Part 2: Scrapyard investments; what next for the classic car market?

    Part 2: Supply and demand is an established dictator of worth, and thanks to 2009’s scrappage scheme, which led to the wanton destruction of ‘undesirable’ older cars, many of our once abundant vehicles are now reduced to single-figure survivors, and the banger-priced interesting classic has all but vanished. Values of cars from the 80s or…

Part 1: Scrapyard investments; what next for the classic car market?

Part 1: My 1984 Ford Capri 2.8i goes away to undergo the beginnings of a restoration on September 22nd. Only a few years ago it would have been unthinkable for someone to spend real, hard-earned money ‘restoring’ a Capri; the car still tainted by the Dell Boy ‘pratmobile’ image and destined for scrapyard extinction. Now…

Do we need saving from ourselves?

At the end of last year, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer gave a wide-ranging interview to Cycle News covering a number of fascinating topics. The quote that stood out for me, however, was more alarming than intriguing: “If your Superbike is reaching 200 horsepower or more, it’s impossible to argue that it belongs on the street….

No Free Lunches: improving fuel efficiency comes at a cost

The fuel economy of modern cars is amazing. Decade by decade, manufacturers have developed increasingly frugal vehicles, while meeting stricter controls on emissions and despite the weight increase driven by higher levels of equipment. To the consumer it seems there is no downside to this progress: the cars are still fun to drive, with ample…

Historic racing’s modern saviour?

As I made my daily commute through the twisty Cotswold lanes on the way to the office this morning, I was pondering the rise in recent years of historic racing. Race Tech has just launched a dedicated magazine named Historic Racing Technology, a number of top teams (such as Fortec Motorsport) are turning their expertise…

Technology: The road from motorsport to consumer vehicle

In the automotive world the potential benefit of trying something radically new is more often than not outweighed by the risk. Vehicle manufacturers cannot afford to try different technologies on a whim, it requires huge investment in testing and development. They need to be absolutely sure it will work before the Chief Executive signs off…

Are lower emission regulations creating better drivers’ cars?

In general, the last couple of decades have seen cars getting heavier and more cumbersome, mainly as a result of safety but also due to luxuries the everyday driver requires, such as air conditioning and increasingly opulent interiors. This has had a dramatic affect on the way a car drives and how it feels to…

Can low depreciation be ‘designed-in’?

Is low depreciation a selling point for a new car? If so, is it possible to ‘design-in’ low depreciation? The recipe for low depreciation is simple, on the surface. For a new car to have low depreciation, people must want to buy the used ones. There are various ways to make used cars more desirable….

Emissions Reduction – the Challenges for Engineers – Part 3

We tend to take it for granted that cars just get steadily greener, consuming less fuel and emitting lower pollutant levels with each new generation. But engineers haven’t got magic wands. How do they keep making improvements, year after year? In a short series of articles, I’ll look at the technical challenges associated with catalysts,…

Emissions Reduction – the Challenges for Engineers – Part 2

We tend to take it for granted that cars just get steadily greener, consuming less fuel and emitting lower pollutant levels with each new generation. But engineers haven’t got magic wands. How do they keep making improvements, year after year? In a short series of articles, I’ll look at the technical challenges associated with catalysts,…