Anthony, Carolyn and Richard Taylor celebrate 50 years of Autotune Ltd. at their Rishton workshop. Life and work has evolved over the past years, with work on cars when we started, building Lotus Elans, to avoid purchase tax, servicing customers` GT 40s, Astons, DB2 to DB6,and Jaguar E types and Mk 2s, as regular every day road cars. Back then people would ask why we always drove these awful cars, why not go and buy a super new Ford? Why?!
There were always racing cars in the workshop, usually single seaters, as hill climbing in this area was really big with LAC, Lancs. Car Club and Longton Motor Club all running sprint and hillclimb championships.
Chris Lee asked recently if we remembered winning all three championships in the same year, with our magnificent Formula Atlantic Ensign.
As a family we were pleased to win the Historic Sports Car Club Championship in the brutal Chevrolet powered Kincraft, over 2 Litre, in 1978 and then two years later won it again in the very pretty Willment BRM; the latter car held the Class Record at Thruxton for a few years.
We havesupported all forms of motorsport, maintaining and participating, and always with an LAC badge on the cars. The Goodwood Revival has always been our favourite event, great atmosphere, best parties, good racing and we have missed only two since it began, driving the McLaren M1B, Chinooks and the Willment BRM.
The most iconic moment was when all mechanics sported the LAC badges at the Goodwood Revival, and Canadian customer Jay Esterer who had never raced in England, seen the circuit, and driven the 5.7cc Chinook only once since we rebuilt it from the ground upward, won the Whitsun Trophy race outright. What a weekend! He had owned the car since he was 17 and sent it across for a rebuild. Dreams come true!
To keep us up to date, we sponsored and competed in the Harewood Sprint in June driving the Aristocat Jaguar, manufactured here at Autotune, and the July Aintree Sprint in a Lister Knobbly Jaguar which we won, and still hold the Class Record in the Aristocat.
So, it has been thoroughly enjoyable, hard graft, long hours, little spare time, but has taken us all racing around the world, across Europe, America, Canada and South Africa. And now son, Richard who gained a First Class Honours Degree in Motor Sport Engineering is hard at it in the workshop, along with another of his Graduate Engineering pals, which is currently full of interesting McLarens and Lolas; nothing has changed only the age group.
The 2.4 and 3.4 later known as the Mark 1 is one of the forgotten cars within the Jaguar range. When it was originally launched as the 2.4 in 1955 it was an instant success. Later in 1957 when the 3.4 was launched there can be no doubt that Jaguar had single-handedly opened up a completely new car market, the compact high performance saloon car. The 3.4 had the looks, 120 mph top speed, reputed 210 bhp, blistering pace and disc brakes to stop it. It was driven by the stars of the day and the everyday transport for the Formula 1 World Champion Mike Hawthorn. It was the equivalent of the BMW M3 or Audi A4 Sport.
As soon as the Mark 2 was launched in 1959 no one really wanted a 2.4 or 3.4 anymore. It has become a rare car, a perfect example of Jaguar’s ambition in the 1950’s but, it should never be forgotten that without it there would have been no Mark 2, which was such a commercial success for the Company. There have been three Mark 1s in my life:
HHG 880 – my father’s car, which he owned from 1959 to 1963.
PAM 956 – my first Mark 1 which I bought in 1994
WLF 653 – the replacement to PAM which I bought in 2007.
As with most classic car enthusiasts you are usually drawn to the cars of your childhood or youth. When my father bought HHG 880 he was probably the perfect target customer for Jaguar. He was in his 30’s with two young children, after an Armstrong Siddeley, Jowett Javelin and a Mark 7 Jaguar, not necessarily in that order, the 3.4 must have been a revelation. I was three years old when the car was bought so we had it for those formative years for a boy when cars are special. It was a light grey colour with a red leather interior.
I always insisted that I sat in the front of the car, but at three and four years old I was too small to see out of the front windscreen. My father had a small four legged wooden stool made for me which fitted snugly between the two
front seats above the transmission tunnel. This was possible because the handbrake for the Mark 1 was between the driver’s seat and driver’s door. Nowadays people would be horrified by the thought of a child on a stool in the front of a car. But we did thousands of miles without any problems, though I do remember my father’s left arm holding me back if he had to brake sharply.
For a compact car there was plenty of space. I remember that my bike was put in the back; it fitted upright between the front seats and the rear seat. Sometimes my Grandfather was with us and he had to sit in the back with my bike whilst I was in the front.
My older sister and I had a long running competition on who had been driven the faster in the car. I could only claim 107mph on a three lane straight road near what is now British Aerospace in Samlesbury. Nowadays when I drive on this road it is a wide two lane road with two sets of traffic lights on it and a 50mph speed limit. I wonder whether this is an example of the last care-free years of motoring, or was my father being irresponsible. He certainly did not seem so to me at the time, it was all very exciting!
When we stayed with my Grandparents at the weekend in St Annes I would help clean the car, my responsibility was polishing the leaping Jaguar mascot and cleaning its teeth, as well as polishing the two chrome tail pipes. If I was lucky I was taken out for a drive down the lanes near the market garden area. I sat on my father’s knee and steered the car. Other times I sat in the passenger seat and changed gear when told, so I suppose I can claim that I mastered the Moss gearbox from an early age.
Sadly in 1963 the time came to sell the car but I always remember that car with great affection knowing that one day I would have a Mark 1.
The Blackburn Cathedral Appeal 100 Club held its 2nd Salon Prive at Browsholme Hall on Friday 28th June, and what a great time we had.
This event was not a park your car in a field event, it was an event where owners of 31 classic cars, and guests, chatted about the virtues of each car on display, and probably others, in wonderful sunshine. Those who wished enjoyed a tour of the magnificent 600 years old Hall and then everyone gathered on the terrace for Canapes and Prosecco before a fine lunch in the convivial atmosphere of the adjoining Tithe Barn.
Thanks to those LAC members who supported the event by displaying cars, photographing events or marshalling the cars (and people). This was another event in 100 Club’s Arts, Music, Heritage and Culture programme to raise money to further the work of the Music Outreach project, “Sing Together”, run by the Cathedral. Work is to be done in the crypt of the Cathedral to make it more accessible to the community of Lancashire, create income, and enable the project to reach even more children in more Lancashire schools.
During the 10 years of the project over 150 different primary schools have taken part and 120 participate each year. Approximately 20,000 children have benefitted from the scheme which brings the joy of singing and the exhilaration of performance to many who will never experience it because of the lack of funding and aspiration for music education nationally. The project needs to be supported to continue to do its great work in schools of any, or no denomination in all areas of Lancashire.
To make a donation to the Appeal contact LAC member Peter Whitman at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d like to start by mentioning that after last year’s Fellsman John Hartley decided that having organized the Fellsman for 25 years it was time for him to put the maps away and hand the organization over to someone else. Thank you, John, for all the brain teasing but very enjoyable events you produced for us all.
This year’s Fellsman started and finished at The Black Bull Inn at Old Langho and covered 140 miles circular route on maps 102 & 103. In order to help the less experienced navigators they had the option to use instructions for plotting the route that were easier to use than the standard instructions issued to the more experienced entrants.
On what turned out to be a dry but not very bright day the first car departed at 9.15am on the 70 mile morning section to the lunch Halt control at the Manor Inn at Cockerham. So that the organizers could check if the cars had plotted and followed the correct route, entrants had to record the codes from the 36 code boards that had been placed at secret locations along the route, 20 on the morning section and 16 in the afternoon.
Travelling west the cars past over the Ribchester Bridge and followed the B road towards Longridge before turning right towards Knowle Green. The first 2 codes were found by all the cars but code 3 was missed by the nearly all, only three entries realized that the Spot Height they had to pass through was not on the crossroads but a short distance further to the east which took the route on a loop past Huntington Hall. Most navigators managed to plot the next few miles correctly as the route passed over Jeffrey Hill to pass Longridge golf club before turning right to pass Wheatley Farm and then north towards Hesketh Lane.
The route did a few loops in passing Barns Fold and then Horns reservoirs before passing through Inglewhite and on to join the A6 at Barton. The next section took the cars onto the little used roads in The Fylde area with the route instructions primarily based on fifteen Bridges that had to be crossed before rejoining the A6 just over a mile north of Barton. So far, the majority of navigators had managed to locate most of the code boards although nine had missed numbers 11 and 12.
The route now passed back to the east of the M6 and passed through Claughton, then to the east of Scorton before climbing up and passing to the left of Nicky Nook. At this point a nice view of Morecambe Bay could be seen to the west but drivers should have been watching the road and most navigators might still have been plotting and missed seeing it.
The final part of the route before the lunch halt went around the roads in the Hollins Lane area and only 8 cars managed to locate all 3 code boards located within about a mile of each other in that little section. All the cars that started arrived at the Manor Inn for about an hour’s Lunch break Buffet with car numbers 2, 4, 7, having done particularly well in locating 19 of the possible 20 codes followed by cars 1, 15, 18, 23 with 18 codes.
Starting the afternoon section, the route passed through Galgate before turning south west to a tricky little section in the Dolphinholme area. The crossroads in grid square 52/52 (map 102) are not quite as shown on the map and had to be used twice by using all four roads by approaching NW, departing SW, app SE, dep NE. The route then headed north again towards Quernmore and as in the morning section a Spot Height location caused some crews a problem. Only car number 4 succeeded in plotting correctly and locating all the codes on this first section of the afternoon with others either missing or finding some of the codes in the wrong order.
Before travelling east over the Trough of Bowland some cars missed the code on the gated road south through Abbeystead. After Dunsop Bridge the route did a loop south on the west of the River Hodder, over Doeford Bridge then headed north again east of the River through Whitewell. The final section that passed through Bashall caused little problems to most crews apart from the section that started just north of Stonyhurst College and finished entering Whalley.
The instruction was to pass through nine coloured road junctions before entering Whalley and all the cars failed to answer correctly a question that would prove they travelled the correct route. Crews had been told in the final instructions, and verbally at the briefing, not to use any road that was for access only. It would appear that most if not all crews ignored this instruction and, in an attempt, to get the section correct used the access only road that leaves Hurst Green to pass to the North of the Church before joining the B6243.
The correct route after leaving sh148, turn right and pass through college grounds, straight on at access only junction to the triangle at the junction with the B6243. By going the long way around the triangle, you pass through three junctions, one at each point of the triangle. Keep on the B road at the next junction and pass over the River and then keep on the B6243 at the next junction before turning right to Mitton Green and then left on to the B6246 at Great Mitton. Cars 4 and 10 recorded all 16 codes on the afternoon section followed by cars 9, 16 and 25 with 15.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned car 10 which recorded all 36 codes it’s because it was navigated by John Hartley, (Fellmans originator and brains of the event for the last 25 years) and I’m sure he won’t mind if I tell you that he had some prior knowledge of the route!
Thanks to all who marshalled, without their help the event wouldn’t take place. And finally, thanks to all of you that took part and I hope you enjoyed it enough to want to return for the 27th Fellsman when I shall try again to achieve the impossible by finding some roads that JH hasn’t previously used.
Coast to Coast Saturday 13th July 2019
We significantly changed the route for 2019. Normally we keep the same lunch halt which has been at Akebar Park for many years. However, whilst we were happy with the venue eventually you run out of roads to use.
So to open up pastures new we went looking for an alternative and found The Inn at South Stainley just north of Harrogate. Venues with the amenities we need are few and far between. They have to be able to cope with around 150 people arriving in around 40 minutes, be able to serve them and enable them to get on their war in 55minutes as well as provide adequate parking and be flexible on time for serving lunch. The Inn ticked all the boxes so we were able to go further south than usual.
The route started from the Midland Hotel in Morecambe at 08.30 and went out to Halton and Caton before taking in the Trough of Bowland and Slaidburn to a coffee and comfort stop at The Anchor in Gargrave.
From there we travelled east through Grassington and Pateley Bridle towards Ripon. Just before Fountains Abbey we turned right to go through Markington and south to The Inn at South Stainley. The first car arrived about 11.20.
After a good buffet the cars left going east to Aldwark Bridge and then through Castle Howards grounds and into the Yorkshire Moors passing through Cropton and the fords from the opening shots of All Creatures Great and Small. The next Control was at Scripps Garage in Goathland a popular stop on previous events.
We took advantage of some newly surface roads to make our way to the finish at Dunsley Hall via Grosmont and Sandsend (to complete the coast to coast adventure. The first car reaching Dunsley Hall at around 3.20pm.
We were greeted at Dunsley Hall by the Mayor of Scarborough and parked on their front lawn for an informal Concours d’Elegance. Whilst the judging took place the entrants enjoyed a buffet and had a good natter about the days motoring.
The Mayor chose the Ford Mustang as the car she wished she could take home and our acting president, Andrew Ogden, stepped in to select the President’s Choice after being banned from choosing a certain red Alfa Romeo! The President’s choice went to the 1953 Mercedes.
After saying goodbyes to those who chose to return home or who had booked accommodation elsewhere those staying at Dunsley Hall had an enjoyable evening before returning home on the Sunday.
Many thanks to all the organisers and Marshals who made the day possible and of course all the entrants who brought their fine motor cars for us to enjoy.
Group 3 Peter and Barbara Batty – Car 31 MGB Roadster
Wales Rally GB 2019
With a Ceremonial Start in Liverpool plus a visit to Oulton Park on the Thursday the provisional route for the 2019 World Rally GB is looking good!
Thursday, 3 October 2019
Following a final pre-event Shakedown held this year for the first time in Gwydir Forest, Snowdonia, on Thursday morning, all the competing teams will make their way to Liverpool for a high-profile Ceremonial Start on the Waterfront. The 2019 competitive action then blasts off at the popular Oulton Park circuit close to Chester on an exclusively designed special stage incorporating sections of the picturesque race track. It is the first time the well-known Cheshire motor sports venue has hosted the World Rally Championship since 1993 and, with good transport links, permanent infrastructure and great spectating facilities, Oulton Park’s re-appearance is sure to be welcomed by the large numbers living in the surrounding regions. It provides those based in major cities such as Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield – all within a 90-minute drive – a rare and not-to-be-missed opportunity to witness the extraordinary excitement served up by the World Rally Championship.
Following the dramatic Thursday evening curtain-raiser, the crews will head back to Llandudno in readiness for the forest stages that follow.
Friday, 4 October 2019
Taking advantage of the rally’s vibrant new base in Llandudno, Friday’s schedule is based in the forests of the Snowdonia National Park in north Wales. The day’s schedule features nine speed tests set either side of a lunchtime return to the busy Service Park located right in the heart of the historic resort town.
The day opens in the shadows of Mount Snowdon with classic stages in Conwy County’s forests of Elsi and Penmachno close to Betws-y-Coed and then heads further south towards Welshpool for timed tests in the revered Dyfnant and Aberhinant forests. All four stages are repeated in the afternoon with the second run through Aberhirnant taking place well after sunset in total darkness – always a crowd-pleaser.
Adding to the spectator experience, Friday afternoon’s programme also includes a revisit to the stage at Slate Mountain now with a new, upgraded surface laid since the venue was first used last October. Located at The Slate Caverns near Blaenau Ffestiniog, the destination is well-known to adrenalin-seekers for its mind-boggling underground adventures as well as being home to Zip World Titan, Europe’s first four-person zip line.
Saturday, 5 October 2019
Billed again as ‘Super Saturday’, the rally’s longest and most demanding day features three epic special stages, all set in the mountains to the east of Aberystwyth with excellent spectating for the large numbers of weekend visitors, plus the new street stage on the seafront at Colwyn Bay.
Dyfi, Myherin and Hafren are true classics that always push crews to their limits and provide fans with some outstanding viewing opportunities. As last year, Hafren has been extended to incorporate the Sweet Lamb rally complex – always a fans’ favourite with its jumps and water splash.
All three stages are tackled twice with the second run through Myherin being screened live for television audiences right around the world. A lunchtime regroup on the busy streets of central Newtown punctuates the action.
Following the frenetic action in the forests of mid Wales, the WRC returns to the Service Park and overnight halt back in Llandudno via an all-new Saturday evening spectator stage on the recently-refurbished promenade in Colwyn Bay. Sited adjacent to the A55 and the North Wales Coast Line railway, the latest addition provides both rally fans and families in North Wales and north west of England – with a fantastic opportunity to experience the WRC in captivity away from its more natural habitat in the great outdoors. With donuts, hairpins and chicanes, they will not be disappointed.
Sunday, 6 October 2019
After Saturday’s arduous exploits in mid Wales, Sunday sees the WRC action return to north Wales with two tough forest stages close to the Llyn Brenig Reservoir, an adventure playground set high up in the heart of the Denbigh Moors. Both Alwen and Brenig tests are repeats of 2017 when the event was famously won by local hero Elfyn Evans. Both stages are run twice either side of a timed section around the iconic Great Orme peninsula and short mid-morning service halt back in Llandudno. The second visit to Brenig is the event’s concluding Wolf Power Stage, offering surviving crews the chance to score bonus championship points in front of a live global television audience.
After a brief TV podium for the overall winners at the Brenig Visitor Centre, official prize-giving for all those completing the 2019 Wales Rally GB will take place at the Ceremonial Finish on Llandudno Promenade, four full days after the intrepid crews originally set out from Liverpool.
2019 WALES RALLY GB DRAFT ROUTE
Thursday 3 October:
Ceremonial Start: Liverpool
SS1: Oulton Park
Friday 4 October:
SS2: Elsi 1
SS3: Penmachno 1
SS4: Dyfnant 1
SS5: Aberhirnant 1
SS6: Elsi 2
SS7: Penmachno 2
SS8: Slate Mountain
SS9: Dyfnant 2
SS10: Aberhirnant 2
Service and overnight: Llandudno
Saturday 6 October:
SS11: Dyfi 1
SS12: Myherin 1
SS13: Sweet Lamb Hafren 1
SS14: Myherin 2
SS15: Sweet Lamb Hafren 2
SS16: Dyfi 2
SS17: Colwyn Bay
Service and overnight: Llandudno
Sunday 6 October:
SS18: Alwen 1
SS19: Brenig 1
SS20: Great Orme
SS21: Alwen 2
SS22: Brenig 2 (Wolf Power Stage)
Ceremonial Finish: The Promenade, Llandudno
Our popular ‘Classic Challenge’ is open to all Lancashire Automobile Club members and allows them to score points at Lancashire Automobile Club road, concours and social events plus our static show at the Royal Lancashire Show. As a bonus this year points will be available for those who attend the 2020 AGM. Challenge Scorecards need to be submitted by the 20th January and the bonus points will be added for those attending the AGM before the final results are calculated.
“Silverware/Awards” will be presented at the annual Bash at Mitton Hall on Friday 28th February 2020 along with other club Awards. Contact Carolyn Taylor 01254 385413 for tickets.
Full Challenge Regulations and Scorecard are available via this link Classic Challenge 2019