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 back with you.

I know the main reason rat rods are in vogue at the moment – it’s not a statement; it’s that no one can afford filler or fibreglass any more. Perhaps we could have updates on the ever-changing legal side of our hobby? It sure ain’t

the same as 1979 out there. I loved the update on Orange a-Peel (I’d have kept the straight six, but that’s an old Teddy Boy thing). Keep up the good work.
Rocker, via email

Thanks, Rocker, it’s good to have you back! We’ve asked Kev Rooney to write just such a column about the changing legislation – see page 17. And as for Small Talk, the model building and showing side of things is still thriving – maybe you should go on a loft safari, find ’em all and join in? DS, SM

Dear SM,

Firstly, congratulations and welcome back. I was a reader of Street Machine in the old days from issue one (well that’s not strictly true; I missed the first issue.  I haven’t made that mistake this time!). I stayed with the magazine until it became American Car World but lost interest after that.
The new version of Street Machine looks promising. Magazine publishing isn’t an easy game these days, I know, I worked for a publisher for 20 years as a designer until it buckled under pressure and went on-line laying off most of it’s staff, so I wish you every success.

I’m glad you have bought back some of the old features, especially Motorvation, Steve Kirk’s artwork was a big influence on me as a young student. In my own (very) small way I have kept the spirit of Motorvation going with some of my car mates who have asked me to visualise their cars over the years. Some made it on to the road; other vanished without a trace. I’ve attached a couple of my most recent artworks (I can’t imagine where the idea for the Zephyr came from!). I hope you go from strength to strength, looking forward to issue two.
Brian Anker

Top work there, Brian, superb! Motorvation meets rod run T-shirt. That Sprite gasser looks rather familiar, too…? DS, SM

Dear SM,

Firstly it’s great to see the magazine back on the shelves again. I was very interested to read up on the Cruise for Charity item on page 102.
As you can see, I still have the tee shirt (well, part of it) on display in my garage. It has mysteriously shrunk over the last 30 years as it used to be quite baggy but now I can’t get it over my head! I also have a copy of the video that was made for the trip but this has now had to be transferred onto DVD as it was also getting on a bit.

I wanted to do the whole trip but one of my exams at college fell right in the middle of the week so I could only pop up to Manchester and Nottingham to cheer you on. I was hoping for a return trip the following year but unfortunately it was not to be. The article has brought back fond memories so I think I’ll watch the film again this weekend. Keep up the good work and I await the next issue!
Kevv Wright

There have been quite a few who remember the old Cruise For Charity – in fact, that video can be found on YouTube (albeit in good old grainy VHS rather than HD) if you search for the poster, ‘tarmacghost’. DS, SM

Dear SM,

After reading about Jonas Scoones’ insurance woes (SM issue #2), I felt it would be pertinent for me to write about my own experience in the area. I’m currently on a gap year between sixth form and university and work as a shelf-stacker in a supermarket/purgatory. I bought and insured my first car, a 1962 Hillman Super Minx of 1592cc, in October, about a week before I turned 19.

Most of the companies that were willing to offer me insurance were pretty obscure ones that charged something ludicrous, but I managed to get insured for a year with Ageas through Flux Direct for a relatively reasonable £1,150. That’s fully comprehensive, although I can’t use the car for commuting and am restricted to 2,000 miles.

I think the policy is called the Cult Car and Beetle Policy. Quite how they define a cult car I don’t know, but it might be worth looking into. The end result is that I’m bombing around in a cool classic insured for considerably less than the modern granny-wagons that some of my friends drive, so it gets my approval.
Zack Stiling

Excellent stuff, Zack, it’s folk such as yourself and Jake with the black Anglia in this issue that let us know the future of rods and customs is in good hands. DS, SM