Letters

Letters Issue 19

Letters Issue 19
Dear SM, Regarding the Letters page, November edition, I have to agree with Dave’s letter on the postage stamp size photos – I hate them! I can’t be bothered to even look at them; I just turn the page. It looks a complete mess too, with images thrown on top each other like a cheap montage. If a photo is worth using, print it big enough for us to actually appreciate it. A tiny photo is just frustrating. The ‘Race the Waves’ spread worked well because the images had interesting backgrounds that made the cars stand out. I don’t look at the ‘Vintage style’ Hot Gossip pages for similar reasons; tiny bits of photos and the horrible ‘shouty’ slanted font.  Other than that, it’s a pretty good mag. Regards Ian Fleet, via email Oh ...

Letters Issue 18

Letters Issue 18
Dear SM, Whilst devouring the November issue, I read the letter from Dave about show report pages. I don’t mind the “busy-ness,” as you put it, but what’s missing are the captions. The pics used to be numbered, with a list of captions usually describing engine type, cubic inches, and something about each of the cars shown. A little bit more work for the reporters, but add the captions back and you’ll score the win light for sure. Chris Jenkins, via email Fair comment, Chris, I’m usually pretty lax with the captions in order to get more pics in! Does anyone agree with Chris? DS, SM Dear SM, I loved the Welcome editorial in Issue 17. The time you speak of is also the end of the Capri, no coincidence surely. It also marks the ...

Letters Issue 17

Letters Issue 17
Dear SM, I have bought Street Machine for the last 27 years, and always enjoyed it more than Custom Car and Classic American. I never missed a copy of any of them. The only problem I have is the pointless amount of small photos that are being crammed onto pages; a total waste of time. I think the magazine was at its best when it was called American Car World a few years ago, with larger, more detailed, artistic photos of the cars instead of 26 photos the size of a postage stamp. I hope we get a return to a better magazine soon. Dave, via email That’s a shame; I always liked the ‘busy-ness’ of the show report pages. Does anyone else feel the same way as Dave? Or the opposite?! Let ...

Letters Issue 16

Letters Issue 16
Dear SM, In your Random Pick piece (July issue, page 89), you mentioned Jonathan Sutherland’s Model Y. He still has it – he’s owned it since 1992; it has been blue, red, and is now green, and was at the NSRA Supernationals this year. Peter Sutherland, via email Thanks, Peter, I thought it was the same car – the old “This Y Up” on the back should have given it away! – DS, SM

Letters Issue 15

Letters Issue 15
Dear SM, The plaque (Letters, July issue) came with the May ’81 issue. I still have a copy with it still stuck on the front, and one with it removed! I used to love all those freebies; often every month or every other month at one time. Shame they are no more, but we should all thank the Lord that the magazine has been reborn, amen…Mark Blows, CDSRC historian   Dear SM, Did anyone answer Graham Beckwith’s question in the letters page of the April issue? Looks very much like the picture was taken at one of the Doncaster Shows, from inside the racecourse’s Exhibition Centre in the late Eighties or early Nineties. Pictured are what I think are the Best In Britain contenders. Jerry Cookson, via email Dear SM,  Just flicking through the August issue of ...

Letters Issue 14

Letters Issue 14
Dear SM, With reference to the Volvo Amazon sled in the Solent Renegades show report (June ’18 issue), you were unsure if it was a new build or not. Well, I can confirm that it has been a sled for 25 years plus; I have included some photos. The first unfinished pic in beige and grey is John Phillips’ photo taken at the 1993 NASC Nationals. The pic in yellow is a Custom Car pic from the 1997 Nats. The pics in green and white are stills from a video taken by me in 2002, in Chelmsford. CDSRC member Graham Spencer owned it at the time. Note the asymmetrical boot closing line, which makes it unique and easy to identify. I think this may have been the last time I saw it. Mark ...

Letters Issue 13

Letters Issue 13
Dear SM, Re: the six-wheel Model T cement mixer on p89 of the June issue.This is the legendary ‘C-men-T’ build by the equally legendary UK rodder, Ray Christopher, of Heli-Rod and v8 milk float fame. It featured on the cover of the September ’79 issue of Hot Car magazine and starred at many of the shows around that time. There’s a thread on the Rods’n’Sods website regarding C-men-T under the Whatever Happened To… heading. I hope this can help the new owner fill in some of the history gaps, and if he could find a copy of the Sept 79 Hot Car that it was featured in, he’d probably get a lot more helpful info – I have a feeling that I have a copy of the mag in my own stash, ...

Letters Issue 12

Letters Issue 12
Dear SM, I have a couple of question to ask. I have good Tudor body, which I want to make into a rat rod style but well-made hot rod. First, with these new laws coming in on original parts I’m concerned should I even start? I’m not an engineer so will have to pay someone to build it. What is your view on this? How are other guys going to get their odd parts cars through an MoT? The only way I see is to get a very professional rod building company to build it and to get it passed as roadworthy, but this could cost a fortune. What is the future for our hobby? Dave Bell, via email Hi David, As far as these new laws/regulations go, it’s difficult to say because it seems ...

Letters Issue 11

Letters Issue 11
Dear SM, With reference to the “Life, Grease and Hubcaps” freebie booklet mentioned in the March issue, it came stapled to the outside of the October 1990 issue. Someone also mentioned the bottle opener. This came with the May ’91 issue, and I have had one on my keys since the day it came out in the shop – best useable free gift ever! I do also, of course, still have an unused one on a cosseted mag in the loft! I always have loads of custom magazines on eBay – my name on there is hotrodmags. Cheers as always. Mark Blows, via email Magnificent work, Mark! Please turn to page 84 for more about that October 1990 issue. DS, SM Contributor Steve ‘Autoholic’ Edwards has upped the ante for old SM memorabilia with this ...

Letters Issue 10

Letters Issue 10
Dear SM, I’ve sent you a photo I can’t claim to have taken, but found in one of the hundreds of shoe boxes in the spare room whilst engaging in some futile tidying exercise or other. You know how it starts. Do you know where and when it was taken? I’d be interested to know, because I must have been there. Another day filled in. Was it Docklands? It might be nice to continue the accolade for feature cars. Latest issue just as fab as the rest. Graham Beckwith, a subscriber in Yorkshire, via email Does anyone recognise the venue? And could anyone take a stab at the year? Let us know! – DS, SM Dear SM, Once, long, long ago, when I was a teenager dreaming of getting out there and owning a car, ...

Letters Issue 9

Letters Issue  9
Dear SM, First of all, it’s great to see Street Machine back. I have been an avid reader since the beginning, and glad to see Small Talk back in, too. I have had many of my scale hot rods featured over the years. I really enjoyed Paul Dodd’s feature on the Krispy Kreme meet, which I, along with my better half, attend on a regular basis. David Williams’ Buick is nearly always parked in the same spot, unless someone parks their Fiat 500 there. We have made many friends at the meet, and we were blessed to have some attend our wedding back in mid-November. The event was perfect, a Tudor/Victorian themed Handfasting, with glorious weather, fabulous friends and great cars. Thanks to David Williams (’54 Buick), Paul Wilson (’66 Olds), Robert van Boesschoten ...

Letters Issue 8

Letters Issue 8
Dear SM, Reading your What’s Old piece in December’s Street Machine reminds me of the Volvo estate car my son Marc built for drifting. He had to chop so much metal out of it to make it lighter – over-engineered comes to mind – then fitted a BMW V8 engine. It went like stink with the original axle in it, so that must be strong. These axles are used for drag racing sometimes – they’re built like a brick sh**house. My wife had one years ago; an automatic that went on and on for years. Thanks for a great mag, and we love your articles – your way with words just makes me laugh. Keep up the good work. Brian Huxley, via email   Dear SM, In the late Seventies, I stopped playing at rallying, and ...

Letters Issue 7

Dear SM, Congratulations on the re-launch of SM. I dropped into a local Nisa a couple of weeks ago for some award winning Clarkes of Ware sausages (they are a must) and, as you do, I had a quick run through their huge magazine selection – as big as any WH Smiths, and all in a country village store in Clavering, Herts – and wow, SM #5 jumped out at me. Anyway, terrific content and lots of it; thus, very happy. Oh, please, lots more build projects (per issue!). Do you have binders available and if so would you please give me the link? Will you be doing a re-run of Issue #1 as I see it’s the only back issue? Gordon McGeachy, via email Thanks, Gordon, glad to have you back! We were supposed ...

Letters Issue 6

Dear SM, I always thought very highly of Street Machine, from the first issue I bought at approximately 11 years old, with the cars blowing my mind; saving pocket money and getting a paper round to buy it (and Custard Tart) every month. Seeing it dwindle away into American Car World was quite disturbing, I love American motors, but I felt something was missing When American Car Mag suddenly came to a close, I thought f*ck! What can I read on the throne now? Then, when you said you were going to bring back Street Machine, I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t think of a better editor to revive a lost and missed rag like Street Machine. Since ordering #1 on eBay and subscribing for issue #2 and beyond, I’ve never looked ...

Letters Issue 5

Letters Issue 5
Dear SM, Reminiscing about a car I used to own, I was wondering if any other readers have developed particularly strong bonds with some of their cars over the years? I used to have a two-door MkIII Cortina, in Dagenham’s finest Argent Silver. I really loved the car, despite it being a bit crusty and it was a project that dragged on forever. I sometimes felt that the ‘Tina and I had some sort of empathy for each other’s plight. It dragged on mainly because it seemed to be one cock-up after another. On one occasion, while I was building a stroker Rover V8 for it, rather typically I found that the piston skirts were galling the crank. It was the final straw. I didn’t go in to the garage for ...

Letters Issue 4

Letters Issue 4
Dear SM, Wasn’t the Buster Lang hot rod show pretty good? My wife and I had a great day out, and not only were we lucky enough to meet and chat to Welderup’s Steve Darnell and Justin Kramer, we bumped into you, too! My wife Anna wondered what was going on when I shouted “Oi… Dave, alright!”  It was good to meet you! Steve and Justin were great too, very down to earth. I built a model hot rod and presented it to Steve, he seemed quite chuffed! Anyway, must go before someone catches me (I’m currently at work) and I have to say, great mag. Good to see it back, even better with you at the helm… Andy ‘stonechip’ Grady It was good to meet you both too, Andy, and that’s a ...

Letters Issue 3

Letters Issue 3
Dear SM, Hello and WELCOME BACK, as the Channel islander said to the first British soldier he saw in 1945. I thought I’d slipped back in time, Street Machine with Henry Hirise on the front cover – had our local newsagent found some back copies? No, it’s back and looking good. All we need to do now is invent a time machine, go back to 1979 and buy all those £50 MkI Ford Escorts that were for sale on every street corner. My first MkIII Zephyr 6 only cost £40 around that time – happy days. I’ve still got all my Street Machine mags, including the number one I bought in 1979. I’ve still got all my built/partly built AMT, Monogram, Revell etc kits in the attic (somewhere) so it was nice to see you’ve brought Small Talk ...

Letters Issue 2

Letters Issue 2
Dear SM,I’ve always been heavily interested in vehicles of all sorts. Leaving school, I went straight to college to study motor vehicle repair for two years, achieving my level 1 and 2, then went and studied vehicle bodywork for a year at a different college, then went back to the first college to do two years of a level 3 motorsport course. Since leaving college I’ve got myself my first proper job working at Halfords fitting bulbs and such. For myself my first car I got myself a 1982 MkI Ford Fiesta. As you can see it has and still is having work done to it. It has the smallest engine they offered for it, 957cc. The only mods done to it beside the Escort bumpers on the front is lowering, ...

Letters Issue 1

Dear Street Machine, How in the name of steaming Jeebus can you have a letters page in issue one? How does that work, then? Ivor Titchypecker, via UnicornMail That’s a damn fine question, Ivor, but this is the Street Machine letters page, hardly a suitable forum for sodding metaphysical conundrums. Or is it conundra? Answer that one, clever dick. DS, SM Dear Street Machine, Rod runs and car shows these days aren’t as good as they used to be. Eeeeh, I remember 20 years ago when we used to go ape on the cruise, party until the wee small hours and crawl out of our tents in the morning ready to get polishing. Nowadays nobody ever suggests a four-storey Moonie Mountain or a quick game of Catch The Axe after 17 pints; it’s political correctness ...