Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Tucked away on a quiet industrial estate in Bracknell you’ll find Honda UK’s press garage. Here, among the Civics and CR-Vs, is a mouthwatering line-up of perfectly preserved cars from Honda’s past.

The collection stretches from an original Mk1 Civic to a brace of NSXs – with various Type Rs and Mugens in-between. Join us for a guided tour…

Honda Civic (1975)

Honda Civic (1975)

We start with this delightful Mk1 Civic, a 1.2 Deluxe model in a very 1970s shade of ‘Carnaby Yellow’. The advertising slogan for the first Civic was ‘It will get you where you’re going’ – quite a novel concept for drivers more used to British Leyland cars of the time.

This particular Civic, chassis number 003, used to be a press demonstrator, so it came full-circle when Honda bought it back for the heritage fleet. It also featured in UK brochure shots when new.

The Civic is powered by a 50hp 1.2-litre engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is 90mph and acceleration to 62mph takes a leisurely 15.2 seconds. This Deluxe model features an AM radio and heated rear window. Snazzy.

Honda Civic Type R (2005)

Honda Civic Type R (2005)

Leaping forward into the modern era, this is the second-generation Civic Type R (but the first to be sold in the UK). Known to enthusiasts as the EP3, it has a practical, MPV-style body and a screaming 200hp 2.0-litre VTEC engine. What’s not to like?

Honda originally planned to sell 1,500 Type Rs a year in the UK, but actually managed to quadruple that figure. British-built Type Rs were even exported back to Japan.

Not everyone loved the red Recaro seats (a Type R trademark), but few criticised the driving experience. At the time, Autocar magazine said it was “One of the most exhilarating and satisfying drivetrains of any car on sale, irrespective of price”. High praise indeed.

Honda Civic Type R (2010)

Honda Civic Type R (2010)

In 2007, EP3 gave way to FN2: a hot hatch that’s less universally loved. It had space-age styling and a power boost to 215hp from its 2.0-litre engine – enough for 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds.

This ‘Milano Red’ FN2 is one of the more desirable post-2009 cars, which had a limited-slip differential as standard. Note the split rear window: a styling theme that continues on the current Civic.

The interior of the eighth-generation Civic was pretty futuristic, too. Check out the split-level dashboard with no less than three information panels. It’s also quite red in here…

Honda S2000

Honda S2000

Honda’s rev-happy roadster only ceased production in 2009, but it’s already a modern classic. Thank its 240hp 2.0-litre engine, which is redlined at a motorbike-esque 9,000rpm. Producing an incredible 120hp per litre, it won four Engine of the Year awards.

The S2000 seen here is the last-of-the-line Edition 100 model, boasting 17-inch alloys and Grand Prix white paint. It could hit 62mph in 6.2 seconds and keep going to 150mph.

The plasticky – and rather cramped – interior is where the S2000 shows its age. But it’s still a real treat to drive: an analogue sports car in an increasingly digital age. The Telegraph said: “The S2000 begs to driven hard and the experience of doing so generously lightens the weight of life’s struggle.” Blimey.

Honda NSX (2005)

Honda NSX (2005)

When the Honda NSX was launched in 1990, it was revolutionary – something that is starting to become a theme of this gallery. Its aluminium construction was a first for a mass-produced car, and it boasted a chassis tuned with input from none other than F1 champ Ayrton Senna.

The first-generation model was axed in 2005 as sales declined, making this example on Honda’s heritage fleet one of the very last. Recently subject to a heavy rebuild following an incident involving a wet test track and an over-eager journo, MY05 NSX is showing just 30,000 miles on the clock.

Powered by a 3.2-litre VTEC engine, the NSX produced 280hp and could hit 62mph in 5.7 seconds. Being a later model, it used a slick six-speed manual gearbox and, unfortunately, lost the pop-up lights of the original model.

Honda NSX (1990)

Honda NSX (1990)

And talking of the original… Honda’s got one on its fleet. Designed to be a Ferrari-beater (in terms of performance, usability, reliability and well, everything really), the NSX was originally powered by a 3.0-litre quad-cam 24-valve VTEC V6.

And hasn’t it aged well? Its angular looks with pop-up headlights look as good today as they did 26 years ago – although the lack of a Ferrari badge on the front did put some buyers off.

The inside doesn’t look quite as special, although it does feel it – sitting low down and a long way forward with the engine positioned behind you. It’s a shame this one uses the four-speed ‘F-matic’ automatic gearbox.

Honda Insight

Honda Insight

In 1999, Honda introduced this weird futuristic thing called the Insight. A quirky hybrid-powered car with bold looks and only two seats, the Insight preceded the more mainstream (and more successful) Prius by a few months.

By combining a tiny 67hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with an electric motor, Honda claimed the Insight was quick enough to rival conventional 1.5-litre cars. It was seriously innovative for its time – featuring regenerative braking, stop-start and even electric power steering.

This example in Honda’s heritage collection is in mint condition and was previously owned by a Honda employee. With around 250 officially sold in the UK, it has to be one of the best in the country.

Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z

Launched in 2010 as a spiritual successor to the Honda CR-X, the three-door CR-Z coupe featured a hybrid powertrain. This combined a 1.5-litre petrol VTEC engine with an electric motor – but performance was a smidgen disappointing, taking close to 10 seconds to hit 62mph.

With performance not living up to its appearance, and the compact coupe body resulting in poor practicality (and appalling visibility) the CR-Z sold in relatively small numbers in the UK. Its price tag of more than £20,000 probably didn’t help matters either. Not when you could pick up the excellent Ford Fiesta ST for £17,000.

But let’s not be entirely down about the CR-Z. Its hybrid powertrain was genuinely innovative at a time when everyone was buying diesel, and 56.5mpg was excellent for a sporty(ish) car. It also handled brilliantly.

Honda Civic Type R Mugen

Honda Civic Type R Mugen

Aftermarket tuning company Mugen was established in 1973 by Hirotoshi Honda – the son of Honda Motor Company founder Soichiro Honda. Although not owned by Honda, Mugen has worked closely over the years to provide performance variants of its models. One of which is this: the Honda Civic Type R Mugen.

Only 20 of these were ever built, with each one precision engineered in the UK by Mugen Euro and built to customer specifications – with a starting price of more than £40,000. The regular 2.0-litre VTEC engine was tuned to produce 240hp, using bespoke pistons, camshafts and an ECU remap, while the exhaust, wheels, brakes, suspension and gearbox all received the Mugen treatment.

The result was a hot hatch that could hit 62mph in 6.0 seconds flat and was described by Top Gear magazine as “so in tune with your every movement that you don’t so much drive it as simply think it around the track”.

Honda CR-Z Mugen

Honda CR-Z Mugen

Despite its sporty looks, the standard hybrid CR-Z was never a particularly dynamic car to drive. Mugen experimented with a hot interpretation, which supercharged the 1.5-litre petrol engine to produce 200hp (up from a lacklustre 124hp).

Around 50kg was shaved off the CR-Z’s kerb weight, while stiffer springs with adjustable dampers sharpened up the handling – helped, as well, by the addition of a limited-slip diff.

A unique Mugen exhaust means the CR-Z sounds the part, while its bodykit has a look of Max Power about it. This is aided by the lightweight 17-inch alloys and carbonfibre bonnet and doors.

To see more pictures of Honda’s heritage collection, click through our gallery on MSN Cars

Thieves steal doors and bonnet from a police Land Rover

Thieves steal doors and bonnet from a police Land Rover

Thieves steal doors and bonnet from a police Land Rover

Land Rover Defenders are like huge Meccano kits – easy to take apart using little more than a spanner and can of WD40.

They’re often stolen by specialist thieves looking to make money by breaking the desirable off roader for parts – but some brazen crims in Leicestershire have stolen parts from a Defender on the side of the road, leaving the bare shell for its owners to find the next day.

And to make the crime even more daring, the target Defender was owned by Leicestershire Police – and parked outside a village police station.

The Defender, which was reportedly loaned to the police force by Sturgess Land Rover, was discovered on Friday morning, with five doors, its bonnet and headlight surrounds missing.

It was finished in distinctive police livery and was used for rural policing duties such as poaching or theft of agricultural machinery.

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “We are investigating an incident of theft from a motor vehicle.

“It is believed to have happened between 11pm on Thursday and 5.45am the following morning. The Land Rover Defender was parked in Shenton Lane, Market Bosworth.

“It was discovered with its doors and bonnet, which contained Leicestershire Police livery, missing.

“Enquiries into the theft are continuing. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call PC 207 Rob Cross on 101.”

Values of the Land Rover Defender have rocketed since production ended earlier this year. Police have issued several warnings in recent months as criminals are targeting old Land Rovers to ship abroad or break for parts.

Skoda Kodiaq interior

Skoda reveals Kodiaq 7-seat large SUV interior

Skoda Kodiaq interior

Skoda has revealed the interior of its new seven-seat Kodiaq SUV ahead of its world debut in Berlin this week and public debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show later this month.

The inside of the Nissan X-Trail rival appears to be pleasingly upmarket: something that will come as no surprise to anyone who’s sat inside the firm’s latest Superb model.

We can see a familiar VW Group infotainment screen in the centre of the dash, bordered by chunky air vents and a myriad of safety assistance buttons.

It’s practical, too – its 4.7-metre length and 1.88-metre width aiding a 720-litre boot space (increasing to 2,065-litres with the seats folded).

For the first time in a Skoda, the Kodiaq will be available with seven seats: squaring it firmly against the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Sante Fe.

Skoda Kodiaq interior

Based on the same flexible MQB platform as the latest Volkswagen Tiguan and Skoda Superb, the large SUV is expected to start at around £25,000.

Engine line-ups are yet to be confirmed, although expect a variety of familiar VW Group petrol and diesels. It’s also likely to be offered with four- and two-wheel drive.

Orders for the Skoda Kodiaq will open after September’s Paris Motor Show, with deliveries expected in the UK from early 2017.

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

Just months after he quit the latest series of Top Gear following a ratings flop, Chris Evans showed fans he can still put on a good show – with thousands headings to Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire for the annual CarFest show.

Established by the Radio 2 breakfast presenter in 2012 to raise money for Children in Need, two CarFests are held every year – CarFest North (in Cheshire) and CarFest South (in Hampshire).

So far, CarFest has raised £6.7 million for Children in Need. Weekend family camping tickets cost more than £300, with at least 25% of ticket prices (and any profits made) going to the charity.

Supercars

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

So what were the highlights at this year’s CarFest South? Visitors could see supercars such as the Jaguar XJ220 and Ferrari F40 up close in the paddock.

Hillclimb

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

It wasn’t all stationary cars, either – with a variety of classics, supercars and even F1 cars going up the hillclimb.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

Evans tried to sell his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica at auction last year – but failed. He pleased crowds with it at CarFest – while his children drove a miniature version.

Food Fair

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

For those not as interested in cars, or just wanting a break from the track action, CarFest’s Food Fair featured a variety of live demos including a roast challenge and a pie eating competition.

James Martin

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

Celebrity chef James Martin is a regular at the event – appearing this year in his Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Jody Scheckter

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

Former F1 champ Jody Scheckter owns Laverstock Farm, where CarFest South is held. Here he is going up the hill in his 1958 Porsche tractor.

Aston Martin Vulcan

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

Spectators were treated to this rare Aston Martin Vulcan roaring up the hill. Just 24 have been sold worldwide.

Drifting displays

In pictures: Chris Evans’ CarFest South 2016

Drifting displays entertained young and old – and yes, that is a taxi you can see in the background.

Click through our gallery on MSN Cars to see more pictures from CarFest South 2016

Car buyers: buy now or pay more road tax from 2017

Car buyers: buy now or pay more road tax from 2017

Car buyers: buy now or pay more road tax from 2017

Motorists are rushing to buy new cars before new regulations come in next year – hitting drivers of even the most efficient vehicles with £140 a year road tax.

Announced in former Chancellor George Osborne’s summer budget in 2015, the existing vehicle excise duty (VED) system will be axed in favour of a one-size-fits-all blanket policy.

While drivers will continue to be charged road tax based on CO2 bands for the first year, in subsequent years drivers will have to pay £140 for any car which emits any CO2 from its tailpipe.

This means even ultra-low emission hybrids and small petrol models – previously exempt from road tax – will have to pay £140 a year.

The new VED bands will also be based on purchase price. While the £140 tax applies to all cars with a list price of less than £40,000, more expensive vehicles will be charged an extra £310 a year for five years.

That means the zero-emission Tesla Model S, with a list price starting at £58,335, will cost £310 a year to tax. A diesel family SUV, like the Volkswagen Touareg, will cost £450 a year in VED – as will high-spec versions of the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Car buyers: buy now or pay more road tax from 2017

The new regulations, being introduced from April 2017, will apply to all new vehicles bought from then.

So, if you buy a new car before this date, you could save as much as £450 a year in road tax.

AA president Edmund King said: “Many car owners may be unaware of the forthcoming changes to car tax. But these changes are coming and could make a big difference to their household spending.

“It seems counter-intuitive that ultra-low emission vehicles could cost more to tax than gas-guzzling cars. The new Chancellor may wish to consider if the proposed changes sends out the right message to encourage greener motoring.”

When Osborne announced the new road tax rules, he said that 95% of new cars would fall into the ‘standard’ category, costing £140 a year. He explained that the change was needed because too many cars were falling into lower road tax bands, meaning drivers are paying nothing in road tax.

He said: “Because so many new cars now fall into the low-carbon emission plans, by 2017 over three quarters of new cars will pay no VED at all in the first year.

“This isn’t sustainable and it isn’t fair. If you can afford a brand new car, including some of the most expensive models available, you can pay no VED. If you can only afford an older second-hand car you have to pay more tax.”

Cars registered before the new rules are introduced will be charged VED at the current rates.

BMW 5 Series Remote View 3D

The new BMW 5 Series will let you watch over it from afar

BMW 5 Series Remote View 3DThis is the new BMW 5 Series, uncovered and in all its glory… albeit viewed from above by someone watching over it on an app.

So while this technically is a world reveal, it doesn’t tell us much about the car. What it does reveal is a cool new app BMW’s developed for new 5 Series owners – that lets them watch over their car from their smartphone.

Using the car’s 3D cameras, BMW looks to be letting owners watch the same reverse parking camera view seen on the iDrive screen via the BMW Connected app.

As this works ‘live’ when in use during reversing, it will also mean owners can watch almost-live overhead footage of their parked car, wherever they are in the world (it seems to let them refresh the image, which presumably instructs the cameras to turn on so it can take another screengrab). How cool is that?

There’s likely to be more: it’s probably going to be linked into the car’s alarm sensors and other detectors, so would be able to alert owners if it picks up something untoward. Someone trying to break into your BMW? Watch what’s going on via the app.

It may even record incidents if someone drives into it, which would also be smart. And, we’re sure, BMW has loads of other functionality built into this new app – perhaps allowing owners to isolate individual cameras to spy in more detail, for example.

For now the firm, literally, isn’t saying much: in revealing the image, it simply stated: “Always know what is happening around your vehicle.

“The next generation of the BMW 5 Series with the BMW Connected feature ‘Remote View 3D. Coming soon.”

Consider us eager to see more, BMW. Not least of the new 5 Series you’ve actually given the world debut to here…

Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the yearLast week, the Sunday Times revealed Jeremy Clarkson’s top 10 favourite cars of the last year. They included gems like the new Mazda MX-5 and Volvo’s superb new XC90.

And while that’s great, what we really want to know is which cars he thinks are absolute stinkers. Writing for the Sunday Times again, Clarkson has listed his worst cars of the last 12 months. There are a few surprises…

Vauxhall Astra SRi NAVRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

We quite like the new Vauxhall Astra. It’s a huge step up over the previous model – and it even won the coveted European Car of the Year title. However, Clarkson isn’t a fan.

So why the Astra bashing from Mr Ex-Top Gear? Simple: he had an Aston to drive that weekend and wanted to be driving that instead. “I much preferred the idea of tooling around in a convertible Aston for the weekend to that of bumbling about in a mildly speedy Vauxhall,” he explained. Fair.

Infiniti Q30 Premium TechRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

When we drove the Infiniti Q30 last year, we didn’t think it was bad per se. It just had no distinguishing features that’d make you want to buy one over rivals from established premium brands.

Clarkson’s biggest criticism was the Q30’s diesel engine, which actually comes from Mercedes-Benz. It’s certainly a little grumbly.

“I think that’s what the engine does, in fact,” says Clarkson. “[It] turns diesel into sound. Because it sure as hell doesn’t turn it into large lumps of power. Every time I pulled out to overtake a caravan, I had to pull in again because there wasn’t quite enough grunt.”

Skoda Superb SE L ExecutiveRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

We rate the Superb for its upmarket interior, plentiful loadspace and attractive price tag – but Jeremy Clarkson isn’t as easily impressed. He gave the big Skoda two stars, concluding that it was ‘good for minicabbing but not for the soul’.

He adds that the Superb “has the same amount of soul as a fridge freezer. It’s the sort of car that you’d buy by the foot.”

Zenos E10 SRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

We said you’d be surprised by some of Clarkson’s choices. We gave the Norfolk-built Zenos E10 S a five-star rating when we drove it. But Jezza describes the unassisted steering as ‘wearing’, while complaining that he has ‘encountered better-equipped pencils’.

And then he comes to ‘the turd in the swimming pool’. The Zenos doesn’t come with anti-lock brakes, which means the front wheels have tendency to lock up under heavy braking.

“An anti-lock system would solve all that,” explains Clarkson. “But the whole point of the Zenos is that you get no driver aids. I like that philosophy, when I’m on a sofa and someone else is doing the driving, in a race, on the television. But a bit less when I’m heading towards a tree in a cloud of my own tyre smoke.”

Renault Kadjar dCi 130 Signature NavRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Now this we can totally get behind. Like the Infiniti, it’s not that the Renault Kadjar is a bad car. It’s just… bland. Tediously bland. Based on the bland Nissan Qashqai, Renault has made it just as soulless.

“A dreary milestone on motoring’s road to oblivion” is how Clarkson sums up the Renault Kadjar.

BMW X1 xDrive25dRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

This is another car that isn’t actually that bad. But as Clarkson points out, because it sports a BMW badge, you expect it to be better.

The Fracas-gate star bemoans the X1’s off-road ability and the fact the range-topping 2.0-litre diesel ‘didn’t feel speedy’.

SEAT Leon X-Perience SE TechnologyRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Throughout Clarkson’s 31-year car testing career, he’s never driven a SEAT. He’d never asked, because he ‘couldn’t see the point’, he explains. But then the company sent him its jacked-up Leon, the X-Perience.

We’re fans of the X-Perience’s metallic brown paint and brown Alcantara interior combo, but apparently Jeremy isn’t. “I’m grateful to SEAT for lending me this car because it reinforces every belief I’ve held about SEAT’s cars,” he says. “They’re a waste of time.”

Ouch.

Nissan GT-R Track EditionRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

The standard Nissan GT-R is a brilliant car. That’s something us and Clarkson agree on. But the GT-R Track Edition takes suspension from the (even more extreme) Nismo and a stiffer shell to make it a full-on track car. Too extreme for the road, reckons Clarkson.

“This track-day abomination gets no stars at all,” he concludes, after likening hitting a manhole cover to being in a plane crash.

Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TDIRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Clarkson’s first car was an original Volkswagen Scirocco, which goes someway towards explaining why he doesn’t like the current model. Add in the fact that it’s getting old, based on the sixth-generation Golf and is powered by a diesel engine that needs lots of revs to stop it stalling, and he arrives at a two-star verdict.

Jezza concludes: “As an overall package it did nothing all week except remind me how much I wanted a Golf GTI.”

Hyundai i800Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

The Hyundai i800 is enormous, practical, and cheap. It makes for a great taxi – but if you’re an Uber driver with one of these and get summoned by a Mr J. Clarkson, don’t bother. He hates the thing, awarding a bit fat zero-star rating.

“I would rather apply sun cream to James May’s back than travel again in a Hyundai i800,” he says. Well, there we are.

The average speed on local A-roads is just 25mph

The average speed on local A-roads is just 25mph

The average speed on local A-roads is just 25mph

Data released by the Department for Transport (DfT) shows that the average speed on local authority A-roads in the UK has hit a new low of just 25.4mph.

That’s less than half the 60mph national speed limit for single carriageway roads outside urban areas – and a drop of 1.7% compared to the same time last year.

The news comes ahead of the August bank holiday weekend, which could see delays of up to 90 minutes on some roads as motorists attempt to get away for one last summer break.

The DfT’s report shows the average speed drops to 22.4mph during the weekday afternoon ‘rush hour’ – between the hours of 4pm and 7pm.

Comparing local A-roads in urban and rural areas, the report found that average speeds have dropped the most in urban areas – down 4.0% to 18.6mph so far this year.

The drop was smaller in rural areas, where the average speed on local authority controlled A-roads is 36.8mph.

The report, which monitored traffic speeds using GPS trackers fitted to a sample of cars and light vans, found the average delay on local A-roads in England is estimated to be 45.2 seconds per vehicle per mile – an increase of 3.8% compared to a year before.

This increased to 75.0 seconds on urban A-roads, compared to 20.0 seconds on rural A-roads.

A further report published today by the DfT reveals that the average speed on the strategic road network – consisting of major A-roads, dual carriageways and motorways – is 59.2mph.

This network accounts for just 2% of all roads in the UK – but carries around a third of the traffic. During periods of congestion, drivers had to allow an extra 68% of time for their journey compared to when traffic was flowing freely.

Video: watch an Uber rally driver scare passengers in a Ford Focus RS

Video: watch an Uber rally driver scare passengers in a Ford Focus RS

Video: watch an Uber rally driver scare passengers in a Ford Focus RS

When you order a lift through Uber, you can never be sure who’s going to turn up – or what car they’re going to be driving.

But as a publicity stunt for the excellent new Focus RS, Ford Romania loaned rally driver Simone Tempestini a car and told him to demonstrate drift mode to a few (un)lucky punters.

In the video clip, Tempestini is shown telling his customers that they could have the ride for free – as long as they could spare 10 minutes for a demonstration of the car’s abilities.

You can guess what happens next – he turns onto a convenient empty piece of concrete and does a bit of sidewaysness.

The passengers are all suitably impressed with the car some are dubbing the hot hatch of the century. We’ll let the video do the rest of the talking.

7 ways to save a classic car from the scrapper

7 ways to save a classic car from the scrapper

7 ways to save a classic car from the scrapper

This is a plea to the casual classic car enthusiast. More than 1.5 million Austin Metros were built between 1980 and 1991. Now fewer than 500 survive on our roads.

It’s not just the humble Austin Metro that’s on the verge of extinction. Ford Cortinas, Morris Marinas and Vauxhall Chevettes are all in decline – and you could prevent any of these disappearing entirely.

As part of its new Save our Classics campaign, ClassicLine insurance has released a list of eight ways you could prevent an endangered car driving its last mile.

1: Buy one

1: Buy one

Yes, it might seem obvious. Not all of us are in a position to give an Austin Metro a good home. But if you can, you might find it a worthwhile exercise. For example, you can pick up a Morris Ital in excellent condition for around £5,000. That’s so much cheaper than more exotic classics – and it could be a sound investment. For just £1,000 you could pick up a Metro or Triumph Acclaim in reasonable condition. Imagine how good you’d feel, seeing it tucked up in your garage.

2: Join a club

2: Join a club

Whether you’ve bought an unloved classic or are just enthusiastic about their plight, there’s a club out there for everyone – from the Allegro Club International to the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register. It could get you a discount on insurance, too. Plus, you’ll get to attend some great events.

3: Store your car correctly

3: Store your car correctly

An Austin Maestro that has survived this long doesn’t deserve to be left out in all elements. Classic cars can be fragile and hard work to maintain. They’ll be easier to live with if looked after properly – ideally stored in a dry barn, or a wood- or brick-built garage. If you haven’t got a barn or garage to hand, consider an inflatable plastic tent, using fans to keep air moving inside.

4: Use a specialist garage

4: Use a specialist garage

If you look, there are a surprising amount of specialist garages and part suppliers out there for all manner of cars. Support these – they’ll be able to provide expert advice on, say, the correct thermostat to fit to your Austin Maxi. And they’ll probably charge you considerably less than franchised companies.

5: Petition the Government

5: Petition the Government

As of 2014, classic cars over 40 years old face a rolling exemption from paying UK road tax. ClassicLine says owners should petition the Government to reduce this to 30 years – and make more classics exempt from the MOT. Currently, all vehicles made before 1960 don’t have to face the annual roadworthiness test.

6: Petition the Government some more

6: Petition the Government some more

While it’s great to have a local mechanic who’s old enough to have been around when your car was new, ClassicLine warns that 43% of the 22,000 people working in the classic car industry are more than 45 years old. A large number of the workforce could be retiring in the near future – so enthusiasts need to petition the Government to promote the IMI Diploma in Classic Vehicle Restoration. Doing so could get more younger people interested in old cars, and give them the skills to keep them on the road.

7: Use it

7: Use it

Cars like to be driven – and a vehicle that’s left in the garage for years will seize up, rubbers will harden and bodywork will corrode. Not only is regular use better for them, it’ll also help spread enthusiasm and promote the cause.