Winter is Coming

Woman driving a classic car

It really seems like we were writing about the pleasure of driving in the summer only last week, rolling the covers off your classic car and enjoying some dry roads. Well, now it’s time to start thinking about winter and all the motoring issues surrounding it.

Autumn Goes Fast

While it may only be autumn, it is a season that goes quickly. We are already seeing rain, wind and leaves on the roads and for many classic and historic car owners these are signals to put the car away for the winter. While dry roads in the summer mean grip and fun, these autumnal conditions mean quite the opposite. And while low grip can be fun on a track it is not something you want on public roads in a classic car.

Cold and Ice

As we move through wetter and windier days, we know that frost is on its way. It is a great time to get a service, making sure everything is ship shape and anti-freeze levels are topped up, before putting the covers on for the winter and garaging your car.

Keep on Driving

Of course, while some classic car owners do put their cars to bed over winter, others choose to keep on enjoying them – and we do rather like that. There are some wonderful clear and bright winter days when you can drop the roof and have a blast as long as you wrap up warm! Obviously, the timing is important and heading out when it might sleet or snow might not be wise, but with good planning a classic can be enjoyed during the colder season. It does also depend on the type of car you have. While it is safe to say that most classics do not have traction control to help with low traction conditions, many do have decent heaters and solid roofs.

Enjoy

Whatever you choose to do with your classic, make sure you enjoy it. The act of prepping a car for storage can be, in itself, very satisfying. Winter can be a great time to tinker and fix those little things you didn’t have time to do before. But it can also be a time to get out there and show off your pride and joy!

At FEV, we work with a great deal of classic car owners to make sure they have a suitable fire suppression system installed, so get in touch if you would like to get some professional advice to discuss your car’s needs.

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Hamilton to Join Formula E?

Lewis Hamilton took to social media recently to say how his followers should consider the environment and their impact on the world, especially through their diet. For many people this seemed a little odd as he spends his time driving a petrol car at high speeds – but there is a lot more to it than that. Hamilton is someone who has shown a lot of support for climate change over the last couple of years; he even sold his jet. So this is a serious comment and, as a very influential person, it is a good thing.

Formula E

Most people who are interested in motorsport are aware of Formula E and it is becoming more popular each year. It was Jean-Eric Vergne who publicly responded to Hamilton’s eco messages by saying he felt it made complete sense for the five times F1 winner to make a move to electric racing, telling Motorsport.com that it would be a ‘logical step’ for him to be so much more than just a racing driver. The ex-F1 and now Formula E driver was very complimentary about Hamilton and mentioned how even two years ago he was not really aware of climate change issues as he is now. He went on to say the Hamilton could really influence young drivers.

PR?

There is no doubt that these comments were partly to bring a bit of press coverage and PR to bear for Formula E but, he may have a point. What is next for Hamilton? He may well keep winning but maybe a new challenge could be exciting. The PR it would generate if he did move across could really change the face of the sport and bring it into the mainstream and help promote the climate change cause at the same time.

Toto

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that if Hamilton would like a run in the Mercedes Formula E car, then he is very welcome. This comment perhaps lends more credibility to the whole idea. Maybe Lewis will have a go and fall in love with the feel of electric. It is certainly a massive story waiting to happen… the question is, will it?

As ever, the team at FEV is passionate about supporting the motoring industry with a wide range of high quality safety equipment and fire suppression systems for motorsport and track days. Please get in touch if we can be of service.

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The Mighty Cobra

After seeing some of the footage of Goodwood this year we realised once again just what an awesome car the AC Cobra really is. However, it is a bit of a confusing one with different models and countless replicas out there. We thought it might be fun to have a quick look at some of the important stats, facts and info about this bruiser of an Anglo-American Sports Car.

427 and 289

These two numbers are very important when it comes to Cobras. They refer to the cubic inch engine capacity used in America. The 289 is roughly equivalent to 4.7 litres and was the smaller of the two engines that the Cobra was made with. This small block Chevy V8 was still quite a lump though by today’s standards. The 289 was lower powered than its bigger sibling but was considered a better handling car, mainly due to less weight.

The 427 Cobra had, to all intents and purposes, a 7 litre V8 which is big… it’s just big. With 425 bhp it packed one hell of a punch. The 289 had just 271 bhp so they are very different cars. 0-60 is just 4.5 seconds though there are some conflicting numbers out there. This was a car built in the mid 1960s and 4.5 seconds to 60 mph is still quick now.

An easy way to visually tell the two apart if you see a real Cobra is the exhaust pipes – the 289 has rear pipes and the 427 has side pipes. There are lots of other telltale signs including the grille shape but this is a pretty good difference to look out for.

Somewhat of a Handful

The Cobra obviously had no traction control and no assistance of any kind, so it was really a serious beast to drive. Trying to get even the 271 bhp of the 289 on the road must have been tough, but to get the 427 to 60 mph must have been scary to say the very least. However, these cars were raced and raced by some people with serious skills and some serious bravery levels!

Real or Fake?

The odds are that if you see a Cobra on the road it will be a replica. There are masses of kits that have been made over the years, many of which are pretty bad, some even have 4 cylinder engines and are just used for show. But there are also some very serious and very good replicas out there and these have been lovingly created since the 1970s by various companies like Dax, AK and CSX. Some of these replicas can go for well over £100,000 but some can be bought for £40k and above. There is a huge range of engine types and power options; there are quite a few 427 replicas running upwards of 800 bhp, not only tipping a hat to the madness of the real ones but taking it further.

Real Cobras are very rare, with only a few hundred being made of each one. They sell for around a million, so if you do have designs on owning one you may want to start saving.

The Cobra is a true icon of motoring and while seeing, let alone owning, a real Cobra is unlikely, it is one of the few cars where replicas are sought after and are very high quality. Of course, you can always pop to Goodwood Revival or FOS and you will probably see a real one.

Here at FEV, we’re passionate about making high quality fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems for motorsport, track days and classic cars. Contact our experienced and knowledgeable team to help you find the best fire extinguisher for your needs.

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Frankfurt Motor Show Highlights

Motor shows are a bit like Marmite and a lot of people really do not care what goes on. However, love them or hate them, the big ones often have some launches that everyone wants to see. The Frankfurt Motor Show was, unusually, missing some big names this year, with Peugeot, Citroen, Alfa Romeo and some others choosing not to have a stand. This meant the show didn’t have quite the usual glittering list of new marques to show off, but there were still some cool cars to be seen.

Land Rover Defender

The new Defender is here. Marmite again, anyone? Let’s face it, the old Defender will never be replaced and whatever came after was always going to be a bit of a faker. That said, the new version isn’t too bad. It has the feel of the Discovery 3 and 4 but is smaller and with some cool utilitarian features that are a nice tip of the hat to the original.

Lamborghini Sian

It looks a bit crazy, as a Lambo should. It still has a v12 which these days is rare, and so it is still a bonkers car…as a Lambo should be. There is a small concession to the modern world with a tiny electric motor to reduce emissions at low speeds but otherwise this new angry bull is, well, very angry indeed.

Porsche Taycan

So here it is…the first fully electric Porsche. It looks like a Porsche in so much as it carries with it all the familiar lines and shape, but it is a totally new car. It isn’t a modified 911 nor, what would have been easier, an electric Panamera of some sort. No, they have made a totally new car and it is going to make Tesla sit up and pay attention because this could be a serious rival for the luxury EV saloon market.

 

There were other launches but mainly of smaller electric vehicles like the Volkswagen ID 3 and a lot of crazy concept cars as usual. These concepts may seem pointless and to most people they mean nothing, but for the industry they do have a purpose in terms of design trends and showing where companies are going. They are certainly worth a look but, for our part, we do prefer seeing the real models launched as we are sure you do too.

As ever, we’re here supporting the motoring industry with state-of-the-art safety equipment and fire suppression systems for all vehicles. Let us know if we can be of service.

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Pininfarina Battista?

Unless you’re seriously into hyper cars, you may not have heard of this car, but you will know the brand. Pininfarina have been designing cars since long before World War II for a wide range of makes. Companies like Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia as well as brands like Hyundai have all worked with the Italian company to create cars. They have also designed trains, buses, yachts and even private jets! Well, now they are launching their own range of hyper luxury cars and the Battista is something very special!

The Name

The founder of the company was called Battista “Pinin” Farina so it stands to reason to choose this title for the first car in the range.

The Car

It is claimed to be a guilt free hyper car because, you guessed it, it’s all electric. The Battista is a zero emissions car that will blow your mind. The 120kwh battery pack will go for 280 miles and the Rimac-produced powertrain will deliver a mind warping 1874bhp and 1,696lb of torque. 0-60 will be under 2 seconds!

These kinds of numbers are almost impossible to grasp and, once again, it shows that electric may not sound that good but it sure can deliver the goods when it comes to performance. If you needed one more statistic, then how about the fact that this car will go from a standing start to 186mph in under 12 seconds? Fast enough for you?!

Looks

It is a stunning car to look at too. It has very strong shades of the Ferrari 458 for obvious reasons, but the Battista is its own car. It looks sleek but powerful with lines that come from well placed aerodynamics rather than forced design.

Sounds

While it won’t have an engine as we know it, the driver will have the ability to manipulate the noises the Battista does make. There will be no artificial amplification though. The sounds will come from the resonation through the carbon monocoque chassis, wind noise and the electric motors, so it’s all real!

2020

The first Battista will roll off the production line in 2020 and I think we are all looking forward to someone putting a video up of a 0-186mph test run!

If you own a supercar of your own, do get in touch with FEV to discuss how we can help protect your

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Bad Roads!

Damaged car of road full of cracked potholes in pavement

In the world of motorsport, we may be used to spending a great deal of our time on tarmac that’s of pretty good quality. That said, we do also drive on normal roads and have many customers who do as well. The fact that we seem to notice more and more potholes really isn’t good news at all. We all know they are uncomfortable and make us wince – but they can pose a real threat to more fragile supercars, classics and road going custom cars too!

RAC Research

It seems that some research done throughout 2017 by the RAC shows there was a 44 percent increase in potholes on our roads in that time. Since then there seems to have been no let up and it feels like things are getting worse. So much so that people have taken to marking the potholes out with paint or creating funny images around them. It is becoming a very British problem but one we tackle with laughter, as always.

Damage

There is no doubt at all that potholes can do some serious damage to wheels but they can also shake other things loose and cause all sort of issues. Compared to 20 years ago, most cars now have alloy wheels and lower profile tyres. Couple this with more potholes and you can see the problem!

But as mentioned above, there is also a real danger of damaging some very precious cars. We all love to see a classic car out on the roads – an E-Type going past, for example, is a sight even non-car fans love. But that car could suffer some serious damage if it hit a pothole at 60mph, not to mention the potential handling issues without any kind of traction control. These cars are important parts of our motoring history and our roads are literally knocking them to bits.

It isn’t just old cars either; new fast cars are equally at risk. We all love the rare spotting of a real supercar and we know a lot of these amazing cars spend most of the time in air-conditioned boxes for various reasons. It is no wonder really because hitting a pothole in a Koenigsegg R1 would be painful, to say the least, and could be eyewateringly expensive to fix. It means that many owners may choose to trailer the cars to shows and may never drive them in public – which would be a crying shame for car fans all over the UK.

Hopefully, as we head towards 2020 we will start to see more work going on to repair potholes and make the roads once again a safe place for rare and exciting (and fragile!) cars so we can all get that tempting glimpse of something special among the sea of mid-sized SUVs!

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Refuelling coming back to F1?

Recently, as part of discussions about 2021 F1 rules, the FIA President Jean Todt brought up the possibility of bringing back refuelling. This is a very controversial part of racing but one that some fans really love.

Back in The Day

A lot of people look back to the old days and say things were more exciting when refuelling was allowed. The cars could race lighter, there were tactics around fuelling stops just like there still are around tyre use and changes. Yes, Schumacher used to use some cunning moves to get the drop on people with pit stops but just because it happened then doesn’t mean it would happen now. There were certainly a lot of moves made and running out of fuel did add another layer of excitement in a sport that many say is seriously lacking it at the moment.

The Dangers

There is simply no getting away from the fact that refuelling adds danger to racing, and not in a good way. Refuelling isn’t the same as faster corner speeds, or less downforce. It’s just a huge fire risk during a process that is not much fun to watch.

The Drivers

It does seem that a number of drivers are interested in bringing back refuelling. Often, the reasons are based around the fact that with less need to manage fuel the drivers can push harder and race more. Ultimately, the drivers are also just hoping to be able to run lighter cars because…well they love to race and they love to go fast.

The Reality

Whilst there is no doubt the cars would be running lighter and drivers could potentially push harder, the modern F1 world is very different in terms of the data available to teams since refuelling was in place. There is a rose tinted ideal that refuelling will lead to the unknown, gambles that don’t pay off, big upsets etc. But the reality is that with the kind of processing power each team is packing these days, they will be able to predict fuel use to the second, while other teams will be watching pit stops to calculate fuel volumes and be planning stops off the back of the data. It may bring back some action but the constant drive to win by the teams will no doubt mean any gaps are soon plugged and the racing goes back to how it was before.

Handling Fuel

While we may not have mid-race refuelling, if you do any kind of racing at all you will find yourself handling fuel. We offer a range of fire suppression systems that are needed to race in MSA and FIA competitions, but are also very important for any kind of motorsport including non-competitive events such as track days. Please get in touch to ask about how we can make your refuelling safer!

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Sunshine and Plenty of Grip!

Jaguar E-Type Interior on Vintage Car Parade

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when all the historic and classic car owners can pull the covers off, open the garage doors and bring their cars out to enjoy. We love the summer!

Spotted

Being fairly close to Goodwood, we do get to see quite a lot of stunning classics and we also get a lot of customers coming to us to have a subtle fire extinguisher fitted. But we still get excited when we spot something on the road and the minute the weather gets hot we get treated to all sorts!

We have already seen two pristine E-Types, which are still as stunning as ever, if not more so. Some very hot looking Caterham 7s, not classics as such but so much fun. We even saw some 80s classics together nearby – a Sierra Sapphire Cosworth, a 205 1.9 GTi and Escort Cosworth. Whatever your taste in cars, it is great to see something older still running and being looked after.

Warm Tarmac

What better way to enjoy a classic than when the roads are warm and grippy? Yes, there is a bit of a worry that some older cars might overheat but the rip roaring fun of a good corner on a dry road far outweighs the worry!

Dry

It is certainly dry most of the time in the summer and that means less rust risk. The days of salt all over the roads is now gone and the more fragile classics can come out to play. Of course, we do get the odd shower, so make sure you know how to put up the roof quickly. There can be some dangers for older cars on dry roads that get a soaking. The surface can get really slippery if it hasn’t rained for a while and in something like an Austin Healey or TR6 the back might well want to come out a bit!

Fire Safety

As always, it is critical that these cars are kept for future generations and installing a fire extinguisher can make the difference between losing a bit of history and cleaning up a few marks and replacing a part or two. The summer does carry with it the risk of fire, especially as we are about to see some very hot days. If you are unsure about what kind of extinguisher you may need or want in your classic car then please get in touch and we can help.

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Rally Seeding Change

A couple of years ago, rally fans and drivers are unlikely to not have noticed the change to the seeding rules. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the changes were not good for the sport.

Generally, the result of the original change lead to some teams actually leaving cars in the garage rather do their next run and risk sustaining damage for no racing gain. This really hit the sport hard, leaving fans as annoyed as the teams.

In order for any sport to thrive it needs action and lots of it, but it also needs promotional time for sponsors to get the money coming in to keep things going. When cars are not out on the course the sponsors are not getting coverage, and this can lead to them looking for coverage elsewhere or, worse, to invest in other sports.

Thankfully, late one Friday night the national governing body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA) have finally decided to relax the seeding rule from 1st July. It is fair to say that national rallying has been under quite a bit of pressure since changing the rules. That being said, no one would argue that after some fatal crashes action did need to be taken. It was just the form of that action and the long-term damage it has and could continue to do to the sport.

This change may seem small, but it will be enough to really give the sport a desperately needed boost. This relaxation will be welcomed by everyone, from fans to team bosses. We certainly hope to see more cars on track, more rallying and more happy fans and sponsors this year and for many years to come.

At FEV, we have extensive experience in rallying and providing fire extinguishers for teams as well as privateers across all disciplines including rally cross. Why not give us a call or email us your enquiry to find out more?

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Is Hamilton as Good as Senna?

Is Hamilton as good as Senna? Well, according to the mighty Gerhard Berger, yes he is! In fact, in a recent interview DTM series head honcho Berger said that of all the world champs over the years since he raced with Aryton Senna, Lewis Hamilton is the only one to ever be on the same level as the much loved and respected Senna.

Why is He So Good?

According to Berger, it isn’t really about why or where. It’s about the fact that Hamilton is simply always “there”. No matter the conditions – wet, fast, street, open circuit, dry… – he is always competitive and, barring any very uncommon mistakes, he is always in the running. You might think after all his wins he might be happy to take his foot off, literally. But no, he is as driven (excuse the multiple puns) now as he always was.

Berger went on to discuss the fact Lewis can handle a 2nd place, he knows he gets the points and he simply puts them in the bank and gets right back in there for another round. Berger is also keen to point out that Hamilton makes far less mistakes than others. While he does have his moments, making fewer mistakes means the odds are better every time he races.

Will He Beat Schumacher’s Record?

Mr Berger thinks he might do! He may well go past the 7th world championship point provided he is healthy, and he is still able to race. In fact, he goes on to say that while there have been a handful of true racing legends including Michael Schumacher, Lewis is a cut above and sits on a different level with only one companion: Senna!

It’s the Car!

We all know Mercedes have had an amazing car for quite a few seasons now but the interview claims it is more than that. Yes, the engine is great but it needs Lewis to be behind the wheel to create the magic he has shown time and again. He is “outstandingly fast” and will carry on winning for some years to come.

People so often focus on football when they think of England and Britain in sport but they should all take a moment to remember we have a British driver who just might be the best driver of all time if he keeps going. Now that’s something to be proud of!

The team at FEV are passionate about motorsport, and that includes all the safety aspects that go with it. For more information about our MSUK and FIA approved fire suppression systems, why not contact us today on 01243 555566.

British Driver Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Sprays Champagne to Celebrate Award Presentation

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