Is the Classic Car Market Slowing Down?

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We provide fire extinguishers for a lot of different sections of the motorsport world and one of them is the classic and historic car market. People naturally want to make sure they have the best chance of minimising damage if a fire does break out, even during normal road driving.

We also supply race spec extinguisher systems that are compulsory for historic racing, so we know a thing or two about classic cars. One thing has been certain for a long time: buy a classic and you will make some money. However, we have been reading recently that the market may be slowing down.

2018

A report from last year suggested that out of all the classic car models that were studied only 52% had actually increased in value that year. Now this comes from a market that was able to make the bold claim of prices growing by 192% in a decade – more than fine wines and art! So, it does seem like something is happening.

Did It Peak?

The numbers suggest the growth peaked in 2015 and has been slowing since 2017. The last Hagerty Price Guide showed the market had almost stalled completely. However, these things do go up and down so the word ‘peak’ is perhaps a little strong. For all we know, prices could well jump higher than 2015 next year.

Winners and Losers

Some of the models that seem to be losing out are the stunning Lagonda series Aston Martins, which is very surprising. Some Ferraris that were thought to be a sure thing are also suffering; the mighty Testarossa (see below) is one such model, as is the brilliantly 80s 308 GTB. In more recent years, the MK III Ford Capri saw a big rise but that too has slowed down along with the Mini Cooper.

However, there is one winner that we could have all predicted but most of us never acted on and that is the MK I Mazda MX5. 89-94 1.6 models have seen an 8.5% growth over the last year, which is pretty amazing. The photo above is a British Racing Green beauty from 1990.

Anything British post 1994 has a lower powered engine so is best avoided. This cracking little car seems to be bucking the trend, perhaps because it’s so much fun to drive or maybe it’s just growing into a real classic and people are getting interested.

Whatever is happening is irrelevant for many people, ourselves included. We love classic cars and it really isn’t about the money. If anything, a drop in prices might be a good thing, and many cars that have been whisked away into temperature monitored storage might be sold and come out to play again, so we can all enjoy them!

Ferrari 512B testarossa Car

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Top 5 F1 Liveries of all time

Classic Lotus F1

As a company, FEV has worked with a number of F1 teams over the years, supplying FIA approved fire suppression systems to the motorsport industry. As a team, we also love watching F1 so we are doubly connected to the sport. Whilst, like everyone else, we want to see the racing, there is something fascinating about the colours and liveries the teams use. For people outside the sport it may not seem important, but it really is.

The colours can cause emotional responses from other drivers, they can even give a team the mental upper hand. They also play a very important role in the sponsorship and ultimately the continuation of the sport. So we thought we would just mention a few of our favourites over the years!

1972 John Player Special Lotus

Just look at the image above. This has to be one of, if not, the best livery of any F1 car…ever. The black and gold was just so stylish and sleek and it oddly still works today. It wasn’t that long ago the newer Lotus F1 team adopted it with Raikkonen and Grosjean, and the fans loved it. It is worth noting the 1972 Lotus was a brilliant car too.

1984 Marlboro McLaren

There were a lot of versions of this one and obviously some were driven by the mighty Senna (see image below). This particular year was one of the earlier ones and it just worked. The chevron pattern and strong red against white would become a truly iconic F1 image.

Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4 4

1994 – Rothmans Williams Renault

This is once again a long-standing colour scheme and has a number of iterations but it was this year that really looked perfect. It is a more complex design than the McLaren and Lotus but the flashes of gold work so well with the blue. One earlier version even had Sonic the Hedgehogs legs on the side where the drivers would be which not a lot of people noticed!

FEV Blog Image f1

2002 HSBC Jaguar Racing

There is no doubt this is a great colour scheme but we always felt it would have looked better without the HSBC bit! That being said it would have then just been an unsponsored Jaguar team car and would never have run. They were very clever to mix HSBC with the Becks logo that have the same colours…was that planned when the sponsorship pitches went out?

FEV f1 becks and hsbc

2014 – Williams Martini

In recent years, this livery has been the best. With undertones of the mighty Gulf colours using the baby blue in the stripe, this car came out looking effortlessly cool and the fans really took notice. It had been some time since a car really stood out like this without just being plastered with logos and, as with all good designs, it lasted a good few seasons.

Williams Martini Racing F1 Team Felipe Massa 2015

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Fast Cars to Look Out For in 2019

Seeing as it’s January, the motoring world is full of talk about what’s coming out this year. While a recent post talked about the EV market, we wanted to mention a few slightly more traditional cars on the horizon this year.

Toyota Supra

It’s finally here! The new Toyota Supra is coming out after many years of waiting. The previous model has gained iconic status, not for how it came out of the factory but for how easy it was to modify. There are various videos online showing people in old Supras pushing nearly 1000 bhp and leaving Lamborghinis for dust. It is perhaps a car for the “tuner” culture, but we all love a real road beast!

The new Supra is certainly not coming out of the box breathing fire like its modded predecessor but it does look very, very nice – see the video clip above. It was actually developed alongside BMW who were working on their new Z4 with Toyota so it will have some German underpinnings. We are pleased to hear it is going to have a 3.0 litre turbo charged straight 6, so it is certainly coming out fighting.

340 bhp as standard isn’t a bad start either. 0-60 seems to be in just under 5 seconds which isn’t as fast as it could have been but there may be other factors at play bringing the figure up. We can’t wait for the first one to arrive in the workshop asking for a full fire extinguisher system, so we get to have a good look.

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider

The 488 was stunning; it was even prettier than the 458 and we all thought that was probably as good looking as a new Ferrari was ever going to get. But now Ferrari are launching a Spider version. The folding hardtop roof will take 30 seconds to go down, which is a lifetime longer than the car will get to 60 mph…2.9 seconds!

The 710 bhp 3.9 litre twin turbo V8 means the stats are the same as the hardtop version even though it weighs 100 kg more. It is a stunning car and losing the roof really doesn’t damage the styling too much! I think we would still go for a hard top but the noise with he roof down must be sublime!

Porsche 911

Yes, the 992 is coming. It is wider, longer and taller and uses the engines from the previous model for the first model types coming out. But there is more power and more torque so that’s good news. But, the really big news is that the car has been designed to accommodate some kind of electric power train in the future. We are not sure when, but this is a big deal…the 911 is going to go EV, be it a hybrid or full fat electric.

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Is 2019 The Year of the Electric Vehicle?

We all know electric cars have been something that has been growing, but is 2019 really the year they start becoming normal rather than a novelty? Looking at the list of cars to watch out for this year, we think it might be.

Electric and Hybrids

While we deal almost entirely with sports cars in one form or another, from classics to modern F1 cars, we do also have an ear to the ground when it comes to general motoring news. Here at FEV UK, We love cars and we welcome new technology, though we do prefer it when it means cars go a bit faster! That being said, many of our customers who do track days and club racing use day-to-day cars to tow the trailers, so racers don’t always drive racing cars.

EVs to Watch Out For

The race is now well and truly on to create EVs that have long ranges but are also cool cars. Tesla basically produced the only cool EVs for quite some time but now the German brands are in on the action and things are hotting up!

Audi are releasing the new e-tron SUV (see the video above) which will be a snip at just £70,000! But with a range of 250 miles and a thumping 402 bhp we think it might be worth it! 0-60 is under 6 seconds too! Anyone who assumes electric motors are slow is very wrong. The massive amount of torque they can deliver and the fact they don’t need gears as such means they provide a big, smooth power delivery.

To compete with the Audi, Mercedes are launching the EQC. While this may sound like the name of a government body, it is actually an EV SUV based on the GLC platform. It is also packing 402 bhp but will get to 60mph in just 5.1 seconds. No top speeds are being discussed but our money is on it being faster than the Audi.

Of course, the Jaguar I-PACE came out last year, so the German brands were either behind the curve or just wanted to see how the Jag did before launching.

There is also the long wait for the Tesla Roadster, which is meant to be out in 2020. With a reported 0-60 of 1.9 seconds the electric market will be well and truly part of motoring life when it comes out. F1 cars have been using hybrid tech for a few years now and it is clearly filtering down into the world of normal cars. Will we see a fully electric F1 in the next 10 years? Maybe….but it would be a shame to loose the engine altogether!

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Haiku and the Ice Man

Circuit of Barcelona Catalunya

For people who follow F1, Kimi Raikkonen is well known for his short and often very succinct communication. In fact, he is also known for saying nothing at all half the time. While this image may not be what his friends and family see, it works wonders for ‘brand Kimi’ and provides the F1 pundits, ironically, with lots to talk about. But now Kimi has a haiku poetry book out and it’s selling far more than anyone would have thought.

Writing poetry?

OK it’s not exactly motorsport news but there is a little more to this than meets the eye. First of all, the book wasn’t actually all written by Kimi. Rather, it’s a collection of haiku – a very short form of traditional Japanese poetry – created using many of the Ice Man’s famous quotes. His communication habits are certainly clear and concise, much like a good haiku, and the fact he leaves literally nothing to interpretation has much in common with much of the poetry out there. He also insisted on some not being the standard length, in typical Kimi style!

Making money for charity

Of course, this isn’t some random money making scheme from an already very wealthy F1 driver. The book was actually created as part of a press kit, but the demand for it got so high that the profits are now benefitting an F1 charity that supports people who work in F1 and whose lives have gone off track. The unsung heroes of the sport, such as trackside teams and more, often need support and this book is helping to raise money for that.

Winnow your Words

The book entitled ‘Winnow your Words’ is now being printed in partnership with Autosport magazine and will no doubt carry on selling a big numbers. In fact, you can buy it here. But we were wondering what might come next? A Daniel Ricciardo Joke Book? Daniil Kvyat’s Book of Relaxation Tips? Perhaps Lewis might do a self-help book on how to achieve greatness…there are a lot of young drivers who might buy that one!

Away from the world of literature, motorsport pushes on with teams on winter breaks and testing, design and new tech always being pushed forward. We work with a number of F1 teams providing them with fire suppression systems right at the cutting edge of motorsport and what we learn and develop there feeds down into our track day and other systems. So if you would like to discuss your fire extinguisher needs get in touch today!

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Getting the Best Out of a Winter Track Day

Car during winter rally competition

If you are an experienced driver then you will have driven in anger in most conditions, including wintery ones. But for a lot of people new to track days, the winter may be a time when people shy away from booking a session.

If you are one of those people then think again – wintertime can be just as much fun but there are a few things you can do to make it better.

The Right Tyres

Tyres play a pivotal role in all motorsport and in all seasons, but in winter they’re even more important. If you are new to track days, you are unlikely to have a set of slicks sitting on your chosen track day car so this may not be an issue, but you must have tyres that can cope with water and running at lower temperatures. Do your research and you will be amazed what the right tyres can do for your confidence!

While you’re about it, if you are getting into track racing, get in touch about choosing the right fire extinguisher system for your car and your preferred type of track day.

Give It Time

One of the big factors in wintertime is giving the tyres time to warm up. In the height of summer, a single lap might be enough to get some heat into the rubber, but it is going to take longer when outside temperatures are hovering around freezing. Give it 2 or maybe 3 laps and feel your way into the speed rather than expecting the grip to be there right away. Remember, if you slow down or stop for any reason, that heat is going to dissipate faster too, so you will need to warm the tyres up again more often.

Rain and Fog

In this country, you might actually be more likely to get rain in the summer than the depths of winter, so rain probably won’t put you off too much. That said, learning to drive in the wet is another skill all racers should learn. It is actually things like fog and low light that can be more of a challenge. Patches of fog can sit on low parts of the track and while you will probably get a warning about it in the briefing, you should really be prepared for it, especially as fog can cause a lot of issues at speed! Make sure you have good lights front and rear and beware of others driver behind you if you panic and slam the anchors on when visibility drops.

A crisp winter’s day can be perfect for a track day. It’s not so hot you bake in your car, the air is clear and cool which can help with combustion and it’s always a treat to get out at that time of year. So don’t shy away from a track day and put it on your last minute Christmas list!

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Sophia Floersch – Big Formula 3 Crash

As we have said so many times before, motorsport is dangerous. From time to time, there is a big crash. Thanks to years of research and untold millions spent, most of these crashes look worse than they are, and last weekend saw a very serious crash in Formula 3 that, while still serious, could have been a lot worse.

Sophia Floersch is 17 years old and already a very highly regarded driver, one of a number of strong female drivers coming up through the ranks to hopefully one day join the F1 grid. The German driver races for Van Amersfoort Racing and is currently in Formula 3.

The details of the crash are not very easy to isolate but the footage circulating the internet shows a static corner shot when Floersch comes in at full speed, clearly out of control. She clips the car of fellow racer Sho Tsuboi and takes off. Sophie clears the barrier in the air and smashes into an advertising billboard above a photographer bunker at high speed. It is certainly a spectacular crash!

Injured

As you might expect, Sophia was injured but she was conscious after the crash and was immediately taken to hospital. Along with Sophia, two photographers, a marshal and Tsuboi were also taken to hospital. The initial reports suggest she has a fracture in her spine but was conscious and able to tweet:

 “Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorow [sic] morning. Thanks to the @fia and @hwaag_official @MercedesAMGF1 who are taking great care of me. Thanks to everybody for the Supporting messages. Update soon.”

As far as high speed crashes go, you don’t get much faster than a Formula 3 car. The incident was over before anyone could work out what was happening. It was certainly a crash that, had it happened 20 years ago, would have had a very different outcome indeed!

Safety in motorsport is very close to our heart. At FEV, we provide a number of racing teams with fire suppression systems. If you would like to find out more about our systems for your team or your own personal track or race car, then get in touch.

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Billy Monger on the BBC

For some time now, we have followed the recovery and progress of the British driver Billy Monger. Billy had a massive crash at Donnington back in 2017 and after a mad dash to hospital in the helicopter and a lot of amazing work by doctors, he unfortunately lost both his legs below the knee. Did this stop Billy “the whizz”? No, it did not! Now you can watch his story on the BBC!

Initial Recovery

After being put into a coma by doctors, Billy came round to face the knowledge his body had been changed forever by the crash. No-one would ever have blamed him if he never raced again but the 17-year-old almost immediately started planning his comeback. During his hospitalisation drivers from all disciplines pulled together and raised over £500,000 to help set up Billy’s home to make it suitable for him as well as many of the other essentials for anyone learning to walk again on prosthetic legs.

Adaptations

Billy was very soon back in the car again, but with some changes to allow him to use his hands to brake and use the clutch. It wasn’t long before he was racing again. 18 months on, he is racing in the Formula 3 British Championships. So far in his first season he gained four podium finishes and ended the season 6th overall. He is now looking for sponsors for his next season.

The BBC

On 18th November, the BBC aired a programme telling the Billy Monger story which no doubt will inspire thousands of people who perhaps feel that a disability is holding them back. Just as his idol, Lewis Hamilton, kept Billy going he will no doubt hope he can pay it forward to other people. The programme is called “Driven – the Billy Monger Story” and is available on BBC iPlayer here if you missed it! It is certainly well worth watching for all motorsport fans and drivers! We hope Billy continues to excel and maybe one day we might even see him in Formula 1!

If you would like any information about our fire extinguishers for racing cars, track cars or historics and classics then get in touch today.

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Hamilton Wants to Shake Things Up!

Lewis Hamilton during European Grand Prix Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton has come out with some bold comments about making F1 more exciting. Maybe everyone should listen.

Falling Asleep

It may come as a surprise to many people, but Hamilton admitted to falling asleep when watching F1 races as a child. He suggested that many people do the same, perhaps setting an alarm so they can watch the end after drifting off when the first few laps have finished. It is certainly something we have heard people mention so he may well be on the money there.

Hamilton is calling for suggestions and ideas to how to make things more exciting, so people are on the edge of their seats for the whole race. He may be thinking more about audience enjoyment but there is no doubt sponsors would be behind anything that kept people’s eyes on their logos for a little longer!

Exciting Cars

Hamilton went on to say that the cars were the most exciting cars to drive for many years and all the drivers felt the same. Many of whom, he said, simply can’t understand why people are not enthralled from start to finish. It is a wise and mature Lewis Hamilton that is able to take a step outside of his position in everything and appreciate that the audience is important too!

Super Weekends?

The World Champ suggested that the same 4-day cycle 21 weekends in a year is dull and that we need some new ideas. He mentioned super weekends dotted throughout the season where the format changes and things get a little crazy. He even suggested reverse grids at some races. We have to say this would be spectacular to watch! Seeing the championship leaders having to grind their way from the back to get a win would be amazing to see. It would also benefit the smaller teams because their sponsors would get more coverage and this in turn would help the sport!

There would, of course, be games played though! You can imagine a winning team having an “issue” during qualifying so they qualified last and then got on the front of the grid, so positions would perhaps have to be decided based on previous race results or something that could not be manipulated.

Bring it on

No one would ever suggest adding more action, more overtaking and more fun to F1 would be a bad thing so let’s listen to Lewis and support some changes that could make for some very exciting Sunday afternoons! We can always grab 40 winks when it finishes!

At FEV, we’re passionate about motorsport and all safety aspects that go with it. To find out more about our MSUK and FIA approved fire suppression systems, give us a call today.

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McLaren Speedtail Gets a Little Closer

It’s coming! The logical and emotional successor to the mighty F1 that came out in – wait for it – 1993! – is finally looking like a reality. It is not going to be a track monster, but it is going to be quick!

Power House

The stats being realised show the Speedtail will have a twin turbo V8 as a main power plant, but this will be augmented with an electric hybrid power unit that will bring the power output to a whopping 986bhp or maybe even more! Sadly, McLaren haven’t mentioned anything about 0-60 times but they are looking at a top speed of more than 243mph – enough to make everyone in and out of the industry sit up and take notice.

The Family Line

While the Speedtail is essentially the “F2”, it follows on perfectly from the P1 and the Senna hypercar. Massive cost, massive power and serious speed! However, there is a little difference with the Speedtail. The Surrey gang are very much suggesting this car will be a GT rather than a track focused rocket. This will come as a surprise to many but perhaps it is the right move. There is, of course, the usual argument that anything approaching that level of power is all but useless on the road but, as ever, that is missing the point. Having a car that can do those kinds of speeds but is also capable of carrying someone in reasonable comfort further than 15 miles is a big plus!

Central Seating

As with the F1 the Speedtail will have a central driver’s seat and will be paired with two passenger seats either side. It does mean the passengers have to get out before the driver can, so chivalrous door opening men may find this a challenge if they are escorting two ladies.

Big Behind

The teaser images show a rather long and pretty massive rear end to the car. It certainly looks nothing like the rest of the family and this, again, is probably a good thing. All the other models are stunning but that doesn’t mean McLaren should always make the same style of car.

Big Budget!

All 106 Speedtails that will be made have already been reserved and paid for at £1.75 million each, plus tax! If you were planning on buying a new one, it’s too late! Though a used one might pop up for double that about a year after its launch in 2019.

This car is going to be something special: high speed but not a car built for cornering, luxury, “comfort” and potentially iconic styling! We can’t wait.

If you own a super car, do get in touch about how we can help protect your investment and make sure you have the right fire suppression systems on board.

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