Kim Henson describes a happy week in Normandy in his 1954 Austin A40 Somerset Coupé… together with friends in a 1939 Amilcar Compound. Note: This trip took place in September/October 2016; this article about the holiday is intended to cheer readers while the current lockdown applies, and to help everyone look forward to the time when we can once again undertake pleasure motoring. However, for … [Read more...]
Motoring for FUN!
It’s all about having fun out on the road
As many of us already appreciate, ‘essential’ motoring in the 21st Century – when we really do need a car to get somewhere (such as when commuting and/or for business purposes and carrying items too bulky or heavy for public transport) is not always fun. Often it involves frustrations such as queueing in traffic jams, also keeping out of the way of, and/or ignoring rude and aggressive drivers, and generally making slow, painful progress on packed urban roads. In truth the word ‘enjoyment’ doesn’t usually apply to such driving; it’s more of a necessity.
Nevertheless, these days, and in fact just as it always has done, the motor car can still give individuals, couples, families and groups of friends a happy means of ‘escaping’ for a while from humdrum everyday life. Indeed it can represent a passport to pastures new, for a breath of fresh air and a little rest, relaxation and exploration.
Some ‘Wheels-Alive’ viewers/readers may have discovered, or may even recall, that many motoring magazines of the past regularly used to feature touring with cars, covering visits to different localities in Britain, and even trips abroad. These fascinating articles provided information about the ‘feel’ of places visited, as well as illustrating, by way of photographs and/or line drawings, the new horizons which the car could open up.
Of course, in the 1920s and 30s (and even during the 1950s), owning a car was a relatively new phenomenon, and the thirst for ‘adventure’ in motoring for pleasure was evident in the way that the features were written.
I was very keen for my ‘Wheels-Alive’ online motoring magazine to re-create some of the atmosphere and magic of these day trips and longer tours of the past, so stay with us (and check back often!) as we bring to you motoring-related visits to some amazing places, starting with a few in the U.K.
In our new ‘Motoring For Fun’ series, always written from a personal perspective, we shall be using a variety of vehicles, from new models to more elderly classic cars. In each case, if you are a motoring enthusiast, the ‘getting there’ really is almost as important as the destination itself…
We hope that our series of features – which we hope will serve as ‘appetisers’, but of course cannot hope to include ALL the attractions within a particular area – acts as encouragement for our viewers/readers to visit and explore further for themselves. We have chosen a wide variety of areas, each with its own unique character and history. Please just enjoy!
‘Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon (in Summertime)’… Kim Henson describes a relaxing meander on a hot day through a west country landscape where time has (almost) stood still. (Kim adds: Of course I realise that as I write this (April 2020), sadly for the time being ‘motoring for fun’ in the real world is not possible. INDEED THE ADVICE TO "STAY AT HOME AND SAVE LIVES AND HELP THE N.H.S." IS VITAL. … [Read more...]
MILES ON THE ROAD IN INDIA JUST BEFORE THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN… …By David Miles (Miles Better News Agency), who describes the motoring scene in India, as well as his own trip there. (All words and photographs by David). When my wife and I left the UK for our recent two week tour in India just over a month ago, there was hardly a global mention of coronavirus, just the odd mention of a … [Read more...]
Rachel Henson describes an exhilarating adventure on the wild, beautiful Yorkshire coast – in search of history and wildlife, and made possible by a classic vehicle... (All words and photographs by Rachel). Wind beat at the drenched tarpaulin, making it hard to hear our guide. It was tied tightly to the sides of the Unimog due to wet and blustery weather. We were on a two-hour long safari at … [Read more...]
Choosing a roof box for my car (and fitting it)... Gerald Morgan tells all. Disclaimer This article should NOT be read as giving full advice on using a roof box. It is up to the individual to check the weight limit that can be safely used on their vehicle, and to ensure that the roof bars are correctly and safely attached to the roof of the car, and that the box is attached and packed in … [Read more...]
Helping young people to become enthusiastic about, and look after, classic cars... Robin Roberts reports. Duckhams Classic Oils were on hand to help launch this year’s Classic Car Loan Project, designed to encourage the next generation into the classic car movement. The project gives a new enthusiast the opportunity to have a classic car in their care for a whole year! The present … [Read more...]
Rachel Henson drives a diminutive car in a big country... ...and provides some helpful advice (which could save you some money) about renting a car abroad. Renting a Fiat 500 in the Costa Blanca When I decided to visit Sella, a small village near Benidorm in Spain, my first thought was to take a taxi. Being driven to the village would mean not having to worry about parking, driving on the … [Read more...]
Monte Carlo looks to Clydebank for classic rally start… Latest details have been released about the quality of entries for the Clydebank start next month of the 2019 historic rally run to Monte Carlo. It is the second time the town has hosted the prestigious event, with thousands turning out to watch the event when it last started there in 2012. It is the only British start point of six … [Read more...]
Venturing overseas with your vehicle? If your headlamp beams are not properly converted for driving in other countries, this can have serious and expensive consequences… Kim Henson reports. As with so many things in automotive life, things have become more complex in terms of modern headlamp design and operation, compared with the units of a few years ago. In turn this impacts on what you can do … [Read more...]
Six of the Most Memorable Road Trips in the UK Sometimes it just makes sense to fill up the car, pack a few bags and head out to the country. The good news is that, if you’re looking for a great road trip, the UK has some of the best scenery, gently winding roads and invigorating fresh air in the world. Now the team at OSV have created a useful infographic highlighting 6 of the best road trips … [Read more...]
Suggestions for a trip around Britain in under a month... If you’re looking to explore everything the UK has to offer, vehicle leasing company OSV have now produced a new infographic for the ultimate holiday road trip. From the heights of Snowdonia to the City of London, the joys of the Lake District and the world famous Loch Ness, there’s plenty of fun and … [Read more...]
Wirral Going on a Summer Holiday – in a 1954 Austin A40 (Somerset) Coupé… Kim Henson explains... I have to admit that until 2014 I had never before visited the Wirral peninsula, nor indeed Liverpool, but twice in that year I made brief visits to that part of the world, and was keen to return to explore in more detail. For those who may not know, the Wirral peninsula sits between (to the west) … [Read more...]
Kim Henson describes an unforgettable automotive adventure a long way from home… Of all the places in the world, I never imagined that I would be visiting North Borneo (Sabah). From 1946 known as ‘British North Borneo Crown’ (until as recently as 1963), today the state of Sabah is part of Malaysia. However, until a few years ago I must admit that all I knew of the country was what I had gleaned … [Read more...]
Touring (Autumnal) Vermont in a Chevrolet Cruze LT… Rachel Henson reports ‘live’ from the U.S.A. during an adventure that has seen her driving in north America for the first time. A visit to the United States of America had been looming on the horizon for months, so the actual departure almost took me by surprise when it eventually came. The plan was to visit Vermont in New England, from late … [Read more...]
Glen Smale recalls his Austin 11-55 in South Africa… Glen operates Virtual Motorpix and his recollections about his own 11-55 first appeared on own his website blog: http://blog.virtualmotorpix.com (Kim says: “Just to set the scene, it may be helpful to explain a little about the Austin 11-55. This was a South African version of BMC’s 1100 (ADO 16) that was introduced in the UK in 1962, and in … [Read more...]
Glen Smale combines the lure of the open road, the enduring magic of Le Mans and a very busy week. From Wales to Le Mans by California… If you have never yet been to see the Le Mans 24-Hour race, but have wondered what it's all about, Glen Smale tells his story about having fun attending and yet also working hard at the 2016 event; the words and photos are all his... Once a year, around … [Read more...]
A HAPPY TOUR OF NORTHERN ENGLAND IN A ROVER MAESTRO... Kim Henson was in the driving seat… As with previous articles in this series (so far, covering separate trips to south Devon, north/mid Wales, and the Isle of Wight), this one (Number 4) is all about having fun on a motor tour in a fascinating part of the world. What inspired me to start and build this series were the similarly-themed … [Read more...]
Kim Henson waxes lyrical about a long weekend touring in south Devon. You may already have seen and read the Wheels-Alive Road Test elsewhere on our website, covering the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.6 DDiS SZ4. We rated the model as an attractive, practical and fuel-efficient ‘crossover’ (for more information on the vehicle itself, please have a look at our separate Road Test, by clicking HERE). … [Read more...]
Kim Henson continues our series which looks at the enjoyment that touring by cars, new or old, can still bring, this time covering a happy trip to the Isle of Wight in a classic ‘family’ Austin… BY CAMBRIDGE TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT The vehicle used for this trip means a great deal to me. It was purchased by my grandfather in June 1973 and has been in\my family ever since. During that time I’ve … [Read more...]
Kim Henson describes an enjoyable break in north/mid Wales. WALES, HERE WE COME You may already have seen and read the Wheels-Alive Road Test elsewhere on our website, covering the Suzuki Swift 1.3 DDiS, which we rated as an excellent, fun to drive and creditably economical state-of-the-art supermini (for more information on the vehicle itself, please have a look at our Road Test, by clicking … [Read more...]