The Roaring Twenties?

News from the FBHVC

Speaking on the virtual NEC show, David Whale, Chairman of the FBHVC said, “The significant value to the United Kingdom that the historic vehicle industry generates simply cannot be ignored by those in power. We face the most challenging times ahead over the next few years and these results give us the justification to ensure that our freedoms to enjoy our transport heritage continue unhindered. As a sector we cannot be ignored and will be instrumental in the recovery of our nation’s economy post-Brexit and post-COVID. The most heart-warming news was that there are more enthusiasts than ever who are immersing themselves in our community and that is really positive for the future.”

The number of historic vehicles on DVLA database has increased to 1.5 million

56% of historic vehicles are on SORN

The historic movement now worth over £7.2 billion to UK economy including over £0.9 billion from overseas

Nearly 4,000 businesses employ over 34,000 people

700,000 enthusiasts – up from 500,000 in 2016

Historic vehicles account for less than 0.2% of the total miles driven in the UK

35% of owners either already or are willing to contribute to a carbon reduction scheme

More detailed results will be announced next month but one snippet from the presentation was the fact that 12% of businesses have apprentices and 39% are planning to take them on. Hopefully Covid will not diminish these aspirations but one such project that is planned we mentioned in March in Correspondence

Shaun Matthews writes ” Unsurprisingly our heritage and skills project at the former Victoria Ironworks in Derby has stalled over the summer due to many middle ranking Rolls Royce staff being furloughed or made redundant due to the double whammy of Covid and the well-publicised Trent 1000 problems but things are coming back on track now and we are tantalisingly close to agreeing terms with RR.

To satisfy our funders, we have commissioned an independent Market Research company to undertake a Due Dilligence report of our business plan on their behalf.  We need some midlands based
classic vehicle owners/enthusiasts for them to talk to from “the middle Tier” and some Alvis owners fit that demographic perfectly. Would any such volunteers please contact me via Absolutely nothing in it for them other than knowing they are helping the cause – hopefully in a couple of years I’ll be able to repay them  with a coffee and a bacon sarnie once we are open! The site has been updated

Can you identify the coachwork on this model? It has trafficators on the A pillar. Presumably a Speed model, a photo taken a long time ago from the collection of the late Tim Harding sent in by Richard Mitchell.

Meanwhile our section on coachbuilders has been expanded to include an article by Nick Walker on Charlesworth

Following the post about non-Alvis engines, Wayne Brooks spotted this TB14, chassis 23555, being offered for sale in the USA described as having a Chevrolet V8 engine. The big wheels and tyres are reassuring but one wonders how it drives. This model didn’t sell well as the Jaguar XK120 came out at the same time.

Adrian Padfield’s new book has arrived and reviewed by Dave Culshaw, click Adrian’s new book and other stories

Calling all Cars – we reveal more on the cars used by the Police in Crime and Punishment .

80 years ago

It was the evening of November 14th, 1940, and the German intruders had just watched the heaviest air raid yet seen in the war. There was virtually no opposition as the planes made their bombing runs in the crowded air space over the target. Down below was the object of it all, Coventry! Certainly Coventry was the heart of the British motor industry, also a major centre for machine tools and light engineering. It wasn’t a large city, either, with a population of only 125,000-odd in 1940. In fact, Coventry was so small that the raiders scarcely had to aim. They’d hit something for sure. The “something” included Alvis, Riley, Armstrong-Siddeley, Daimler & BSA, Lea-Francis, Humber/Hillman, SS Cars (Jaguar), Standard Triumph, also Morris Motors big engine and body plants. Alfred Herbert Limited was another, famed for its machine tools. Most were clustered within the city proper, which took some doing with a community as small as Coventry. “The Daimler” was a 10 minute walk from the central station, Morris Motors body plant was even closer, just next door to the depot. Coventry wasn’t big and spread out like an American city though it is now with the UK’s brand of urban development. Not all the plants were giants, carrying names of international fame. If Rover, Rootes and Riley took a pounding that night, so did many of the smaller outfits, older plants for the most part, unfamiliar as well but with origins back to the dawn of the British motor industry when Coventry was also a center for bicycles, machinery and carriages including Charlesworth Motor Bodies Limited.

(An extract from Bulletin 376, from Best of Old Car Weekly by Rolland Jerry)

For a current film by the Herbert on YouTube..

and clips from the BBC archive…