Welcome to Planet Auto Cars

Sunny Saturday, drive time

Sunning myself on Arnside Promenade

Hi all, ahh first things first time for a quick intro, i'm Hotel MCF (something to do with a plate attached to me), i'm a 23 year old MK2 Golf GTI 16V and I live just outside the Lake District in a little village not too far from Kendal. Enough about me for the time being.

On to my little excursion, as you would expect as it's a sunny day I wanted to get out and explore, next thing I know i'm happily tootling along under Arnside Knott, I saw a fellow German car, a real pretty little thing a Porsche 911, quite a bit younger than me I might add, her owner acknowledged us, I felt quite proud. Anyway i'm rambling, we headed towards the Promenade, we stopped my owners asked if I'd like a picture and here I am and that's my day, tomorrow looks like I may be having PAS fluid leak looked at, woo hoo.

Hotel MCF


30 millionth VW Golf

30 Millionth VW Golf 


30 Millionth VW Golf rolls off the production line

The 30,000,000 VW Golf Rolls Off The Production Line

A Golf TDI BlueMotion, the world’s 30 millionth car rolled off the production line at the Wolfsberg factory plant on 13th June 2013. This pushes the Volkswagen Golf into second position as the best selling car in history.

This milestone VW will be officially displayed for employees on Saturday 15th June at the Wolfberg plant’s open day.

The Mk1 Golf began pruction in early 1974. Since that date 2,000 people on average have purchased a brand new model every single day for the last 39 years.

Also on the same day the award European Car of the Year 2013 was officially accepted by Prof. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management Volkswagen AG, this was determined by an international jury consisting of 60 members.

There are now seven generations of Volkswagen Golf in circulation in the worlds car markets today.


Jaguar XK8

Jaguar XK8 arrival

This classic Jag arrived with our team on Wednesday.

Jaguar XK8 in storage

A Jaguar XK8, we are drying storing it, however it is for sale and we will most likely buy it.

This XK8 is a 4.0 litre V8 1996 model.

The car has been stood for over a year on a road in a London borough under a tree. The car was very dirty and needed a pretty comprehensive valet. We spent 2 days cleaning and polishing the body work, as well as valeting the interior. We hope that it will be driving very soon.

Typically the MOT ended this weekend and has been Sorned while we fix a few minor electrical problems, one being a problem with one of the head lights, likely not much of a problem, frayed or crosssed wire, dodgy relay.

We drove the XK8 all the way from London without an issue, it's a great weekend car we hope to acquire.


Jaguar XJ220 Super Car

The history of the British Jaguar XJ220

The timeline

The 1980's brought a new car enthusiast, made rich from the .com era and entrepeneurial skills, rich people looking for extreme driving excitement, supercars were this need and desire, however the car needed had to be everything. There was such a motor, the unveiling of the Jaguar XJ220 chnaged everything. The fastest and most practical of all rear engined Supercars on the market, with the exception of the Mclaren F1.

Jaguar XJ150 Supercar

The new Jag fitted perfectly into the Super car market it was extremely powerful, very fast, beautiful, and of course very expensive. It is a very high geared model and more the looks of a Lemans car and quite frankly the XJ220 is a very big car not really a daily drive for even the bravest of millionaires. As you would expect a 2 seater, taking real skill to drive.
However this didn't bother anyone, the car was an instant hit, the prototype XJ150 in 1988 was meant to be the only one, and amazingly the first version was way more popular than the production model running a V12 engine, and four-wheel-drive to aid the driver. The 150 was added to the XJ to demonstrate its proposed top speed in mph.
The car received such a positive response that Jaguar decided to hand over the project to Tom Walkinshaw’s Jaguar Sport organisation , to turn the dream of a British Jaguar Supercar into a reality. The ‘Walkinshaw’ XJ220 was unveiled a year later, this version of the car was much smaller than the Prototype before, it ran a twin-turbo V6 engine similar to the ones installed to their racing cars, and it only came with rear drive. The cars customer weren't phased by this, although Jaguar said they would only build 350 cars at Banbury Jaguar, over 1,200 customers issued priority orders for the British Supercar. 
The car is built from a relatively conventional light-alloy hull, it was basically a civilised version of a racing car, however with the luxuries of air-con and trimmed interior. A fatal blow could have been due to Jaguar not being able develop ABS anti-lock braking in time for sales 1992.

Brazilian VW Kombi

It's the VW Kombi camper van from the 1950's and to say yes it’s still being made today in 2012 in Brazil, and yes manufactured through Volkswagen channels.

VW Kombi Brazilian still made today

To be exact the factory produces 251 units per day which sell throughout the South American car markets, If you were to buy this revamped camper In Brazil, they will bill you 48,150 Real, equating to £14,800, bargain.

However the question beckons, Is it the same VW camper van, the classic Volkswagen bus loved by many surfer a like?

Well, it still looks the same, 9 seats, sliding barn door, bench seat upfront, steel wheels, rear air intakes and left hand drive. There is the addition of a matte black grill, and two fundamental changes, which will either make or break a camper van lover, the aircooled engine has been replace with wait for it, a Polo 1.4 water cooled engine, a variant which allows the van to run on either petrol or ethanol, essential in south American markets. This engine is matched with a 4 speed manual gearbox.

The good news is it hasn't changed an awful lot, still sketchy steering, feels a little top heavy when unladen and the gearbox feels well... different.

Mind you the Camper isn't your normal vehicle, especially 60+ years on, its a cult symbol, an object of desire and most importantly a family member, in a word it's magical.

New additions to the Kombi include well nothing, it still has all it left the factory with meaning no air con, no anti lock braking system (ABS) or ICE it has Lights, vents controlled on a stick, and similar to Henry Ford you can have your Kombi in a colour as it's white.

If you choose to run your VW bus on Ethnaol rather than petrol and you'll receive 2bhp for your trouble, which isn't to be knocked in a 1.4 Polo engine. As you will have most likely gathered this particular Volkswagen isn't at your local dealer, however you could import from Brazil or use one of the importers in the uk, likelihood is you will be paying quite a bit over £14800 though. 

Also be quick if you want due to new legislation being introduced the Kombi is destined to finally go out of production on 31st December 2013. The new legislation prevents cars with no airbags or ABS from being manufactured and sold in Brazil.

The only saving grace for the Kombi would be to fit airbags, in a word creating a" brand new new camper”, thats the word from one of VW’s Brazilian top brasses. A true classic, with many great examples world wide.


VW Kombi Standard 1.4 Specifications based on running on E100 ethanol

Price £14,800;
0-62mph 16.1sec; 
Top speed 80mph; 
Economy na; 
CO2 na; 
Kerb weight 1259kg; 
Engine 4 cylinder, 1390cc, Polo Engine, (petrol and ethanol compatible); 
Power 79bhp at 4800rpm; 
Torque 92lb ft at 3500rpm;
Gearbox 4spd manual;


Bertie Beetle the VW bug Story

Introducing Bertie Beetle, a 1973 1303 VW Super Beetle.



Michael Snowdon

Bertie Beetle was purchased last month as my first car, I have been wanting a VW for the last 7 years, due to the fact I am such a fan of VWs. Bertie was found on Volks World and was listed for £400 and was exactly what we were looking for.

The bug was complete and in addition came with many more parts included. We picked him up from Pershore where we met the previous owner who had owned Bertie since 1994. Like myself she got Bertie on her 18th birthday, and she had driven the car till about 2009, however the work had got too much, this included large amounts of body work repair and a range of electrical problems. Bertie's previous owners biggest concern was that Bertie was going to a home where he would be restored. We knew first hand that people were buying Volkswagon bugs like Bertie and the immediately being stripped down for parts and sold on eBay within weeks. Bertie came with many other Beetle parts from her sister beetle, same year and model. The parts included two new doors.

Once we got Bertie back home he refused to start. After fixing some electrical problems and an issue with the fuel line, whilst doing this the fuel tank was removed, cleaned up and repainted as well as the fuel tank mounting brackets being replaced on the rear of the vehicle. We believe the parts had been taken off when the left heater channel was replaced.


Bertie is now running, and runs like a dream. We put this down to the engine being rebuilt 10 years ago, the same story as the Planet Auto MK2 Golf GTI 16V. Bertie has been driven on 3 test drives.

Currently Bertie is undergoing bodywork work.

The project starts

The colour scheme will be staying the same inside.

We want to replace lots of body work panels including new wings, doors, bumpers, hood and what ever weneed.

There are also plans to have him fully resprayed in a dark powder blue. Despite this not being a original colour for a beetle we do think it will look awesome also we expect to add some custom electrical features, all mods will be tastefully done, this way Bertie will maintain his original iconic look, which is really important to me.

As of today that is as far as we have got with Bertie Super Beetle.

more updates soon...

Michael Snowdon, Planet Auto Car Reviewer and owner


Chrysler history

The history of Chrysler

1845 - 1870
England born Thomas Jeffery moves to the U.S. and starts producing Rambler bicycles, however decides to sell his bike company and start Kenosha, WI based Rambler automobiles in 1902. Charles W. Nash is born 1864, Buick President hires W. P. Chrysler. Nash buys Jeffery Co. and produces Nash. John Francis Dodge is born in Niles Minnesota forms Dodge Brothers in 1914 with brother Horace. Jonathan Dixon Maxwell is born, co-founder of Maxwell-Briscoe 1903.
1870 - 1900
John N. Willys born in 1873, rescuer of Overland who forms Willys-Overland in 1909. Hugh Chalmers born 1873 acquires control of Thomas-Detroit I and form Chalmers-Detroit, AKA Chalmers 1908. Walter Percy Chrysler born April 2nd 1875 in Wamego, Kansas becoming only major railroad industrialist to succeed in the auto industry, ultimately introducing advanced Chrysler automobile and corporation becoming the second largest car producer behind GM while under his leadership.
Carl Breer born California, LA in 1883, ultimately one of the three engineers who drove Chrysler's early success.
Three Musketeers Fred M. Zeder, Owen M. Skelton and Carl Breer 1886 - ZSB -- Walter Chrysler names trio of genius engineers, brought from Willys-Overland from Studebaker Motors.
1895 Morris & Salom produce four battery operated production model cars. Pope Manufacturing Co., Hartford, CT build an electric car. Riker Electric Motor Co. Brooklyn, New York formed in 1896.
1897Columbia Electric production begins by Pope Manufacturing Co 1897. These vehicles are available throughout the US, England and France. Dodge brothers go to work for Canada based company in Windsor, Ontario in 1898, and go onto create Evans & Dodge bicycle.
1899 The Pope Maunfacturing auto division becomes the Columbia Automobile Co. Riker Electric Motor Co. is moved to Electric Vehicle Co for production.
1900 - 1930
First steam powered engine produced, built by Carl Breer in 1900. 
Dodge brother's and E. C. Stearns join National Cycle & Automobile Company in 1900
The industry first front mounted engine the Columbia gasoline goes into production, a left hand drive auto. New Dodge parts factory opens on Beaubien Street 1901, 1903 brings the Dodge brothers cancelling their Olds Motor Works contracts and adding plant machinery to manufacture engines for 10% interest in the Ford Motor company from Henry.
Recession hits in 1907 subsequently Pope empire crumbled, and the Overland Motor Company, lead by John North Willys, chooses to buy the Toledo plant, this now forms the centre of todays Jeep factory.
The XLVI is introduced by Columbia, it utilised a four cylinder petrol to drive a separate electric generator, it featured no gearbox or clutch, however this design did not make it as a car design. Sometime after certain trains started to use the concept mainly General Motors.
Thomas-Detroit is renamed Chalmers-Detroit in 1908. The same year Walter P Chryslers visits Chicago Motor show and buys a Locomobile.
1910 The United States Motor Company is now fully formed, amalgamating 130 firms including Maxwell-Briscoe, Brush, Dayton, Courier, and Columbia. Of these firms, only Brush and Maxwell-Briscoe were profitable. A new plant is opened by the Dodge brothers in Hamtramck. In 1913, the Standard Motor Company joins Maxwell, with a number of plants being sold off.
Dodge Brothers Inc. is formed and the company begins development of new cars. The First Dodge rolls off the production line in 1914. Just in time for the onset of World War I, where the brothers' cars are used in combat as the first ever petrol powered automobile.
1916 Walter P. Chrysler takes over presidency of Buick. Charles W. Nash leaves to purchase and form Nash Motors. Chrysler is invited to join with Nash but decides to stay with Buick.
1917 Dodge Brothers adopts Budd-built all-steel body for touring cars. With Chalmers sales flagging and Maxwell production on the up, a move is made for Maxwell cars to be built in the Chalmers plant, with Chalmers cars being sold through Maxwell dealers. The first Dodge Brothers commercial vehicle built in October and is released as the 1918 model.
1919 Walter P. Chrysler resigns as president of the Buick Motor. Henry Ford buys up the shares of smaller stockholders at this time, including those of John and Horace Dodge in return for $ 9,000,000.
1920 Both John and Horace Elgin Dodge die. To cover the debts, the New Jersey plant is put up for auction. It, and the prototype Chrysler (considered by the Chrysler group later as the model A), are auctioned off to William C. Durant. He uses the plant for production of his Star car whilst using the Chrysler prototype as a basis for his Flint line.

TR4 restoration tale

The TR4 Story

This is one of the first cars which arrived in the new garage and has been seen in the background of other articles which have been posted on Planet Auto.

Triumph TR4 being restored

This Triumph TR4 came from Denver, Colorado where it lived since new. In 2010 it was imported to England from America. When the car was imported, there was not only one TR4, but another in the container. 


Now an opportunity like this this doesn't come around very often, and we bought both cars a Green TR4 and TR4A.

We started restoring the TR4. Once we got the vehicle running we started on the large amount of work to be done. A small amount of welding was done on the skirts of the car, the body was taken off the chassis and was sand blasted and repainted. The engine was also rebuilt and the chassis was repainted. 

The car is now coming together again.


Lots of new parts arrived daily including; 5 new Chrome wire wheels, carpet set and Chrome bumpers. The dash board in this car is custom made by out team. It's now time for the final bits including having the TR4s electrics being refitted.

Hopefully by the end of the year the car should be complete and ready to drive. This will be a car that we will take to shows, this is why we have done so much work on this car. the restoration to date has taken three years and is onward going.

There is also the TR4A which we hope to do in the future. First we are going to complete the VW Beetle and some other vehicles in the lockup.

Watch out for updates on the TR4 project in the future.

TVR back in the UK?

Rights to make TVR cars and components, to use existing designs and manufacture components for existing cars, have been recently sold back to British interests located near London, according to their former owner, the Russian banker Nikolai Smolensky, now living in Vienna.

Chevrolet history

Chevrolet history

Real American muscle cars, around in force for many decades, memory memorable models, all sporting pure power.
General Motors owned Chevrolet a constitutional US car manufacturer. The company was initially started by W.C. Durant in the city of Detroit, Michigan. The first automobiles manufactured were released by a racing driver, Louis Chevrolet. He came up with a design for $2150, it featured a 4.9 litre six cylinder engine. The first car to make a real impact was the Baby Grand, it sold for $875.
All Electrics on Chevrolets were optional until 1917, sales boosted with production techniques and innovations adding certain style this increased sales from 13,600 to 70,701.
1917 brought the acquisition of Chevrolet by GM. Up until 1920 Dodge & Ford were the only marque considered to be above Chevy.
There was the odd motor being designed, however the real auto came in 1925 The Superior, it featued disc wheels and a "Duco cellulose paint finish and sold for a paltry $650. This gave the company the edge and allowed the US manufacturer to outsell Ford for the first time, even with the Model T switching to the to A had no effect.
1929 brought "Cast Iron Wonder" priced at $595 and selling over a million cars in its initial year. This was the performance and success Chevy wanted.
1931 Ford were outsold for 3 years, the 1930's the company became aware the need to improvise, this time brought many new styles and designs V-grilles, hydraulic brake systems, big engines, column shifts, with the intro of convertibles, even a station wagon was introduced in 1939 the Lakewood. With the release of a soft top in 1940 an optional power hood was released with a low price. During this time famed Racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio was victorious in Argentinian driving one of the new coupes.
All designs changed extensively between the 1940's and 50's they restyled a sedan model and sold it for $1460, however the main impact came 1950 when they started to offer a 2 speed auto transmission.
The real change for Chevrolet in 1953 with the releases of the Corvette sports model it came with a V-6 engine and fibreglass body, the car was an inspiration, however it needed more. An 8-cylinder engine was added with the option of air suspension.
1960 brought the releases of the Corvair, this auto featured a turbo charged engine, then in 1965 the introduction of the Stingray changed sports cars for ever. Modern styling really big engines and mad colours including yellow and orange.
Over the years the Chevrolet Company has been behind many great cars from SUV's, pickups, coupes, sedans and of course Sports cars. The intro of new models, brought new styles and toys including ABS, headlamps, engine changes meaning new technologies making them faster, more reliable and economical. Newer autos have included the Corvette Z, Camaro and luxury models such as the Chevelle, Impala and Caprice.