The Silver Aero

One aspect of the classic car scene I love is the element of surprise from discovering cars I'd never seen before. That's especially true when something very rare and well-known turns up in a low-key location where you really wouldn't expect to see such a thing. Yardley Gobion is one such place that isn't famous for anything at all, a pleasant village in the border country between Milton Keynes and Northampton where nothing of any great significance has ever happened. The annual Festival of Transport is a typical village show, a hundred or so cars in a field with some stalls and kids' activities, attended mainly by locals and hardly one of the season's premier events, which makes the presence of this unique car all the more remarkable...

What's that appearing in the gateway? Surely it can't be...


Life changes...

Hello to all my readers. Once again it's been a very long time since my last blog but there is a good reason for the silence. This is just a quick post to explain the changes I've decided to make in my life and how they should allow me more time for blogging in the future.


Maxi model repaint

It should come as no surprise that as soon as Oxford Diecast released their model of the Austin Maxi I embarked on a repaint to represent my actual car. Read on to discover the trials and tribulations of what should have been a simple repaint project, and see if the finished product looks anything like the real thing...

Smaller wheels make a big difference, but will it look like the real one?


Maxi model review

Oxford Diecast 76MX001 - 1/76 scale Austin Maxi in Tara Green

Regular readers may remember that almost a year ago I expressed my delight that Oxford Diecast had announced a model of the Austin Maxi. It was due for release in the fourth quarter of 2018 so I predicted I would have one in my collection by the end of the year, but Christmas came and went and nothing further was heard about it.

There's a good reason for that: the model has suffered a long delay and has only just been released last week, shortly after the real Maxi's 50th birthday. I was hoping to do this review sooner as I placed my order last Wednesday but a system glitch at the supplier meant I had to wait another week for it to arrive, so at long last and much later than expected I finally have an Oxford Diecast Maxi in my hands for a review. Was it worth the wait?

Not a bad representation of the Maxi


Happy 50th birthday Maxi!

Yesterday marked exactly 50 years since the Austin Maxi was presented to the world on 24th April 1969 in Oporto, Portugal. The Maxi has had a bit of a tough life: born prematurely as a step-child to parents who got together long after it was conceived, it finally came good 18 months later but was then left to fester for a decade before quickly disappearing into oblivion, and is still often mocked but only now finally earning the recognition it deserves. It's hard to believe this brilliant but flawed car is now half a century old, so join me in raising a glass to the humble and often-misunderstood Maxi as it celebrates its 50th birthday...


Time for T

Well hello to all my readers, it's been a very long time since my last post for various not very interesting reasons. I'm back to a hopefully more regular schedule now though and will start with an unexpected beginning to the car show season. It all started last summer with a Wolseley 1500 owned by a local chap called George, who had noticed I was a fellow classic car enthusiast. We soon became friends and George recently mentioned that the Model T Ford Register were holding their annual April Fool's road run and his friend was hosting a rest stop at his farm that we might be interested in attending. Of course I said yes as any opportunity to look at classic cars is difficult to turn down!

It's difficult to pick a favourite from such a large turnout but I did like this pickup


No new buses from Corgi

A Happy New Year to all my readers. It's become traditional at this time of year to review Corgi's newly-announced bus models so 2019 will be no exception. There is a surprise in this release, a myriad of exciting liveries and new castings to suit all tastes. Hah, if only...given their past form you should know not to get your hopes up like that. This will be a very short article as the number of new models in the Original Omnibus Company range for the first half of the year is...


English As She Is Spoke

What do you get if you try to write a phrasebook for a language you don't understand?

An incomparable work of comic genius as it turns out, which has been reprinted many times and still has a cult following today. It has inspired many other spoof manuscripts, not to mention Monty Python's famous Hungarian Phrasebook sketch, and its unique beauty is summed up thus by none other than Mark Twain: "Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect." Read on to find out why I love this brilliantly bizarre book so much...


Chevrons Rally Top Ten

It's winter, it's cold, dark and wet, and the car show season seems like it was an age ago. As I sit here in the darkness, I think back to the shows I've attended this year and some of my favourite things I've seen. Although I've never owned one, I do like Citroens and the Citroen Car Club holds its annual Chevrons Rally just down the road in Little Horwood over a weekend in September, so for the last two years I have visited in the Maxi and been made very welcome despite not even having a Citroen. Here I present my personal top ten of the cars in attendance at both events.

As you can see from the contrast between the cars above (a 425cc 2CV from 1957 and a 1998 XM V6), the Chevrons Rally is open to all of the many cars made by Citroen over the years, right up to brand new ones, and there is always a large and diverse turnout. The 2018 event also saw a celebration of the Citroen Visa's 40th birthday, with an impressive lineup of 14 cars assembled. So without further ado, read on for my top ten favourites from the 2017 and 2018 Chevrons Rallies...


Flickr fail?

Time for another tech post: fresh from the saga of Photobucket's disastrous changes of last year, I once again find myself discussing an unpopular change to an online photo hosting service but this time it does affect me personally. Back in the mists of time I had an account at Fotopic.net but since that company went out of business, Flickr has been my (and many other photographers') site of choice.

After a tough recent past that has seen a lot of ups and downs as part of the Yahoo empire, Flickr has now found itself in the ownership of fellow photography site SmugMug, which it was hoped would create a new era of focus and stability. However, in recent weeks a controversial and potentially damaging change to Flickr policies was announced, sparking a vocal backlash in the wake of Photobucket's similar actions. Read on to see the message in full and why I think this change isn't all bad news...

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