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Formula Autos

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    old Fords mostly, but any old shite'll do


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  1. One. Unless this is a replica of the prototype, in which case two. One of many BMC/BL evaluations of a variation on an existing/upcoming model. Deemed to have a limited appeal to buyers, so not worth the tooling needed to put into production.
  2. There’s been several kit car versions of the big Healeys over the years. Some were Sierra based, so the H plate could have easily transferred over from a donor vehicle.
  3. I’ve got a very similar set of punches to these, branded as Stanley. Every single blow with a hammer results in massive flakes of yellow paint shattering off them. The exposed areas then rust faster than a Ka in the tide, unless liberally coated in WD40 or somesuch. Which makes them slippery to hold - not brilliant. Plus the thinner pointed ones bend easily too, if you don’t hit the fat end exactly square on with your hammer. I suspect the Aldi equivalents will be superior in every way. Any tool that results in you having to needlessly clean up after you’re done is just annoying. In fact Aldi send me their offer emails, meaning next time their set is going to appear in the middle aisle of dreams I’ll buy some and bin off the Stanley ones. TL;DR - don’t buy the Stanley equivalent of these punches, as they’re thunderingly shit.
  4. Also known as Bergen. For little-used items and things where it doesn’t matter who made a tool (magnetic trays, mirrors on a telescopic stick, etc.) you can’t really go wrong with Bergen/US Pro. Their sockets and ratchets are pretty good for the money too - close to big brand toughness/manufacturing tolerances for a tiny fraction of Snap-On/Mac/Facom prices, in my experience.
  5. I keep seeing VAG group crossovers that I didn’t know existed. Skoda and VW in particular seem to have a bewildering array of almost identical looking models. Plus there’s now the Cupra range, where there seems to be some kind of overly-styled crossover that doesn’t have a corresponding model of SEAT. The only coherent range of crossovers in the VAG group seem to be Audi’s, where at least the number following Q in the model name gives an indication of its size, relative to the others in the range. Yesterday I saw a two door convertible VW crossover. The badge on the back seemed to say T-oss, or something ….
  6. There was a factory Jaguar XJ convertible (well, technically a Daimler - called the Corsica), based on the next-gen X300. It was most definitely a touch* more professionally built. Never made production, and remained a concept car (or cars? - it seems like there are others/replicas around, as well as the metallic green original one).
  7. A brilliant YouTube channel Rich runs - mostly about his ever-evolving model railway, and sometimes about this Granada. Well worth a look if you’re into either subject. Recent uploads have included the building of a chod-tastic scrapyard as part of the model railway.
  8. The model sat in the Marina is Ayshea Brough, is it not? She appeared in Gerry Anderson’s series UFO (in fact it’s her arse that is pervily lingered on in the title sequence as she walks away from camera, down a corridor of SHADO’s base). This just further backs up the Gerry Anderson/Marina/Ital connection. Rumour also has it that the self-driving colour-changing car in Terrahawks, known as Hudson, was originally to have been an Austin Montego. The car was set to be launched around the same time as the series was due to go on air in the UK, and a cross-promotion deal to include the Montego in the show was being worked out with Gerry Anderson’s co-producer Christopher Burr. Gerry was so incensed with Austin-Rover/BL’s antics in the past though that he tore up the agreement, and so Hudson became a Rolls-Royce.
  9. When the Maestro was delayed yet again in 1981, BL ended up with a crate of voice synthesiser microchips lying around. These had been bought in advance of Maestro production as the same chip was used in the BBC Micro computer; BL feared that if that became a sales success they would struggle to source the chips required for top of the range Maestros. The Allegro was still in production at this point, so a plan was hatched to launch a special edition Allegro Micro, using the chips and their speech capability, and using the owl logo that the BBC were using to promote the Micro as the logo for this special edition. The interior plastics of the car were to be in the same off-white plastic as the Micro computer, with black instrument surrounds and a smattering of red buttons - to ape the colour scheme of the computer. Owners were also to be given a money-off voucher to buy a discounted BBC micro with, and an owners manual was also to be supplied on a data cassette that could be viewed via a BBC Micro. The voice chip was to have the dulcit tones of Ian McNaught-Davis, who at the time was presenting The Computer Programme, where the BBC Micro was being promoted. External paint colours would have been limited to off-white, black or red, and a choice of one of the other colours as a contrasting front grille. The BBC refused to license the owl logo and name though, so this idea was only ever realised in three prototypes (all were four door versions - though two door and estate versions would have been available had this edition reached production). The bugs in the Maestro’s speech chip were worked out in these cars, which were used by lower management as pool cars/test hacks, and their use led to additional features like seatbelt warnings being tried and tested by the time of the Maestro’s eventual launch.
  10. Given the recent slew of retro styled EVs announced recently, such as the new Renault 5, Tesla has decided to get in on the game. They’ve acquired the rights to the styling of the Horsey Horseless and an electric version is due for release sometime in 2024, based on the chassis of their Model X. The top of the range Pegasus edition is to have the rear gullwing doors of the Model X repurposed to resemble actual wings.
  11. What does everyone reckon the engine bay tinware being painted dark green was all about then? Just them winding everyone up? A nod to the colour of the original A-series block? Or just a need to get some paint on a few bits and bobs, and green was what happened to be lying about? I was convinced Binky was going to be BRG, having seem hints of it on newly painted parts in the engine bay.
  12. Run out models, often loaded with kit, sometimes seem to have some desirability - Cortina Crusaders being the example that springs to mind.
  13. Nicely done, but you forgot to add the bit about it being launched as a FWD model, then converted to RWD for no apparent reason a few years later.
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