14 December 2012

Proposed European Roadworthiness Directive

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs has released the following statement with regard to the proposed European Roadworthiness Directive:

14 December 2012

Meeting with Minister

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond has met with historic vehicle campaigners to discuss the proposed European Roadworthiness Directive.

Mr Hammond met East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group along with John Cryer MP, treasurer of the group, and officers of the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs at the minister’s office in the House of Commons to discuss concerns about the proposed new EU Roadworthiness Directive.

There are widespread concerns that requiring older cars to be in a largely ‘original’ state could mean that vehicles with up-rated brakes or an overdrive unit fitted to the gearbox could fall foul of the new rules.

At the meeting the Minister revealed that great progress had been made in the EU discussions, which are on-going, and that he was now more optimistic and was confident that there will be sufficient latitude in the EU wording to allow the UK to adopt a reasonable and wide interpretation of the rules, so as not to impinge on the use and enjoyment of historic vehicles in the UK.

“It was a very positive meeting and the minister clearly has the interests of the classic car owners at the forefront of his mind in these negotiations”, Greg Knight said afterwards.

David Whale, chairman of FBHVC, added: “Our meeting with the minister was indeed very positive. Mr Hammond is taking a personal and pro-active position in the negotiations with the EU and clearly wishes to achieve a successful outcome for the owners of historic vehicles”.

04 December 2012

Pre 1960 Cars MOT Exempt

Further to previous discussions about the possibility of pre-1960 cars becoming exempt from MOT testing in November 2012 this has now come into force.

You can find more information about this from DVLA on www.gov.uk/getting-an-mot/vehicles-exempt-from-mot

This confirms the exemption and gives a link to form V112 which may be required by the Post Office when taxing your car (or motorbike) which has been manufactured or registered before 1st January 1960.


Alvis on the trailer ready to go to the body shop
The work on the Alvis Speed 20 ash frame is finally finished and the car is now away at the body shop to have the panels refitted and then be repainted.

21 September 2012

September update

Just a quick update on what we have going on in the workshop at the moment:

Work continues on the ash frame for the Alvis Speed 20SB.  We are now on the third door with one left to finish the framework before the car goes down to the body shop for its new paint work.

The machine shop is full of engines from the Austin 18/6, the heavy 12/4 and a Rover 16.  the Heavy 12/4 engine parts are due back shortly and we can start building the engine back up.

We also have a Jaguar V12 E-type which is a new purchase by an existing customer.  At the moment it is not running well so we will sort this out and give the car a service so that he can get on and use it for the last few weeks before the salt is back on the roads again.

More details on each of the projects will follow shortly....

31 August 2012

1933 AUSTIN HEAVY 12/4

Work is continuing on the Austin Heavy 12/4.  The engine has been stripped and some parts are away for machining.  In the meantime the back axle has been stripped and rebuilt, the king pins have been stripped and refurbished, new hub bearings fitted and the brake shoes are relined and in the process of being fitted.  The chassis has been rubbed down to remove all the corrosion and is now repainted using a rust-inhibiting primer and two coats of black.

Work about to begin on the chassis

Painted in rust-inhibiting primer

Final coats have been applied

Ian and Raymond inspect the rear
axle parts prior to building it back up
Rear axle now refurbished

Backplate, king pin, brake shoes and
stub axle being stripped

Following refurbishment the backplate,
king pin and stub axle are built up and
await fitting of the brake shoes

16 August 2012


How often have we remarked that our work seems to go in cycles - whether it be a whole host of gearbox or engine rebuilds, or just a number of the same marque of car.  At the moment we have a bit of both!

Firstly we seem to be over-run by pre-war Austins.  We currently have an Austin Heavy 12/4 from 1933 for a major restoration, as well as a big 18hp Austin Six from 1937 having the necessary to get it roadworthy and through an MOT.  We also have a couple of Austin Sevens on the go as well.  Add to that three Austin Healeys with gearbox problems (including one belonging to a German tourist) and you can see how strange the world of co-incidence is!

The big Austin Six with bench seats on both sides in the back.
The blue tarpaulin roof has now been removed and replaced
with black Everflex as per our instructions.  The engine has been
removed and stripped ready for machining.

Austin Heavy 12/4
Work is now well underway and lots of replacement parts have
been arriving.  The engine is stripped, the suspension is being
worked on at the moment

Austin 7
The picture shows the car on casters so that we can move it
in the workshop while the back axle is being worked on.
It has now had a new crown wheel and pinion and is off
for an MOT test today following various other jobs we have

Austin Healey gearbox
Not too many steps from this.....

.....to this.
The gearbox has now been stripped and new parts ordered

30 June 2012

Kirkmichael Festival

Today is the annual Kirkmichael Festival so we will be open all day Saturday if you fancy seeing what we're up to at the moment.

We have a Morgan, Alvis, Austin 12/4 and Morris Convertible

as well as our own Bullnose and an Austin Six

We have also had two club visits over the previous two weeks from the Aston Martin Owners Club and the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club

18 June 2012



A Lagonda 2 Litre Continental that we help to look after has just won the Caithness & Sutherland Vintage Vehicle Club Trophy last Sunday at Thirlestane in the S.V.V.F.'s Champion of Champions.

 A well deserved win following lots of polishing since the car had just been up to Dornoch for a family wedding.

06 June 2012


The work on the ash frame for the Speed 20 continues.  Ian has been busy making new pieces for the wheel arches by fabricating a laminated ply section.  The first arch is now complete and ready to trim to size and the second one is on the former drying

A wooden former is made

Ian starts building up the layers of ply and adhesive

Adhesive is applied all over each strip

Strips are built up one on top of another

Air bubbles are smoothed out before the next layer is built up
 and eventually the whole lot is cramped together through the holes
visible on the former and then the ends are screwed down so that it
sets in the right shape.  It is then left to dry out for several days 

Once dry the new piece is removed from the former and
will be trimmed neatly to shape before use

Ian offers up the new arch before marking it for trimming

22 May 2012

Historic Vehicles MoT Exemption

The following article appeared on the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs' website yesterday regarding MoT tests for pre-1960 vehicles:

Historic Vehicles MoT Exemption Review

Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, has announced the results of the Historic Vehicles MoT Exemption Review. The DfT is in favour of exemption for pre-1960 vehicles and it is proposed this will take effect from 18 November 2012. Owners of exempted vehicles will be able to take them for a voluntary test under the new regulations.
The FBHVC’s initial response is a guarded welcome to a result that matches the wishes of the majority of respondents to the Federation’s MoT survey. We hope to get more information about the detail of the proposals from the DfT in due course, in order to make a proper assessment – particularly about passenger carrying vehicles in commercial use which we were surprised to note are also to be exempt from MoT testing.
In general historic vehicle owners are law abiding and safety conscious and are aware that they have a duty to ensure their vehicles are in a roadworthy condition and accept the exemption from MoT testing is not an excuse for poor maintenance

One of the points raised in the report was the small amount of miles covered by pre-1960 vehicles, on average.  Hopefully this will not see a move to restrict the mileage.  As we have previously said, we would urge owners to keep maintaining their cars regularly and have often picked up minor problems at a service which, if left, can develop into something much more expensive.  As the saying goes "A stitch in time".....

04 May 2012

1959 Raleigh RM1 Moped

We have been contacted by a friend looking to sell the following moped.  Please contact Trevor direct if you are interested.  Milford Vintage Engineering have not seen the moped and cannot comment upon its condition

13 April 2012

1935 DERBY BENTLEY 3 1/2 Litre

Final polish and checks
After many months of work this beautiful car has had an MOT test today and is heading home.

27 March 2012

1930 ROLLS-ROYCE 20/25

Ready for a test run
We are finally nearing completion of the work on this old lady.  She is out for a test drive today in the sun.
We are now just waiting for the return of the wooden rear window surround which was broken up and rotten so a new one is being made by a wood specialist.  In the meantime a new driver's window glass top section is also being made since the one on the car was incorrectly shaped leaving a gap of varying sizes at the top.

24 February 2012

1935 3 1/2 Litre Derby Bentley

 During investigation of the cooling problems this car was experiencing, we removed the side plates to inspect the waterways and the visible areas appeared free.  Using our bore-scope we were able to see further into the hidden areas where it became apparent that there was a great deal of corrosion and debris blocking the water circulation around the push rod side of the cylinder block.
This has all been cleaned out and new copper tubes inserted.  Raymond is now lapping in the valves before putting the engine back together.

Side plate removed from block showing some corrosion although
water was still able to circulate (small gap visible on left).
Main corrosion found on opposite side of block out of sight

Corrosion visible in the cylinder head

Cylinder head and block with new copper tubes inserted

Cylinder block

Raymond laps in the valves

1930 ROLLS-ROYCE 20/25

We are in the final stages of the roof restoration on the 20/25.  Graeme and Ian have been busy fitting the smoker's hatch to the top of the roof and have now finished fitting the brass pin bead and guttering.  Graeme has now masked off the brass pin bead to paint it black.

Brass pin bead visible around the bottom and side of the roof
with the new guttering coming down to meet it

New guttering going on

Rear of car masked off to paint the brass pin bead in black

10 February 2012

1973 MGB GT

Raymond is working on this MGB GT at the moment.  It is having the front suspension and the rear brakes overhauled.  Yesterday the sub-frame was shot-blasted to remove the surface corrosion and allow us to check its overall condition and today Roy has been busy painting it ready for fitting up next week when the new parts arrive. 

Front suspension removed from the car with corrosion
easily visible

Front suspension stripped down awaiting

Front sub-frame re-painted following shot-blasting


One of our regular customers has just bought an Austin Big Seven.  He limped it up to the workshop last week and Ian has now cleaned out the fuel system and put a new bottom in the rusty fuel tank.  We are currently overhauling the brakes which were in an advanced state of wear.  Once this is completed we will be servicing the car and treating the underside and cavities with Dinitrol wax protection.

Interior of petrol tank showing extensive corrosion

20 January 2012

1930 ROLLS-ROYCE 20/25

Although generally a mechanical workshop, this week has felt more like a joinery.  With work progressing on the Alvis, we have also been making a replacement running board for the 20/25.  This is now complete and Graeme has started fitting it this morning.  He has also been busy overhauling the back brakes and he is about to get the brake cutter out to cut the new shoes back to true so that there are no high spots which means better brake efficiency right from the start.

Original running board



Painting new running board

New board in place with new rubber and original treads


We are continuing with the ash-frame restoration on the Alvis.  We had hoped not to have to remove the rear body skin, but on closer inspection the frame was found to be so bad that we felt it was the only way to be sure of getting rid of all the decaying wood/woodworm.  We have braced what is left of the frame so that reconstruction can take place.

Front scuttle with new timbers in place

N/S rear corner

O/S rear body - note NO fixings so no structure

Previous 'repairs' to O/S rear C-post

O/S rear main structure showing advanced rot

Close up of O/S rear main structure (as above)

Work in progress - note extra braces to
support the body