Tel: 01582 793 449


Website hits

Sunday 2nd February 2014

My little business is deliberately kept at a modest level but I still have to pay attention to marketing otherwise it would fade away to nothing. I try to display the cars at two wedding fairs each year, which brings in some business, but it is the website upon which I rely to bring in the majority of bookings. I use an excellent company to host the site and provide a search engine optimisation service. They furnish me with all sorts of statistics, the most useful of which are the number of individual visitors each day together with the number of pages they look at. Interestingly, the recent data reveals a huge surge in the number of visitors in January after…

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Welcome Bea

Sunday 26th January 2014

All thoughts of wedding cars were pushed firmly onto the back burner last week as we were placed on red alert in anticipation of the arrival of a new granddaughter. After a false alarm on Tuesday morning we remained on tenterhooks for a couple more days until the call finally came at 6:30am on Thursday morning. We rushed through the early morning gloom and arrived in St Albans in time to guide the ambulance to the correct address, before gathering the newcomer's young siblings and taking them off to Redbourn to await further news. Actually it didn't take too long as Beatrice was born just two hours later. She and her Mum were taken off to hospital so we played…

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Mutton dressed as lamb

Sunday 19th January 2014

Every now and again, I toy with the idea of selling the blue car and replacing it with something more appealing to wedding hire customers. I have always fancied owning a vintage Rolls Royce but they are horrendously expensive to buy and paying for their upkeep is the first step on the rocky road to penury. A large Daimler or an Austin Sheerline is also appealing but I don't have the garage space for such a bulky vehicle. A while ago I saw an Austin York for sale. It was in superb condition and had extra, folding seats enabling it to take six passengers; ideal for bridesmaids! Sadly the seller wanted far too much for it and it was painted…

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Tempus Fugit

Sunday 12th January 2014

I glanced at my diary the other day and was astounded to see the first wedding of 2014 is only eight weeks away. I try to avoid winter weddings as I don't want to risk causing damage to the vintage cars in the worst of the winter weather; so the first wedding usually signals the arrival of Spring. As much as I welcome the lengthening days and the warmer weather, I am now starting to feel mounting pressure to get the routine maintenance done on the cars, as well as carrying out the improvements I have been planning. Apart from the usual oil changing, brake checking, steering joint lubrication and carpet cleaning, I want to install indicators on the New…

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Singing in the rain

Sunday 5th January 2014

With all this rain, I am considering swapping the cars for a fleet of arks. The bad weather is starting to become a real nuisance because the post-Christmas surge in enquiries has necessitated an increased number of viewings. The cars are seen to their best advantage in glorious sunshine but, failing that, dry weather is acceptable. I hate taking them out in the rain because I then have to dry them with a chamois leather and clean off any mud or muck which has sprayed up from the road. So I find myself taking people to the garages, pulling the cars out to enable the customers to inspect them properly and then getting them back in the dry as soon…

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My car in New Zealand

Sunday 8th December 2013

Bob James is something of a legend in the world of vintage Austin cars. He is an ex professional musician who escaped the rat race by buying an isolated farmhouse on the side of a mountain in deepest Wales and he lives there without television or computers, making a living repairing and restoring vintage cars. His technical knowledge is unsurpassed and he is always willing to share it if you have mechanical problems. Our paths crossed several years ago when he rebuilt the engine of my Austin; we got on well and I often give him a call if I need help. A few years ago, he rang me and asked if I wanted to buy his Austin Windsor. He…

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St Albans wedding fair

Sunday 3rd November 2013

This week's blog is a shameless advertisement for the wedding fair at the Alban Arena in St Albans on Sunday 10th November. We shall be taking the two ivory and black cars which will be suitably polished and decorated with ribbons. Karl and I will be braving the cold outside, showing the cars to any interested visitors. Kathryn will be inside, in the warm, at our stand. Young Patrick may make a guest appearance but don't expect much in the way of sparkling conversation beyond the occasional goo goo or gaa gaa. If you are free next Sunday, do come along and have a chat. There is absolutely no pressure and no hard sell. We would love to see you!

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That's it for this year.

Sunday 27th October 2013

Well, that's it for another year! The wedding this weekend was the last for 2013. So, unless someone has an emergency and desperately needs help, or unless someone wants to thrust lots of money into my hands, the cars will be taking a well-earned rest until March 2014. I particularly enjoyed the latest wedding as several people admired and appreciated the car and I got a great photograph of the Austin parked alongside the bright red routemaster bus that had been hired to transport the guests. The number of customers has been steadily rising and a quick check of my booking records shows 2013 has been a record year. Clearly the marketing is working but I have to keep up…

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Bright lights

Sunday 20th October 2013

Things have been fairly quiet recently so far as weddings are concerned so I am winding down and getting ready to put the cars away for their winter break. The New Zealand car has one more wedding so I took it out the other day to give it a little run and to fill up with petrol. It sprinted happily around Redbourn Common and is in fine fettle. At one point, it was racing a green woodpecker which was zooming around the lime trees. Sadly we couldn't keep up and the bird disappeared, off into the distance in a flash of yellow and green. I mentioned in an earlier blog that I had been asked to test some prototype LED headlight…

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Searching for spares

Sunday 22nd September 2013

Sourcing spare parts for vintage cars can be a bit of a challenge, as I discovered last week. We had a little problem with a leaking radiator on one of the Austins. Actually it was quite a big problem because the poor radiator core had suffered numerous knocks and stone strikes over the years. It had been patched up and mended so many times but now it was in a sorry state and realistically, it was beyond repair. The Automobile magazine carries various advertisements from specialist craftsmen including three radiator experts, so I grabbed the phone and started dialling. The people I spoke to were clearly knowledgeable and they all confidently declared their ability to create a brand new radiator core,…

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A good weekend

Sunday 15th September 2013

I do enjoy driving my old cars at weddings and I meet all sorts of different people, which is part of the fun. Occasionally I get customers who don't want to talk; usually through nerves, and that makes the day a bit dull. In rare cases, the bride and groom can be quite dismissive, disappearing without a "goodbye" or a "thank you". But this weekend has been fantastic and reminded me of how much fun it can be. There were three quite different celebrations, each distinctive in their own way but all extremely enjoyable because of the personalities involved. On Friday I had my first civil partnership assignment. The guests included many who had travelled from Spain and Italy and they…

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New driver

Sunday 25th August 2013

Heritage Classic Cars are delighted to announce the arrival of a new chauffeur. Young Patrick Boucher is the newcomer and although he doesn't have a driving licence just yet, what he lacks in experience, is made up for in charm and enthusiasm. I spent a few minutes this afternoon showing him how to change gear and he effortlessly mastered the art in a flash. Once his legs are long enough to reach the pedals, there will be no holding him back! He also has the perfect temperament for a chauffeur; being laid back, relaxed and unflappable. After getting to grips with gear changes, he instantly switched into relaxation mode and fell asleep. What a pro! I am so proud to…

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