● It seems you’re never far from a car with irrefutable ties to Steve McQueen. This recently reassembled Chevron B16, chassis b16-70-26, above, was bought by the actor’s Solar Productions and raced by Clive Baker/Digby Martland at Le Mans 1970 (DNF), which in turn gave it a role in McQueen’s plot-flimsy ’71 film Le Mans. It’s on sale at Legends Automotive in Bicester for £225,000.
● With ‘revenge buying’ all the rage, the used-car market is now sizzling – but which car’s price has risen most? That honour goes to the Mercedes V-Class Diesel (2014-19) vans. At the three-year/30,000-mile mark its value has rocketed by £11,000 in six months.
● In July car production in the UK fell to its lowest level since 1956, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 53,438 cars were built, a fall of 37.6% compared to last July. “The semiconductors shortage shows little sign of abating,” says SMMT’s chief executive Mike Hawes.
● If you think that’s gloomy, in 1949 the UK government was urging businesses to ‘Export or die’. Austin did its bit with the streamlined A90 Atlantic, aimed at the American market. But of almost 8000 made, just 350 ended up in the US. Corrosion ate A90s alive and now there are fewer than 60 left. You’ll find a ’49 fully restored convertible at St Andrews Autos in Chelmsford for £29,950.
● Research by car finance company Moneybarn has revealed the best and worst places in the UK to buy a used car. Bottom, with much soul-searching to do, is Burton upon Trent where 52% of reviews for its dealerships were ‘terrible’. Sitting in sunlit uplands is Bolton, where 75% of dealers were rated as ‘excellent’. Please form an orderly queue on the A666.
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