car Expert
EV Writer of the Year –
sponsored by Kia
 Erin Baker
 Jack Carfrae
 Tom Geggus
 Ray Massey
 Sarah Tooze
EV Publication of the Year AutoEV
 Auto Trader
 Electrifying.com
Automotive Rising PR Star of the Year Sam Buckingham (Honda)
 Filip Czajkowski (Isuzu)
 Emma Illman (Hyundai)
 Milissa Ordona (Kia)
 William Rees (Kia)
Automotive Press Office of the Year Kia
 Isuzu
 Mazda
 Nissan
 Stellantis
Automotive Consumer Publication of the Year Classic Car Weekly
 Free Car Mag
 The Car Expert
Automotive PR of the Year –
sponsored by WOMAC
 Simon Branney (Genesis)
 Graham Fudge (Mazda)
 Jessica Grimditch (Suzuki)
 Alun Parry (Suzuki)
 Dan Sayles (Kia)
 Simon Wells (Paperchase)
Automotive Editor of the Year Erin Baker
 Stuart Masson
 Tim Rose
 James Ruppert
Lifetime Achievement Award To be announced

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UK’s Used Car Market Enjoys Robust Growth in Early 2024

The UK’s used car market has kicked off 2024 with an impressive first quarter, experiencing a 6.5% increase in sales. 1,967,923 used cars were purchased, marking the strongest start to a year since the pre-pandemic heights of 2019. This update comes from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), indicating a positive trend that’s been building for 16 consecutive months.

This growth can largely be attributed to the recovery of the new car market, which has enhanced the variety and availability of second-hand vehicles. Despite this uptick, the total sales for this quarter are still 2.6% below the levels seen before the pandemic.

One of the standout trends in the market has been the significant increase in sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). With a record 71% jump in purchases, 41,505 BEVs were sold, now accounting for 2.1% of the market. This surge is due to the growing appeal of electric vehicles, which offer both cost savings and environmental benefits. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are also seeing a rise in popularity, with sales increases of 49.3% and 42.5% respectively.

Despite the growth in electric and hybrid vehicles, petrol engines remain the most popular choice, with sales up by 7.7%. However, diesel vehicles have seen a slight decline of 1.3%. Together, traditional powertrains represented 92.9% of all used car sales this quarter.

In terms of vehicle types, superminis were once again the top sellers, with a 7.2% increase in transactions, followed by lower medium vehicles, which saw the largest volume growth. Dual-purpose vehicles also performed well, maintaining their market share and showing a robust growth of 10.3%.

As for colour preferences, black continues to dominate the market, representing 21.3% of all used car sales. Grey and blue follow closely behind, with grey showing the most significant growth among the top ten colours.


Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “A reinvigorated new car market is delivering more choice and affordability for used car buyers and, increasingly, they are choosing to go electric. To enable even more drivers to enjoy the benefits of zero-emission motoring, ensuring both supply and demand remains robust is essential. Incentivising new EV uptake and investing in a chargepoint network that is accessible, available and affordable to all will drive the nation’s net zero transition.”


All used car data published by SMMT is correct based on information available at the time of publication. SMMT used car data is derived from information supplied by DVLA, which periodically revises historic data, which can therefore result in variations on data previously reported.

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MG TF Transport

Tony has collected our 1955 MG TF from its owner and safely transported it to the workshop.

Axle Storage

The axle of our 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe has been safely put into storage.

Fuel Pickup

The new fuel pickup for our 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 fits other models so has longer pipes than needed. Steve has modified it so it now fits the tank on our car.

Transit Fuel Sender

Steve has dismantled and cleaned the fuel sender in our Ford Transit Tipper MKII. This cured the bad contacts before the top part of the sender was zinc-plated.

New Springs And Some Extra Info

Julian has fitted 2 new springs to our 2010 Renault Wind Roadster.

Also, we have recently been sent some information from Stephen Norman, Worldwide Marketing Director, Renault, 2007-2014 who had this to say about the Wind:

“Not many people know this … !

In the years around 2010, several manufacturers were indebted to Webasto [principally known for sunroofs but in fact suppliers of many more sub-assemblies than that], because of their inability to call off the number of sunroof-equipped cars they had committed to, and that Webasto had tooled up to produce.

It is to be understood that it was not a sunroof problem but rather one of overall production volume of which sunroof-equipped cars.

In such cases significant impairment has to be paid and of course piece-costs go through the roof [sic].

Webasto had developed a retractable roof system that was both innovative and fast [12 seconds], and could be used on the move. They hawked it around the motor industry and had difficulty in finding a taker, it is easy to see why.

Renault decided to engineer a car around this roof system and both add an innovative model to the 2007 Twingo II offering [light-years away from the original Twingo], and to solve their call-off problem on this major supplier.

Thus was born the Renault Wind ….

For the anecdote both the British and the Dutch resisted the name and its connection to flatulence, but objective Marketing Research threw up no connections whatsoever. CQFD about people in the motor industry!

There was a beautiful Gordini Series Renault Wind too, very desirable at the time.”

Stephen Norman

Worldwide Marketing Director, Renault, 2007-2014

Competition Prep

Jonn has continued his work on our 1989 Daimler Double Six. His notes are below:

Continue to replace spark plugs. Remove throttle tower and cruise control diaphragm to gain access to fit new plugs. Refit all components removed. Charge battery. Put 10lts fuel in and run up. Better now, running on all 12 cylinders. But AAV temperamental and can make idle speed drop and hunt. Recalled tie injector multi plugs. Top up coolant. Fit breather pipe to distributor cap.

Unblock washer jet and set aim. Disconnect Aux air valve pipe and blank off. Run and idle perfect. Reconnect have pipe and now idling fine but have may require replacing in future.

Continue light repairs. Fit new fuse for front sidelights and test. Investigate main beam not working offside replace blown bulb and test. Still not working. Check fuse and clean connections but still not working. Check power and earth supplies and found no earth. Rewire earth connector with new terminals and test, ok now. Investigate indicator issues. Remove offside front indicator and for d no earth also to bulbbholder.strip and resolver earth connector and refit and test, ok. Use contact spray on rear electric window switches and test, all ok. Start to remove spark plugs.

A Very Busy Jensen

A lot of progress has happened with our 1956 Jensen 541. Paul has continued his work and has completed a lot of tasks. Here are his notes:

Fit propshaft,check rear axle alignment, fit fuel line at tank,fit n/s door catch captive plate,fit gearbox tunnel, Prep manifolds ready to fit,fit drive shaft,connect pedals to master cylinders,fabricate water bottle mount.

Fit washer bottle and wire in,make loom for electrics to heater fan and wiper motor,fit exhaust manifolds,fit oil feed pipeto gauge,and fabricate mount for flex oil fed pipe,fit clutch and brake pedal pads,fit brake servo pipe.

Fit spare wheel carrier, top up gearbox,engine and differential oils, add fluid to brake and clutch systems and bleed through,fabricate hand brake rods and modify fittings,fit vacuum pipe for brake servo.

Fit brake pedal return springs,wire in loom for bonnet ,fit headlights in bonnet,start fitting bonnet air flap.

To allow Paul to work on the bonnet, Tony transported it from our storage facility to the workshop.

A Suffolk Barn Find

Earlier today, several members of the Bridge Classic Cars team headed to Ipswich to take a look at a true barn find.

We’d heard about it but we hadn’t seen it so we had no idea the condition of the car that had been safely locked away since at least 1987.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Jenny, who owned the car. She quickly led us down her beautiful garden path to a small structure right at the bottom. With a padlock in place and things lent up against the doors, it was clear that the doors had been shut for quite some time.


After a bit of hard work, we were able to get the doors open and we got our first look at the car inside – a 1952 Austin A40 Cabriolet bodied by Jensen. The structure it had lived in for so long was just big enough for the car. That meant that it was difficult to get a full picture of the condition of the vehicle from it’s current position.

The front of the car looked to be in good shape so we were hopeful that the rest of the car might be in a similar condition. However, there was only one way to find out – it had to be moved out of storage for the first time in decades.

When the car was finally revealed to us, it was clear that it had been stored perfectly as everything seemed to be in fantastic condition.


As we looked closer and closer, we kept being surprised at how well the A40 had held up over its time off the road. Jenny’s husband, who sadly passed away, obviously knew how to look after classic cars as he had applied grease to the body and fully prepared the car for its long stay in the barn.

The interior also looks to have held up well, even revealing four spare tyres and the original hubcaps tucked away in bags in the boot of the car.

After a quick inspection in situ, our 1952 Austin A40 was loaded into the trailer and safely transported to the Bridge Classic Cars workshop.

Now that it is here, it will be cleaned, recommissioned and back out on the road in the very near future.


5 responses to “A Suffolk Barn Find”

  1. Ian Logan avatar
    Ian Logan

    Amazing, i don’t ever remember seeing an Austin A40 like that. Was it a special?

    1. Rob Harvey avatar

      It was designed and produced with Jensen Motors so the body is a Jensen body. It’s a beautiful car to look at up close.

  2. Jonathan Griffiths avatar
    Jonathan Griffiths

    What a fantastic find. I hope you’re just going to recommission her and not go down the restoration route… it would be lovely to see her running iaround in her original patina where everyone can imagine the lifetime of stories she could tell.

    1. Rob Harvey avatar

      Exactly that! A recommission is all that is planned. It’s lived a life that will be preserved as original.

  3. Dave Taylor avatar
    Dave Taylor

    How fantastic it lovely to know they are still out there

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Sustainable Helicopter Flight

On April 26th 2024, Heli-business hosted an event that saw the launch of the D-Motor DKT 07, the first two-seat Ultralight Motorised (ULM) helicopter. This very special helicopter was powered by the D-Motor 150 HP 6-cylinder boxer engine, which delivers 370 nm of torque at 2850 RPM. What makes this helicopter extra special though is that it runs entirely on 100% fossil-free fuel!

For its first test flight, P1 Fuels provided everything this incredible helicopter needed for a successful flight.

Innovative Engine Technology

The Ultra Light Helicopter is powered by the innovative D-Motor, offering options of either the 4-cylinder LF26 engine or the 6-cylinder LF39 engine. Operating at 2850 RPM with a 25% power margin, these engines deliver impressive performance, exceeding 370 Nm of torque. These engines are specifically engineered for helicopter use, driving the three rotor blades through the DKT MGB – a specialised, smart-lubricated D-Motor Main Gear Box that has been tailored and optimised for enhanced efficiency and reliability in helicopter operations.

The DKT 07 is the world’s first helicopter to fly on 100% non-fossil fuel and creates an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions.

The Role of P1 Fuels in Aviation

One of the most interesting aspects of this test flight is the use of P1 fuels, a 100% fossil-free fuel option. P1 fuels is part of a new generation of sustainable fuels that aim to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint significantly. Unlike traditional aviation fuels, P1 fuels can drastically lower the amount of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere, making it a critical component in the fight against climate change.

The DKT 07 operates on RON 95 or 98 ‘ordinary car fuel’ as well as fossil-free fuel. It has a capacity of 90 litres with an average consumption of 26 litres per hour.

Environmental Impact and Industry Implications

The successful integration of P1 fuels into this ULM helicopter’s operation demonstrates not only the viability of cleaner fuel alternatives but also sets a new standard for environmental responsibility in aircraft design and operation. This development could pave the way for the widespread adoption of greener fuels in both commercial and recreational aviation, which has long been a significant source of carbon emissions globally.

The recent test flight of the DKT 07 is a promising demonstration of the potential for broader application of green technologies in aviation. The flight not only tested the mechanical capabilities of the helicopter and the efficiency of the D-Motor engine, but also showcased the practical use of P1 fuel in real-world aviation settings.


Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the success of the test flight, there are still some challenges to overcome. The production, distribution, and storage of fossil-free fuel, along with ensuring compatibility with existing and future aircraft designs, are areas that need further development. However, the opportunities for innovation and improvement in these areas are vast, with potential benefits that extend well beyond the aviation industry.

Looking Ahead

The successful test flight of the two-seat ULM helicopter powered by a D-Motor and P1 fuel is a positive step towards a more sustainable future, without relying on one single internal combustion alternative. As we look ahead, the continued development and refinement of fossil-free fuels and more efficient engines are critical. This achievement is not just about making aviation sustainable; it’s about reimagining how we approach design and technology to create a cleaner, more sustainable world.

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2 Winners Get Their New Cars

This week, we have seen 2 lucky winners take delivery of the classics they have won through Bridge Classic Cars Competitions.

On Thursday, Molly, Nick, and Tony made the drive to Wolverhampton to drop off our 2006 Morgan 4/4 70th Anniversary to Emma. Despite Emma being the winning ticket holder, she wanted her dad to have the car and, as you can see from the photos, both seemed very happy with their win.


Then, today, we welcomed David and his friend Richard into the Bridge Classic Cars workshop. As David lives just a little bit down the road from us, he came to collect his 1988 Mercedes 300SL in person.

While he was here, Nick gave them a tour of the workshop, Gordon handed over the keys and David drove his new car home.

What a week!

Should Classic Cars Be Driven In All Weather?

When it comes to classic car owners, most seem to fit into one of two camps – those who happily drive their classic in all weather conditions and those who keep their classic protected from the elements, only allowing them to make an appearance when the sun is out and there is no chance of rain.

Is one group definitively right though? Should classic cars be driven in all weather? Should classic cars only be driven in dry conditions? Is there an argument for both?

The All-Weather Classic Drivers

Those owners in the “all-weather camp” will argue that classic cars were built to withstand the elements, produced in an era when cars were tough, reliable, and meant to be driven.

For these drivers, classic cars are practical machines that were designed to be out on the road. They should be enjoyed and admired by all who see them and not locked away in a garage or a storage facility until the few weeks of dry weather come around.

As someone who drives my classic regularly, I think I fall into this category. However, I can see the argument from both sides. I have a 1955 MG Magnette ZA which is obviously a classic that would likely have been driven everyday at the time of its production.

While I completely understand that some classic (and some modern) cars are highly valuable and desirable that driving them in anything other than perfect conditions is detrimental to their value. That being said, these types of cars tend to be few and far between. Cars were made to be driven so, in my opinion at least, classics should be driven in all-weather conditions providing it is safe to do so.


The Sunshine Purists

The “sunshine purists” insist that exposing classic cars to rain and snow is a big mistake, risking rust, corrosion, and irreversible damage.

These owners keep their classic cars pristine and sheltered, reserving their drives exclusively for sunny days. To them, classic cars are like works of art, deserving of meticulous care and protection rather than being built to be used. Driving them through rain or snow is viewed as reckless endangerment, inviting corrosion and decay to ruin their prized vehicle.

Some sunshine purists also think that modern weather conditions pose a far greater threat to classic cars than those of yesteryear. Rain, road salt, and pollution can wreak havoc on vintage paint jobs and delicate chrome trim, leading to irreversible damage. They emphasise the importance of preserving these vehicles for future generations, ensuring that they remain in perfect condition for years to come.

There’s no denying that driving classic cars in bad weather conditions increases the risk of accidents, with slick roads and reduced visibility amplifying the dangers. However, many classics have the capability to cope just fine on modern roads.

What Do The Experts Say?

Craig Ranson, Managing Director of Bridge Classic Cars says:

“I was always of the opinion that you would only ever drive a classic in nice weather because I always thought of classics as the show cars but, I’m now at the point where I’d prefer an everyday classic from the 80s/90s that has been used and enjoyed, and then I would use that every day instead of a modern daily.”

Gordon Ranson, Director of Bridge Classic Cars says:

“I think classic cars can be driven in all weather conditions to keep them in tip-top condition but, as a classic car owner, the justification and the time spent afterwards cleaning the car, and if you want a show-winning car, it’s very difficult to say that driving in all weathers is the correct thing to do.”

Nick Skinner, Marketing Executive at Bridge Classic Cars says:

“I think it’s fine to drive classics all year round as long as there are proper maintenance and cleaning schedules for the car. It’s probably better to drive them so you don’t get dirt and debris sitting on the chassis”

Jonn Quantrill, Classic Car Technician at Bridge Classic Cars says:

“Cars were built to be used no matter what the weather. If you live in Britain and you’ve got a classic car, you should just use it. What do you think they did in the 60s and 70s and earlier?”

John Bilner, Workshop Manager at Bridge Classic Cars says:

“I’d drive my classic in any weather. It’s fun to drive in any weather and cars are made to be used and driven.”

Chris Jeffreys, Paintshop Manager at Bridge Classic Cars says:

“It should be fine to drive a classic car in any weather. Other than hail and stone chips, there’s not too much that would damage the paint. If the car is stored outside and doesn’t have time to dry, then rust and corrosion can play a part. Whether you drive a classic or a modern car, stone chips are always going to be a risk.”


Is There A Compromise?

Rather than all classic car owners belonging to one camp or the other, maybe taking the middle ground is the best approach that respects both the practicality and purpose of these vintage vehicles and the need for their preservation.

One way of doing this is to limit driving in adverse weather conditions. In such cases, taking precautionary measures like applying rust-proof coatings and using protective car covers can help mitigate the risks of damage.

Additionally, regular maintenance and inspection are essential regardless of weather conditions. Classic car owners should invest time and resources into preserving their vehicles, keeping them in good condition for both sunny and rainy drives.

Ultimately, whether a classic car should be driven in all weather conditions or not is a matter of personal preference and practicality. What’s important is that these vehicles continue to create the nostalgia and passion that make them so desirable. Whatever you think, as long as you enjoy your classic, nothing else matters too much!

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Daimler Repairs

Classic car technician Jonn has been making some repairs on our 1989 Daimler Double Six. Here are his notes:

Investigate viscous fan rubbing cowling. Slacken and reposition cowling so as not to foul fan blades.nearside rearcexhaust mount loose but will not tighten. Apply sealer to stop rattle. Remove nearside rear tailpipe mount and fit correctly to silencer and refit. Remove wheels ready for new tyres.

Investigate viscous fan rubbing cowling. Slacken and reposition cowling so as not to foul fan blades.nearside rearcexhaust mount loose but will not tighten. Apply sealer to stop rattle. Remove nearside rear tailpipe mount and fit correctly to silencer and refit. Remove wheels ready for new tyres.

Tidy area around where coolant had been spilt. Remove offside thermostat housing and thermostat. Clean all,components and make new gasket for housing. Fit both thermostats and housings and secure. Refit hoses and tighten all hoses. Remove clean and reseal fan sensor. Refit both air filters and housings and secure.

Refill cooling system with new anti freeze. Run up but still think nearside bank misfiring slightly. Remove plug leads and run up and remove a lead in turn to check. Remove spark plugs but unable to access cyl 1 a and 1 b. Cut old socket down and eventually manage to remove plugs. Order new set of 12. Investigate light issues. Remove both headlights and replace both side light bulbs but neither working. Check power supply nine.

Coming Out Of Storage

Our award-winning 1960 Jensen 541S has been taken out of storage and come into the workshop for a check-up, in preparation for it to go home to its owner for show season.

Here is what Steve has been doing:

Spot light wasn’t working traced fault to dirty contacts in switch. Pulled switch apart and cleaned contacts and reassembled, now works fine.

Condensation in headlamps, found that the rear seals were not sealing correctly and allowing in moisture. Cleaned out units and fitted some better fitting seals.

Removed indicator switch and black plastic end and fitted new ivory coloured one to match original.

Noticed a rattle in the boot while on test drive and traced it to the fuel pump access cover in the boot floor. Removed cover put felt patches on the contact points to cure.

SS100 Refit

Julian has refitted the wings and rubbers on our 1939 Jaguar SS100. The headlights have also been refitted along with the inner panels.

Chris also repaired and painted the sills.

PDI And Transport

Our 2006 Morgan 4/4 has undergone a pre-delivery inspection with Jonn before being loaded into the trailer by Tony to deliver it to lucky winner Emma.

Bently’s Sustainable Simulator


Bentley has just announced the creation of the Compact Full Spectrum Driving Simulator, which will be installed at its Dream Factory in Crewe, where every Bentley is handcrafted. The new driving simulator offers a more sustainable solution for vehicle testing and massively reduces the amount of real-world miles Bentley engineers cover during the process.

The simulator is able to accurately assess factors that can impact the driving experience such as ride comfort, cabin acoustics, and vibration, while also helping with seat development too. By simulating various road surfaces, including potholes and bumps, the simulator provides insights into vehicle response, significantly reducing the need for extensive real-world testing.

Situated at Bentley’s HQ, the technology is set to make a pretty big environmental impact, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 85 tons and saving up to 350 days of traditional road testing per vehicle prototype. Developed by the global simulator specialists, VI-grade, the Compact Full Spectrum Driving Simulator will play an important role in shaping Bentley’s future, particularly in the development of their forthcoming range of battery electric vehicles.


Dr Matthias Rabe, Member of the Board for Engineering, Bentley Motors, said:
“Beyond its technical capabilities, the Dynamic Driving Simulator brings substantial sustainability benefits, reducing the need for both physical prototypes and extensive physical tests, the latter often involving cars and colleagues shipped to remote locations around the world. As our customers would expect, the system will also play a key part in defining the luxury experience associated with every Bentley car.”

Charlie Smith, Virtual Vehicle Engineer at Bentley Motors, added:
“The introduction of the first, all-encompassing ride frequency driving simulator at Bentley is a key moment for us. This state-of-the-art system represents a significant advancement in our virtual development capabilities and will allow us to refine core Bentley attributes in a dynamic, driver-in-the-loop virtual environment for the first time. It offers unprecedented precision, ensuring that every Bentley delivers the unparalleled luxury and performance our customers demand. This simulator is a strategic step towards accelerating our product development cycle, minimising reliance on physical prototypes and enhancing simulation capabilities.”

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1963 Fiat 500 Transformable 

A good friend of ours came to see us at the workshop this morning and this is what they arrived in – a 1963 Fiat 500 Transformable!

Finished in Fiat Celeste Chiaro 461 (or light sky blue if you don’t want to be technical) this is one stunning classic and it certainly caught the attention of everyone in the workshop.

As a side note…this is actually Molly’s dream classic!

A New V12

Every so often, Aston Martin introduces a revolutionary engine that redefines ultra-luxury driving, and their latest creation is a powerful new V12. Staying true to its 25-year legacy of V12-powered excellence, Aston Martin has created something that true drivers will love and will, no doubt, set a new standard in its class.

With 835PS and an unmatched 1000Nm of torque, the new V12 features a reinforced cylinder block and conrods, redesigned cylinder heads with reprofiled camshafts, and upgraded intake and exhaust ports. With spark plugs strategically repositioned and new high-flow fuel injectors, combustion is optimised for superior performance and efficiency gains. Additionally, advanced turbochargers with reduced inertia ensure heightened performance and throttle response.

Image: Aston Martin

Set to be featured in Aston Martin’s most exclusive and limited-edition models, this new V12 engine is a bold statement to an automotive industry moving towards a more sustainable future. Crafted by hand, with meticulous attention to detail, this new V12 will be produced in strictly limited numbers each year.

Set to launch later on this year, Aston Martin’s new V12 looks like it’s going to be a handful!

Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer, Roberto Fedeli said: “The V12 engine has long been a symbol of power and prestige, but it is also a statement of engineering passion and technical prowess. With 835PS and 1000Nm of torque, this unparalleled engine represents nothing less than the dawn of a dazzling new V12 era for Aston Martin.”

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Pre MOT Check

Our 1985 Mercedes SL280 has been undergoing a pre-MOT check with technician Jonn.

After sucking out the coolant from the header tank and replenishing the anti-freeze, a new rear exhaust mount was fitted to the rear silencer before all of the tyres were inflated to the correct pressure.

H&H Auction

Craig and Gordon went to the H&H auction last week.

It was a successful day out and they ended up buying several cars that will go on to be won through Bridge Classic Cars Competitions.

Lots Of Change

There is a lot of change happening at Bridge Classic Cars as of late. New workbenches have arrived which will go into The Atelier as this becomes an extension of the workshop. As well as the new benches, our new building, The Classic Lounge, is nearing completion. We had a meeting in there last week so took the opportunity to put 2 special cars in there and they certainly looked the part!

More information on the new things coming to Bridge Classic Cars will be available very soon.

Almost There

Our 2022 Bridge C-Type Replica is getting closer and closer to being finished and ready to get out on the road.

Jonn has been continuing his work recently. Here are his notes:

Trim and fit under dash cover. Modify slightly as brantz wiring interferes with fit. Secure in place. Fit seat runners to drivers seat mountings and space up accordingly. Fit passengers seat. Mock up and remove to drill fixing holes in case. Elongate holes to allow room for alignment with floor. Again, space up accordingly. Fit drivers seat. Elongate front holes to match runner mounting points and secure. Slide seat backwards and adjust mirrors close to final position. Make small grub screw for gear knob. Polish gear knob and fit and secure.

Spitfire Transport

Our 1968 Triumph Spitfire has been loaded into our trailer and is on its way home.

Daimler Repairs

Classic car technician Jonn has been completing some repairs on our 1989 Daimler Double Six. Here are his notes:

Finish inspection and start repairs. Top up rear axle oil.strio front brakes. Remove pads and clean all,parts. With assistance from Julian. Work each caliper piston in out to free off. All freed off reasonably well. Refit pads and repeat process for other side. Strip front upper ball joints and fit new rubbers. Use lockwire to secure. Refit front wheels.

Remove exhaust downpipes section and heatshiels. Clean flanges and nuts. Fit new sealing rings to manifold flanges and refit. Work into position along with heatshiels. Secure at manifold and downpipe to front section with new nuts and bolts.

Strip and fit new front shock absorber bushes. Repair vacuum solenoid on nearside engine bank. Uut small,pieces of brake pipe and stickminto place. Refit vac pipe. Run and test for exhaust blow. Nearside ok now but offside blowing also. Strip and fit new gearbox mount bush. Strip offside exhaust downpipe and remove for cleaning and resealing.

Clean exhaust flanges and fit new sealing rings. Refit downpipe and heatshield. Strip offside front subframe bush and remove. Clean and fit new bush and secure.

Transport

Tony has recently transported our 1956 Bristol 405 to its owner.

More Welding

Our 1951 Austin Devon has continued its start in fabrication with Chris. He has welded in the floor corners and seat base frame. He also welded in the right-hand step before sorting out the door gaps and modifying the step to fit the door profile.

More Interceptor Fabrication

Christian has continued to work on our 1975 Jensen Interceptor MK 3 in the Bridge Classic Cars fabrication bay.

He repaired the holes in the boot lid frame and fabricated a battery tray. He also repaired some holes and areas of rust.