Italian Independence is coming!

Don’t worry, we haven’t gone all political on you and decided to analyse the current state of the EU. It’s actually the title of Paul’s next film, starring the iconic Fiat 500.

Classics DrivenIn many ways, having such an iconic car – in both design and concept – gave post-war Italy a chance to catapult itself into the heart of European culture.

Once again, we’ve teamed up with the UK’s leading classic car hire company, Great Escape Cars to bring you the latest in our series of classic motoring films.

We’ll be combining the release of the full film, with an exciting chance for you to win the chance to get behind the wheel of this great example of the original Cinquecento. For now though, here’s a preview of what you can look forward to…

Don’t forget to check out Paul Woodford’s entire #CarFilms series HERE. And we’d love you to join the discussion on Twitter.

The Classics Driven Team

Paul Woodford partners with the Manchester Classic Car Show

We’ve got exciting news – Paul Woodford has agreed a deal to host the Footman James Manchester Classic Car Show. 

With classic rally cars, sports cars and supercars from all eras, this will be one of the defining classic motoring events of the year, and we’ll be there.

For the announcement, CLICK HERE.

Classics Driven

Cars can be heroes

I was filming at the Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham this week, and as you can imagine there was enough content there to keep me going for the whole of the year. When it comes to classic motoring, at least.

Classics DrivenFrom ex works Group B rally cars, to the latest LeMans winning car, there is something for everyone. But for me, this year’s event was all about two cars; the Williams FW14 and FW18.

The numbers perhaps don’t mean much to you. But if I tell you that they are the cars with which Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill won the Formula One World Championship for Williams, you will perhaps take a look at my age, and realise that these two cars both define me as a petrolhead, and tell a big story about why I’m so passionate about F1.

Oh, and because the newest of these cars is 20 years old, that makes it a ‘modern classic’ and means I can blog about them here.

Classics DrivenEverything about the ’90s for me gave me enough fire for my motorsport passion to burn eternally; the car designs, the noise of the engines, the technology, the characters, the sponsors, the quality of the racing, and the glamour.

Williams, in fact had brought along cars to represent every era of their history, including their latest project in partnership with Jaguar for the latest Bond movie – the C-X75. Indeed, Felipe Massa also piloted the Tag-sponsored FW08C in the live arena show, which was quite a spectacle.

Classics DrivenBut for me, seeing the Hill Rothmans car, and the Mansell ‘Red Five’ gave me an energy that only a true petrolhead and motorsport nut would understand.

These cars are heroes of my childhood, and I wanted to share both my feelings, and photos from the moment I met them. Oh, and here’s the 1983 FW08C in action…


The ‘charm’ of classic motoring

Classics DrivenI often get all poetic when I’m talking about classic cars, talking about the ‘charm’ of classic motoring. I was reminded of that ‘charm’ this week, while filming the iconic Saab 900 Turbo.

Half way through filming the car, and – I might add – prior to filming any panning shots with the car on the move, the engine cut out while idling. On getting it started again, it very quickly became apparent that the problem was more than just a rough idle.

In these moments, sometimes the funniest experiences present themselves, and an elderly female dog walker approached and diagnosed the fault. “I think you’ve got a broken head gasket,” she Classics Drivensaid. She was of course right, and I remember thinking to myself that moments like that are what we must all mean when we say ‘character building’.

So, while I work on my cliche definitions, on shortening the script, and on producing a film devoid of any exterior shots of the car on the move, I’ll leave you with my reaction to the afore-mentioned ‘character building’ moment.


Alfa GTV – the finale?!

Ok, well perhaps it’s not quite that dramatic, but at the end of my week with the startlingly fun little Italian pocket rocket, it’s film time.

Classics DrivenI’ve tried to do what I’ve done with my other films and offer a fresh angle on the GTV, taking into account some of the discussion that’s been going on through Twitter this week on the back of my daily driver blog series.

I produce these films from start to finish using an iPhone, and an iPad, and accompanying kit which totals the grand sum of £12. In fact, on my personal blog, I’ve given you a bit of a behind-the-scenes tour of one of my ‘film shoots’.

These are non-commercial, I make them so you can enjoy them. And at the same time, I might just have a little bit of fun along the way, too.

Don’t forget to join in on Twitter!

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (part 5)

Part of the fun of driving round in a (modern!) classic car, is the reaction you get from people in the petrol station, and the supermarket carpark.

Classics DrivenHaving said that, the reaction I got today when someone came to talk to me about the GTV wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

As well as that, part 5 of my daily driver ‘vlog’ comes to you from the back seat; seemingly the most interesting part of the car. Well, that and the boot.

We’ve established so far that it’s fast, it sounds nice, and it’s got an auxiliary boot release in the glove box.

So, what is life like in the back of the Alfa Romeo GTV? Find out in part 5…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (Part 4)

The Alfa GTV is an interesting car, and for part 4 of my daily driver blog, I thought I’d open up the floor to your curiosity, answering Tweets about the car.

imageFrom where to store your toothbrush on a weekend away, to how to open the boot, you asked the questions and I answered them…I’m just not sure how useful the answers will be to you, frankly.

Even though the GTV is still recent enough to see the odd example floating round, let’s be honest when was the last time you saw a car older than six years old on the road?

For that reason alone, driving this car on a daily basis is a fun experience. And that’s before we get to the sound that 3 litre V6 makes. Have I mentioned that yet?

The film is almost ready to go live, so I’ll share that with you soon. In the meantime, here’s part 4 of the ‘vlog’…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (part 3)

This weekend saw my final shoot of 2015 with the Alfa GTV, and I certainly wasn’t short of things to say about it.

Classics DrivenThe 916 (the GTV’s platform) has a really intriguing story, it’s actually an ’80s design, despite the fact it was launched in the ’90s and spanned three decades.

There’s more information on that story in my film, which I’ll release in the next week or so. But also, today was all about my favourite part of the Alfa, the engine.

It’s not perhaps what you think either. Sure it’s fast, and sounds incredible when you pump it full of throttle. But there’s something else; here’s part 3 of my vlog…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (Part 2)

Part of the fun of driving a classic (even a modern classic!) car on the road, is noticing the little quirks that either go unnoticed, or get forgotten about completely when you only get the car out on those rare sunny days.

Classics DrivenIn today’s daily driver ‘vlog’ installment, I’ve enjoyed feeling like David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider thanks to Alfa Romeo’s decision not to put frames round the door windows.

It does take me longer to get out of the car when I pull up, as a result (see the video!), but I’m sure that’ll wear off and I’ll find something else to get excited about tomorrow.

Mind you, the grin on my face every time I bury the throttle and hear the snatchy growl of that V6 hasn’t worn off yet. Will it ever?

Don’t forget – this car is part of the fleet of classic car road trip machines run by Great Escape Cars; such a great idea, and the perfect way to get behind the wheel of some of your dream cars without the hassle that ‘can’ come with owning a classic.

See you on Twitter. Here’s part two…

Daily driver blog – Alfa Romeo GTV (Part 1)

I’ve always been a fan of the Alfa Romeo GTV, and who isn’t a fan of a thumping, Italian-built V6? Exactly. 

Classics DrivenSo you can imagine how long it took me to respond when the opportunity to do a daily driver blog on this car came up with Great Escape Cars.

Although the GTV is a fairly modern car when it comes to comfort, spec and equipment, it is still a 15 year old car, and is a world away from the diesel Alfa Romeo road car I use on a daily basis on a normal day.

I’ll share my experience with you in a series of blogs, social media content and video blogs (I think the cool kids call them ‘vlogs’), so that hopefully you feel inspired to go out to the garage, take the winter cover off that classic you’re mothballing, and go drive.

Here’s part 1, and although I do plan to bring you one of my films featuring this car, I make no apologies for the mundane goings on in this vlog series. After all, most of us don’t have a particularly daily drive, do we.

Though, a post office run with a stack of boxes in a coupe with a boot smaller than the average inside coat pocket was today’s high point…

Stay up to date on Twitter – thanks for following the ‘vlog’!