Further thoughts on the concept of premium.

"A premium car is tricky," said motoring broadcaster Steve Berry when we asked exactly what might define a premium car. "I suppose it's very different from saying a car is a classic. For instance I would say that Giugaro's design and its innovative manufacture for the original Fiat Panda qualifies it as a classic but its certainly not a premium car." And he's right. Whilst design plays a part, some of the most innovative designs have steered well clear of the P-word. Take a look at the Mini for Read more [...]

What defines a premium vehicle in 2013?

Sam Skelton tackles the burning question of what defines a premium car. Defining a premium vehicle used to be easy. Not only was it a product from a well-respected manufacturer of large and prestigious products, but the car itself would tend to be larger and more expensive than the norm. Small executive cars such as BMW’s 3 Series changed all that – they demonstrated that a premium brand can be extended downward with – provided the car met the brand’s core values – little detriment Read more [...]

Sir William Lyons Award 2011 pt.2: Is a classic vehicle a viable first car?

It is surely beyond doubt that other young classic car fans, like myself, are astonished and dismayed by the number of our contemporaries we see driving 'cars' like BMW MINIs, Citroen C2s, and Ford Fiesta 1.25s. "Do they not realise," my inner petrolhead screams, "that they could save money AND drive something more fun if only they opened their eyes?" One evening, in the pub, I asked a Kia Picanto-owning friend if he'd even remotely considered a classic. His reply wasn't repeatable, but I was invited Read more [...]

Sir William Lyons Award 2011 pt.1: Interview – Dr. Alex Moulton CBE

As the creator of Hydrolastic and Hydragas, most acknowledge that Dr. Alex Moulton knows something of suspension design. What is less known is that, whilst working at Bristol Aero Engines, Moulton, motoring correspondent Gordon Wilkins, and aero engineer Sir Roy Fedden, were involved with the creation of a prototype 'people's car' which drew inspiration from Tatra and Volkswagen. "We really didn't understand that the Volkswagen Beetle's engineering and design hid several faults!" Moulton recalls, Read more [...]

Sir William Lyons Award 2010 pt.2: What measures can motorists take to keep their insurance costs down?

As a young driver living in the North of England, it has become a begrudgingly-accepted fact of life that any insurance quotation I get - be it for a Mini or a Mercedes - will be a minimum of four figures. "It costs me £1700 to insure my Kia Picanto third party, fire and theft - it's basically one stage up from a skip!" an old mate of mine jokes. But I know he's being serious. Are there any ways to reduce this? I think there might be. Some of the following tips will apply equally to more mature Read more [...]