“Mooneyes is fundamentally a lifestyle,” says Steve Sare, Mooneyes International Division Manager.
“Mooneyes is not your average corporate car show. It is quite simply a coming together of people from all over Japan and the world who are passionate aficionados and practitioners of custom culture.”
And it’s that coming together of people and motoring culture that is the focal point of this month’s Influx Magazine, live now on www.influx.co.uk.
Mooneyes was launched in the US in the 1950s by Dean Moon, a trailblazer of the American hot rod movement. Moon set up shop selling custom motor parts, and helped to spearhead the custom motor scene, eventually trading internationally as one of the best-known motor parts businesses until his death in 1987.
Since being taken over by Japanese owners after Moon’s death, Mooneyes has lent its name to one of the biggest gatherings of custom motor fanatics in the world, meeting annually in Yokohama, Japan.
The event now plays host to car and bike shows, fashion exhibitors, musicians, tattooists, painters and detailers, manufacturers and experts from right across the motoring scene.
As well as Steve Sare’s opinion on what makes Mooneyes the perfect blend of American and Japanese car culture, the mag features a video tour of the Yokohama show, a profile of Mooneyes founder Dean Moon and a look at the iconic Toyota Crown.
To read more about the greatest custom show on earth, check out the Mooneyes Influx Magazine here – http://www.influx.co.uk/edition/part-1-of-a-japan-triptych-mooneyes-the-greatest-show-on-earth/
However energy efficient you think your home is, the sad truth is that your house will continuously lose heat whenever it is warmer inside than it is outside.
And it sure is getting cold outside…
Heat is lost in a variety of ways: 35 per cent of heat from the home is lost through walls, 25 per cent through the roof, 15 per cent through windows and 15 per cent through floors. A further 10 per cent is lost through doors and door furniture, such as keyholes and letterboxes.
As the cold winds of winter approach, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your home to find out precisely where you need to work harder to trap the heat and keep your family cosy.
To supplement our interactive energy-saving home guide, here are 10 ways your house may be losing heat, and how to stop it:
- Your loft might benefit from insulation, but if you’ve got a loose or missing roof tile, all that good work and hard-spent cash may be going to waste – wet insulation loses its efficiency. Equally, if your loft is insulated but you still have the same old timber loft hatch, check that it’s insulated with the same tape that you can use on windows and doors.
- Bare floorboards may be the height of design must-haves, but they’re a heat leach in winter when they can account for up to 10 per cent of heat loss if they’re not insulated. If you can’t ‘bare’ to cover your boards with carpet, try large rugs or even blankets. Consider wood filler for large gaps between boards although ensure you use one which contracts and expands alongside your wood throughout the seasons.
- Keep your guest room door closed: It prevents cold air from an unheated room circulating around the house and means you can contain the heat you’ve generated in one area.
- Stop heat blocking: The sofa might look great in front of the radiator, but it’s absorbing a huge percentage of the heat – keep radiators clear and if possible, don’t have curtains that fall in front of the radiator, either.
- Most ardent heat conservers know that draught excluders are a great idea – but how many of us have checked whether a draught is coming through our letterbox or keyhole? And if you need a cat flap for pets, consider a curtain on the inside of the door to cut down on draughts (the cat may have a shock the first time it bolts for the cat flap, but it will soon get used to it!).
- Lots of homeowners keep their open fireplaces for aesthetic rather than practical purposes, but if your fireplace isn’t being used in the winter, consider buying a chimney balloon which is made of a special kind of plastic which expands to fit the cavity and keeps hot air inside your home and cold air out. Just don’t forget it’s there if you suddenly have the urge to have a roaring fire!
- One free way to keep heat inside your home is to harness the power of the sun. Even in the winter, there’s often plenty of sunlight which generates enough heat to take the chill out of the air. Make sure your blinds and curtains are open until dusk and then close them to retain the heat you’ve captured.
- It may seem unlikely, but covering a wall with pictures and mirrors actually helps to conserve more heat. Ditching the minimalist look means you’re adding an extra layer of insulating air in your room, raising internal surface temperatures by around a degree and cutting lost energy by a quarter. If you have wall hangings – such as Indian bedspreads or thin rugs – the efficiency is even greater.
- On a similar note, bookshelves are also fantastic insulators. An electronic e-reader may take up less room, but it won’t keep you warm at night!
- Harness all the heat you can by being savvy: if you have a shower or run a bath, leave the bathroom door open and allow the stream to travel through the house and the next time you bake a cake, after you’ve turned off the oven, leave the oven door open (unless you have small children or mad pets) and the heat from your baking will diffuse through the house. It’ll smell delicious, too – as long as you aren’t a baker of burnt offerings…
If you learned to drive in the 1980s, the chances are your first car was pretty basic. OK, very basic. Plastic seats, metal steering wheels, no mod cons, no cassette player (what are CDs?) and a distinct lack of instrumentation.
So, a decade before the modification scene really kicked in, we did our best to personalise our cars with all manner of naff accessories. Obviously, at the time, we thought they were cool, but they mostly weren’t.
Specialist insurance broker Adrian Flux has been providing bespoke cover for modified cars since (mostly) youngsters first decided their car just wasn’t funky enough as it left the factory.
Here are 10 retro accessories that “improved” our cars while our parents looked on in horror.
Other classic 80s additions that didn’t make our top 10 were novelty gear knobs, go faster stripes, novelty attachments for the end of your aerial and massive Kenwood stickers in the back window (they might as well have said “steal my stereo”). Have we forgotten any?
The UK driving test is a pretty good indicator of your competence as a driver, but does it go far enough?
It judges you on the basics – parallel parking, reversing, roundabouts, emergency stops, the usual kind of day-to-day skills required for normal driving conditions.
But there are a whole host of circumstances, incidents and safety issues that are not tested.
Here, specialist insurance broker Adrian Flux takes a look at 10 things that would give drivers a more rounded set of skills, some serious, some not so serious…
Are we wide of the mark? What would you like to see in the driving test?
From spooky dancing children to ghostly horsemen, and marching Romans to phantom lorries, stories of ghoulish apparitions on Britain’s roads are legion.
Are these tales of spooky spectres just the fevered imaginations of tired motorists, elaborate hoaxes or genuine paranormal phenomena?
We’re keeping an open mind as we take you on a Hallowe’en road trip along some of Britain’s most haunted highways.
The Blackburn Ghost: If you are of a nervous disposition, we’d strongly suggest you don’t watch this terrifying video of viral hit the Blackburn ghost, which had the internet in a froth about its authenticity.
It’s pure Blair Witch stuff as amateur footage shows the moment a “ghost” appears on a deserted road between Blackburn and Belmont in Lancashire.
The white figure chases the car as the seemingly petrified passenger screams “Faster! Faster!” in Arabic at the driver.
Whether or not it’s a hoax (it probably is…), it’s guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine.
B3212 Dartmoor, Devon: The legend of the Hairy Hands tells of motorists being forced off the road by a pair of disembodied hands that grab control of the steering wheel.
The story was picked up by national newspapers in 1921 when an army captain reported that a pair of invisible hands had taken control of his steering wheel and forced him into the verge, and journalist Rufus Endle claimed that “a pair of hands gripped the driving wheel and I had to fight for control.” He avoided a crash and the hands disappeared.
Local legend has it that the hands belong to a man who was killed on the road in the early 20th century, but sceptics say the high number of accidents on the road was down to an adverse camber that has since been levelled out.
The story was told in a short film funded by the UK Film Council called The Hairy Hands.
Oldnall Road, West Midlands: An unprepossessing stretch of B-road between Halesowen and Stourbridge, ghostly apparitions have reportedly caused several accidents in the area.
The road is an accident blackspot but is fairly straight with no adverse camber – are motorists swerving to avoid ghosts in the road?
Drivers have reported swerving to avoid small children in Victorian dress, plus a man and woman on the site of an old farm by the roadside, all of which mysteriously disappear when they stop to look.
In 1979, a man called Alan Spencer was walking home when he saw a dark figure walking towards him, dressed in a closely fitting black outfit and with a pointed or “cone-shaped” head. As he got closer, the figure disappeared into the bushes. A man with a hat who needed the toilet…?
The A75, Dumfriesshire, Scotland: Widely regarded as the most haunted road in Scotland, motorists have reported seeing some truly horrific scenes, including screaming hags, eyeless phantoms and unearthly creatures.
Sightings go back more than 50 years, and in 1962 Derek and Norman Ferguson were startled by a hen flying towards the windscreen before great cats and other animals ran towards them before disappearing.
Travellers have seen groups of dejected bedraggled people pulling handcarts and carrying bundles, horsemen and carriages and some are convinced they have run down walkers only to find nothing.
One man was so traumatised by seeing a huge group of medieval travellers on the Kinmount straight that he gave up lorry driving completely!
Stocksbridge Bypass, near Sheffield: The A616 was only completed in 1989 but this accident blackspot has already been dubbed the “killer road”.
The ghost stories started during construction, when security guards claimed they saw children dancing beneath a pylon. The sceptical police sent to investigate were terrified when they saw a dark clothed torso with a V sewn into the cloth by their car.
Their patrol car failed to start twice before firing up on the third attempt, but a loud bang on the boot startled them out of the car again. Finding nothing, the officers got back in and went to drive back to the station, only for another loud bang and a rocking motion to leave them utterly terrified and speeding off to the safety of their colleagues.
Other drivers have reported seeing a monk staring over the valley by the road, and even appearing beside them in their cars, and a large black dog roaming the fields.
A456, West Midlands: Just two miles from the similarly haunted Oldnall Road is the A456, which has seen reports of a mysterious woman, a man dressed in grey and the most common sighting, a cavalier.
Detective Constable Roger Ryder has recounted his experience of driving along the dual carriageway from Halesowen to Hagley at about 1am one summer night.
“I was wide awake and alert,” he said. “And I stress that I hadn’t had a drink! It was a lovely night – very quiet with no traffic for miles. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that the pub was lit up and glowing. I assumed there was a party going on. As I drew closer, suddenly the figure of a man ran out of the car park. He was dressed like one of the old cavalier soldiers – the big hat, boots, red uniform and sword”.
Fancy dress party?
Platt Lane, Lancashire: The road in Westhoughton runs close to the site of the 1910 Pretoria pit disaster, which claimed the lives of 344 miners, and numerous motorists have reported seeing eyes peering out of the hedges by the roadside, and ghostly miners trudging alongside cars or pulling coal wagons behind them.
A9, Scotland: Running between Falkirk in central Scotland all the way up to the far north, drivers have reported witnessing an ornate coach and horses with bewigged footmen walking alongside on one stretch of road in the Highlands. While on another stretch near Dornoch a motorist claimed to have seen a despondent Victorian man on horseback.
The Highlands is thought to be among the most haunted regions of Britain in general, so drive carefully…
M6 Motorway: A number of scary sightings have been made on Britain’s longest motorway, including a spectral female hitchhiker, a phantom lorry going the wrong way down the carriageway, and Roman marching soldiers on the M6 toll section.
Rational explanations, the mind’s eye playing tricks or genuine ghostly goings on…whatever your view there’s no doubt that Britain’s highways and byways are rich in paranormal history.
Would you drive these roads alone at night?
Adrian Flux has won the Best Porsche Insurance Specialist award from Total 911 magazine.
The hotly-contested award was voted for by genuine Porsche enthusiasts and Flux general manager Gerry Bucke, who collected the award with colleague Matt Allen, said it was a great accolade for the staff.
“I’m delighted for everyone involved to win this award, which is recognition of a lot of hard work and shows our commitment to providing competitive specialist insurance and great service to Porsche owners,” he added.
The awards ceremony was held at Hexagon Modern Classics in London, with 150 guests attending from as far afield as Germany and the USA.
Total 911 editor Lee Sibley hailed the event “a resounding success, adding: “To have so many representatives from right across the international Porsche spectrum under one roof made for a very special occasion and I’m delighted for the winners of our prestigious awards, who have rightly had their year-round hard work recognised.
“Already, we look forward to the 2016 Awards for what will be the night to look forward to each and every year for the Porsche industry going forward.”
The event featured an incredible display of cars for the assembled guests, including the one-of-a-kind Porsche 901 Cabriolet prototype and the latest 991 GT3 RS, the latter thanks to Porsche Cars GB.
We often say we’ll find cover for anything on wheels, as long as it’s legal.
But actions speak louder than words, so we thought we’d gather together here 11 of our customers’ craziest cars to prove the point.
From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to a push-me-pull-you Morris Minor and a giant road legal roller skate, our customers have consistently pushed the boundaries of creative automotive design.
And we’ve always been there to make sure their ingenious creations can be where they belong – on the road.
Do you have an unusual car? If so, let us know what you’ve got and tell us all about it.
Flux-sponsored Sarah Bennett-Baggs achieved an incredible podium finish in the Spa Six Hour. Here she tells the story of the race.
Twelve GT40s lined up for the 2015 Spa Six Hour event and behind them 96 other pre-1965 classic racers including 19 Mustangs, 10 Jaguar E-Types, a handful of Falcons, Galaxies, Lotus, Porsche – you name it!
I was joined by Mike Thorne and John Todd, racing one of two 1954 Healey 100s on the grid in the pre-62 class (two of the oldest cars out there). Our strategy was to achieving 95 laps in six hours based on a steady dry and wet average lap time.
Of course, best laid plans don’t always follow. Qualifying on the Friday night was crisp with clear conditions, but a disaster for us. The car having run well in testing, did four laps before the gearbox main shaft snapped, putting us out altogether. Mike had however managed to put in a flying lap of 3.09 qualifying us in 64th position. Our pit-box companions Matthews-Rattenbury in their open top Healey-100 qualified 78th with no issues.
The top eight positions on the grid were unsurprisingly all filled with GT40s, with the German pair Graf-Funke on pole, Wills-Littlejohn in 2nd position, Hadfield-Voyazides in 3rd and Woods-Stretton in 4th. The first car behind the GT40s was Jaguar E-Type of O’Connell-Kirkaldy, then the Thomas-Greensall-Harris E-Type with the super fast TVR Griffith of the McInerney’s rounding up the top 10.
The first all-girl team of Kyvalova-Carr-Bradfield in a Healey 3000 were suffering gearbox troubles in testing but they still managed to qualify by double-de-clutching on every change.
Come 4pm on Saturday, the weather was a different story, a downpour before the start had left the track conditions wet and greasy. Having fitted a spare road gearbox through the night we were holding our breath watching the first few laps as 108-strong pack thundered past the old pits all racing side by side, fuel heavy and tank slapping all the way up Eau Rouge! It was scary to watch, more terrifying to drive.
Thorne took the start of our Healey 100, surviving the first stint unscathed despite a few bites from a poorly driven red Porsche 911. He came in well up the order to hand over to me in 44th.
The second stint is less of a bun fight as drivers settle into an endurance pace, but it is also when daylight fades to dark and when lights seem to have no effect. This is one race where you need your wits about you, the speed differentials are immense and when you are leaning on those wire-spoked wheels absolutely flat through Blanchimont the last thing you need is a tap from a passing GT40 or Mustang.
I had a few laps of drizzle before it cleared, but then I enjoyed power sliding around the circuit on the Avons. Meanwhile our fellow Healey 100 competitors were battling with battery issues but they were still in the running. I came in 25 laps later at 7.30pm when we were now up into P32 .
Todd was next out and with darkness now descended, so also arrived a torrential downpour. Not quite on the biblical proportions of 2014, but enough to send cars off in all parts of the circuit, including a heavy shunt into the pit wall by a bright orange Shelby Mustang, effectively blocking the old pit straight and sending the safety car train through the old pits.
We advanced our last driver change under this rather bizarre safety car period which lasted several laps still in heavy rain; effectively a free stop. By now we had just one hour to go and we were up running just behind the Aston Martin DB4 of Miller-Goble for a class lead.
Thorne took the last hour in difficult conditions. The rain continued to fall and in very dark conditions we could see the Healey pass the pit straight with just one headlight left working out of the four fitted! The class leading Aston Martin had to make a final stop after us, which is the moment we picked up the class lead. They rejoined but were also struggling with misting up and bad visibility. The last half hour we were holding our breath, the previous year the Healey blew a head gasket around 8.30pm, this year we were all reporting that the gearbox had been crunching metal bits since the start! But by some miracle it made it to the end, despite a gearbox full of iron filings and just one head-light. Mike’s quick last stint was by far the hardest.
“To be honest, I quite enjoyed the wet night drive, we were going well in the wet until my lights failed. Out there it’s blacker than black and you are constantly blinded by the macho boys with their spots on full blare in the mirrors. We’d have reeled in a couple more had we had some vision – more carrots next year!”
Back at the sharp end of the grid, first across the flag was the #34 GT40 of Wills-Littlejohn, followed by the German pairing Graf-Funke, a super fast Shelby Cobra from the Netherlands, with the Walker-Jordan-Griffiths GT40 in fourth. First of the Jaguar E-Types to finish was Minshaw-Keen completing the top five.
Spa Six Hour is a superbly organised endurance race where restraint matters more than anything else; the attrition rate is high as either cars or drivers struggle to last the distance. The top prize is fiercely contested, with recreation cars and pro-drivers all allowed to contest alongside original classics, gentleman drivers and enthusiasts. A team with three hot-shoe drivers can quickly become a battle of egos rather than working as a team. Hats off to the all-girl team of Kyvalova-Carr-Bradfield, who not only made history, but did well to finish in the top 50, and joined us on the podium for 3rd place in the Pre-62 category. There were in fact a number of women drivers on the grid this year, with Pia Bianchi finishing in P22 in her MGB team. We were elated with our result, and we finished the evening off spraying champagne on the top step of the podium.
We had barely thought a podium result even possible in a ’54 Healey 100 – no recreations, no pro-drivers or egos in this team just some good planning, great teamwork and a united desire to finish at all costs. And what a finish we had!
Some loved them, some loathed them, some even still own them. Whatever relationship we had with our first car, we certainly never forget them.
Here at Adrian Flux, we love stirring up a bit of motoring nostalgia, so we asked some of our friends and colleagues to gaze wistfully back into the mists of their youth to reminisce about their first drive.