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Thank you NHS

Thursday 25th November 2021

Just a quick reminder that I am offering a discount to any customer who works in the NHS. It is my small way of saying "Thank you" for your outstanding efforts and bravery over the past two years. So far, only two people have taken advantage of the offer. Hopefully, there will be a few more in 2022.

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Pestilence in St Albans

Saturday 30th October 2021

Last week I drove a bride to her wedding in St Albans. It was a bright autumnal day and the car was drawing a good deal of attention from the shoppers as they walked past the Churchyard where I was waiting. I am always happy to chat about old cars and show off my lovely Austin Twelve so it was an enjoyable afternoon. There were a good number of guests at this particular wedding, which is in stark contrast to the meagre congregations earlier in the year. As they spilled out of the Church for photographs, an old woman sidled up to me and said "It's so nice to see a proper wedding with so many guests." I politely agreed,…

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Peering over the parapet

Saturday 21st August 2021

Well, the past year has been a tough time for the wedding industry. I didn't have a single job in 2020. With everything being cancelled and nervous customers re-scheduling their weddings multiple time, I simply shut up shop and returned deposits regardless of whether they were officially non-refundable or not. I was able to weather the storm because Heritage Classic Cars is a micro business with few overheads. In fact, it is basically a vintage car enthusiast (me) and some back-up drivers, loving every minute of using two wonderful old cars to enhance peoples' wedding days. It doesn't provide me with a living, so I have been quite cautious about opening up again, particularly as I slipped past the ripe…

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Whatever happened to 2019?

Sunday 29th December 2019

I knew I had been neglecting the blog lately, but I was quite shocked to discover I haven't yet posted anything in 2019. In my defence, I have taken on the role of editor of the Vintage Austin Register's magazine, so the Heritage Classic Cars website has been somewhat overlooked. So, what has been happening? Well, there were a good number of weddings, the cars were as reliable as ever and we had some fun. What more could you ask for? The cars haven't required any significant work this year, just the normal, ongoing maintenance such as oil changes, new antifreeze, lubricating the grease points and various other bits and pieces. I did notice that one or two people seemed to…

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Happy New Year

Sunday 30th December 2018

Well, another year gores flying past! The vintage cars were out and about last year and I thoroughly enjoyed driving numerous brides to their weddings. But now is the time to dust them down and start getting ready for next Spring and Summer. In anticipation of another Beast from the East, I have 10 litres of antifreeze at the ready and this will go into the cars next week. After that, each vehicle gets an oil-change and thorough service with the grease gun. In addition to all of that, I usually take on a winter project. Last year I removed the gearbox from the Kiwi car, had the internal gears totally replaced with brand new ones and then replaced the…

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Saturday 13th October 2018

I recently drove at weddings on consecutive days. The Friday wedding was a lively affair in St Albans. Everything went well and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves when I left. The Saturday wedding in Hemel Hempstead was going smoothly and I was waiting with the car whilst photographs were being taken. One of the guests came over and started chatting. "Were you at a wedding in St Albans yesterday" he asked. I confirmed I was and he said he was a guest there too and thought he recognised me. It turned out he had been partying with the Friday wedding group until 5 o'clock next morning. He managed a few hours sleep before setting off for the Saturday wedding. Oh…

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Sunday 15th July 2018

I have been plagued with annoying squeaks recently. Well, to be exact, the cars have been squeaking and I have been annoyed. The first unwanted noise started on a wedding a few weeks ago. The car behaved perfectly on the drive to collect the bride, but after she, her Mum, her Dad and flower girl all got in and we set off to the Church, the dreaded squeak raised its ugly head. There was no loss of power so I carried on and delivered the customers safely to the wedding and the reception. The strange thing was, that driving home without any passengers the noise disappeared. In fact, it was absent during the following few days whilst driving around. After…

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Off and running

Monday 2nd April 2018

We are off and running! The first Heritage Classic Cars wedding of 2018 took place on Saturday. Both ivory cars were on show, attracting plenty of attention, parked together outside the Church in Harpenden High Street. It was a chilly day but the rain held off and everyone seemed to have a great time. Chatting to the bride, the wedding guests and the members of the public who stopped to look at the cars reminded me of why I so enjoy driving at weddings. I must admit to a few fleeting moments of anxiety as this was the first real outing for the New Zealand car since I fitted a refurbished gearbox, changed the prop-shaft and replaced the rear axle oil…

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A winter's project

Sunday 11th March 2018

All of the money I make from the weddings is re-invested in the cars and each year I undertake a little project. Previously, I have upgraded the electrical systems, fitted indicators and brake lights, had an engine re-built, re-sprayed a car in old English white as well as having new leather upholstery fitted to a car. Over the past six months or so I have been attempting to sort out the noisy and clunky gearbox in the New Zealand car. The chap from whom I bought the car had fitted a gearbox from the early 1920s and, although it worked in a 1927 car, it was not the correct unit and it wasn't in the best of condition. The thing…

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Saturday 20th January 2018

The new year has brought an increase in hits on the website and there have already been new enquiries. In an ideal world the bookings would be spread evenly throughout the year but these things never seem to go to plan. Last year July was quiet and August was extremely busy. This year the bookings seem reasonably well spaced out through the year apart from May; that month is a complete blank in the diary. I am not at all concerned about this as I don't need the income to make a living ( I would starve if I did! ) but I do like to keep the cars active during the warmer months. They benefit from being used and…

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Winter weddings

Sunday 24th December 2017

I tend to avoid winter weddings, mainly because the cars do not have heaters and it can get quite uncomfortable in cold weather. Warmth from the engine can filter up through the wooden floorboards but, generally the passengers and the driver get very chilly when temperatures drop. The other reason for wanting to leave the cars in their garages during the winter months is that the salt which they put on the roads when there is ice about causes corrosion in the bodywork. This means I have to jet wash the underside of the cars after a winter run. Despite all of this, I can be persuaded to take the cars out in exceptional circumstances and that is what happened this…

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Visiting Basel

Sunday 5th November 2017

I have been in Switzerland recently, visiting my son who lives in Basel. We have seen all of the usual tourist attractions but this week the annual Herbstmesse is in full swing. This is their autumn festival, with fairground rides, craft stalls and all sorts of food vendors dotted around in various squares throughout the city. It is a fantastic event and draws in huge crowds; the main squares were packed yesterday and it was quite amusing to see trams trundling along with children's helium balloons bobbling about inside. The main attraction is an enormous wheel, set up outside the cathedral, which is a bit smaller than the London Eye but gives wonderful views over the city. We had to…

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