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Rally legend Paddy Hopkirk MBE , passed away on 21 July 2022 aged 89 ... RIP Paddy


Born in Belfast in 1933, Paddy is most famous for winning the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in the red and white Mini Cooper S bearing 33 EJB with Henry Liddon as co-driver. Competitors in more powerful cars were no match for the nimble handling of the number 37 Mini.


Paddy leaves a great legacy of success in both motorsport and in business. Throughout his life he supported British motorsport and the car industry in general. He was president of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) from 2017 - 2019 and was awarded an MBE in 2016.


He is survived by his wife Jenny, three children Katie, Patrick and William, and six grandchildren.


Photo courtesy of Nick Huntridge during promotion of the first round of the Historic Mini Rally Championship.



Keep your DVLA documents and reference numbers safe


It is important to keep the reference numbers and codes displayed on your DVLA documents confidential. 

The specific risk is that a scammer could steal the rights to your personalised registration without you knowing it if, for instance, you published your Retention Document on an online platform intending to sell the registration.

James Saperia of Simply Registrations has published a blog outlining which codes to keep safe and shows you exactly where they appear on many DVLA documents.

 You can access the blog at:-


High end classic cars head to Amelia Island, Florida this March


Over 225 high end classic cars will head to Amelia Island, Florida, USA to compete in 22 classes of the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance taking place between 3-6 March 2022.

 Rare Japanese sports cars, Cars from the Chip Ganassi collection, Davis Motorcars and a feature of 75 years of Ferrari will enhance the displays and will be presented polished to perfection. 

Also taking in the normally warm sunny weather of Florida will be more than 60 exquisite classic cars which will be sold during three days of auctions. A great deal of money will change hands at the Bonhams’ auction on Thursday 3 March 2022, followed by Gooding & Company’s sale the day after and then RM Sotheby’s auction on Saturday 5 March. 

This 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster (estimated at £1.4 - £1.7m) in its original colour of Uranium Yellow, a one-off shade for this car, was first owned by HRH Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, twin sister to the Shah of Iran.


Private car parking penalty charges to be capped at £50.00 ... a 50% reduction

At long last motorists will be better protected against aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees as the Government announces a private parking penalty cap. The maximum fine in private car parks is to be reduced by 50% and capped at £50.00 for most cases in England and Wales excluding London. 

Higher fines up to £100.00 are to remain for more serious offences such as parking in Blue Badge bays. The rules will only apply to private car parks and prices will have to be displayed more clearly and a much fairer system for appeals will have to be introduced as well as drivers having a 10 minute grace period for lateness. 

Private parking companies issue around 22,000 parking tickets daily and regularly use completely misleading signage, aggressive debt collection methods and unreasonable fees just designed to extort money from motorists. 

Companies who breach the new code could be barred from collecting fines from motorists in the future by having their access to DVLA data removed. 

Major changes to The Highway Code came into effect on 29 January 2022

There are changes in 8 important areas: 

   1.  Introducing a new hierarchy of road users

2.  Crossing the road at junctions

3.  Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

4.  Positioning in the road when cycling

5.  Overtaking when driving or cycling

6.  Cycling at junctions

7.  People cycling, riding horses and driving horse-     drawn vehicles on roundabouts

8.  Parking, charging and leaving vehicles 

Full details are available at:-




Bentley's first pure electric car to come off Crewe production line within three years  



Luxury carmaker Bentley has announced its first pure electric vehicle will be built at its Crewe factory with the new battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) scheduled to come off the production line in three years.

The Volkswagen-owned company said it is investing £2.5 billion in ‘sustainability’ over the next 10 years which will involve the complete transformation of its Crewe plant to build electric cars. The firm’s Beyond100 strategy to make exclusively electric vehicles and become carbon neutral by 2030 was unveiled in 2020. 

The company, which dates back to 1919, has not revealed any details over its first BEV model. Chief executive Adrian Hallmark described securing production of the vehicle in Crewe as a milestone moment for Bentley and the UK. It will enable a long-term sustainable future in the Cheshire town. 

 Bentley's aim is to become the benchmark not just for luxury cars or sustainable credentials but for the entire scope of its operations.



Morgan opens new dealership in London, its second company-owned retail venue

The Morgan Motor Company has opened its newest dealership in London situated in the capital’s exclusive district of Kensington. Morgan Works London is equipped to sell both new and used Morgan cars, as well as offering aftersales backed up with factory resources. 

The style of the new dealership mirrors the recently opened Morgan Experience Centre at the company’s Malvern home and can display up to five vehicles. It welcomes new and existing Morgan customers, whilst also serving as a centre for Morgan enthusiasts. 

The second company-owned retail venue, it follows Morgan Works Malvern, based at the company’s factory in Worcestershire and will ultimately be joined by a third showroom in Bicester, Oxfordshire. 

Morgan Works London is at 5 Astwood Mews, London SW7 4DE and welcomes visitors with no appointment necessary.



Formula 1's Sir Frank Williams passed away on 28 November 2021 aged 79 ... RIP Frank  


A Williams Racing statement released on Sunday 28 November 2021 reads, “It is with great sadness that on behalf of the Williams family, the team can confirm the death of Sir Frank Williams CBE, Founder and Former Team Principal of Williams Racing, at the age of 79.

“After being admitted into hospital on Friday, Sir Frank passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family. Today we pay tribute to our much loved and inspirational figurehead. Frank will be sorely missed. We request all friends and colleagues respect the Williams family’s wishes for privacy at this time.

“For those wishing to pay tribute, we ask that donations are made in place of gifts to the Spinal Injuries Association.” 

“Our thoughts are with the Williams family at this difficult time.”



Jack Tordoff, Chairman of JCT 600 Ltd, passed away on 3 October 2021 at the age of 86 ... RIP Jack  


Jack Tordoff owned one of the best known registration numbers in the north of England after which his business was named. 

During a long career spanning 71 years, he built up the JCT600 business from a single workshop and petrol filling station in Bradford, which his father Edward had founded as Tordoff Motors. 

JCT600 is now one of Yorkshire’s greatest business success stories with 54 dealerships representing 25 of the world’s leading car marques and employing a team of 2,300 people from the Northeast through Yorkshire and into Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. His empire of up market car franchises includes Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Bentley and Rolls Royce. 

A keen rally driver, Jack was the first privateer to win an International Rally using a Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS Sport Lightweight on the Circuit of Ireland in 1973, a round of the European Rally Championship. 


Offensive' registration plates featuring the '71 year identifier banned in DVLA purge


Hundreds of potentially offensive registrations featuring the '71 year identifier have been banned by the DVLA to prevent inappropriate ones being requested and issued. 

The ban prevents unsuitable registrations referring to Covid-19, the EU, Afghanistan, offensive political statements, sexual and many other controversial subjects being used on vehicles.

The DVLA regularly issues a list of banned combinations before each new release so this is not unusual. Serious thought goes into deciding which number plates will go on the DVLA's list of suppressed registrations. Twice a year, the public body asks its best and brightest personnel to find every combination of the newly released format that shouldn’t be issued. 

A spokesperson for the Agency said, 'The vast majority of registration numbers are made available but the agency holds back any combina

Latest technology helps police to speed up roadside checks  


The DVLA and Home Office have developed technology to allow police officers dealing with motoring offences to rapidly confirm a driver’s identity at the roadside by gaining almost instant online access to their photograph held on the DVLA’s driver database. 

The technology is already in use by 18 police forces with plans to roll out more very soon. Currently it can take up to 16 minutes for officers to confirm a person’s identity, but the new technology gives an almost instant response. 

While the use of DVLA data in this context is confined to motoring offences, the technology has resulted in significant benefits to the police and motorists.  

Initially the officer searches the Police National Computer (PNC) to obtain the driving licence number, a unique identifier guaranteeing the correct image is accessed from the DVLA record. Using this number, the officer then receives the licence holder’s photograph to complete the check. Images are only accessible during the enquiry and are not retained. 

First  recorded UK car journey is marked with historic plaque 

Evelyn Ellis drove the first documented motor car journey in 1895 leaving Micheldever Station, near Winchester, Hampshire on a 45 mile journey to the village of Datchet in Berkshire. The journey took eight hours and 14 minutes.


Evelyn was driving a new 4hp Panhard and Levassor car which had been shipped from Paris to Southampton and on to Micheldever for the journey. He was constantly on the look-out for the police during the drive as he regularly broke the then speed limit of 2 mph in towns and 4 mph in the countryside. It is said he hoped to be stopped so he could start a test case against the unreasonably low speed limit.


A plaque to mark the event has been installed by the National Transport Trust at Micheldever railway station and the unveiling was watched by many vintage car enthusiasts on Saturday 3 July 2021.


News from the DfT ... standard petrol is changing to E10 very soon 

  This summer the standard petrol grade in the UK will become E10. Currently, UK petrol is E5, meaning it contains up to 5% bioethanol. E10 petrol will see the amount of bioethanol increase to 10%. 

Petrol cars manufactured after 2011 and most modern motorcycles are E10 compatible. However, around 5% of petrol vehicles made before 2011 will need to continue to use E5 petrol which will remain available as the super grade petrol option at the pumps. 

Using E10 fuel in an incompatible petrol vehicle will not cause immediate harm but its continued use could damage the engine’s parts. If in doubt about the compatibility of your vehicle, use the online E10 vehicle checker or seek further advice from the vehicle manufacturer or garage.

Check if your vehicle is compatible at:-


Euro symbols and a new British Standard for number plates 


From 1 January 2021 it is no longer permissible to fix a new number plate displaying a Euro symbol to a vehicle. Number plates already fixed to vehicles are unaffected.

 Also a new British Standard, BS AU 145e, for number plates produced from 1 September 2021 becomes mandatory and coincides with the ‘71’ plate introduction.

 The main changes relate to the space between the bottom of the registration mark and any other mark must not be less than 7 millimetres, dealer logos (at the bottom centre of the plate) can only be one shade of a non-reflecting colour and be between 3 and 10mm high (inclusive), and optional borders must be 5mm or thinner in width, can only be one shade of a non-reflecting colour and must not infringe closer than 10mm from the edge of any registration digit.


Black & Silver number plate regulations ... DVLA confirms the new rules 

 New rules were introduced on 1 January 2021 affecting the ability of vehicles registered in the historic class to display old style pre-1973 black & silver number plates.

 Following the change in definition of an historic vehicle for vehicle tax exemption purposes in 2015, an issue was identified in the regulatory requirements for the valid display of a black & silver number plate. This resulted in an unintended consequence where any vehicle over 40 years old and registered in the historic tax class would be permitted to display an old style black & silver number plate. This was despite the law previously requiring all vehicles first registered after 1 January 1973 to only display yellow & white number plates with black characters.

As this was never the intention, the DVLA has sought to rectify this through a legal correction which prevents any vehicle constructed after 1 January 1980 from displaying a black & silver number plate despite being recorded in the DVLA’s historic tax class. Those vehicles with a construction date prior to 1 January 1980 will continue to be able to legally display black & silver number plates to avoid any undue costs of replacement.


Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs invites museums to join its directory 

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) was formed in 1988 and for the past 33 years has protected and maintained the right of UK citizens to use ‘yesterday’s vehicles on tomorrow’s roads’.

Historic Vehicles are formally recognised by the UK Government when they attain an age of 40 years.

The FBHVC successfully represents historic vehicle clubs and has recently been inviting museums to join its directory and tell enthusiasts of the exciting displays and activities they offer. The directory is being continually updated so if you’re looking for an interesting day out, just take a look at what the museums have to offer. As so many museums have been closed due to Covid-19 for so long, the FBHVC is sure enthusiasts will value the opportunity to get out in their vehicles and seek Covid-19 compliant venues.

A full list of participating museums can be found at:-


The Queen of the Nurburgring, Sabine Schmitz passed away on 16 March 2021 aged 51 ... RIP Sabine

Sabine was a German professional motor racing driver, driving for both BMW and Porsche. She was the only woman driver to win the Nurburgring 24 hour race in 1996 and 1997 in the touring car class driving a BMW M3. Known also as the 'world's fastest taxi driver' she was renowned for taking visitors on rapid laps of the Nurburgring in a BMW M5 and claims to have driven round that circuit more than 20,000 times.

She will also be remembered for appearances on BBC TV's 'Top Gear' in 2004 and co-hosting the show with Chris Evans in 2016. 

The voice of F1, Murray Walker OBE, passed away on 13 March 2021 at the age of 97 ... RIP Murray

Murray commentated on his first grand prix at Silverstone in 1949 and he became a full-time commentator for the BBC in 1978. Later he moved to ITV and and by the time he retired in 2001 he had covered over 350 events. He was respected by drivers and fans alike and many motor sport legends have paid wonderful tributes to him.

Murray's early career was in advertising and he worked for Dunlop, Aspro and Esso before joining an advertising agency where he increased the billing dramatically. He was well known for his 'Murrayisms' and one of the most well known - 'Unless I am very much mistaken .... yes I am very much mistaken' - is the title given to his autobiography published in 2003.


Captain Sir Tom's original trials motorbike now on display at Bradford Industrial Museum

Sir Tom was a keen motorcycle trialist and campaigned a Scott Flying Squirrel motorbike built in Shipley, not far from his Yorkshire home, when it had an early York registration DN 3612. The bike was acquired later and restored by C W Wood, a renowned Bradford professional photographer, to compete in vintage motorcycle trials. It appears to have been re-registered after this work with an early Bradford registration AK 222 which it bears to this day. 

The bike is on long term loan from C W Wood's son and takes pride of place in the reception area of Bradford Industrial Museum.


 A young Captain Moore on the Scott motorbike (left)

 The 1912 Scott Flying Squirrel in Bradford Museum (right)

'Rest in Peace Captain Sir Tom - you have inspired a nation' 

Following his successful campaign last spring at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Captain Sir Tom Moore raised around £33,000,000 for the NHS charity by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

Sadly Sir Tom was hospitalised after being treated for pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19. His daughter announced on 2 February 2021 that he had sadly passed away at the age of 100 years.

 "Stay home, stay safe, tomorrow will be a good day" was Captain Sir Tom's inspirational message.



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