Taking place at Snetterton Circuit, Norfolk on Sunday 17th November, the Charity Motor Show – raising money for local charities, the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Big C and East Anglia Children’s Hospices, as well as national charity The British Heart Foundation – was a fantastic day out for visitors of all ages.
For the second year running, the event – sponsored by Adrian Flux – attracted a bumper haul of over 100 willing drivers and equally willing, and impressive, cars. The variety of cars ranged from rally-spec Ford Fiestas and Renault Clios, right up to Ferraris and Aston Martins via enormous DAF and Scania trucks. With prices ranging from £15 – £70, for 3 laps around the Snetterton Circuit with an accomplished driver, there really was something for all budgets and tastes.
In the lead-up to the event, in conjunction with the guys at STR Charity Sporting Events, Adrian Flux ran a competition for one of our Facebook followers to win a voucher, entitling them to a ‘Top Class Car Passenger Ride’. The lucky winner of the competition was Claire, and she was kind enough to share a few pictures of her day with us.
Using her competition prize, and adding a bit more to the charity pot, Claire had arranged for her eldest son to be a passenger in the awesome Lotus Elise convertible (above) and for her husband to get a spin in the phenomenal Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale (below left).
Not wanting to be outdone, Claire’s youngest hopped into one of the biggest and most unique vehicles at the track, this fantastic US truck (below).
The day was clearly a hit with Claire’s family, thanking both Adrian Flux and STR Charity Sporting Events for a ‘fab day’.
The total raised for the charities is currently being calculated and will shortly be announced over on www.charityse.co.uk but, regardless of the huge sum raised for such worthy causes, all of the attendees – ourselves included – had a fantastic day and many – ourselves included – are sure to be back next year. Thanks, STR Charity Sporting Events!
To celebrate next year’s 50th anniversary of the original Meyers Manx dune buggy, owners clubs across the UK are hoping to set a record for the most beach buggies gathered together in one place – disappointingly, not on a beach, but hey, you can’t have everything.
The record bid is being co-ordinated by beachbuggy.info in conjunction with owners clubs, and hopes to attract as many buggies as possible to the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire next May.
And as confirmed lovers of not only beach buggies, but kit cars in general, we’re right behind them.
It was back in 1964 that Bruce Meyer’s little project – to build a buggy based on a VW Beetle – was realised in his garage near Newport Beach, California.
An engineer, artist, boat builder and surfer, Meyer used a shortened Beetle floor pan to create the buggy that dominated dune racing before a street version was produced.
Meyer failed in his bid to patent the buggy, and a huge number of copies were made by other companies before the original maker ceased trading in 1971 – after Meyer had already left.
In 2000, Meyer produced a new run of 100 limited edition Classic Manx buggies, before introducing a range of new models still produced in California today.
Now, led by beachbuggy.info, owners are being called to action as a fitting way to celebrate the buggy’s 50th birthday.
The National Kit Car Show takes place at Stoneleigh on the bank holiday weekend from May 3 to 5 next spring, with the buggy line-up planned for 2pm on Sunday, May 4.
Here at Flux, we’ve been providing specialist insurance for buggies and kit cars for 40 years, with a range of features tailored to meet the needs of these niche motors, including:
Goods in transit cover
Limited mileage discounts
Track day/rally cover
Owner’s club discounts
So if you have a buggy, no matter how old or new, pristine or well-used, why not join the fun?
Fans of the mark 2 Golf GTi are in for a treat at Snetterton next weekend when more than 20 of the modern classics do battle in the final round of the Touch Of Mojo Mk2 Golf GTi Championship.
Adrian Flux-sponsored driver Rusty Laidler, who picked up his first points in his first race at Brand Hatch in August, misses the race but is gearing up for a proper crack at the championship in 2014 after a couple of warm up events.
Rusty, from Carlisle, said his first shot at racing his 8v Golf at Brands was “a bit of a roller coaster ride”.
“We qualified in soaking wet conditions and then raced in glorious sunshine the next day,” he added.
“On the whole it was a successful weekend, finishing in 20th out of 25 in the first race but I suffered mechanical problems in race two after three laps. Still, I made it and got some points on the board.”
The car has undergone much work since that first outing at Brands Hatch, with a new, rebuilt engine, stripped and rebuilt front suspension and sorted geometry.
“The car’s a totally different animal now – it goes when I ask it, turns when I ask it and it actually bites back!” said Rusty.
The rebuilt motor had its first outing at a sprint event at Kirkbride recently, and gave a quartet of 400bhp Subarus a run for their money.
“It was a great event and, as well as the Subarus I was up against rally-prepped Minis and Chevettes and all kinds of other vehicles.
“I finished 5th out of 20-plus cars, behind only the Subarus, and only by 0.5 to 0.2 seconds, so it was a massive success for myself and the car.”
- Run by the MSVR, the Touch Of Mojo Mk2 Golf GTi Championship has grown to be one of the most popular tin top series in the UK, producing thrilling racing which looks set to continue on October 26 and 27. The championship’s concluding round is joined on the bill by the F3 Cup, Lotus on Track Elise Trophy, Lotus Cup UK, Clubman’s Cup, SR3 Challenge, Atom Cup and the VAG Trophy.
Sarah Bennett-Baggs took her Adrian Flux-sponsored pink Porsche 911 to a damp Spa Francorhamps last week for the British Sports GT and Saloons endurance race being run as part of the Classic Spa 6hr Endurance weekend.
Adrian Flux Insurance Services takes a look at some common car problems, and ways to approach them.
The engine won’t start
A first test, advised by Driving-test-success.com, is to simply turn on the headlights – if they don’t work it means the battery is flat, and a jump start might do the trick. Menshealth.co.uk offers a quick, illustrated guide on how to do this.
If the lights do turn on, this indicates that the problem is more serious than a flat battery and the car requires repairing, in which case you’ll need to call your breakdown service.
It’s often tempting to continue travelling home, or to the nearest garage, when your tyre is slightly flat. But driving on a flat tyre will most likely damage the wheel. So it’s better to stop immediately and change it, or, if you can’t change the wheel or don’t have a spare one, call your breakdown service.
The British Tyre Manufacturer Association (BTMA UK) offers a downloadable PDF document with everything you need to know about tyres, from noticing wear and tear to how to replace them. For something simpler, WikiHow offers a quick ‘how to change a tyre’ guide.
Running out of fuel
Many of us rely too heavily on our fuel gauges, which can be inaccurate. You don’t want to run out on a lonely rural road in bad weather conditions, or worse still on a motorway. To be safe, greenflag.com recommends keeping your tank above a quarter full at all times, that way you’re never running on empty.
Diesel in petrol, petrol in diesel
Filling up your car with the wrong type of fuel instantly causes problems and needs to be dealt with immediately. According to whatgas.com, older petrol cars may still run with a tiny bit of diesel if topped up with petrol. However, modern cars tend not to, and the safest solution is to call a breakdown service. Fuel Fix specialises in mismatched fuel. Whatgas.com notes that filling a diesel car with petrol is far more common than visa versa, and unfortunately, much worse. Whatever you do, don’t turn the ignition. This will send the incorrect fuel straight to the engine, resulting in a more expensive repair job. Recognising how common and costly a problem this is, Adrian Flux Insurance Services offers Misfuelling Insurance cover.
Growing numbers of motorists are turning to in-car cameras to help slam the brakes on fraudsters responsible for adding millions of pounds to insurance premiums.
Figures from the Insurance Fraud Bureau show that so-called ‘crash for cash’ scams are rising, costing the UK insurance industry £392m a year, with 1-in-7 personal injury claims thought to be linked to a staged accident.
But motorists are fighting back thanks partly to the growing number and affordability of dash or screen-mounted cameras able to record incidents in high-quality HD.
Insurers and prosecutors can use video evidence to not only help identify who was at fault in an accident, but also help bring those guilty of fraud to justice.
The falling cost of cameras, increasing choice and publicity surrounding fraudulent claims has resulted in a perfect storm for the industry.
Ian Bellamy, of online retailer carcamerashop.co.uk, said lower prices, greater awareness and the potential for discounted insurance premiums had seen sales increase.
“Crash for cash and similar scams are now much better known thanks to features on the BBC and a documentary on C4 dedicated to the phenomena,” he added.
“There’s also been an increase in footage from in-car cameras on websites like YouTube from Russia and parts of Asia, where the cameras have been in more mainstream use for much longer.
“And, as with all tech products, prices have reduced over time in much same way they did with sat nav systems, making them more affordable to a wider market.”
Retail prices range from £85 for a basic yet effective model to £380 for the top of the range BlackVue with cameras facing front and rear.
But with big discounts off insurance premiums available for those who have a fitted, working camera, the up-front cost can pale compared to the savings, and peace of mind, on offer.
Adrian Flux offers up to 15 per cent off for motorists who fit a camera, with general Gerry Bucke explaining: “Because these cameras cut down on the likelihood of fraudulent claims being successful, some insurers are willing to offer substantial discounts to premiums which will more than make up for the cost of the camera very quickly.
“Young drivers with an average premium pushing £2000 can save up to £300 in just one year – effectively paying for the camera in one hit.
“We also find that, although the cameras don’t act as a ‘black box’ to monitor driver behaviour, they do help to encourage safer driving.”
Saving money on your insurance and helping to cut fraudulent claims are just two of many reasons why this fledgling industry is growing.
Will in-car cameras soon be as common as sat nav or in-car phone systems? They just might.
What is ‘crash for cash’?
Crash for cash scams often involve induced accidents, where innocent drivers are induced to become the ‘at fault’ party by crashing into fraudsters using a variety of methods.
Fake injury claims are then submitted and the innocent motorist’s insurers have to pay up, resulting in a claim against the motorist’s record and potential loss of no claims bonus.
Scammers use a variety of methods to induce an accident, including:
Disconnecting their rear brake lights then braking suddenly in the hope that the following driver will have little time to react and hit them from behind
Flashing a driver to allow them to enter the traffic and then driving into them, claiming they pulled out (known as ‘flash for cash’)
Using placed ‘witnesses’ at the scenes of accidents to give misleading information to police to make it look like the accident was your fault
Using multiple vehicles to create a crash situation and confuse the picture for police and insurance companies
Current list of cameras discounted by Adrian Flux
Auto Eye UK
MI Witness HD Camera
Black Vue – 380 & 400 G.HD
Exeros HD Car Cameras -l HD 1080P model with in-built speed camera detection
Roadhawk Forward Facing DC1
Novus System – View I Ruby and Silver Systems
TTW Black Vue Cameras
Next Base InCarCam – Lite / Deluxe / Professional Models
Meet Adrian, the minion duck. Confused yet?
We are always keen to help local charities, and Break are a very deserving one, located near Flux HQ in Norfolk. Their vision is to ensure children, young people and families reach their full potential and shape their own futures in a safe and creative environment. Have a look at the great work that they do here (and if you’re feeling kind, a donation wouldn’t go amiss either).
So, where does a giant duck made to look like a minion come into this?
Every year, Break hold The Grand Norwich Duck Race on the river Wensum in Norwich on the August bank holiday. Last year, we entered a modified car styled duck called Volksquacken. He failed to live up to his speedy promise (call himself a boy racer?) and didn’t win – beaten by Where’s Wally. Now, if Spiderman had beaten him, that would have been fine, you know, superhero and all that. But Wally? Hmmm…..
This year, we’re up for winning. Get your beaks out of the way ducks, Adrian is coming…
I had the pleasure of decorating Volksquacken last year so naturally it’s now assumed I have a talent (cough) for decorating giant ducks (can I use that to make my millions? Somehow? No?). But of course the dilemma is what shall we do to our blank duck-canvas this year? Originally, he was going to be Ducktor-Who, or Duckatti (think lots of leather), but one day at work a sudden brainwave hit me. What’s yellow, topical and mildly amusing? Nope, definitely not Nick Clegg. Minions of course! With them taking over the world of social media and cinema, the idea of Adrian the minion was born.
For those of you scratching your heads and wondering what a minion is, hang your head in shame, and head straight out to buy Despicable Me. A little clip below should help you out….
I asked for Despicable Me for my children for Christmas, but who am I kidding, it was actually for me. The minions are the evil mastermind Gru’s personal helpers, all two or three thousand of them, who can speak very minimal English and have names like Steve, Colin, Stewart etc. So naturally, what better than Adrian for our duck?
First off, I had to somehow dress our duck up in Denim dungarees. Sewing does not come naturally to me (that’s what my mother in law is for) so I think hacking it blindly with a needle is more appropriate a description. Then, I thought I’d paint him yellow. Yes, paint a yellow duck yellow. Aided on this quest by my two sons, who are 1 and 4, and this might explain to you the dodgy paint job. But stick a giant duck and paint in front of small children and it was never going to get away unscathed.
I won’t bore you with the rest of it, but at one point Adrian even had a pet caterpillar living in his pocket (again, two small boys, giant duck, things happen). That caterpillar has never been seen since, thinking about it…… Anyway, Adrian is now ready for his race and to claim victory for Flux this year. Given that the minions make evil weapons for Gru, I think he might have some sneaky tricks up his sleeve……
After the race, all of the ducks are auctioned off – so if you really love Adrian, donate some money to a deserving charity and give him a home. Just bear in mind you might get a bonus butterfly in a few weeks.
He’s a hard worker.
For details of the race and auction, please follow Break Charity on Twitter @breakwriter.
Adrian Flux Insurance Services shine their headlights on this graphic scene.
At some point in their lives, most people have wanted to drive the Batmobile. Comic-books and wacky cars go hand in hand. Here the folks at Flux test-drive some of their favourites.
Batman: Christopher Nolan, who directed Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, offers the most recent take on this iconic vehicle, which is more like a souped-up tank than a sleak, dark car. Maybe it fits the more down to earth, serious tone of his films, but you’ve got to love the ‘90s bling of Val Kilmer’s fire-breathing racer in Batman Forever. Comic Book fans should check out batmobilehistory.com. It’s remarkable how the history of car culture reflects the changing images and style of the Batmobile across the decades.
The Joker: Lesser known is the cape-crusader’s arch nemesis’ ride, the Jokermobile. Fitting the familiar purple and green image of the psychotic clown, you can get hold of one for the modest price of £19.95 at sci-fi.co.uk.
Spider-Man: It’s not all glamour for cars and comic books. Did you know Spider-Man had a car? Probably not, and Uglycars.co.uk hint why. The Spider-Mobile was short-lived and famously derided by comic book fans when it made its debut in the 1970s. It wasn’t just ugly, the very concept was flawed! Who needs a car in New York City when you can essentially fly through it with your super powers? Perhaps the friendly-neighbourhood webslinger missed sitting in traffic jams.
Tintin: Tintin’s seen more than his fair share of cool cars. Surely on the run up to the release of Spielberg and Jackson’s cinematic take on this legendary character the Citroen 2CV is due for a revival? 2CV City.co.uk dedicates itself exclusively to supplying, maintaining and discussing this classic vehicle.
If you can’t afford to buy a real 2CV, you could always browse the online Tintin Shop and its extensive selection of model cars. From “The Red Sea Shark’s” Cadillac Eldorado, to the classy Grey Lancia Aprilla seen in “Land of the Black Gold”, no comic book hero saw as many diverse cars as the popular quiff-sporting detective.
Cars as diverse as a Ford Escort to an Aston Martin and a rare Lancia Stratos wound their way through the Norfolk countryside as part of Adrian Flux’s first annual club rally.
Seven cherished motors met at the Flux headquarters at East Winch, meeting the dedicated owners club team, before setting off for the north Norfolk coast and a tour of local beauty spots.
The country’s largest specialist broker has developed close relationships with car clubs over the years, providing special deals for the members of hundreds of clubs.
And Grant Varnham, affiliate development manager at Flux, said the rally was a great way of cementing the relationship with clubs and putting some faces to the voices on the phone.
“We had a great day and I think it’s invaluable to meet the people we work with throughout the year,” he added.
“Although all the clubs are dedicated to their own particular marques, we all have a love of cars in common and it was great for everyone to get together and discuss their own individual passion.”
The much-loved cars that stopped off for photographs at Holkham Hall before heading back to East Winch for their owners to enjoy a barbecue were:
Ford Escort RS Turbo from the RS Owners Club
Caterham Seven from the Lotus Seven Owners Club
Lancia Stratos from the Stratos Enthusiasts Club
Aston Martin DB7 from the West Norfolk Classic Car Club
Mazda MX-5 from the MX-5 Owners Club
Jago Samuri from the Jago Owners Club
Ferrari 328 GTB on loan for the day
MX-5 owner Ted McKay, who attended with his wife Lucie, said: “We found the day very interesting and a wonderful opportunity to put faces to names and see the overall facilities, which were all very impressive.
“All the staff were very friendly towards us and it was also interesting to meet other car club members and hear how their clubs operate.”
Jeremy Hough, who owns the Caterham, said: “The gathering was brilliant – I really enjoyed it. Flux are obviously a dynamic and motivated team working well together to create exciting events.”
Pauline Dinnebier, a member of the Lotus Seven Owners Club, added: “The whole day surpassed all our expectations. I’m sure a few more of our club members will attend next year – we’re really looking forward to it.”
Adrian Flux is a specialist classic and sports car insurance broker, with a range of schemes for almost anything on four wheels.
Owners club members can benefit from:
Agreed value cover
Limited mileage discounts
Owners club discount of up to 15 per cent
90 days European Green Card cover
Cover for modified or imported classics
Despite their undeniable practicality for storage and transport, many prospective buyers are put off vans because of their supposed inefficiency. Fuel prices continue to soar, and vans hardly seem an economical decision. Yet people still need them, and their future might just be in electric motoring. Adrian Flux Insurance Services offers specialist cover for electric van insurance, hybrids and even milk floats. It takes a look at some of the recent innovations in electric van motoring, highlighting websites devoted to this emerging market.
Mega Van is one of the leading Electronic Van manufacturers in the UK. As well as being reliable, Mega Van claim they “boost your street cred”. They certainly look striking. By purchasing one of these you’re selling a green image to potential clients, crafting a company identity that is both forward thinking and conscientious.
You can get hold of used and new Electric vans at electricvanandcar.co.uk. Its Dragon Series is larger than the more compact Mega Van, being similar in size to the popular Ford Transit. If your company is after something heavy duty, this larger van could be the one for you.
There have been some impressive electrical vans from more commercial van companies, such as Mercedes. It just recently launched the Mercedes Vito E-Cell, an electric van based on the popular diesel Vito range. Ideally suited for inner-city transport, its electric engine exempts it from Congestion Charge, and its impressive battery can last up to 81 miles. According to thegreencarwebsite.co.uk, it’s also relatively powerful, with top speeds of up to 50 mph+.
Like vans, trucks are also getting their eco-hats on. These really do look the part, especially the Alke XT Road Legal Electric Truck. Check out E-power trucks.co.uk to paint more of a picture. The company offers “full nationwide service”, boasting the “widest selection of electric vehicles in the country”.