Friday, 2 June 2017

How TV used to be... Fiat X19 review


Thames Television's "Drive In" reporter, Tony Bastable, demonstrates the sporty Fiat X19.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Is the new car market still doing well?


With so much uncertainty with the economy and changes to road tax and emission legislation, are we still buying new cars in the same numbers?

UKMT's Graham Benge talks to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, to find out...

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What will Alonso be driving at Indy 500..?

If you've been wondering what Fernando Alonso will be driving at Indianapolis, Motorsport.tv have kindly produced a 3D model of the McLaren Honda Andretti indycar with mention on many of the differences between it and Fernando's usual runabout....

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

AWDC 4x4 Off-Road event - Kemeys House Farm - 26th March 2017

It's not every day that you get the chance to enjoy the Welsh countryside accompanied by a symphony of spec'd up hardware! Well, not for me anyway...

Apparently, this kind of thing is going on all the time, and the All Wheel Drive Club (http://www.awdc.co.uk/) are the organisation behind a large percentage of it.





Many thanks to all concerned, the competitors and support teams. A most welcoming bunch.



For more of Mike's photos from the day go to our flickr album:







Friday, 24 March 2017

Silverstone Classic 2017 - Press Day


This year's Silverstone Classic event will take place over the long weekend of Friday 28th - Sunday 30th July. For more information, including how you can buy tickets, go to www.silverstoneclassic.com.








To see the full album, go to our Flickr site.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Using Emergency Puncture Repair and Tyre Inflators

You've just noticed that one of your tyres is looking flat, and you can't see any big holes in it.... Now is the time to try an Emergency Tyre Inflator canister.... and we'll show you how!

Whilst these cans are not appropriate for every tyre deflation problem, we'll guide you through the times that you'll be thankful that you keep one in your boot!



Keep up to date with the series by saving the Forecourt Fixes playlist and follow the UKMotorTalk channel.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Looking After Your Tyres - Pressure, Tread and Condition

As the only points of contact that your vehicle has with the road surface, keeping your tyres at the optimum pressure, tread depth and general condition is of the utmost importance.

In this episode we guide you through the checks that you should regularly perform on your car.... Tyre pressures, where to find the manufacturer's recommended pressures, and how to pump up your tyres when needed.... Tyre tread depth to help you stop in an emergency... and looking for cracks and damage...




Keep up to date with the series by saving the Forecourt Fixes playlist and follow the UKMotorTalk channel.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Under the Bonnet - How complicated is it really?

UKMotorTalk's Forecourt Fixes guides you through the major components that are under the bonnet of your car.



Keep up to date with the series by saving the Forecourt Fixes playlist and follow the UKMotorTalk channel.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Forecourt Fixes - New Video Series

In response to the various maintenance related questions that we are often asked, the UKMotorTalk team are producing a series of "back to basics" videos to help you keep your car and passengers safe, and perhaps save a few quid... Forecourt Fixes guides you through the various tasks that can easily be performed by ANY driver...


Keep up to date with the series by saving the Forecourt Fixes playlist and follow the UKMotorTalk channel.

Friday, 10 March 2017

John Surtees dies aged 83

I was sad to hear of the death of John Surtees CBE, famously the only man to win world championships on both 2 wheels and 4.

Our thoughts go out to his family.


John Surtees won the Formula One World Championship for Ferrari in 1964, and before that, the son of a motorcycle dealer, dominated motorcycling’s highest levels, winning four world motorcycling titles from 1956 to 1960.

In 1962  he transferred his massive skills from 2 to 4 wheels, coming second in only his 2nd F1 race when pitted against such luminaries as Graham Hill. His talents soon caught the eye of Ferrari boss Enzo Ferrari whom he joined in 1963, and won his world title with the following season.

Truly a champion of champions, and having met and interviewed Sir John, yes, I believe  he should have been knighted such were his contributions to motor sports. John was a champion gentleman too,  a very unaggressive and unassuming man and a gentle man, yet in interviewing him many times one one sensed an iron will within.


But John seemed to lose heart after the untimely death of his son Henry in a freak motor racing accident. John devoted his tireless energies thereafter to charity works raising millions for charities concerned with head injuries, even selling at auction recently his treasured F1 champions book, a massive tome, an exhaustive history of F1, its ownership limited to only those who had reached the absolute pinnacle of motor sports. 

It is extremely unlikely that anyone will ever repeat John's feats, the times are very different. Like his contemporaries, John could and did drive anything and everything. He was competitive in everything, saloons, sports cars, even the mighty CanAm cars. But it was in the rather fragile Ferrari that his smooth driving style shone, forming a strong relationship with “il Commendatore”, Enzo Ferrari, the legendary boss of Ferrari, though they were later to fall out mostly over safety.

For all his time on 2 wheels and 4, John not only survived in an era when many didn't, but he had very few crashes, again a testament to his smooth driving. 

I will miss his willingness to chat any time we met, especially at Goodwood events which he came to every year. Many will miss him for his talents, others who met him for his charm. His name will stay in the record books for ever and that's entirely fitting. He achieved every goal he set himself, and there are few who can say that.

RIP John Surtees. 

Graham Benge

Monday, 13 February 2017

Dashboard Icon Quiz

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Goodbye Bernie - "The king is dead. Long live the king."

So the reign of Bernie the great dictator is over ... or is it? 

Bernie Ecclestone, as chief executive of Formula 1, has been deposed by the sport’s new owners, Liberty, and its powerhouse leader, Chase Carey. 

Bernie is to be retitled as Chairman Emeritus an oddly disjointed title in an oddly disjointed scenario.

Chase Carey was fulsome in his praise of Bernie's achievements, if startlingly frank in his observations  that it was time for the 86 year old dictator to head into exile.

He also said in recent years there had been many mistaken decisions pointing the finger of blame in Bernie's direction.

So we are promised a brave new world of F1. New ideas,  new arrangements,  a new concentration on on-line media as global TV audiences have been plummeting and a greater concentration on entertainment. 

Given that the various teams and team bosses have all got very rich under Bernie's rule, it will interesting to see if Chase Carey can corral them into making decisions that benefit the sport rather than their own pockets, personally and corporately, which has often been where the poor decisions came from.

So let's hope the new era under someone who will probably have to become a new dictator is better than before, but pause a moment.

Let's thank Bernie for 4 decades of F1 where his mostly benign tyranny has made a small time weekend warrior sport into a globe-spanning multi-billion pound spectacular where everyone has got rich, the racing has often been spectacular and it's been safer than for many decades without the regular annual slaughter of the young heroes. 

Bernie has yet to say his piece, and it wouldn't be the first time that Bernie has sold something that turned out to be ephemeral, at a price that was very real.

Graham Benge

The A3 before the Hindhead Tunnel

During a conversation about tunnels the other day, which I think was started when the A303 Stonehenge project was in the news, I mentioned that the Hindhead Tunnel, south of Guildford on the A3, has made a huge difference to the village of Hindhead, and the surrounding countryside, with much of the “old A3” being returned to nature.

I then said that, somewhere, I had video of the old road during the tunnel construction work, and was surprised when I was asked to upload it for all to see!

Anyway, here it is…. Firstly the road driving south…

Then, you’ve guessed it, north…

Since then, the route of the old road has been transformed…

hindhead_a3

More about Hindhead Commons from the National Trust: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/case-study-returning-hindhead-common

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Mighty Machines

A little bit of top trumps to distract from the day...

Thanks to fuelfighter.co.uk for the information.
http://www.fuelfighter.co.uk/blog/mega-machines/

Monday, 16 January 2017

World Rally Championship 2017

The 2017 WRC campaign kicks off on Thursday on the tarmac, mud, snow and ice of Monaco and the surrounding countryside.

It is all change this year after the departure of the 2016 winning manufacturer, Volkswagen…

After 17 years away, Toyota rejoins the Championship, as does Citroen after just a year away.

M-Sport, Malcolm Wilson’s Ford team, and Hyundai, last year’s runners-up in both Championships, complete the line up with all new, lighter, bigger and more powerful cars.

The manufacturer changes have, naturally, also lead to a game of musical chairs/teams for the drivers too:

M-Sport

  • Sébastien Ogier
  • Off Tänak
  • Elfyn Evans

 

Toyota

  • Jari-Matti Latvala
  • Juho Hänninen
  • Esapekka Lappi

 

Citroën

  • Kris Meeke
  • Craig Breen
  • Stéphane Lefebvre

 

Hyundai

  • Thierry Neuville
  • Hayden Paddon
  • Dani Sordo

Friday, 13 January 2017

And you thought YOU had a cold start today...

Yes, we might all think that with UK temperatures dipping (just a little bit) below zero our cars are rightly justified in hesitating a little in the mornings. But should this really be a worry for us?

Car manufacturers usually want to be able to sell their cars across the world, and not everywhere is as temperate as it is here.... Testing of new models from -40C to +50C isn't unusual.

Starting a Smart CDI at -29C in Novosibirsk in Russia... This driver does mention the problems with frozen ABS, ESP and stiff steering, but it does get going.

I think the best advice is, (a) take things easy, and (b) keep your batteries charged!