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Ben Klemenzson



I was recently involved in what can only be described as a totally avoidable accident with a youngster who had only just passed their test. Statistically, these ‘newly passed’ drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and it’s that inexperience – in this case stopping on a slip road from one motorway onto another– that can lead to such devastating consequences. It was only due to avoidance action by a truck driver in front and myself steering onto the hard shoulder that the results were not much, much more serious. I do love my old cars, but it’s quite a sobering experience to find, at 50mph, one’s wheels locking up, as one slides up the hard shoulder, tyres screeching and leaving a duo of black stripes and tyre smoke in one’s wake… Like most people in the immediate aftermath of such an incident, I replayed it in my mind over and over again. What could I have done differently? Was I going too fast? No, merging from one motorway onto another requires a modicum of speed. Ultimately, what I realised was that I had done everything I could and that ultimately I, along with the young driver and the truck driver also involved, were extremely lucky.

It could have been a very, very different story… Although we all made contact, there wasn’t what I would describe as ‘life-changing’ damage to my vehicle, the truck or the youngster’s car, however it actually made me appreciate the fact that there was somewhere to go in that situation. Increasingly, hard shoulders seem to be an endangered species and I shudder to think what would have happened, had there not been one to divert onto. The long and short of it is this – enjoy your cars, but be mindful of the fact you never know what’s around the corner and, with our kind of cars, defensive driving has to be the rule. Not only that, now with many of our cars being MoT-exempt, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure that they’re safe and well-maintained. Safe cruising!

Ben Klemenzson, editor

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The Trackhawk boasts the same powertrain as the Hellcat.

Classic American

News NEW 2018 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK The American Car Centre in Fulham is now taking orders for the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The all-new Trackhawk is said to be the most powerful SUV ever – its supercharged 6.2l V8 engine delivers 707hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. It’s also reputed to be the quickest SUV ever too, doing 0-60 in 3.5sec, the quarter-mile in 11.6sec, and offering a top speed of 290km/h (180mph). The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a Hellcat by another name. Under the hood is the same 707hp supercharged V8 from its corporate cousins Charger and Challenger. Jeep claims the Trackhawk’s 0-60mph and quarter-mile stats are in line with those of the Challenger Hellcat. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk package also offers a unique difference to the Hellcats,

and it’s not just the SUV body style, as the Trackhawk is all-wheel-drive. Power goes from the supercharged V8 to an eight-speed automatic and a single-speed transfer case. There’s also an electronic limited slip differential at the back. Jeep beefed up the transfer case with a wider chain that features forged sprockets, while the rear drive shaft and half shafts have also been strengthened to handle the extra power. Power is split 40/60 front and rear in the default automatic setting and becomes more rear-biased in more aggressive driving modes. In the sportiest ‘Track’ mode, power is split 30/70. In the least aggressive ‘Snow’ mode, power is split 50/50. The sportier drive modes also firm up suspension and decrease shift times. Helping

manage all the power is a high-performance suspension system with adaptive Bilstein shocks. The suspension lowers the SUV a full inch compared with normal Grand Cherokees. The wheels are 20in in diameter and 10in wide, wrapped in 295mm wide tires, either all-seasons or optional three-seasons. An optional forged set of wheels is available too, which Jeep says will save 12lbs of weight. The wheels are stopped by Brembo six-piston callipers and 15.75in rotors at the front, and four-piston callipers and 13.73in rotors at the back. Jeep says the front brakes are the largest it has ever fitted to one of its vehicles. For more information on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, call 0207 384 3044, go to or e-mail sales@

Sun shines on Diego!

Diego Presenza and the 1963 Falcon.


As if getting your car on the front cover and a major feature in the UK’s only American car magazine wasn’t enough (shot by Jonny Fleetwood, Automotive Photographer of the Year no less – see right) lucky Diego Presenza’s 1963 Ford Falcon Futura was awarded the Footman James Kingstown Shipping Car of the Year heat trophy for this year’s Wheels Day heat. While we were unable to find a suitable car at this year’s event due to the poor weather, Diego had been awarded the heat win at last year’s Wheels Day, but was unable to attend the finals held at the Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham, due to a serious medical operation.

The ‘X’ factor

Due to a recent tie-up with Ford Motor Company, American Car Centre in Fulham is in the unique, one-off position to offer a limited number of new, ultra-high spec export Lincoln MKX 2.7l Ecoboost Twin-Turbo AWD Auto SUVs at effectively half-price. These 335bhp mid-size SUVs (think BMW X5) storm up to 60mph in just 5.8sec and keep thundering on well past

150mph! Just 12 examples of this current generation MKX SUV are available – six in black and six in white and each comes equipped with a panoramic glass roof, technology package and navigation converted for UK/ European functionality. For more information go to, call 0207 384 3044 or e-mail

Lincoln MKX.

Jonathan Fleetwood, Automotive Photographer of the Year.

Go, Jonny, go! Classic American photographer Jonathan Fleetwood was recently named Automotive Photographer of the Year at the annual Newspress awards in London. Jonny started snapping for Classic American fresh out of college four years ago and has been responsible for many of the magazine’s recent covers,

as well as main features in the intervening years. It will probably come as no surprise to discover Jonathan did a placement with yet another famous Classic American photographer, Mark Fagelson. Classic American congratulates Jonny on all his hard work and achievements – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy! 7

Classic American

Andy Saunders with his most recent project Tetanus.

News The world’s shortest Mini.


New Andy Saunders exhibition opens

eaulieu is proud to announce the launch of its brand-new summer exhibition entitled ‘The Art of Kustom’ featuring incredible creations from the imagination of car customiser Andy Saunders. Visitors to the National Motor Museum can catch a first glimpse of the new exhibition from June 17 when Andy will open the event by driving one of his stunning machines around the grounds of the attraction. The full showcase of Andy’s most famous jaw-dropping creations will be on show inside the museum until September. Andy – described as an artist using cars as his canvas and one of the best known customised car builders this side of the Atlantic – will unveil his new project, Metropolis, as part of the exhibition. The 1939 Peugeot 202 pick-up has been transformed from a rusty wreck into an Art Deco-style stunner and is the latest of more than 50 of Andy’s car projects.

Tetanus transformation.


Discovered in a field in France three years ago, it is believed to have been requisitioned by the invading forces during the Second World War. Andy has worked his magic on the ruined bodywork, widening the body that has been lowered over replacement underpinnings and transforming it into a sleek retro delivery vehicle. A riot of outrageous styling cues, awesome colour schemes and off-the-wall ideas, The Art of Kustom has been gathered from private collections across Europe. It includes the Thirties splendour of Andy’s immaculate Cord, a Citroën that looks like a spaceship, a Reliant Rialto race car, road-going speedboat and the world’s shortest Mini, which is one of Andy’s most famous cars from his 40-year career. Newly restored to join the exhibition is the drastically shortened 1964 Mini Ha Ha, which will be on show for the first time since it went on display in the Eighties. Its new owner has

worked hard to return the car to its original prime condition of more than 30 years ago. Andy came up with the original concept while still at school, before building the car on a shoestring budget when he was just 20 years old. It became his everyday car when he first completed it – and, apparently, it was ideal for doing wheelies in reverse. Tetanus is one of Andy’s most widely acclaimed projects, taking 14 years to complete. This 1937 Cord 812 Westchester is another rarely seen machine that was in an appalling condition when Andy found it, having spent more than half a century decaying in a Yorkshire field. Andy’s friend accidentally christened the crusty car when he declared: ‘I’m not touching that without a tetanus shot!’ Tetanus was inspired by a stylish car illustration that Andy saw on a birthday card. To produce the streamlined two-door coupe, the wings were

Cord is an Art Deco delight.

Saline Warrior at Bonneville.

widened and reworked, the roof was lowered and shortened, the doors were lengthened and the rear end built from scratch using sections from a Jaguar MkII and a VW Beetle. With a sumptuously trimmed red cockpit and Chevrolet V8 engine under the bonnet, this beauty is a real crowd-pleaser. Eye-catching for very different reasons is Indecision. With its huge rear wings and sloping roofline, it might look like a spacecraft but is in fact a 1976 Citroën CX. Andy let his imagination run riot with this project early in his custom car career, but its daring bodywork was a challenge to build. The Citroën’s self-levelling suspension complements the space-age look, while a heart-shaped bed has been fitted inside the car’s tail. Now in a private collection, Andy refreshed the car in 2004 with its current silver colour scheme. Even wackier is Run A Ground. Passers-by may not be able to believe their eyes but this speedboat is more at home on dry land than in water. Using the chassis and running gear of a 1971 Reliant Regal as his starting point, Andy adapted a Monbar 146 speedboat fibreglass body before uniting the two. Run A Ground was a familiar sight around Andy’s seaside hometown of Poole in Dorset for 10 years, before it joined a private collection. Saline Warrior, which also started life as a three-wheeled economy car, took just two days to build and

went on to become a race car on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Andy was tasked with adapting a 1989 Reliant Rialto to win a drag race while filming for BBC Panic Mechanics and his solution was to emulate the aerodynamic appearance of a classic salt lake racer, with a lowered roofline, lengthened nose cone and smooth wheel discs. With the addition of a turbocharger, the unlikely racer was victorious. In the hands of French speed enthusiasts Les Triplettes de Bonneville, the Reliant was later modified with a 750cc Suzuki motorcycle engine and achieved 150mph at the annual Bonneville Speed Week. A subtler-looking car is Hesperus, a Thirties Hudson built as a British street rod in the Sixties and it was remarkably rust-free when the project began. Its restoration to concourse standard has taken six years, without yet finishing the interior trim. The Art of Kustom can be seen as part of standard admission to Beaulieu, which includes entrance to the National Motor Museum, the World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, the ancestral Montagu family home of Palace House, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and the stunning grounds and gardens. To buy tickets in advance online or for more information, call 01590 612345 or go to 9

Classic American


TONGUE TIED – A ROCK ’N’ ROLL ROMANCE If you fancy a trip back to the rockabilly revival of the Seventies, look no further than ‘Tongue Tied’, a new romantic novel by Judy Punch. The nostalgic tale follows the adventures of Lauren McGuinty, a 40-year-old Memphis music teacher who gets a call out of the blue from charismatic English rock promoter Barrie ‘Lightning’ Bolt to tell her that Tongue Tied Gal, a long-forgotten record she made 20 years earlier has become a surprise hit in the UK’s rock ’n’ roll clubs. Brought out of retirement for one last tour, Lauren sets out on a journey through a world of Teddy boys, classic cars and Fifties revival festivals in windswept holiday camps. But can she recapture her youth and manage not to fall in love with Lightning before she has to finally head home? “Tongue Tied was inspired by the real-life stories of rockers like Hank ‘Jungle Rock’ Mizell, who were startled to be discovered by European rockabilly fans long after they were forgotten in America,” says Punch. “I wanted to capture the feeling of those rock ’n’ roll days.” Oh, and did we mention that Punch is a pen name of one-time Classic American music critic Douglas McPherson? He/she ought to know his/her stuff! Tongue Tied is available to buy from Amazon.


Decorate your man cave Whengparts started out in 2006 making Exhaust Flanges for hot rodders, but soon realised that you only need one set per project and that projects can last years, so it rapidly expanded its range. Its items are mostly laser-cut from mild or stainless steel or aluminium and popular ranges anes, key racks, include weather vanes, nd signs. helmet holders an utilised, CAD design is u so custom parts caan be cut – they just need a template, sketch or, for the silhouette profiles,, or a photograph. Any flat duced or shape can be prod replicated, handy for worn hat are no or broken parts th longer available.

Whengparts also produce a range of clothing under its Kustom Shack brand and can provide embroidered or printed apparel for clubs, teams and events. Lots of lines are available at – they are mostly custom-made, so if your car isn’t listed, just get in touch and it soon will be!


Still paying additional fees for your insurance? Your premium quoted might be hiding a whole range of extra fees. Choosing insurance for your specialist American car should be as simple as seeking out the best value quote. But be careful. That appealing premium might not be such a brilliant deal by the time you take into account the additional fees that many insurers/brokers tack on to your cover. Unexpected add-ons can be ‘new business’ charges, which can be as high as £75 – yes, charging you extra for your business; agreed value fees, typically around £15;

policy renewal fees, typically around £30 and mid-term adjustment fees for making simple changes like a change of address or driver, or the addition or removal of a vehicle. While it’s tempting to ignore all these add-ons, when you add them up your actual costs over a 12-month insurance period can easily end up doubling what started out as a ‘bargain’ premium. That’s why RH takes a different view. It doesn’t charge any extra fees for its customers. That means you pay no additional fees for policy adjustments (unless there is a material change in risk that results in an increased


premium i.e. moving from a lower to higherrated postcode area, or an increase in your vehicle’s value). It also means there are no fees for setting up a policy, for document duplication or posting, or for credit card transactions. And while you may have to pay a fee to get a valuation of your American car from a recognised vehicle club or independent specialist, RH won’t charge any extra for insuring your American car, or any other specialist vehicle (of equivalent value), on market value vs agreed value. Tel. 0333 043 3911, go to or email: The Harley-Davidson and Jeep brands have renewed and strengthened their European partnership for the fifth consecutive year. Under the arrangement, the Jeep brand will remain a key partner and official sponsor of major Harley-Davidson events and rallies throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Brands don’t come much more iconic than Harley-Davidson and Jeep. Each boasts a long and fabled history played out on the world stage. Today both produce vehicles that encapsulate the very essence of freedom and the American spirit of adventure.

Classic American





elebrations start early for the Fourth of July festivities with the Classic American Stars & Stripes car show, the famous family-friendly event at Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire. Held over the summer weekend of June 30 – July 1, the show is a US-style extravaganza featuring American machinery of all shapes and sizes. From Fifties fins ’n’ chrome classics, to rip-snorting Sixties muscle cars to customs and hot rods. There are even military vehicles, big rigs, as well as motorhomes and all will descend on the 1000 acres of deer parkland at the centuries-old Tatton Park. Showgoers can marvel at the vast array of American-themed

vehicles, as well as ex-US Army and military vehicles, with some magnificent motorcycles thrown in too, including Harley Davidsons and Goldwings, all added in for good measure. The annual Stars & Stripes show plays host to an abundance of live acts, a Wild West shoot-out, kids rides and much more, making it the perfect family day out this summer. And don’t forget it’s a heat of the Footman James Kingstown Shipping Car of the Year competition too! Ben Klemenzson, editor of Classic American magazine, said: “Fusing Classic American’s knowledge of all things American automotive with Mortons’ ability to hold remarkable events is a perfect match. The Classic American

Stars & Stripes show is already a well-established event in the calendars of American car enthusiasts, but with Classic American magazine being able to spearhead this event it can only prove to be a brilliant day out for families and car owners alike.” Both Classic American and the Stars and Stripes show celebrate 30 years this summer, so make sure you mark this event in your diary – because it’s going to be a cracker! Tickets can be bought on the day costing £9 for adults, £3 for children (10-15yrs) with under-10s going free. Normal park entry charges apply. Gates open at 9.30am. For more information visit www.

Classic American June 2018  
Classic American June 2018