Saturday, August 15, 2020

Jaguar XK8

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

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.


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Navman Mio Traffic review

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

Car Gadget reviews

Car GPS :- Navman Mio Spirit 500 Traffic

In the sptlight today is Navman's mid level Car GPS unit the Navman Mio Spirit 500 Traffic, ok the Names a bit of a mouthful, however the unit is pretty awesome.

A brief overview

I blogged about receiving theMIO Spirit earlier in the week, its looks its feel etc, well after actually testing this GPS on a journey, I thought it deserved it's on review, and yes it's that good.

What a great unit, as soon as I got it out of the box and attached it to the windscreen it already looked the part. The box came with various adapters Cigar lighter adaptor USB etc, as well as a suction cup to mount it upon the windscreen.

Firstly I attached the GPS to the windscreen, easily and it felt strong. I then plugged the usb (universal serial bus) into the unit and it burst into life. The first thing I was faced with was a menu of coloured boxes, Search, My Places meaning favourites, explore, Trafic, Map, Capture, Travel book and another sub menu arrow. I also could see how much battery power the unit had, if it was connected to a satellite and the date and time. Basically, everything you need in a GPS unit.

I clicked find and set my location, I could do this using Postcode, Street, City, Keyword etc I opted for postcode, the Mio Traffic found my address and gave me a list of parameters to set, Tolls, Motorways etc. After the initial setup I hit go and a map appeared with a waypoint and a chequered flag, I zoomed in and then set off - almost immediatley she spoke, she being the Navman Mio, telling me to turn right and then proceed. The voice was very clear and precise, however like all GPS units it did confuse bear a direction and turn a direction.

After various road driving, I ended up heading for the M6, and I could see the GPS showing me which way i was heading realtime, as well as updates of what was coming up and which lane to be in. After 5 or so mins, the car GPS pinged and a Traffic Alert popped up telling me that 5 or so miles ahead traffic was averaging around 30 mph. Now this amazed me as I hadn't set the traffic alerts, this gave me the time to prepare either another route or to be aware there was congestion and I would be delayed.

After getting home I became inquisitive and found that I could have had experienced a simulated drive down my route, meaning I could see where the Navman S500 was going to take me without even starting the car, now thats cool and I didn't have that on my previous Sat Nav. Another cool thing about the car GPS unit was that it could be used as a handheld GPS device, if its internal battery was charged.

The Verdict

Does exactly what you want and need from this type of Global Positioning Satellite car device, and does it well. It's great far more advanced than my previous Car GPS units, easy to use, looks good, lots of options such as Traffic updates, chosen type of route but not too many that it bewilders you.

My only problem now is, I'm now wondering whether or not to upgrade to the version with a TV, hmmm well I love my gadgets.


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Bertie Beetle the VW bug Story

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

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


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2013 Range Rover review by WHATCAR?

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

New 2013 Range rover sport review video

The Range Rover Sport 2013 is a more sleeker and efficient vehicle tha the current version, and surprisingly considerably more affordable than the standard Range Rover even with the engine and specs available.

  • Range Rover Sport reviewed on video
  • Retails for £59,995
  • Three trims; V6 diesel and V8 petrol engines from 288bhp, the 3.0 SDV6, 255bhp, the TDV6 and a supercar powered engine 5.0 V8, which comes in at 503bhp, also expect a Hybrid version early next year.


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Golf R latest spy shots

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Image courtesy of Auto Car Golf R spy shots


Volkswagen is putting its foot down on dev with its 286bhp R version of the latest Golf the Mk7, the most horses ever put in a production VW Golf since its launch in 1974. The Golf R has been clocked at the Nürburgring, and also like a scene out of 'Forza 4', the Swiss Alps.

The Golf R is expected to be the last of the so-far confirmed new Golf models to appear in the showroom. An on-sale date of early 2014 has been mooted after a launch at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The Golf R will be the cream followed by the GTI. The R packs a 2.0-litre TSI engine producing a healthy 286bhp with 280lb ft of torque, a 6 speed auto box with dual clutch, a new version of awd Haldex 5 carrying it from 0-62mph in just 5.0sec and limited top speed of 155mph, not bad considering it weighs only 1200kg.

It will be tuned, and still capable of around 40 mpg.

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TVR back in the UK?

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

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.

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Read more: TVR back in the UK?

Jaguar XJ220 Super Car

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

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.
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