The Names Bond, James Bond (this years NEC Classic)

This years NEC classic show had a theme of TV and Movies, so what else could we do but pay homage to that wonderful few minutes (or was it seconds) where a gorgeous Stag was driven by the very handsome Sean Connery in Diamonds are Forever!!! Various shades of yellow Stags were found and willing owners agreed to display their cars, props purchased and costumes organised.


Set up day – cars placed, cutout arranged – and tested of course!

So stand ready next we have the cast…..
Dauphin Lundi (aka Baron Samedi)
Burnt Valve Bloback (aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld)
Odd Bod (aka Odd Job)
M 25 (aka M)
Q Likely (aka Q)
Miss Spendapenny (aka Miss Moneypenny)
Coldfinger (aka Goldfinger)
Boozy Galore (aka Pussy Galore)
Commandeer Blond (aka Commander Bond)
Dr Yes Please (aka Dr No)
And various James Bonds ranging from Premium Bond to Shaken Not Stirred Bond

So highlights of the show…….
This year we expanded on the family friendly theme too and as well as the popular colouring in area we also had a racing game for children young and old to challenge there friends and family to the fastest lap in various classic cars (no Stag unfortunately!!)

kids corner

This also drew in a couple of familiar faces to the stand, first we were joined by Sir Stirling Moss on Saturday

And on Sunday Ant Anstead and his kids visited for a quick go…

Here’s the standings as the show closed Sunday evening

Leader board

One of the other popular parts of the stand were the cut outs – so many people enjoyed posing with them…

And one very special couple Robin Abbott and Gill Roberts


Robin popped the question on our Stand on Sunday and Gill said Yes – Congratulations to you both.

We were also visited by Alex Riley

and Gordon Birtwistle –  Triumphs High Speed Test Engineer

Gordon Birtwistle

Over all we had a really busy show, we hope that all our visitors enjoyed our stand as much as we did, I for one laughed all weekend.

Till next year……

Drive it Day 2014

So folks, Drive it Day…. the day in the spring we all wash, polish and proudly get out there in our beloved Classic Cars to show them off and have a jolly good day out to boot!!!

Heres the highlights from this year as posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…..

Our first picture is from Frank McGregor – About to go for a spin in my 1977 Stag. Rego is a STAG and it lives in Hobart Tasmania!!

About to go for a spin in my 1977 Stag. Rego is STAG and it lives in Hobart Tasmania from Frank McGregor

Next up Suffolk and N.Essex Dirve It Day Highlights

Couple of nice pictures via Instagram

Carlo Maria Del Conte all the way from Italy

Carlo Maria Del Conte

Aberdeen Drive It Day.
From the Beach to the Royal Deeside Railway Centre for a coffee stop then on to Leith Hall. Over 80 cars took part from a 1912 Stanley Steam car to a new Focus. More pics from Aberdeen – Click Here

Aberdeen Drive It Day. From the Beach to the Royal Deeside Railway Centre for a coffee stop then on to Leith Hall. Over 80 cars took part from a 1912 Stanley Steam car to a new Focus.

More Stags enjoying days out

From Warwickshire area SOC a drive out through the lanes crossing into Leicestershire and a drive out in Haarlem in Holland

Nice montage from the Stilton Cheese run (is that a Stag warning a Stag???)


And lastly, Classic Car Weekly promised to print EVER picture sent to them from Drive It Day – and here are the Stags that featured in the 10 pages they printed – well done guys a great memento to a great day…Till next year!

NEC Classic – Day 2 Saturday

We have been super busy today, it has been a wonderful day so far, the halls have been packed with people all enjoying the cars and the brilliant atmosphere.

The guys at Wheeler Dealers have been busy with the MG restoration..


We have been busy today with the “Pimp My Stag” with lots of kids of all ages having a great time being creative. These are some of the great pictures that have been created today – see our Facebook Album for more

There was a special guest with The Wheeler Dealer guys and on the stand at Lancaster Insurance…. the one and only David Soul of Starsky & Hutch fame. He was there to tell us all about a project he has been working on called Cuban Soul. A mission to help the Cubans re-build Ernest Hemingway’s long-lost 1955 Chrysler New Yorker. This has been made all the more difficult due to the embargoes in place in Cuba – find out more go to Cuba Absolutely 

Lastly me and Tony couldn’t resist getting our pickie taken with the other star of Starsky & Hutch – non other than the Gran Torino herself….


More from us tomorrow for the last day of the Classic Motor Show 2013….

NEC Classic – Friday so far

And so we begin the 3 days of glorious cars, entertainment from the chaps at Wheeler Dealers and meeting lots of new friends on the Stag Owners Club stand.

We are in Hall 12 this year so come along and join in the fun and check out the fab 4 that we have on our stand this year.

Friday morning show is starting to fill up

Friday morning show is starting to fill up

We are encouraging the young and old to “Pimp My Stag” and “Build My Stag” on the stand (or you can take one home and post on Facebook later.)

A few have been busy already….

The chaps over on the Live Stage –  Mike Brewer, Edd China and Paul Brackley have a challenge this year to bring back to life this 1975 MGB – Good luck boys!!

Wheeler Dealer Challenge

Wheeler Dealer Challenge

And for a bit of a challenge for the rest of us – pop along to the Carole Nash stand and see how long it takes you to remove 4 spark plugs (it took me 40 seconds – must try harder next time!!!) but did get to say Hi to Fuzz Townsend and get my sash signed – Thanks Fuzz!!!


NEC Classic – On your marks!!!

So the NEC classic car show is just days away, we are very excited and putting together the final preparations for the social goings on on our stand.

We will have 4 cars on the stand this year, some real beauties too including a show winner and one that spent the summer cruising the french riviera.

The guys and galls in the shows team will be there tomorrow setting up the stand, putting up the gazebo and giving the cars that last bit of polish before the opening on Friday. Check back tomorrow and we will have some preview pics for you – see the stand first here on our blog!!!

So what have those of us on the social media side have in store for you over the next few days to celebrate this event…….

Pimp my stag and build my stag – get those creative juices flowing and come along to the stand and create you ideal (or just crazy idea) for your stag. Don’t despair if you can’t get along to the NEC just pop along to our Facebook Page and download the templates, get creative (don’t forget to give the kids back their crayons/paints etc!!) scan or take a pic and load back onto our Facebook page and we will add to the gallery (it’s a Take Hart revival!!)

Here’s the prep we have been doing

Pimp my Stag and Build my Stag

Pimp my Stag and Build my Stag

We will also see the return on Facebook of the just for fun “where on a Stag” and “whats the caption” competitions, again you don’t have to be coming to the NEC to take part just pop along to our Facebook page and take part.

We will be on the stand to help anyone get around our social media sites, see our pics on Flickr, how to like us on FB, find us on Twitter and of course read our brilliant Blog!!

We have some “rewards” for all those who come along and take part – we’ve been hard at work creating  unique fridge magnets ….

Coolest Fridge magnets at the show!!

Coolest Fridge magnets at the show!!

And treats for the hard working colourinners

Sweet treats for the colourers

Sweet treats for the colourers

So all in all we are set for three days of fantastic cars and lots of fun….

We will be blogging each day, may be multiple ones so do scroll down just in case you have missed one!!

Lastly we have a little surprise for a couple of SOC members…. watch this space 🙂

A little surprise??!!

A little surprise??!!

The Restoration show and the Learner

Each year our area at the SOC attend the restoration show, and each year we take on a project in a day. We find from our area a job that is needed on one of our cars and that is what we work on for the day. In previous years we have renewed the soft top and worked on the seats, this year we took on replacing the rear sub-frame mounting bushes. Tony and I were lucky enough to not just to have our car the one chosen to be worked on but as I love to work on our car and enjoy learning how to do all the new jobs – the suggestion was made that I would do the work under the instruction of Bill and Paul (our experts).

We took the car over on Saturday to set up the stand and get the car up on the axle stands all ready for work to commence on Sunday.

Sunday  – best get the overalls on then!!


Then we got started, wheels off first, didn’t really need to take them off but it gave the folks that came to have a look at what we were up to a better view.


Quite early in the day while I was cleaning off the under-seal from the bolts, (you need to do this before you try and undo them as you can’t really get a spanner or socket onto them correctly) a couple arrived on the stand from Canada!! Tarn asked Lesley where the people who do the Stag Owners Facebook page were and was pointed in my direction – thats me on my knees! It was great to meet Tarn and her husband, she has been a regular on our page since we started it just over year ago, it is wonderful to meet friends from Facebook especially when they are from other parts of the world. Tarn is going to be doing the same job on her car so was interested in how it was going.


So on with the job, now I had 2 expert mechanics helping me with this job – and as we are working with the rear suspension it’s really important to work safely so we had the car firmly on axel stands and had the trolley jacks under the subframe arm so we can lower then under control when the time comes to remove the old subframe mounting bush.

So heres some of the highlights from my day as a learner mechanic!! – Not all the steps we did are here and there may be some terms that I don’t get quite right but these are not instructions its the parts I remember from the day (and what a day it was!!) – get yourself an expert or manual if your taking this on.

First as I said, clean all the nut and bolt heads to get them nice and clean so you can get the socket cleanly on them before you try and undo them. I was surprised that I managed to crack them myself (just give the spanner a little gentle tap with a hammer if they are a little stiff).

The bolt on the anti vibration strap can be undone, the bolt nut on the bush itself needs a helping hand inside the car to stop the top of the long bolt from turning as I undo the nut. Once they are off I can then take out the 2 small bolts that hold the bush to the subframe, will need a socket and spanner here as need to hold the nut on the top still with a spanner whilst undoing the bolt with a socket. – Now heres a tip from Paul, when undoing these 2 bolts about half way it got really tight to undo, this is where the exposed thread on the bolt is now coming through the nut and all the dirt on the thread is now clogging up inside the nut and causes it to be really hard to turn. So just reverse and tighten the nut, once the thread is exposed again (above the nut) give it a good spray with WD40, then reverse again and begin loosening again. Its still a little tight when we get to the “dirty” part of the thread again but better than before – and this time I can get the nut fully off. (if its still tight or won’t undo – just repeat the process)  – good tip!!

Next Paul and Bill took the lead to lower the subframe arm so that we can get the old bush out and the new one in. The long bolt needs to be removed that goes through the bush from inside the car, as the hole under the seat is quite small thats when a telescopic magnet comes in handy!!

All the old parts that we will re-use are cleaned up, get all the dirt and old under-seal off and spruce up with a wire brush. All the bolts are given a smear of copper ease, and the new bush – just to help it slid through the hole it fits into.

The new bush goes into  place and then the 2 small nuts and bolts on either side hold it into place (all the nuts were checked for tightness by Paul after I had done them up – need to make sure that they were tight enough but not over tight)

The long bolt needs to go into place – including all those huge washers that fell out when we removed the old ones – make sure you take note where they come from and put back in the same order. This takes many hands, one inside the car to thread the bolt down through the hole, one to check that the bolt is coming down through the washers and new bush, and lastly one to jack the subframe arm back up so that the bolt will locate through the bush enough to get the nut on the end of the thread.

So all that done the strap is located too and then nut located on the strap and subframe, and there you have it the new one is on!!

New on in place

New on in place

Paul then sprayed Dinitrol on the bush, nuts, bolts and all round to protect all that new metal against the elements.

So one side done, we moved round to the other side and repeat!!!

I had a wonderful day, Tony (the other half) and I have done a few jobs on the car and enjoy learning about how to maintain these wonderful cars. The guys at the club are so helpful and supportive to us, happily passing on the knowledge to us learners!! Bill and Paul thanks for a great day!

Take a look at all the photos from the day on our Flickr Page.

PLEASE NOTE – these are NOT instructions on how to undertake this job just some pics and words of our experiences, always consult professionals when undertaking any repairs or restorations. (please refer to the disclaimer on our about page)