Fifty Years Is A Long Time

As everyone knows when purchasing a classic car, you are purchasing the end result of the previous owners whose hands it has passed through.

Historical documentation is like looking at a map, if there is no documentation you’re traveling blind. I have seen situations where there can be documents 2 or 3 inches deep, however on closer examination, I have discovered large gaps in history. This can indicate a situation where for many years there had been very diligent ownership, then the owner falls out of love with the car (or dies), or any combination of factors that lead to the abandonment of the car. In other words, you want history but it must be relevant.

I’ve recently come across situations where the history of a vehicle covered large segments of its life but the segment with no history would lead one to the conclusion that claims being made about the car could not be substantiated. In these two cases, extraordinarily low mileage was being claimed, but both owners omitted to get substantiating documentation for the mileage when they purchased the car. Low mileage claims are very seductive but only translate into dollar value when substantiated by the documented provenance.


Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.


A Review of Vauxhall’s Influential Classics

There are few brands as historic and reputable in the UK than Vauxhall. The car manufacturer, which is headquartered in Luton, dates back to 1857 when it was founded by Alexander Wilson as a pump and marine engine manufacturer. It became Vauxhall Iron World before beginning manufacturing cars in 1903.

A UK Favourite
General Motors took over ownership in 1925 as part of a European expansion and they switched focus from luxury cars to mass-market automobiles in the wake of World War II. Since then, Vauxhall has become a UK favourite and they have been the second-largest-selling car brand in the UK for the last 20 years.

Vauxhall cars are known for their practicality, reliability and affordability. The brand is also known for having a car in every sector, from small city cars right through to large SUVs and MPVs. A few of their current most popular models include the Insignia, Viva and Crossland X, but Vauxhall also has a number of classic cars in its history that have greatly inspired auto manufacturers from around the world.

Early Innovation
One of the earliest Vauxhall cars that turned out to be hugely influential is Vauxhall Cadet from 1930. It became the country’s very first car that came with a synchromesh gearbox, which is now a vital part of a manual transmission. This was shortly followed by another innovation – the Ten-Four in 1938 which was the first UK car with unitary construction.

The Viva
Following World War II, Vauxhall began to manufacturer cars for the masses and the most notable of these was the Viva, which began production in 1963. This small family car became an instant classic thanks to the fact that it was small, reliable, strong and cheap to run. Production of the Viva ran till 1979, but the influence of it can be seen in today’s hugely popular and competitive city car market. These vehicles need to be small for urban driving, but they must also be spacious inside and reliable for families. These are areas that the Viva excelled in and why it enjoyed such a lengthy production run.

Continued Success and Innovation
In 1975, Vauxhall managed to boost sales with the release of the Chevette hatchback and the stylish Cavalier saloon. The Cavalier quickly became a UK favourite thanks to its cool and unique design, whilst the Chevette was well-timed with motorists increasingly looking at small cars due to the Oil Criss of 1973. The next influential car would be the Astra in 1989, which replaced the Viva and remains in production to this day as one of the best-selling cars. It built on the success of the Viva, but it was also the company’s first transverse engined, front-wheel-drive car and one which has certainly influenced many manufacturers.

The Corsa
The groundbreaking Corsa was released in 1993 and this forever changed the small car sector. In addition to its excellent design and practicality, the Corsa was also one of the first cars to bring new features like power steering, anti-lock brakes and a car alarm. These are all standard and important features that you will find in all vehicles today. This helped the Corsa to be a massive hit and it remains one of the more common sights on UK roads today. The Corsa would later earn a 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test, helping it to become even more reliable and popular with families.

Modern Times
In modern times, Vauxhall continues to be a pioneering and innovative brand. One great example of this Insignia, which was named Car of the Year in 2009 and features a groundbreaking design and state of the art technology. This makes it very popular with both critics and the public, with the Insignia remaining one of the better large family cars available.

As you can see, Vauxhall has a long history of innovation and forward-thinking. Many of their designs and innovations have influenced other manufacturers and this makes them an important company in the industry. There is now a brilliant range of beautifully designed Vauxhall cars available with a car to suit every type of motorist. They are best-known for their small hatchbacks which are very popular with young drivers, couples and professionals, but Vauxhall also have SUVs, executive cars, saloons and many others to choose from.

Vauxhall cars are built to last, so they are an excellent option to buy second hand. This can make them even more affordable and, due to their popularity, there is never a shortage of used Vauxhall’s available. Due to their build quality, a used Vauxhall is very reliable even if you opt for one of the older models. It is for these reasons that this is such a beloved company in the country and their history shows that they are also hugely influential in the auto market.


Why Classic Cars Can Help At Risk Kids

Classic CarYou may have heard that young people are losing interest in cars and driving. Whilst it is true that lack of time and money prevents many teens from making their driving dreams a reality, the interest is definitely still there. A survey from Autotrader questioned 3,000 American members of Generation Z (born after 1995). 92% want to own a car and 72% would even give up their beloved social media for a year for a chance of car ownership!

It is clear that cars and driving are still relevant to today’s kids and a spotlight on a fantastic new program is showing how classic cars can benefit America’s most vulnerable young people. CNN recently interviewed Aaron Valencia, an ex juvenile delinquent who kicked his teenage drug habit and turned his life in a positive direction thanks to his passion for classic cars. After opening a small shop, Aaron decided to expand into an after school program for at risk youth with a focus on classic car restoration. The program, Lost Angels Children’s Project, aims to offer children a positive and safe space to learn something different, whilst providing them with something Aaron never had as a child – stability. Here is why working with classic cars is helpful for at risk kids.

Learn useful skills
The benefits of learning mechanical skills are huge. Children who have been let down by traditional academia can gain confidence and hope knowing that career opportunities are available in more vocational pursuits. Aside from careers, an understanding of how cars work will help keep kids safe when they become drivers themselves.

Positive male role models
In many American households the father is absent or distant and society worries about the effect of a lack of a male role model in children’s lives. Whilst there are many wonderful women working in the car industry, it remains predominantly male and so these programmes provide role models of positive masculinity. The initial interest in classic cars can lead to literacy practicing reading quality car related media, an incentive to learn about science and positive socialization in the car community. Allowing boys and girls to express masculine sides of their personality without being aggressive or delinquent is a wonderful outlet.

Reconnect with history
Whilst helping out in any mechanic shop would garner many benefits, the classic car focus of this programme is especially beneficial because it connects the kids with history. The benefits of studying history include providing identity and valuable lessons about why the present is the way it is. Working with classic cars provides children with a living’ history and could spark an interest in the time period of the car or the history of mechanics.

With all the benefits the classic car industry offers vulnerable young people, it would be wonderful to see more programmes like Lost Angels Children’s Project in the future!

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash


Bramhall Classic Auto is Now Representing a Major European Collector

We are now representing a major European collector.

Currently searching for Ferrari from ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, Rolls-Royce and Bentley coach-built models up to 1972, to $4,000,000.00 USD.

You can contact Maurice Bramhall in the utmost confidence at maurice@bramclassauto.com


1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II RHD

1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II RHD
FOR SALE: 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II RHD

This car has been owned for many years by a car enthusiast/engineer. More information on the listing page.