Tag Archives: portfolio

Too many E numbers

We recently put together a blog series for Imperial Car Supermarkets on the history of the BMW 3 Series and it’s production timeline. All those E numbers got us thinking…

Why not put together two simple illustrations showing the timeline of model designations for the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series at the same time?

So we did, and here it is:

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Ford just out-cooled everyone

The Ford GT is back… And it’s off the scale.

Powered by a 3.5l V6 engine, the 600bhp supercar will be on the tarmac near you in 2016, a fitting celebration of the 50 year point since the original GT40 crushed Ferrari at Le Mans.

The carbonfibre monster will use Ford’s latest twin-turbocharged Ecoboost unit, mounted in the middle and powering the rear wheels.

Visually, the car echoes many if the styling clues which adorned the 1960s shape, although this is a very modern supercar. Digital everything and intelligent aerodynamics ensure this Ford will be one hell of a machine.

Stylistically it’s like Ford have taken the very best bits of the most exotic cars available today yet still retained that wonderful retro feel… After all, the original GT40 was quite the looker. Maybe hold off on ordering your Lamberarri for now…

Expect prices nudging the £200k mark and yours can be ready sometime in Q3/4 of 2016.

Well done, Ford, Well done.

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Print Portfolio: The Volkswagen Doubleback

The Volkswagen Doubleback is an ingenius concept in creating a motorhome that’s as good to drive and look at as it is to sleep in.

This feature originally appeared in the Most Wanted section of Wavelength Surf Magazine:

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Mercedes Vito Sport Review

This review was originally written for Wavelength Surf Magazine, December 2012:

Let me lay my cards on the table right at the offset – I don’t like vans. I’ve always thought they’re slow, heavy, thirsty, a pain to drive, a pain to park and ugly.

On the other hand I’m sick of ruining my cars because I surf, having to fold the seats up and down to switch between carrying people/surfboards, and now that modern vans come with leather seats, tinted windows and cruise control maybe it’s time for a change…

Can the latest incarnation of the Mercedes Vito Sport convert me back to van ownership with its car-like charm and surfboard friendly load bay…?

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Er, what is it? 

The Sport is essentially the non-builder version of the popular Mercedes Vito model. It comes fully equipped with plush carpets, electric everything, air conditioning, cruise control, tinted rear windows, Bluetooth hook up, high performance audio unit with auxiliary input and alloy wheels. Check out the website for the full specification list, but this van comes fully loaded with all the right toys.

The body comes in two choices, the Panel Van for privacy or the Dual Liner. The Dual Liner comes with twin sliding doors (featuring heavily tinted privacy glass) with two seats up front and three in the back. The seats can easily be removed for carrying larger loads (or sleeping!).

What’s it like to drive?

There’s a choice of two engines in the Vito Sport, the 116CDI with 163bhp or the more punchy 224bhp. Ours featured the 116CDI 163bhp, and at no point did it feel like we needed more power. The Vito Sport is rear wheel drive, and as surfers and surfboards tend to be featherweight cargo you can have some fun with spinning the rear wheels – which is amusing in gravel car parks but also lead to one interesting incident on a wet hairpin bend during a steep climb in North Cornwall.

The power delivery of the 116CDI is smooth; it doesn’t suffer from being too peaky like some Turbo Diesel engines and there is no lag – you can stamp your foot into the carpet safe in the knowledge that the van will shift. Although we only had surfers and boards inside the Vito Sport for the duration of our trip, the van returned a healthy 36.5mpg. It was driven in the usual ‘surf trip’ way, erattic and excited on the way there and slow and relaxed on the way back!

What’s it like to live with?

It drives in a very ‘car like’ manner, however the lack of rear visibility due to a windowless tailgate is a simple reminder that you’re driving a van. There are other perks such as electric windows and a good stereo; plus the handling is great and it’s easy to park. The interior is well equipped, comfortable for five adults and big enough to hold surfboards up to 6’3 ish diagonally laid flat in the load bay without any trouble. The rear tailgate works better on a surf van than dual opening rear doors despite the extra space required for parallel parking; when open wide it makes an excellent umbrella to change under during a downpour!

Overall we found this van a great compromise between the luxury comforts of a car and the all round practicality of a van.

During our time with the Vito Sport we did find one annoying feature – the handbrake. Anyone who’s driven an automatic Mercedes before will know that the handbrake is replaced by a footbrake mounted on the left side of the clutch, with a pull handle release placed at the lower right of the dashboard above the drivers right knee. The handbrake can’t be released gradually, you simply yank the lever and with a heavy ‘clunk’ the brake disengages. This system works fine in an automatic vehicle, where generally your foot is on the brake as the handbrake comes off… but our Vito Sport had a manual gear box!

We discovered how annoying this can be after we’d parked nose first, on a steep downhill, right in front of another vehicle on a wet North Cornwall road.

To get out of a spot like this, the driver has to place all his faith in his ability to find the bite point of the clutch and release the handbrake at the exact moment the wheels find traction. In the lightweight Vito Sport, only loaded with fiberglass surfboards and wetsuits, hill starts on wet Cornish roads took a bit of practice and a sometimes a lot of tyre smoke!

What’s it like for a surfer?

Overall, brilliant. It drives like a car, is economical, plenty fast enough, full of toys and as vans go; pretty good to look at. We’d like to try the 224bhp version but with light cargo and wet roads the 163bhp engine is more than adequate. There’s plenty of space for surfboards and the heaters are excellent, basically, it’s got everything the modern surfer needs and feels well thought out.

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Are there any alternatives?

There are plenty of vans on the market, so we’re not going to list them all here, and lets be honest – most of them are ugly.

The Vito Sport is specifically aimed at the action sports market, it’s main competitor is the Volkswagen T5, but aren’t you all bored of those by now?!

Mercedes Vito Sport Specification:

Engine: 2143cc Turbo Diesel (163bhp)

Transmission: 6 Speed Manual

Fuel Consumption: 37.7mpg (combined cycle)

CO2 emissions: 198g/km

Top speed: 117mph

Price From: £25,760

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Private Numberplates – What’s the fuss?

Here’s a post we created for client SpeedyReg.co.uk, aiming at demonstrating just how easy it is to add a personalised numberplate to a vehicle:

http://www.speedyreg.co.uk/blogs/2014/07/private-number-plates-whats-the-fuss/

Or you can read the post here…

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Private Number plates: What’s the fuss?

A private number plate adds individuality and creativity to a part of the car that is compulsory by law.

Why personalise a number plate?

There are many reasons why an enthusiast would want to personalise a number plate. After working on a car for many years, an owner may want to add that finishing touch – after all, if it’s a vehicle that’s going to be kept for some time, it makes sense.

Other buyers see number plates as an investment, whilst others simply want to associate their number plate with their car, such as having MG or BMW somewhere in the digits.

One of the marques most well known for featuring private number plates is Morgan. You can almost guarantee that when a Morgan cruises past you, it’ll be wearing a MOG plate!

Businesses often purchase private number plates to give their fleet consecutive numbers, or as another branding expertise as part of their marketing.

A large proportion of classic car (or nearly classic car) owners will personalise their number plates to hide a cars age. “It’s a 15 year old car” said Graham about his Mazda MX5 “But with my dateless plate no one knows. It’s always polished and looks brand new, so why should the plate give the game away?”

This anti-aging process can also be applied the other way around, as it has for Colin:
“I love the older cars but my Mini is a 1993 model, it has a few subtle touches to make it look older, including an older number plate. I’d never try to sell it as an old car, but to the casual onlooker it appears to be a vintage classic…. But I know the secret!”

How do I apply a private number plate to my vehicle?

There are many online retailers of private number plates. The process is very simple, once you’ve chosen your perfect plate simply follow the procedures on the website.

With a good number plate retailer such as SpeedyReg.co.uk, the process will be handled and you’ll be kept informed every step of the way. Once your certificate has arrived, you’ll need to return your V5C and tax disc to SpeedyReg, who will then handle the rest of the process for you.
When you purchase the number plate, you’ll be asked whether you want to have the actual plates provided, or you can choose to go and purchase them elsewhere.

How much do private number plates cost?

As much as you want to spend! Dateless plates can be bought as low as £50. Some of the most expensive private number plates have sold for upwards of £250,000!

Is there a transfer fee for the service?

Yes, the DVLA charge a standard transfer fee of £80 for the process.

What happens to my old number plate?

Unless you choose to keep the plate on retention (£105), the DVLA will simply reclaim it back.

How long does it take?

With a good provider, the whole service should take around 10 working days.

What are the age restrictions for dated number plates?

DVLA registrations are dated registrations and therefore can only be transferred onto an age related vehicle. You can make your vehicle look older but you cannot make it appear younger:
Eg DO57 COW would not be able to be transferred onto a 1997 vehicle.

However if your vehicle was first registered in April 2008, then there would be no problem in transferring J17 XNE onto your vehicle, as it will make your vehicle look older – which is allowed.

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Print Portfolio: Lottery Surf Trip – Buying an Island

The Lottery Surf Trip was a concept dreamt up by Joe and the team at Wavelength Surf Magazine. It was a double page spread based around a no-limits lottery win surf trip of your wildest dreams!

This edition involved purchasing an island, a speed boat, chartering a private jet and starting a surf camp.

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Print Portfolio: Lottery Surf Trip – Australia

The Lottery Surf Trip was a concept dreamt up by Joe and the team at Wavelength Surf Magazine. It was a double page spread based around a no-limits lottery win surf trip of your wildest dreams.

This issue featured the Holden Maloo, a trip to Australia and some money-no-object surfboard purchasing.

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Print Portfolio: Flow Rider ‘How To’

Flow Riding isn’t easy.Wavelength Surf Magazine asked for a ‘How To’ guide to cover a double page of a summer issue of the magazine, and this is the resulting article.

This was part of an advertorial, featuring an advertisement towards the first third of the magazine.

Flowrider, Wavelength July 2012 issue