Barn Finds and eBay Treasures

Barn find car wreckThe term “barn find” has certainly become quite a big one in car circles these days. This is, in no small part, down to the way people now share images online. 30 years ago a rare car would be found in a lock up and it would go straight to auction and then a collector. These days, while the process is still the same, the images end up all over the internet and this undoubtly plays into the auctioneers hands as the public interest is sparked. As well as the auction house route there is also the mighty eBay as a location for these gems and on a rare quiet moment we we often have a little look around to see what rare classics have popped up.

Bonkers MK1 Cortina – Click Here

OK so this is perhaps not one we would call a gem but the underlying car is certainly a classic. The MK1 Cortina was always the coolest version of this long running family car. This one, however, have been modified to a certain extent. It is labelled as an 80s survivor but it seems more like something from the original Batman series in the 60s. The fins at the back are horrific and the extra lights are not just for show! The wheels are almost acceptable but really this car’s piece de resistance is the exhaust system; it really is quite special.

AMC Gremlin – Click Here

According to some reports this car was one of the worst American cars of all time. By all accounts the Gremlin was hastily created to beat Ford and GM in the race to release a sub-compact car. The designer basically chopped the back end off of an AMC Hornet and that left this car looking odd to say the least. Apprently it was faster than its competitors which was something but the handling and suspension were so awful we are not sure you would want it to go much faster than standing still. This car doesnt have an engine or running gear so it is certainly not one you can drive away. The advert suggests it could make a great drag car; and why not? Maybe tearing down a 1/4 of mile strip with a V8 shoe horned in might make it a bit better than it was originally…you never know.

RX-7 – Click Here

This one really does qualify as a “find”. The RX-7 is fast becoming a true classic. It might not have the style and heritage of some of the British classic cars but it’s rotary engine and rear wheel drive arrangment makes it a very interesting car. These are being used for drifting a great deal but many people are just getting them up to concourse condition with perhaps some mild modifications to the engine. If the mileage is correct at 33,000 then this car makes the perfect project and could turn a solid profit.

 

Whatever your tastes in cars we are able to offer advice and guidance on the right fire suppression systems for you. We do a lot of work with classic and historic car owners from racing set ups to subtle fire extingsuishers for that extra level of safety. For more information get in touch today.

 

Billy Monger – Crash and Fundraising

The whole British Motorsport world is thinking about Billy Monger this weekend after his terrible crash at Donnington last Sunday. Alongside the terrible concern about Billy and his future we have been so proud of the motorsport world and how it has reacted to support the family.

The Crash

The crash itself has been well covered via many YouTube videos and the ITV footage. It seems as though Billy has the back of  an almost stationary Patrik Pasma with devastating effects. The impact was nothing short of huge and despite the awful injuries suffered by Billy it was great to see the main safety structures around his head and torso did their job. Anytime a driver suffers that kind of crash the risk of more serious injuries or death are very real as we have seen all too recently.

Injuries

After around 100 minutes in the car Billy was carefully removed from the wreckage after Pasma had already been taken to the medical centre. He was flown to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where sadly he lost both of his lower legs. Every effort was made by the medical team but neither limb could be saved. There is no further news on Pasma but by all accounts he is in considerably better shape. According to Monger’s family he is doing as well as can be expected, he has been able to communicate and has had the breathing tubes removed.

Support

The support shown by the motorsport world has been amazing. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have both been showing their support on social media and financially. With the help of everyone in the community the fundraising page created has already raised a staggering £653,214. This money will be turned into a trust which will help Billy move towards regaining an active and happy life. Many people are suggesting he will still play a strong role in racing. Nicolas Hamilton, who races despite suffering from cerebral palsy, is very keen to speak with Billy and help him on his journey back into racing.

We would like to encourage all of our customers to donate if they can to help this talented young man rebuild his life just as he is becoming an adult. These injuries would be devastating to anyone but at 17 years old there is no doubt they will be a huge challenge.

The team at FEV want to wish both Billy and his family all the best and we are looking forward to hearing about Billy’s recovery.

 

So Many Different Ways to Race

Drifting

Sometimes the racing world can be guilty of focusing on the top level of motorsport like F1, LMP and BTCC. While doing this many people then seem to forget that there is so much more going on in motor racing than just the big races. There is so much going, in fact, we thought we would take some time to highlight some of the main types of racing people do in the UK.

Types Of MotorSport

There are 11 main types of motorsport in the UK according to the MSA website.

  • Autocross
  • Autotest
  • Circuit Racing
  • Cross Country
  • Drag Racing
  • Hill Climb
  • Karting
  • Rallycross
  • Rallying
  • Spring
  • Trails

Even just taking a minute to look at this list and then think about how many different classes and events go on in each type is mind boggling. For many people motor racing simply involves circuit racing, they are not even thinking about the other 10 types of racing. This is a shame as there are 1000s of people entering, enjoying and winning all the time across this wide range to types.

Open to Everyone

There are a number of more entry level types of motorsport that are just perfect for people to get involved in without perhaps investing the huge sums of money often associated with motorsport. Hill Climbs and Autotest are both examples of this kind of racing. Of course you can get very involved and spend a great deal to be the best and compete for national titles. However, there is also a huge amount of fun to be had by just joining a club, getting a basic car set up and taking part. Autotest for example can cost as little as £700-£1000 per year to enter and you do not even need a special car. Sprint is another type of racing that can involve a near standard car but, as with most types of racing can also involve some very specialised and expensive vehicles.

Where It All Began

There is no doubt Karting is the place where legends are created. Most F1 drivers have spent time in karts and, in fact, a huge number of successful drivers in other classes have done the same. Karting can be perfect as a cheap form of motorsport with the rise of the “arrive and drive” style kart tracks. However, to start racing in your own kart things do get a little more expensive and can very easily get pretty serious. It may seem like child’s play to those who are not in the know but never under estimate how serious karting is!

Dirt

If you like living on the edge and you don’t mind getting a bit muddy then rallying is the way forward. This is certainly not a low profile motorsport but there is a lot going on that doesn’t make it onto TV. You do need a car that meet regulations and this would include a fire extinguisher and you also need to pass the BARS exam but it is far from a closed sport reserved for only the best. Rallycross is fast becoming the hottest thing in racing and this is partly due to the accessibility but also due to how much fun it is! Using both dirt and tarmac makes for a whole lot of action for spectators and drivers alike.

The Bold and The Brave

OK let’s face it, drag racing is not for the faint hearted and the costs and technology involved in top level racing is extreme to say the least. However, there is a whole host of events where people can attempt the famous standing quarter mile in road cars or that are only lightly modified. So called “run what you brung” events at places like Santa Pod can make it very easy to get involved. That being said, once the bug bites people do tend to start spending more and more chasing the elusive personal records. The move up to full drag racing is a big step and take more than money, it takes a whole lot of guts too but thankfully people go for it otherwise we would not get to watch these insane cars doing their thing.

The above list is really just a taste of the wide and varied world of motorsport. It is open to everyone and at the same time closed to all but the best and those with the biggest pockets and it is this mix that makes it so much fun. We provide fire extinguishers systems for all types of motorsport from simple handheld units for track day and autotest cars to fully fledged rally systems for top level teams and even F1 teams. There is one level throughout all the levels of motorsport and that is safety, no matter what people are doing if it involves racing then it has to involve safety and it has to involve proper fire suppression systems.  Get in touch today if you would like to find out more about how FEV can help make sure you have the right system in place for your type of racing.

 

2017 F1 Cars

McLaren M7C

 

Well, it’s nearly time to kick of the 2017 F1 season and as always at this time of year the motorsport world is awash with discussions about the new season’s cars. Wider tyres, shark fins and more….but what does it all mean for the sport?

The New Age

No new car changes will ever be as major as the move to hybrid engines. Many still mourn the loss of the howling engines of a few years ago; the FEV team included. However the 2017 cars do look quite different and there are some interesting new ideas being implemented. One of the major things we are not going to be seeing is the “halo” safety system as it was first shown. It seems it was just too much in terms of a change so it will be interesting to see the discussion starts again as we look ahead to 2018.

Wider Tyres

OK so it’s not exactly the giant rear tyres of the 70s but the new larger rear tyres do look good. They are apparently to help the cars cope with extra down force and higher speeds. There are claims that we will be seeing 3 second drops in lap times compared to 2016 so there are some big aims if nothing else. The new wider rubber does look substantial when seen in the workshop and off the cars but even on the car the whole stance is more aggressive and generally wider.

Shark Fin

As more of the cars are unveiled we are seeing different levels of use when it comes to the shark fin design. The aero bodywork behind the top air intake seems to vary a lot. Mercedes have chosen to move away from what other cars seem to have embraced so it remains to be seen how this will affect results and if they move to join the crowd. The “fin” look is certainly a hit with the fans and continues to build the aggressive and sleek look of the new cars.

Wing Mirrors and everything else

It is certainly the case with the Mercedes car that the wing mirrors are a location where a lot of change is happening. They are much bigger than 2016 and seem to contain more cameras; it is thought these are to allow more detailed monitoring of tyre temperature. It looks as though the rear wings are a lot lower this year but with more complex aero designs around them. Also the front splitters seem to have got even more complicated than 2016.

Orange?

There is no doubt the new cars look great, not one that we have seen so far looks bad and that is great news because a couple of years back things were not so easy on the eye. However it is fair to say McLaren have stolen the show with a bold move to black and orange livery. It is a throw back to many years ago but we cant help but think they went too far back and missed the great 90s livery we all loved so much. We all hope 2017 is a turning point for the team.

Get in touch if you would like more information about our racing spec fire extinguisher systems. We have been building systems for all types of racing and road car for 30 years and are happy to offer advice on the right system for any car.

Going Up Against Hamilton?

As the excitement for the new F1 season really starts to boil up it was really interesting to hear Lewis Hamilton’s father making a few comments about not only his son’s career but what might result from challenging him.

Bottas

Valtteri Bottas

Even those people who only carry a mild interest in the world of F1 were aware of Rosberg’s shock departure and the ensuing gossip around his replacement. They are also likely to know the a certain Mr Bottas got, the now famous, second seat at Mercedes for the 2017 season. There are rumours the contract is only for a year but nonetheless Bottas now has a serious shot at really making his already good name into something special. Mercedes clearly have their engineering well sorted and everyone assumes 2017 will be yet another year of domination. This means any driver worth their salt would want to have a crack at the title in Bottas’s position. As a Fin, Bottas certainly carries that air of cool about him when it comes to racing, even when he had a couple of run ins with his fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen but will it be enough to cope with a title fight. 

Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

There is no doubt at all that Lewis Hamilton is a great driver; one of the greatest, in fact. However, he is not without his critics in terms of his attitude and apparent separation from much of the social and sportsmanship aspects of racing. His father is certainly a big driving force behind him and has been since a very young age; no doubt many of Lewis’s career moves have been done after some serious consultation with his dad. Winning three world championships is clearly not enough for Lewis, though, and he will be pushing hard to make sure 2017 sees him take a fourth.

Bottas vs Hamilton

Whoever took the second Mercedes seat was going to be put under immense pressure from the media but there are two ways the situation could be approached from a driver point of view. The first would be to simply accept that Hamilton is in charge, will win, and just use this chance to play it steady and come out looking solid and safe. The second is to go head to head with the 3 times world champ and take whatever consequences come!

It is this second option that Anthony Hamilton seems to have been warning against when he made some comments recently at a charity event. He essentially said that Lewis may be getting older but he is actually just entering his prime as a driver. The thought that Hamilton has so far not been at his best is quite a staggering one and it leaves us all thinking what he might be capable of. The next point Anthony made was perhaps a little less constructive; He suggested that anyone going up against Lewis could be making a potentially career ending move. It was not clear if he meant literally anyone racing against Lewis, and in that case the entire grid is at risk or if he meant a team mate. Delving deeper into that last point we are not sure if he meant simply being a team mate is potentially career ending or just being cock sure enough to try and beat Lewis was the potential problem.

We can only presume Anthony was not suggesting Hamilton would in some way purposely end a competitors career and just that Lewis is simply so good that attempting to beat him would end in disaster. Whatever the situation the general feeling is that Bottas may seem calm but is very unlikely to be ready to play second fiddle to anyone and that means a very exciting 2017 season at the front yet again!

From the point of view of the team here at FEV we work with a large number of the teams on the F1 grid and, as with many F1 fans, we love to see great racing. The winner is certainly important but it is the excitement and love of the sport we enjoy so we will certainly be wishing both drivers the best of luck this year!

If you would like any information on our fire suppression systems then please get in touch. We make car fire extinguishers for a huge range of vehicles across a huge range of racing classes and types.

FEV at the Autosport Show

FEv stand at autosport show

Due to the fact we are always somewhat swamped with orders the team at FEV do not “get out much” so the Autosport Show is one of the big highlights of the year. However this year may well have been one of the best yet for a number of reasons.

Stand out!

The first really exciting part about this years’ stand was the fact it looked so good! It may be terrible for us to say that but seeing as we didnt strictly design it we think its OK. The look and layout of it was designed by Tom Packer who did a fantasic job as many people seemed to agree. It meant we could show off a huge range of our various fire suppresion systems including our new FIA Approved 8865 system.

FEv products at autosport show

Visitors

There is not much point in having a stand at Autpsport if you don’t get anyone coming over to speak to you. Thankfully, we didnt have to worry and had some great discussions with customers old and new as well as a number of people finding us for the first time. It was particulary good to speak to Mike Brewer and Ed China from Wheeler Dealers who were looking into fitting a system to an upcoming build. Of course, this would not be the first time an FEV system will appear on the show as the guys used one of our extinguishers in a previous build too.

FEV extinguishers at autosport show

Porsche Seem to Approve!

We often see our systems in all sorts of cars and certainly get enquires about anything from a Hillman Imp to a Ferrari 458. But it was particulary pleasing to see that on the Porsche stand, 3 out of the 4 cars there had our systems in them and the one that did not was a purely road car. We have done a lot of work with Porsche and Porsche owners over the years but it is always nice to see our systems being shown off on our behalf.

FEV produts at autosport show

 

Skoda Rally Team

It wasnt just Porsche that were showing off our fire extinguishers either! The Wales Rally Stand had a rather stunning Skoda Fabia Rally car set up with our new 8865 system in it too! This amazing new system will be put through it’s paces this season and hopefully many more after that.

If you could not make it to the show but you would like to talk to us about your own motorsport fire suppression needs then get in touch today. We work with teams from a club level to F1 as well a private owners too.

Bottas, Mercedes, Felipe and Williams – it’s all going on in F1 this week.

Mercedes F1 Logo

After the tense season finale and Rosberg’s subsequent shock retirement the team at FEV were expecting things to go a bit quite in the world of F1. Not a chance! With constant talks of the open Mercedes seat and who will fill it as well as Hamilton’s future in the sport things seem to be hotting up not calming down.

Bottas

The rumour mill has been in overdrive of late with talk of Bottas wanting to move to Mercedes and the team certainly wanting him to do so too. However, Williams were not so keen by all accounts and the general feeling in the fan community was that Valtteri was likely to be somewhat frustrated by the situation. With Mercedes form over the last few years there is no doubt almost every driver on the grid would like a seat with them even if it meant going up against Hamilton.

Massa

Felipe Massa has been in F1 since 2003 and has certainly seen his fair share of on and off track challenges. So it was no real surprise when he announced his retirement a month or so ago. His Williams seat was then up for grabs until rookie Lance Stroll was brought in. With Massa leaving Williams really needed to keep Bottas to avoid having two new faces for the 2017 season.

Un-retired

The big news this week is that a provisional deal has been agreed to bring Massa back out of retirement to partner Stroll IF…and it is a fairly big “if”, Bottas goes to Mercedes. The Finn will now be free to make the move and most people think he will go ahead and do so. Massa will then be on hand to help steer Stroll around his first season and hopefully grab some points along the way.

Mercedes

It seems the endless debate about Merc’s empty seat may be coming to a close. After discussions about Alonso and even Button taking the spot it seems Hamilton will have a very skilled and very determined Bottas to deal with next year and we all know what a Finn can do in a fast car!! Bring on 2017!

 

You may not run an F1 team..but if you do want to find out more about our range of motorsport fire suppression systems then get in touch. We are very proud to supply a number of F1 teams with our systems as well as a huge range of other racing teams and driver from every level or driving.

 

A Few New Classic Cars

By LemmusOwn work, Public Domain, Link
Here at FEV we love working with classic car owners and supplying various fire suppression systems for either road or track use. The idea helping keep these great cars just a little bit safer is rewarding but we also just love the variation of cars we get to see and hear about. The classic car market is still buoyant and shows very few signs of slowing down but the types of cars that fall into this group is always changing and there are a fair few new kids on the block.

The 80s

Where it was once the preserve of 60s and 70s cars or older we are now seeing various 80s and even 90s cars in the classic car market. Some of these newer cars are still a bit “marmite” but they are all great in their own way and many will get better with time. The Ford Sierra, for example, is a car that seems to be increasing in value and one that many people still don’t look to fondly on. It was certainly a game changer after the last incarnation of the Cortina but for many it was simply not the car Ford had hoped it would be. It initially suffered issues with cross winds as well as claims the self correcting bumpers actually hid crash damage. Later versions were much better and sales did eventually start picking for a car that was dubbed the “salesman’s spaceship”.

These days prices for the rather brilliant Cosworth versions and even the XR4i’s are starting to go up with the former commanding £30,000 in some cases and even a 2.0 litre estate on over 100,000 miles will cost you over £2000!

Another 80s car that is now a classic is the Peugeot 205, although not in its normal form. The 208 GTi was certainly always a desirable car but prices are now looking at topping £20,000 in some cases and there are certainly only going to go one way. Even the less popular 309 GTi’s are making £10,000!

British Style

Most people in this country like at least one Jaguar, a lot of people like many different models but the XJS is not always at the top of the collective wish list. It was, like the Sierra, a bit of a design gamble and followed a very “futuristic” feel throughout. It also suffered somewhat in terms of timing as it was launched during the fuel crisis. That being said the V12 was a great engine and a rare one in all but the most expensive Italian supercars at the time. After a number of years in production there were a lot of different variants and not all really make the classic list but prices for the good ones are moving upwards by all accounts. While the XJS may not quite make the legendary status of the mighty E Type it is a cool car and one that we would very happily work on or drive!

Regardless of whether or not your chosen classic is actually considered a classic by the motoring press and the like we would still welcome it with open arms. Our friendly team will be able to advise and help you choose the best fire suppression system to suit your needs. You may just want to know you have that extra bit of protection a handheld unit provides in case of a small electrical fire. You may, however, want something a little more substantial because you plan to do some events and track days. Whatever you are planning to do with your classic car the team at FEV are able to help make sure you are well prepared for the unlikely event of a fire.

The Grand Tour

Well there is no doubt the new programme featuring Clarkson, May and Hammond is the hot topic of the week for car nuts across the world; but was it any good?

The team at FEV may not be an authority on entertainment, but we are one when it comes to most car related subjects so we thought we might share a few thoughts about the show.

Top Gear…oh sorry; Grand Tour

When Top Gear as we knew it finished the division of feeling about the presenters was broad. However, the unifying sentiment, felt by most viewers, was that the programme simply would not work with anyone else. This feeling was proved correct and when the BBC attempted to re launch Top Gear it didn’t do too well. The first impression we got from watching the newly branded amazon show was that it was basically the old Top Gear back again. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” certainly fits well here, the name may have changed but very little else has; at first glance anyway.

New Set, New Format?

The set itself, with the festival style concert opener and the safari style tent interior, certainly looks different and it does bring a new lease of life to the format. But, the format itself is very familiar. This is no bad thing and that small amount of freshness really works wonders. The boys are back and the barely hidden scripted ad libs are still there, along with the dad like humour. What has changed is a clear push towards being a bit more naughty. Gone has the parental feeling of the BBC and you can certainly tell Jeremy Clarkson is aware of it. There were quite a few cheeky references, even the odd swear word and it was all rather enjoyable.

What About The Cars?

Top Gear…whoops…The Grand Tour is primarily a car show, though with all the larking about you could be forgiven for missing that in the first episode. So it is important that it maintains a proper amount of petrol powered playfulness and what better way to do it than with the Holy Trinity. After it was first mentioned that Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche were not keen for their hyper cars to do battle everyone has wanted to see it so what better way to launch the Grand Tour. It was great to see the La Ferrari, 918 and the P1 on track together and very funny to see how much driver skill plays a part, even in a drag race. However, there was perhaps a little too much drifting and not enough racing. Also there were endless cuts between shots which meant the engine noise got rather messy. The budget may be in the millions of pounds but viewers still want to see and hear long shots of very fast cars going very fast?

Specials?

We are all rather hoping the Grand Tour team are going to replicate some of the Christmas Special style long format programmes that Top Gear did. These adventures offered a very different style of show and worked so well for car lovers and people who were not so keen too. Time will tell but our fingers are crossed there are some more bonkers journeys afoot with laughs, mud and perhaps the odd 2CV hiding in the background.

All in all we enjoyed the Grand Tour, it was nothing new but it was something akin to a comfy slipper, albeit one that got something unfortunate on it from the garden and needed a wash before returning too. Let’s hope certain people have learnt a few lessons and can continue to entertain us without behaving badly and we can all look ahead to a good few years more of motoring japes.

FEV, apart from being part time TV pundits, also happen to produce and supply a wide range of fire suppression systems for all levels of motorsport. If you would like to find out more about our products then get in touch today. Do also come and see us at the Autosport show in January where you will be able to have a hands on look at the new FIA 8865 approved suppression systems we have launched.

All Hail Max Verstappen

Max VerstappenNot content with being the youngest person ever to race in F1 the young Mr Verstappen soon set about making his mark on top flight motorsport. Sometimes he has been brilliant, sometimes he has been a bit reckless but he has never been accused of being boring. It was the recent F1 visit to Brazil, however, that really allowed him to show what he is not only capable of but what more he has to offer.

1997

For many of us here the idea of being born in 1997 seems rather ridiculous but when you also consider Max Verstappen has a FIA Super License and can drive the highest performance racing cars in the world also seems a little bonkers. But as a child he was brought up in and around racing with both his parents being no stranger to a track to put it mildly so it really isn’t any great surprise he is what he is.  That being said, being brought up around a sport doesn’t mean you get to be good at it. Damon Hill is, and was, a great driver, just like his dad, but he clearly had to work hard. His son Josh has now left competitive racing after the hope he would become the 3rd generation of Hills to be a racing legend and that just shows not everyone is automatically cut out for it.

The Magic Formula

What Max Verstappen has is more than just a bit of heritage and the financial backing to have a chance at being a racing driver. He has something very special, and that is the ethereal and un-quantifiable formula that great drivers like Senna and Schumacher had. His racing may still need a little refinement in terms of F1 but his CV is simply jam packed with wins and lap times that far more experienced drivers simply can’t keep up with.

Interlagos

The recent Brazilian Grand Prix was certainly an interesting one. That much rain is always going to throw more than a few spanners in the works but it is situations like that which often show what the drivers are really capable of. There is no doubt he was doing well but after the pit stop and drop back to 16th his subsequent charge to 3rd was just electric. The bravery and intelligence when looking at how to get past people shows a level of creativity we have not seen for some time. Using the “karting” line in the wet to find some grip and go around the outside of someone like Vettel may not always work but it certainly paid off this time. This one race has taken Verstappen from being someone that commanded a lot of interest to someone who commands a lot of respect.

The Future

There is no doubt now that Verstappen is going to win the world championship at some point. How this will happen we can only guess, but the journey will certainly be an entertaining one and everyone at FEV is certainly keen to see how next season shapes up. Red Bull are certainly going to be very pleased with themselves and F1 fans should be too…here’s to lots more overtaking and bold moves!

If you love racing and would like more information about our fire suppression systems for all types of motorsport then get in touch today.

 

 

 

 

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