FBHCV Newsletter No.1 (from my private archive) Highly interesting content.

I found this FBHCV Newsletter No.1 in my archive. As it is a Newsletter and it refers to its Website(fbhvc.co.uk/members-pages/newsletter-archive) at times, I understand it may be published. I found no restrictions to that effect.

FBHVC Newsletter No. 1, 2010

President: Lord Montagu of Beaulieu
Chairman: Chris Cunnington
Editor: Rosy Pugh
Secretary: Rosy Pugh
All correspondence to the secretary at the registered office

Registered office: Stonewold, Berrick Salome
Wallingford, Oxfordshire. OX10 6JR
Telephone & Fax: 01865 400845
Email: secretary@fbhvc.co.uk.

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2010. It was a difficult start for many of us with snow and ice making life very difficult for a week or two. Very topically we were also made aware of some potential problems with antifreeze in historic vehicles and have printed our findings so far. We would welcome any more news from members as always.

In the last issue of the newsletter we stated that Shell V-Power petrol was guaranteed not to contain ethanol. Just before this newsletter went to press we have discovered that this is no longer the case. Their statement says: ‘Shell, like many other fuel suppliers, has begun blending ethanol into some Unleaded grades, including Shell V-Power at Stanlow, to comply with the legal obligations of the RFTO’

David Hurley

A full list of the consultations we are currently dealing with can be found on our website but the following two may well be of interest to our commercial vehicle enthusiasts.

Tachograph Calibration Fees
At present the Department for Transport (DfT) sets maximum fees for the installation and periodic checking of tachograph installations. Preserved lorries and buses over 30 years old are exempted from drivers’ hours legislation and therefore have no need for tachographs. However since the normal commercial life of these types of vehicle is much shorter (15 to 20 years) they enter preservation needing to continue to use tachographs until they reach the 30 year threshold.

The consultation proposes to allow calibration centres complete freedom to fix charges; in particular higher charges to calibrate the older analogue equipment. Our concern here is that this is a concept that may spread to other fees e.g. MoT fees. There also appears to be no legal requirement for centres to maintain analogue test equipment into the future. This could lead to preservationists being forced into having the analogue tachograph replaced with a digital unit (at high cost) just for the few years before the vehicle reaches 30 years old and becomes exempt. We are formulating our response.

HGV MOT Testing Exemptions
The DfT are proposing to reduce the number of vehicles currently exempted from the HGV testing regime. No changes to the existing exemptions for pre-1960 and steam propelled vehicles are proposed. We are in contact with two member clubs, the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society and the National Traction Engine Club and may also contact other affected clubs before formally responding.

In response to a question from one of our member organisations regarding how an historic vehicle that has passed through the Scrappage Scheme could be saved, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) sent the Federation the following statement:

A Certificate of Destruction must be issued for all Scrappage Scheme vehicles. Whatever their age or condition, these vehicles are effectively being declared End of Life Vehicle (ELVs) by their last owners at the dealerships which accept them. To comply with the 2003 ELV Regulations, the vehicle must be initially treated at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), to the standards required (fluids drained, battery and tyres removed, airbags deployed or removed), and it would then no longer be classed as hazardous waste. The scrapping process could stop at that stage and the vehicle could be preserved and sold on, should the ATF wish to do so. Although a vehicle should not be put back on the road, even if this is possible, it could be saved for display or donation to a museum.

Further information is available from the Vehicle Scrappage Team, Tel: 020 7215 5000
Email: scrappage@berr.gsi.gov.uk


In December we were contacted by the Guernsey Classic Vehicle Club who asked for assistance drafting a reply to a consultation on Environmental Tax (CO2) on Motor Vehicles issued by the States of Guernsey on the introduction of a sliding scale emissions tax on first registered vehicles and an investigation into a subsidy for zero emission vehicles.

Whilst supporting the principle of reducing CO2 emissions, the club was concerned about the lack of provision for historic vehicles in the consultation and the likelihood of a disproportionate penalty for their use.

A response is currently being drawn up to make the point that historic vehicles (as distinct from ‘old vehicles’) are not affected by current buying habits and that purchase incentives and/or first registration taxes (of new vehicles) would be a tool that would promote the stated objective without penalising historic vehicle owners. An alternative strategy of a tax on fuel would not, of course, discriminate against historic vehicle owners.

Nigel Harrison

Missing Identity
Occasionally we are contacted, because of the lack of the specialist vehicle club, to assist in cases where as well as not knowing the original registration number of the vehicle the chassis number has been lost in the mists of time. In the most recent case, with some research both by the owner and the Federation, the careful completion of a Built Up Vehicle Inspection Report and dating letter, the vehicle in question was allocated a new chassis number, in the 17 digit VIN format, together with an ‘age related’ number.
Age Related Number Allocation
In the above case, the registration mark allocated was in the format of three numbers followed by three letters (i.e. 123 ABC). This was not the format that the owner was wanted, although some registration authorities were using this as early as 1953. DVLA do not have the unallocated blocks of the earlier format (ABC 123) available, so this is why the later format is used. If you want to have the earlier format, then you will have to use the Cherished Number Transfer system. When the ‘letter year’ registration number system was introduced in 1963 previously unregistered used vehicles, e.g. imported or military used on trade plates, were allocated a ‘letter year’ registration number, current with the date of registration. Should you wish, a DVLA Local Office should be able to issue a replacement age related number, but it will be of the format 123 ABC. If there is not a year of manufacture on the V5 or V5C, then a dating letter or dating certificate will be required by DVLA from the appropriate specialist vehicle club.

Club Expo, December 2009
One of the fellow presenters at Club Expo held at Gaydon in December gave an account of a conversation with a DVLA inspector, to the effect that: “If you attempt to use a logbook which has been bought on eBay to register a vehicle, you will be caught out, because DVLA check EBay for logbooks on sale”. The presenter implied that this was a typical DVLA ‘Big Brother’ attitude. I would take a slightly different view. It is altogether reasonable that DVLA should be on the lookout for logbooks being used in an improper manner. Just because a vehicle has lost its chassis number, it is not necessary to resort to using a purchased logbook to register the vehicle.

As illustrated above, even if the registration number and chassis number have been lost in the mists of time, with a little research, it is possible to have the vehicle registered with DVLA.

Around 100 delegates attended the Federation session, called Registering Your Historic Vehicle – The Potential Pitfalls. It is anticipated that an updated version of this presentation could be given at a later date particularly relating to motorcycles which seem to have problems all of their own. Part of the talk gave a list of useful documents, and this is available from www.fbhvc.co.uk in the news section.

As expected, questions were asked. For the benefit of a wider audience, a summarised set of questions, with a more considered reply than given on the day, is given below.

Question: What do clubs charge to process an historic vehicle registration application?
Answer: As an example, the Federation charges £30 for a V765 or an age related application. On top of that are the Federation inspectors’ reasonable travelling expenses of 25p/mile, settled up directly with the inspector. Some clubs don’t make a charge for the processing of an application for club members because this is seen as one of the benefits of club membership, but make a charge for the inspectors’ travelling expenses. What other clubs charge is up to them, based upon their policy and overheads. If a club charges a very high fee, and is very slow at processing applications, and the specialist knowledge exists in another club, it could be expected that an owner would react to that situation.

Question: What is the relevance of ‘Reconstructed Classics’ on the DVLA information sheet relating to rebuilt vehicles (INF 26), if the vehicle has not been reconstructed?
Answer: Possibly the title ‘Reconstructed Classics’ is misleading. A slightly more descriptive but wordy title could be ‘Classic vehicles which have not been registered before or where the original registration number is unknown’. One of the two key parts of the ‘Reconstructed Classic’ definition is ‘the appropriate vehicle club must confirm the authenticity of the components’. It is unlikely that DVLA are going to question the judgement of the appropriate vehicle club unless, like the case highlighted in the last Newsletter, there is other information which is supplied to DVLA which points away from the Reconstructed Classic definition and hence potentially towards a ‘Q’ plate.

Question: The chassis or frame number is not in all the places I would expect. With another vehicle, there are two different numbers on the vehicle. How should I process cases like these?
Answer: Prior to the introduction of the VIN number system in 1980 different manufacturers identified the vehicles that they produced in different ways. Some had the same number for each component part of the frame or chassis. Some did not mark the chassis at all, but relied on a maker’s plate on the bulkhead. Some used the engine number as the primary number and used, or implied, the same number for the chassis. Other vehicles were marked by the manufacturer with both a ‘body number’ and a ‘car number’. Using your experience of other similar vehicles, you have to run with the appropriate number that is actually on the vehicle.

Question: My club sends all the V765 (claim for the original number) paperwork to the owner, so that the owner can take the application in to the local DVLA office. Why should I not continue doing this?
Answer: Experience shows that across the 50 DVLA local offices, there can be a variation on how a V765 application is dealt with. With some offices it will be a seamless operation but with other offices this might not be the case. In any case, a local office could only be actively involved with a V765 application where the evidence is an old style logbook and the vehicle has an MoT and is insured, so that a tax disc could be issued immediately. The new V5C will only be issued after the application has been vetted and processed by the specialist unit at DVLA Swansea. However, it would be expected that the DVLA local office would be involved in making a ‘certified photocopy’ of the logbook or tax disc.

Where the vehicle is not roadworthy but is substantially complete, or a tax disc is not required straight away, then the application should be sent to DVLA Swansea. With an application for an age related number, which would include a dating letter or certificate, this would be dealt with by the DVLA local office.

Question: I have notified DVLA of a change in engine capacity, and DVLA have asked a number of supplementary questions before they will accept the engine change. Is this a new practice that has recently been introduced?
Answer: The Federation was not aware of any change in this area. While the Federation investigates further it would be helpful if we could see if this is a one-off or if this is a widespread change. If you have notified DVLA of a change in engine capacity in the last few months and DVLA have asked for supplementary information before accepting the change, could you please contact the Federation, preferably by email. What will be of particular interest are the ‘before’ and ‘after’ engine capacity, registration number, make and model.

If there are any other pressing questions relating to DVLA matters, please contact the Federation, preferably by email or letter.


Technology moves forward and new products are constantly being launched with claims to improved formulations and performance. With the recent bitterly cold weather in January antifreeze has been in the headlines, with some alarming stories which at first seem to be about the well-known tendency of antifreeze to find the tiniest hole and cause leakages – but in these cases it has led to catastrophic engine problems.

Traditional blue ethylene glycol is a toxic but highly effective antifreeze and contains silicates as an inhibitor to help prevent corrosion in an engine with mixed metals in its make-up. Bluecol and Blue Star are well known brand names and both of these are declared suitable for ‘classic cars’ on their company websites. Be aware that there are also low- or no-silicate ethylene glycol formulations (usually red) available which may not be suitable for all engines.

Propylene glycol is another well-known and less toxic antifreeze formula and usually contains silicates but Comma, the main manufacturer, have now discontinued it in favour of an ethylene glycol product containing ‘bittering agents’ to make it less palatable and minimise the risk of accidental poisoning.

Both of the above products use inorganic additive technology (IAT). Recently problems have been reported concerning the use of antifreeze mixtures using organic acid technology (OAT). OAT was introduced in the mid-1990s and the products are biodegradable, recyclable and do not contain either silicates or phosphates and are designed to be longer lasting. However these products do seem to cause problems in older engines; over and above the ability of antifreeze to find the smallest crevice and leak, OAT antifreezes have been accused of destroying seals and gaskets and causing a great deal of damage in ‘old’ engines. For this reason the manufacturers do not recommend their use in historic vehicles. These products are usually coloured red, pink or orange.

The final category is HOAT. These products use hybrid organic acid technology in an ethylene glycol base with some silicates in the formulation alongside the organic corrosion inhibitors. The product is usually coloured green and are not recommended for use in historic vehicles.

The Federation are still researching this problem but our advice at the moment is:
• only use blue coloured IAT antifreeze in historic vehicles;
• only use OAT products (‘advanced’ or ‘long life’ antifreeze) if the vehicle used it when new and if specifically directed by the vehicle’s manufacturer;
• never mix different types of antifreeze without thoroughly flushing out the system;
• always replace the coolant within the time scale specified by the antifreeze manufacturer as the corrosion inhibitors break down over time.


We have been very busy already answering the question ‘when is Drive It Day 2010’. The event is always held on the nearest Sunday to 23 April, so this year it will be 25 April 2010. This day was chosen five years ago to commemorate the 64 cars that set off from London on 23 April 1900 on the first day of the Thousand Mile Trial – an incredible undertaking and one which we believe deserves an annual celebration.

We have had so many requests to advertise DID events that we have made a dedicated page on our website events section for just this day. The same rules apply as for other events – member organisations may add details using their ID number and password issued last year.

The Royal Oak at Bishopston, a superb venue with a self-confessed classic car nut for a landlord, and with excellent food and beer, has once again indicated that they will be delighted to welcome all comers on the day.

David Hurley

Continuing our occasional series on driving licence entitlements, this time we cover preserved buses and coaches. As before, health and disability issues are not covered here.

A preserved bus over 30 years old (not being used for hire or reward) and carrying no more than eight passengers can be driven by the holder of a normal car driving licence provided he/she is over 21 years old and has held a full licence for two full years. It is important to check that your insurer is willing to insure someone who is a) under 25 years old and b) does not hold a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence.

If the vehicle is less than 30 years old, or is more than 30 years old and is carrying more than eight passengers, the driver has to hold a PCV.

If there is any element of hire or reward involved, then as well as a PCV licence, the driver must hold a Certificate of Professional Competency (CPC). Owners are reminded that any buses used for hire or reward have to be insured, taxed, tested and operated under an operator licence.

The above is the FBHVC’s understanding of legislation and is not a definitive legal document and further information can be found on the DVLA website.


Henry Lawson, who was in charge of Federation communications, resigned from the board, due to pressure of work, on 1 January. We are greatly indebted to Henry for getting our new website up and running amongst his other duties and take this opportunity to thank him for the huge contribution he has made in bringing the FBHVC properly into the 21st century. We are now looking for another volunteer to take on the role of communications director.

The communications director has editorial responsibility for all our communications from the Newsletter to the website and in an ideal world would also have a conventional PR function arranging press releases and news items for other magazines.

Successful clubs know the importance of electronic communication and use all types of media to get their message across: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. are all being used along with live video and radio feeds from events. Like it or not, this is the future and the Federation cannot afford to be left behind. Although we do have a very effective webmaster to look after the day to day running of our website, our new director needs to be au fait with electronic media of all kinds and be able to exploit new methods of communication as they develop.

The Federation would welcome applications from anyone who would like to help us continue to communicate effectively and make sure that we are not left behind by new technology.

For further information please contact the Secretary at secretary@fbhvc.co.uk

James Baxter

In June last year the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) introduced an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) for historic military vehicles which allowed owners of military vehicles over 50 years old who wished to take their vehicles to the Continent to register for this OGEL, instead of obtaining a full export licence. Once registration had been completed, then the owner could take his vehicles to the Continent as many times as required without the necessity for further registration or application for a Licence, subject to complying with the terms of the OGEL. For owners of military vehicles less than 50 years old however it was still necessary to apply for a full export licence on every occasion that a vehicle was to be taken abroad.

Since July representatives of the Military Vehicle Trust, Invicta Military-Vehicle Preservation Society and the War and Peace Show have had considerable correspondence with BIS, particularly with regard to the arrangements for vehicles less than 50 years old, and I am pleased to advise that BIS recently announced the introduction of a new OGEL for Historic Military Vehicles and Artillery Pieces, which took effect from 1 November 2009.

In summary, under the new OGEL, military vehicles less than 50 years old and certain de-activated artillery pieces are now covered, in addition to vehicles over 50 years old.

For those who have already registered for the previous OGEL (Historic Military Vehicles), their registration details will automatically be transferred to the new amended licence so they will not need to re-register.

Full details of this new OGEL, and its terms and conditions, can be found via the BIS website: http://www.bis.gov.uk/exportcontrol. Further information and advice about the Export Licence can be obtained from the BIS Export Control Organisation Help Desk Tel: 020 7215 4594.

The following is a statement received from BIS:

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Export Control Organisation (ECO) has announced the introduction of an amended Open General Export Licence (OGEL) which permits the export of certain ‘Historic Military Vehicles and Artillery Pieces’, to specified destinations. The amended licence took effect from 1 November 2009 and replaced an earlier version entitled Vintage Military Vehicles.

The UK controls the export of military items, (described in the Export Control Order 2008, as amended) this includes ex-military vehicles and trailers. The controls on such items are not new, but have in fact been in force for a number of years. However, recent publicity over the introduction of updated export control legislation and the large participation of UK persons in the D Day commemorative events early this year has served to highlight the existing export restrictions.

As a direct response to the requirements of these events the ECO created and issued a new OGEL (Vintage Military Vehicles) on 26 May 2009 in order to minimize the licensing burden on a large number of private individuals wishing to take their ex-military vehicles to the various D Day events taking place in Europe before returning them to the UK. It is this licence which has now been amended and re-issued.

Summary of goods and activities permitted by the amended Licence:
The temporary export of certain de-activated artillery pieces and military vehicles to the other 26 European Union Member States, the Channel Islands and Norway, providing,

• the items are being exported for the purposes of an historic re-enactment, historic commemorative event, private battlefield tour or private recreational purposes, and no other military purpose;

• are not classified by the MoD as Restricted or above;
• will be returned to the UK within 3 calendar months;
• the artillery pieces shall be certified and registered by a UK Proof House as:
– having been rendered incapable of firing any ammunition and intended for static display purposes, or;
– permanently converted to only fire blank ammunition, and intended for re-enactment or commemorative events.
• the vehicles shall be:
-manufactured more than 50 years before the date of export, or;
– less than 50 years old and are registered with DVLA as ‘private’ or ‘historic’.
• certain items that are specifically related to the type and period of the artillery and vehicle

Registration is required for the use of the OGEL through the SPIRE portal, a paper application is no longer an option.

For further details of the OGEL or strategic export controls please contact:

Export Control Organisation
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street
London, SW1H 0ET
Tel: 020 7215 4594; Fax 020 7215 2635
Email: eco.help@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Please do NOT contact your Military Vehicle club.

Ian Edmunds

Having now been appointed Heritage Director I would like to expand on the brief report in the last newsletter of 2009 of a display of historic vehicles on the Heritage Open Day at Baddesley Clinton in September. This was arranged at very short notice by the Standard Motor Club and the TR Register but nevertheless was considered by all concerned to have been a great success. As has been stated before it is the Federation’s ambition to link historic vehicles and historic buildings and it is now my responsibility to develop this area.

Many clubs already make good use of local attractions as start or finish points for their events etc. but Heritage Open Days are a different situation. They are organised locally but run under the auspices of English Heritage and to quote from their website: http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk
‘Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture.’

Typically there are some 4000 attractions throughout England and Wales taking part and it is clear from the feedback from the Property Manager at Baddesley Clinton and from the ladies at English Heritage that they will positively welcome a small display of historic vehicles as an additional feature. Why not consider attending a local HOD as a club event next September?

The HOD dates for 2010 are Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 September. This does clash with Beaulieu Autojumble, and neither date is likely to change, but if your members feel they already have enough only slightly broken and easily repairable obscure parts in their possession then this could be a very peaceful and pleasant alternative. Attractions wishing to hold HOD are required to register with English Heritage between March and August and a list will appear on the HOD website from March onwards. In addition the website still carries the 2009 list, if an attraction near you opened in 2009 you could contact them and ask if they intend to open this year and take it from there.

The Federation and I are very happy to act as facilitators and to answer any questions that we can but we do not have the resources to arrange individual events. We suggest that your club secretary, or events secretary if you have one, liaises directly with the local property manager.

Watch both Heritage Open Days website and the Federation website for further developments.

Colin Francis

At this time of year I thought it best to look ahead to some of the better events in 2010. Full details of many of these can be found on the FIVA website, www.fiva.org, and I would particularly draw your attention to the Tulip Rally, Mille Miglia and Saar-Lor-Lux in May. The latter event is reasonably priced, starts in Saarlouis, and one category has very complicated map reading and plotting and another which is quite easy. FIVA B events should not be overlooked and the Rallye du Pays de Fougeres, from 28-31 May attracts over 150 cars to Brittany while the Gordon Bennett Rally attracts similar numbers of pre-war cars to Eire on 11-13 June. Late June sees the return of the Rally des Alpes and the SLS on 25-28 August. The latter is a Dutch map reading and interpretation event, similar to the Tulip.

British organised FIVA events in October include the Circuit of Ireland Retro by Ulster AC and the start of the 2010 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge by ERA. The latter club is also planning an event from London to Capetown starting at Big Ben on 31 December and runs the Flying Scotsman Rally for pre-war cars in March.

There are also a number of events for motorcyclists and FIVA is now listing an annual World Motor Cycle run. This year it will be in Spain on 9-12 June but it will be in the UK in 2011! As a forerunner the Vintage Motor Cycle club is running the annual Festival of 1000 Bikes on 9 July and the International West Kent Run on 6 August. More details on these events will appear on our website.
There are also quite a lot of non FIVA events run by British clubs. We have our Drive it Day on 25 April with many locally organised events and I will be out on the MK Classic on that day.

The Three Legs of Man on 18-20 March is a new event by member club CRA who also organise the Classic Marathon on 12-18 June. This year it goes to the Pyrenees and is a round of the FIA Historic rally championship. The CRA also runs the tenth Rally of the Tests on 16-20 November and has a new concept called Mountain Challenge on 12-18 Sept. This will be about visiting cols in France and gaining marks for their height above sea level.

July 16-25 sees the Liege-Brescia-Liege for cars under 1200cc. It includes runs over the Stelvio and Gavia in Italy as on the previous event in 2008 while the same organisers are running the MICRO Marathon in Wales for pre-war cars up to 1000 cc and pre-1976 up to 700cc on 5-11 Sept.

David Davies

At the East Anglian Cyclemotor Club’s AGM on 15 November the Federation were thanked for the help given in formulating a Child Protection Policy. The photograph shows one of their under-18 members riding a Norman Lido moped on the club run that preceded the AGM. This was the first time he had been on a club run, and was also the first time the club had had an unaccompanied under-18 on a run. This does help to show that the effort put into creating this policy has had a practical application and is helping to encourage younger people into the historic vehicle movement.

Motorcycling keeps you young and active – according to an account in the LE Velo Club magazine of the birthday party for 90 year old Bob Middleton who is still riding his Mk2 LE Velocette. 2010 is the Diamond Jubilee of the club.

There is an impressive photograph of some of the comprehensive stock of new spares held by the Rudge Enthusiasts’ Club in their latest magazine.

Last year marked 100 years of the AJS motorcycle. ‘Old Bike Mart’ has two photographs, one taken in 1910 and the other in 2009 of the original AJS factory – how many other factories have survived and are they suitably identified with plaques of suitable colour I wonder?

The magazine of the Morris Minor Owners Club informs us that the Million Minor was due to be auctioned at Shepton Mallet in November with a guide price of £25,000 – £30,000.

The Military Vehicle Trust organises and participates in an amazing series of events throughout the year which will appeal to small boys of all ages! www.mvt.org.uk

The Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Register points out that Craftmaster Paints is still offering brushing materials Tel: 01384 485554.

The Borders Vintage Automobile Club magazine has a brief but informative history of the origins of the Jeep.

The Reliant Kitten Register is obviously a great fan of Joe Lucas, having run into problems with the FL9 heavy duty flasher unit. For example: ‘Lucas’ an acronym for Loose Unsoldered Connections and Splices; ‘Lucas’ – the patent holder for short circuits. The Register also warns against using WD40 as a switch cleaner where arcing is likely to occur.

The magazine of the DAF Owners Club for September 2009 has an interesting and informative article on ignition systems. www.dafownersclub.co.uk

The Austin A30-A35 Owners Club magazine has an article extolling the virtues of the Trackrite DIY tracking alignment tool. www.austina30a35ownersclub.co.uk

Some motoring wisdom from the Chester Vintage Enthusiasts’ Club: you only need two tools in life – WD40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and it should, use the WD40; if it does move and it shouldn’t use the duct tape. Oh yes, and if you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem.

For the adventurous and ambitious among you, there is intelligence of two Magirius fire engines surplus to requirements on offer in Uruguay – for more information, contact the Fire Service Preservation Group at www.f-s-p-g.org

The magazine of the Autotruck Club reveals yet another fascinating aspect of the movement. www.listerautotruckclub.co.uk

The Ayrshire Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club newsletter has some remarkable photographs of the art of ploughing with vintage machinery. There is a reference to a beautifully restored David Brown 50D tractor making £43,000 at a recent auction.

The Fairthorpe Sports Car Club reports on a conversation between a group of surgeons: the first surgeon remarks that accountants make the best patients because when you open them up, everything is numbered. The second responds with a preference for librarians because everything is in alphabetical order. The third says, try electricians, everything is colour coded. The fourth preferred lawyers, “They’re heartless, spineless, gutless and their heads and butts are interchangeable”. The fifth surgeon, who has been listening quietly to all of this, remarks, “I like British car restorers, they always understand when you have a few bits left over at the end”.

The impressive magazine of the AJS & Matchless Owner’s Club has an interesting and useful article on motorcycle lighting www.jampot.com

Whilst we are on the subject of electrics, the Mini Cooper Register extols the virtues of a voltmeter – especially in vehicles with alternators. www.minicooper.org

The Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club reminds us that the Bedford CF has been with us now for 40 years.

The magazine of the Traction Owners Club has a dramatic cover photograph of the Euston Road WWI Cemetery at Colincamps, there is also a report on the celebrations for 90 years of Citroen and 75 years of the Belgian office of Citroen.

Yet another anniversary: congratulations to the Aston Martin Owners Club on their 75th anniversary year in 2010.

An excellent example of ‘Smoke Box Cuisine’ from the newsletter of the Vintage and Horticultural Machinery Club – double wrap potatoes in aluminium foil, load them into the smoke-box of the nearest traction engine that is in steam, leave for two hours, cut open, fill with butter, etc –delicious!

There is an interesting and helpful article in the Bond Owners’ Club magazine on lighting and LED bulbs – including tips on making your own see: www.bondownersclub.co.uk – who recommend you look at:
www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/led and www.phenoptix.com

There is a detailed account of the experiences of a TC owner and modern fuels in the magazine of the Octagon Car Club: www.mgoctagoncarclub.com

The newsletter of the East Anglian Cyclemotor Club offers some controversial statistics that ‘prove’ that travel by ‘Cyclemaster’ is more environmentally friendly than walking. www.autocycle.freeserve.co.uk/

Finally, the impressive magazine of the MG Car Club has an account of the 39,000 mile 17-month, around-the-world journey successfully completed by Roy Locock in his 1977 MG Midget. He has raised more than £3,000 so far for UNICEF and donations are still pouring in. For more information and to find out how you can make a donation, visit: www.bridgetthemidget.co.uk

Tony Davies

As reported in the last two issues, we would welcome the names of any traders that members may know, who may not advertise nationally. If any member would care to have some leaflets explaining the benefits of trade membership to pass on to local companies, please ask the secretary.

Your work so far has been bearing fruit and we welcome to the following companies who have signed up as supporters:

AG Auto Electrical and Restoration Services
Ashridge Automobiles Ltd
BRG Classics
CES (UK) Ltd
Classic Motor Company
Crawford’s Classic Car Care
CSR (UK) Ltd
Dragonfly Design Ltd
Jaguar Classic and Prestige Cars
Knowles-Wilkins Engineering Ltd
Lawford Heath Classics
Morris Lubricants
Opie Oils
Peter Harvey Sunroofs
Phil Anderson Signs
PJS Engineering
Specialist Automobile Services
M & C Wilkinson Ltd


All of our member organisations are listed by club name on our website, but it is down to the individual clubs to add or amend their own details – see www.fbhvc.co.uk

Welcome to the following clubs who have recently joined:

Club Triumph Eastern
Scottish Military Vehicle Group
British Bus Preservation Group
Guernsey Old Car Club

The (private) Weblog passed 41,100+ viewers; a true milestone, not possible without your interest. Thank you all..

We passed the 41,100+ viewers; a great achievement, not possible without your interest. Thank you all..

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I thank our visitors/viewers and Thomas Dik who supports me technically and tries to reduce calamities as much as possible. If you can support us with reports/pictures, all are welcome! (address:- hansdoo@planet.nl)

TAXICAB HISTORY (from my personal archive -ex-bootsale)

Taxicab History


Between 1907 and 1910, this Bedford company offered taxicabs with a choice of 2 or 4 cylinder engines.


In 1906 a unique cab over engine taxicab only ten feet long was introduced with a Glasgow-London demonstration drive. It was replaced by a conventional design with 12/14 HP engine in 1908. In 1910 the Argyll cab received the new Argyll 2.4 litre cast pair 4 cylinder engine. Production was never resumed after the First World War.


The new Asquith Retro-cab embodies the form and flavour of the Austin High Lot with modern Ford running gear. Production seems only to have totalled 10. A modern cab design is believed to be in development.

Edwardian Cabs

Austin’s first cab was presented to the Public Carriage Office in 1906, but failed to get approval. A newer version with the driver sitting beside the engine was presented in 1907 and was accepted. Ten of these cabs were run by the Taxi DeLuxe Company of Kensington. One surviving example can be seen at the British Motor Industry Heritage Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire. A 15hp cab with a more conventional layout superseded the 1907 model a year later.

Post-War Cabs

Developed by co-operation between Austin, the coachbuilders Carbodies of Coventry and London taxi dealers Mann and Overton as a replacement for the obsolete 12/4, this experimental prototype dates from 1945. The FX used a 1800cc sidevalve engine, and was fitted with a pre-war body for testing purposes.

The FX was underpowered, and was replaced by the FX2, which had an all-new chassis, a new 1.8 litre 14hp ohv petrol engine and a prototype coachbuilt body to exactly the same design as would be fitted to the FX3. It was registered as JXN 842 and worked in London for many years before being sold to York.

The FX3 was offered with a 2.2litre ohv petrol engine and an all-steel body from Carbodies. It was available from 1948-1958. The first prototype FX3, JXN 841 went on test alongside the FX2, JXN 842. Aftermarket Perkins and Standard diesel engine conversions prompted Austin to develop their own diesel engine which appeared in 1956. A series of automatic test vehicles in 1957-58, of which two are known to survive.

The hire car version of the FX3 had a front bench seat, forward facing tip up seats in the rear and with higher speed crown-wheel assembly. Four doors and no For Hire sign distinguish it.

The ubiquitous FX4 appeared in 1958 (prototype VLW 431?) with a 2.2 litre diesel engine and automatic gearbox as standard. It remained, albeit heavily modified, in production until 1997. With the Mini, it stands as one of the longest lived British motor designs.


Introduced in 1961, the gasoline powered version of the FX4 used a 2178 c.c. petrol engine.

The diesel version was powered by a BMC K series (2.2 litre) or, from 1971, a British Leyland 25V (2.52 litre) engine. A manual gearbox was made available from 1961.

The hire car version of the FX-4, lacking the For Hire sign, and with higher speed crown-wheel assembly.

Carbodies developed this prototype independent of British Leyland and Mann and Overton during 1977-1979. It would have used a 2.5 litre Peugeot engine. Production was abandoned due to excessive tooling costs.


Carbodies bought the intellectual rights to the FX4 and produced the cab under their own name from 1982. The Company continued to make the FX4D until October 1982.


The FX4D’s old Austin diesel engine would not meet new European exhaust emission requirements and was sold to India. The FX4R built during 1982-1985 was fitted with the 2.25 litre Land Rover diesel, an optional 5-speed gearbox, power steering and full servo brakes

When the FX4R failed to sell as well as hoped, Carbodies began building the FX4Q, which used new and reconditioned parts in a cab powered by the old Austin engine, imported from India, alongside the FX4R. It was sold by Rebuilt Taxicabs in London’s East End.

LTI Carbodies, London Taxis International

When Carbodies owner, Manganese Bronze plc, bought Mann and Overton, a new company, London Taxis International, was formed with two divisions: LTI Carbodies, to make the cabs; and LTI Mann and Overton, to sell them, principally in London.


The first cab to bear the LTI name, this 1985-1987 variant of the FX4R was fitted with the 2.5 litre Rover diesel.

FX4S Plus
Available during 1987-1988, the 5-seater FX-4S Plus was fitted with more driver amenities, and is distinguished by its grey interior.

CR6 (City Rover 6)
Three experimental prototypes were built using the FX5 chassis, Rover SD-1 running gear, a Land Rover diesel engine and a modified Range Rover body. It was planned for a 1984 introduction, but due to ever increasing development costs was never produced.

This version of the FX-4 went into production in 1989. It was powered by a Nissan 2.7 litre diesel, coupled to a choice of a Nissan 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual. It was the first FX4 to be wheelchair accessible.

Fairway Driver
Introduced in 1993, the Fairway Driver featured all-new front suspension and brakes, with discs on the front. The last Fairway rolled off the production line October 1, 1997 and was immediately presented to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. It carries the registration number R1 PFX.

The TX1 was shown at the Motor Show, October 14, 1997, and the first TX1 plated by the Public Carriag0e Office is R948 VOB. The TX1 uses the same running gear as the Fairway Driver, under an all-new five-seat body. The model number was as a result of an idea by LTI to return to Austin’s old numbering system. It is simply the word TAXI with the A removed.

FX3 and FX4 chassis were available, and used as the basis for newspaper vans, hearses, flower cars, etc. At least two FX3 shooting brakes were constructed, one for the John O’Groats House Hotel, plus specials for oil magnate Nubar Gulbenkian. Two FX4 stretch limousines, one six door by hearse specialists Woodhall Nicholson and one four-door by Tickford, were constructed in the late 1980′s.


Mark I

The first Beardmore taxicab, 1919-1923. Fitted with Beardmore’s own 15.6 HP engine, it was in its time known as the Rolls-Royce of cabs. The steel and shipbuilding company of Beardmore was at this time the largest industrial conglomerate in Scotland. Production of the taxi was at Paisley, on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Mark II Super
The Super had few changes from the Mark I, limited mostly to a cleaning up of the original design, with more refined wing edges, etc. Production ended in 1926.

Mark III Hyper
Introduced in 1926, and produced until 1932, the Hyper was the first cab with four-wheel braking. It was substantially smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and was fitted with a 12.8 HP engine. It had a reputation for quickness and maneuverability, and was nicknamed the Farthing Cab.

Mark IV Paramount
Following the end of production of the Mark III in 1932, Beardmore’s taxi division was bought out by its management and they moved taxi production from Scotland to the London service depot at Hendon. The Mark IV appeared from this site in 1934, powered by a 14 HP Commer engine.

Mark V Paramount Ace
In 1935 Beardmore’s offered the Mark V, whose main difference from the previous model was a transmission with synchromesh on 3rd and 4th gears like the Austin TT and a longer wheelbase. This cab was sometimes called the Paramount, sometimes the Ace.

Mark VI Ace
The last pre-war Beardmore. It is notable that it was fitted with full synchromesh. Early conversion of Hendon to war production caused this cab to be discontinued in 1939.

Mark VII
Built from 1954 to 1967, the Mark VII was far more advanced than its traditional appearance would suggest. Constructed of aluminium and glassfibre with Ford Consul running gear, it was one of the first taxis with hydraulically actuated brakes. Approximately 650 were built in 3 production series.

Never progressing beyond a working prototype, the planned Mark VIII became the basis for the Metropolitan-Cammell-Weymann Metrocab.


Bedford produced several a taxi prototypes based on its small CA van.


In 1907 Belsize introduced a 14/16 HP taxicab. Taxis became, and remained, a major part of the company’s commercial output. When postwar production was resumed only the taxi and vans based on the 20 HP 4 cylinder engine were offered. Production was discontinued in 1925.


Between September, 1897 and December, 1898 70 Bersey electric storage battery cabs, nicknamed “Hummingbirds”, were put on London streets by the London Electrical Cab Company, Walter C. Bersey, General Manager. Berseys were built by the Great Horseless Carriage Company, fitted with Mulliner bodies and powered by 3-1/2 horse power Lundell type motors with a range of 30 miles, and a top speed of 9 mph. An improved version with larger batteries was constructed by the Gloucester Railway Waggon Company. Breakdowns, coupled with the high cost of batteries and tyres made operations unprofitable, and the company was closed down in August, 1899. A single Bersey is preserved at Beaulieu.


In 1954, cab operator Birch Brothers, Ltd. developed a prototype cab (SJJ 111) based on Standard running gear with body by Park Royal Vehicles. It was the first cab to be licensed in London with four doors. However, the layout was unconventional in that three passengers sat on the rear seat, and the fourth sat alongside the driver, facing rearwards. Luggage was carried in a rear compartment, which was accessed by a full height door on the nearside quarter of the body. Only the one prototype was made.


The Brasier 10/12 HP vertical twin engined car with 3 speed transmission was marketed as a cab from 1908 to 1913.

Cape Cabs

This unique body style with transverse sliding passenger door appeared in 1929, the design of Mr. W. Gowan of Cape Town, South Africa – hence the name. The first prototype was fitted to a Morris Commercial chassis, later versions, some by Arthur Mulliner, rode Austin running gear. Some bodies were constructed by New Avon Body Company. In all, over 100 were built during 1929-1936.

Chinese Taxi

This name was given to Austins fitted from 1933 with bodies taken from London General’s retired Citroen 11/4 cabs. [From Chinese Puzzle]


Andre Citroen offered a 1.5 litre taxicab from 1923, and four wheel braking was standardised from 1926, when British assembly was commenced at Slough. In 1929, Citroen provided the mechanical components for a series of taxicabs built by the London General Cab Company.

Cycle Cabs

Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA)

In 1920-25, BSA built a limited number (frame numbers W1- W100) of small three wheeled cabs using their Model E 770cc V- twin engine. By 1924, their Model G 986cc engine was standard. CD8953, a Brighton Ba-Tax cab, survives and has been restored.


This well known commercial vehicle builder constructed a few taxis in its early years before car production was discontinued in 1913.


In an project to further research into hybrid fuel vehicles, International Automotive Design of Worthing, Sussex, produced the Eurotaxi. Of van/MPV appearance, it was driven by a 50kw AC electric motor, which received its power via an onboard generator driven by a small diesel engine. Top speed was 65mph, and the range was 100 miles.


In 1920 a few Fiat IT cabs were introduced in London, powered by a 1.8 litre engine


Hillman offered a taxicab version of its 12/15 car with a 2.4 litre 4 cylinder L-head engine during 1909-1910.


In 1907, Britain’s taxicab boom began, and Humber offered an Argyll-like cab-over design with seven foot wheelbase and 4 cylinder, 15 HP engines with coil ignition. In 1908, both cab- over and conventional designs were offered using the 10/12 HP engine, and a 2-1/2 litre Beeston-Humber with magneto ignition. In 1910, only the conventional 10/12 HP design was offered. Humber, Ltd. operated a fleet of 40 Humber cabs in London.

London Coach

London Coach was formed in May, 1984 to fill the need for purpose built cabs left by the 1982 decision by Checker Motors (USA) to discontinue cab production. EPA prototype testing was completed in August, 1985. These specialty vehicles were assembled in the US, using glider kits provided by Carbodies and fitted with 2.3 litre Ford engines and transmissions. Two models were available: The London Taxi and the London Sterling. The Sterling was a limousine version of the taxi. Both were available with or without air conditioning. Production for 1985-1986 was reported as 75 to the NHTSA, and estimated production for 1987 – 75. With the introduction of the Rover Sterling by ARCONA in 1987, London Coach was pressured to discontinue use of the Sterling name. Total production is estimated at 80-100.

London Taxis International

This subsidiary of Carbodies, Ltd. of Coventry was formed to produce the FX-4 when British Leyland discontinued taxi production in 1987. See discussion under Austin.


Electrical equipment manufacturers Joseph Lucas introduced a prototype electric cab in October 1975. Several feet shorter than the FX4, it was powered by a 50bhp CAV motor, which gave it a top speed of 55mph. Its 100 mile range was somewhat limited by the battery technology of the day.


The 1922 Mepward by Mepstead and Hayward of London was a truly bad cab. It had an all-wood body, which made the already inadequate 2178 cc engine work even harder. The late Simon Kogan, writing in Taxi


The Metrocab design was based on models and early work for the Beardmore Mark VIII by Metro-Cammell-Weymann in conjunction with the London General Cab Company.

MCW Prototypes

Two of three developmental protoypes survive today, “Edgar” POE 629R, and UOK 729H which actually worked as a taxi in the in London in the General’s fleet.

MCW Metrocab
Introduced in 1987, this fibreglass-bodied cab was powered by a 2.5 litre- four cylinder Ford Transit direct injection diesel engine coupled to a Ford four-speed automatic or a five- speed manual gearbox. It was the first London cab to fully wheelchair accessible and to be licensed by the Public Carriage Office to carry four passengers.

Reliant Metrocab
Reliant bought the Metrocab from MCW in 1989, and moved the plant to Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Hooper Metrocab
When Reliant suffered financial trouble, Hooper bought Metrocab and began a steady programme of improvement. In late 1992 the Metrocab became the first London cab to be fitted with disc brakes as standard. Six- and seven seat versions followed. The restyled Series II was introduced in 1997 and featured a great many detail improvements. In 2000 a turbocharged Toyota engine replaced the Ford in the TTT model.


The Mitsubishi MMT taxi was a conversion on the L300 forward control van. It was powered by the standard 1600cc petrol engine, converted to run on LPG. The cab trade did not at the time consider a van conversion, even though 25% cheaper than an FX4, a suitable vehicle for London taxi use. The vehicle did not meet the PCO 25ft turning circle requirement and was not approved for use in London

Morris Commercial

Lord Nuffield’s organisation produced a line of taxicabs under the Morris Commercial name during the late 1920s and 1930′s.

Type G “International”

From 1929, Morris offered a cab powered by its 4 cylinder 1.8 litre Oxford car engine, based on the unsuccessful Empire Oxford car.

This smaller version of the G, introduced in 1931, was known as the “Junior”.

Introduced in 1932, a 15hp side valve 6 cylinder engine was fitted. A well-built cab, it was popular with owner-drivers.

A newer version of the G2S introduced in 1937, this cab had a 1.8 litre overhead valve six-cylinder engine rated at 14hp. To date, the Morris is the only maker of London cab to fit six-cylinder engines.

Approximately 1800 Oxfords were built from 1947-1955 based on a 1940 prototype, which accumulated 100,000 miles during wartime service. Built at the Wolseley factory in Birmingham, the Oxford was the first new cab to be offered on the London market after WWII. It was powered by a 1.8 litre dry-sump industrial engine, derived from a contemporary MG unit. Three successive models were introduced: the MkI, the 1949 MkII with a six-light body and the 1950 MKIII, distinguished by its pressed steel wheels, instead of the artillery wheels of the previous models. When Morris and Austin merged to form the British Motor Corporation in 1952, the new organisation found that it was making two competitive vehicles for the same market, the Oxford and the Austin FX3, so in 1953 the older Oxford was dropped.


D. Napier & Son, Ltd., of Acton, produced a taxi which from 1908-1911 was their primary commercial vehicle offering and which very substantially exceeded car production. These cabs featured an L-head engine, 3 forward speeds and shaft drive. They were offered in either a 1.3 liter 2 cylinder form, or 2.7 litre 15 HP 4 cylinder form. The 4 cylinder taxi was extensively exported.


The French built Prunel had the distinction, in 1903, of being the first motor cab to be licensed to work in London. Operated by the Express Motor Service Company, it had a two-seat Hansom body, a 12hp Aster engine and chain drive.


This old French maker supplied taxis to Paris. In 1907 the General Motor Cab Company of Brixton bought 500 2-cylinder Renault cabs. With a 2-cylinder engine of 8-9hp they were somewhat underpowered. They ran until the General began replacing them with Unics.


This fibreglass taxi was developed and built by Winchester Automobiles (West End) Ltd., a subsidiary of the Westminster Insurance Group, after consultation with cabmen. The result was a conservatively styled low maintenance vehicle, which was manufactured in several models from 1963-1972.

Mk I (1963)

The Mark I was powered by a Perkins 4.99 diesel and had two-tone grey paint.

The Mk II shared the same body as the MkI, but had a 1.7 litre Ford Transit petrol engine.

Using the Ford Transit engine, this version had an all- new chassis by Keewest.

Mk IV (1968)
The MkIV had an all-new body on the MkIII chassis and its Fords Transit engine.


This French cab was extremely popular with London operators for 25 years (1907-1932). It started life in London in 1907, powered by a 2-cylinder engine. Post war versions were little different from their Edwardian predecessors, although now fitted with four-cylinder engines. High import duties and the sheer antiquity of the cab prompted Unic’s dealers, Mann and Overton, to seek a replacement, which they found in the Austin 12/4.

A new model from Unic, built in Britain by United Motors, the 1930 KF1 was heavy and expensive. Few were sold.


In 1905, Vauxhall offered a 3-cylinder Motor Hansom for taxi service.

In 1990 a taxi conversion of the Midi van was produced for the NEC Motor Show. Whilst its interior complied with the PCO specifications, it did not have the mandatory 25ft turning circle


In 1922 Vulcan introduced a 2.6 litre, T-head taxicab. In 1928, car production was abandoned, and by 1931 Vulcan was in receivership.

The MORRIS COMMERCIAL International Taxicab, 2nd Edition July 1929 (from my private archive)

The Morris Commercial International Taxicab (from my private archive)

N.B. it takes a while till all pages have been loaded; I kindly ask for some patience, thanks.

Original Dutch Cartoons about the FX4 London taxi(cab); from my personal archive.

Original Dutch Cartoons about the FX4 model of the London taxi(cab). The cartoons were drawn and the text was written by Gerrit Woelders on my request as Secretay of the (then) Dutch London Taxi Club(DLTC), with some 70 members in Holland ánd neigbouring EU countries. These cartoons as used monthly in ‘Cabby’, the club magazine I initiated (as well as the DLTC itself)and designed, edited and controlled the printing of the mag. Good old memories. Hetty assisted me by addressing and posting.
It shows that you need no President, Vice-Presidents and lots of Committee members to get things done. Just get cracking!
N.B. All cartoons are protected by copyright.

FX3 and its details

2010-12-09, FX3 (18) 2010-12-09, FX3 (17) 2010-12-09, FX3 (16) 2010-12-09, FX3 (15) 2010-12-09, FX3 (14) 2010-12-09, FX3 (13) 2010-12-09, FX3 (12) 2010-12-09, FX3 (11) 2010-12-09, FX3 (10) 2010-12-09, FX3 (9) 2010-12-09, FX3 (8) 2010-12-09, FX3 (7) 2010-12-09, FX3 (6) 2010-12-09, FX3 (5) 2010-12-09, FX3 (4) 2010-12-09, FX3 (3) 2010-12-09, FX3 (2)

FX3 Petrol and its details
FX3 Petrol, possibly to be found in the USA? Who knows the identity of the owner?


P.S. the pictures were not ‘taken’ by me (Hans Dooren) but the system recorded this.


You recently posted images of this FX3 on the LVTA site and although I have no idea who owns this cab at this moment, there are pieces of information which maybe of interest.
The interior has been retrimmed “recently”. The roof rail is not original. The rails offered by Mann & Overton as PCO approved accessories, were of a totally different design. It is possible that the rail is actually from a Beardmore Mk VII, although whilst the construction appears to be the same, I shall have to check some very old photos to be sure.
With reference to ownership, this cab was offered for sale in the US on eBay, maybe three years ago. Graham Waite made an enquiry about this cab, at that time.
It appears from some very early LVTA ownership records of 1982 that NDW713 was owned by Tony Spinelli of Philadelphia.  At that time, he stated that it was a petrol engined example of 1957 (possibly incorrect year) and that he was “in process of rebuilding engine & some bodywork – will probably be completed on or before 9/1/82 (1 Sept 1982). Licence tag NDW 713”. He also owned 1967 FX4D SME431F, 1958 Bm Mk VII VYL 788 & 1955 Bm Mk VII RYN 868.
Although the cab shows London General decals, it may not have been owned by the General. A small supply of these decals were circulating in the eighties amongst members and only two unapplied sets are known to exist. Evidence of General ownership would be provided by any original gold paint on the road wheels.
Hope this is of interest.
Brian West
(Ed. who does know the present owner and has more details on the cab? I feel “it might still live in the USA”?