British born Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman built racecars and sold used cars while attending college. After college he took on a stint in the RAF but continued to build cars.Lotus Logo Applying his knowledge of aeronautic engineering, Chapman’s vehicles consistently won race after race gaining a reputation as the fastest formula racers around. After producing numerous models, Lotus Engineering Company began in 1952 followed by Lotus Cars Ltd. in 1955. Lotus Cars Ltd. was based on four principles. They were performance through lightweight, fun to drive, great handling, and innovation. Lotus is credited with developing numerous innovations through the years that were used in the production of their own, as well as other manufacturers’, autos. Among Lotus firsts are composite monocoque road car, aluminum monocoque, use of a fully stressed engine, ground effects, and extruded and bonded aluminum chassis. Today, more than ten percent of all cars sold in Europe have engines that were developed by Lotus. Due to the success of Lotus’s performance, it has been said by many that Chapman has influenced the modern automobile more than any other person.

Jeep Compass Car Review

The Jeep Compass is a spacious, comfortable, well equipped motor that offers the rugged good looks associated with the American icon.


The Jeep Compass will surprise those familiar with the American company’s vehicles by offering good fuel figures that average more than 40mpg with the diesel. This, combined with both relatively low carbon dioxide emissions and insurance rating, mean the Compass shouldn’t break the bank.

Visibility is excellent thanks to the lofty driving position so parking and manoeuvring around town is surprisingly easy for a car of these dimensions.

A decent driving position is relatively easy to obtain as the seat is fully adjustable although the steering column doesn’t adjust for reach.

The Compass is a practical option for a family as it offers plenty of space for all occupants plus their luggage.

Head and legroom are top drawer and the Compass has a boot with cave-like dimensions that includes a floor that can be removed for cleaning. The rear and front seats fold flat when extra space is needed for more awkward sized loads.

The materials used in the cabin should withstand the attentions of the kids although that’s not to say they are of very good quality.

The Compass should be a reliable vehicle as Jeep has a decent record in this respect.

Jeep Compass

Life Style

The Jeep Compass will appeal to parents who like their SUVs to look rugged with plenty of room in the cabin.

The Compass is Jeep’s first front-wheel-drive vehicle with the rear wheels only employed when extra traction or stability is wanted.

The handling is tidy rather than exceptional with good steering and control of body movement.

However, the ride can be a touch jittery despite the all-round independent suspension which is another Jeep first

The Jeep Compass is a refined beast – no mean trick when you consider the large frontal area and big mirrors.

Wind noise kept to a minimum while the engines remain pretty quiet unless revved really hard.

The Compass is a relatively cheap car to buy in the States, so Jeep haven’t gone overboard on the interior materials with plastics feeling brittle and looking shiny.

The Compass looks a bit like a chiselled Cherokee with Jeep attempting a blend of modern and retro to tempt buyers looking for something different from the norm. By and large they succeed and image is a major selling point for the Compass

As far as the environment goes the Compass defies conventional wisdom about Jeep as carbon dioxide emissions are not at all bad.

The sad fact is though that most people will just assume it’s a gas guzzling destroyer of rain forests without checking the figures.

Security and Safety

Jeep fit the Compass with keyless entry and an alarm to deter anyone thinking of trying to steal it.

As far as safety goes Jeep include almost every safety device known to the motoring world on the Compass. There’s anti-rollover protection, stability control and six airbags plus a part-time four-wheel drive system that enhances stability and traction when required.

The Finishing Touches

As is normal with Jeep, the Compass is fitted with lots of equipment as standard that is only available as options on many SUV rivals.

There’s only one trim level which includes kit such as leather upholstery, air-conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels and a rechargeable torch in the boot. The stereo provides an excellent soundtrack when you are driving and is easy to use.


The Compass is Jeep’s first attempt at a soft-roader. It is a late entrant to a market full of talented vehicles so needs more than just the famous badge to attract buyers.

The Compass is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel, sourced from Volkswagen, or a 2.4-litre petrol connected to a manual or continuously variable automatic transmission.

The diesel is likely to be the most popular engine as it benefits from a turbo giving the oil burner a perky performance and decent fuel economy.

The exterior is as eye-catching as ever while the interior is a pleasant place to spend time.

The Compass offers a decent drive on the road with handling that equates with what is normally expected from a large SUV.

Subaru Legacy

The new Subaru’s Legacy boasts better cabin quality and performance. The latest model is one of the best cars on the road today, although few buyers know this.

In saloon form the Legacy makes a decent executive car with lots of driver appeal. The Outback variant offers considerable off-road appeal, but the Sports Wagon estate model is where the real treasure lies.

The Legacy’s offers an impressive standard of interior fit and finish. Subaru LegacyThis model could easily be the company’s best built car ever. The firm’s attention to detail is obvious with small details such as the colour matching of different materials or the tactile nature of most surfaces. The car’s exterior has been enhanced as well and boasts several improvements.

Drivers get Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system, that is complimented by the 3.0R variant. The car comes complete with rally car-style gear change paddles for its auto gearbox and a dial that allows the driver to alter the engine’s performance.

The Sports Tourer boasts a large boot and great handling. The Sports Tourer is fun to drive and is truly unique from other large load luggers.


The Subaru Legacy is not going to be a cheap car to buy or run. In addition to the high asking price, the fuel economy isn’t the greatest and serviceing charges are high. Off-setting these costs are great reliability and high resale value.

The Legacy has a very spacious cabin and will easily accommodate a full load of passengers and a day’s shopping in the boot. Font passengers will enjoy plenty of head and legroom. Rear occupants will have enough room but not quite as much as the front passengers do.

All the gauges and instrumentation are logically placed within the driver’s line of sight. The fasica is pleasantly unclutted with intuitive controls. This is counter by the lack of quality in the plastics used.

The seats are wide and supportive. The rear seats will accommodate two large passengers and three children. Road and wind noise are virtually nonexistant. The Legacy also delivers a smooth ride.

Getting into the car isn’t difficult. The large door apertures provide unrestricted access into both the front and rear. The boot’s hatch opens wide, giving way to a low load lip and a wide loading bay.

Parking the Legacy is easy, as long as you are moving forward. When reverse parking, you might have a harder time, but it shouldn’t be an impossible task. Helping with this is light steering and good visibility.

Life Style

Subaru’s have really good driver appeal. The car’s all-wheel-drive grip and unusual engine configurations, are very appealing. The engine is very encouraging when worked hard. With the Legacy you lose a little refinement on coarse road surfaces, otherwise it delivers aride that is right up there with the competition.

The legacy offers loads of space, and the Sports Tourer feels rugged enough to deal with the rigors of family life. A good safety kit is offered as standard, and the car offers four-wheel drive. Subaru LogoThe car’s large boot should be able to hold just about anything. The leather upholstery may take some abuse at the hands of unruly children.

The Legacy would not make an ideal first car. It’s expensive to run and insure. It’s a very easy car to drive though, which will be enticing to a novice driver.

The Legacy offers a high standard of quality. The quality on offer is much better than previous generations, but the Legacy’s image remains low when matched up against the German firms. This car can hold its own with even the most prestigious names, but is not likely to be given that chance.

Safety and Security

The car comes equipped with deadlocks, keyless entry and shielded door locks. The car also includes a Thatcham Category 1 alarm package. A tracking device may be a worthwhile investment given the desirable nature of the car.

The Legacy comes with driver and passenger dual-stage airbags, side airbags, Isofix rear child mounts and a cargo security cover. ABS with EBD is also included.

The Finishing Touches

The car’s standard audio system includes an attractive radio and CD player. Some controls are slightly fiddly, but steering wheel mounted controls make things a lot easier. The sound quality is adequate and optional upgrades are available. Satellite navigation is an option.

Dark colours are flattering to the Legacy’s exterior design, and make the car look more expensive. Inside, the car’s cabin boasts high levels of quality, for an impressive look and feel.


The Legacy’s lack of a diesel option will turn some buyersw off. The car really has more to offer than the majority of buyers will ever know. It’s probably one of the most underrated cars in the marketplace and worthy of comparison with premium petrol estates from the likes of Audi, Volvo and Honda.


Named for the area where the company was founded, Vauxhall began as an ironworks company specializing in pumps and marine engines. In the early 1900s the company decided to focus on building automobiles, producing their first model in 1903. Vauxhall ChevetteBy 1907 they changed their name to Vauxhall Motor Ltd. Although the product had changed, their logo remained the same and continues to be used today.
Credited with building the very first true sports car, the Prince Henry C-type in 1911, they were bought out by American auto giant General Motors in 1925. This became the first GM plant in all of Europe and during World War II, Vauxhall, with GM backing, pulled off the amazing feat of designing and building tanks for the British war effort. The project was initially projected to take four years and the company finished the project in only a year. After the war they resumed auto production and today’s Vauxhalls are an Opel-Vauxhall mix still bearing the griffin logo. With models ranging from a Vauxhall Corsa to Vauxhall Chevette (pictured) there really is a lot of options to choose from under the Opel Vauxhall mix.


Cadillac was named for the French explorer who discovered Detroit. The company started as an engine manufacturer for Oldsmobile in 1901, but Oldsmobile rejected the powerful engines due to design problems with their models accommodating them. This gave birth to a new automotive company.

Cadillac was to be an upscale vehicle and led the way with innovations for comfort, luxury, and safety. Among their firsts were headlamps, oil tail lamps, and bulb horns. By 1927 they offered over 500 color and upholstery combinations, and had security plate safety glass standard on all models by 1929. By 1930 they offered radios.

Cadillac Logo

Today’s Cadillac continues to lead the way in revolutionary developments. With Bluetooth Technology, hands-free mobile phone capability, and DVD Navigation that responds to voice. Cadillac also boasts Adaptive Remote Start, a function that adjusts seating, and radio channel, starts the car, and recognizes the driver, unlocking the car upon their arrival. OnStar, is a service that gives emergency assistance, and Stabilitrak is designed to pull the car out of lateral skids, and are both standard features on all Cadillac models. Cadillac has become synonymous with high-class cars.

Servicing and MOT made easy!

Whilst we are keen to post news and information about classic Berkeley cars, we also are going to be using this blog roll for general news which surfaces from the Automotive world.

Owning a car usually offers much in the way of practicality and convenience, but things can go wrong, and you can be left needing to get your vehicle serviced, whether it is a New Porsche or a Used Fiat, no car is immune to the perils of the road. On top of that you need to have your car MOT tested annually, so it is never just plain sailing.spanner

As soon as someone mentions the words “service” and “MOT” you hear moans and groans begin to echo; everyone feels the inconvenience, and everyone feels like they have been overcharged at some point. BuyYourCar.co.uk has stepped up to the plate in an attempt to put an end to our moans and groans; a unique system which will make booking your Service or MOT much easier and should save you money.

It is free to use, requires no subscription and it is very straight forward. All you need to do is enter the necessary details of your vehicle and your location and you will be given pricing information regarding the Servicing and MOT costs from garages in your area like Telford MOT and Service or MOT and Servicing Cannock for example.

Berkeley Models

Sports SA322
sportts sa 322
The first ever Berkeley model to role off the production lines was the Sports SA322 model. The Sports SA322 used a Fibreglass monocoque, and it was powered by a twin-cylinder 322 cc two stroke engine courtesy of British Anzani. This engine was primarily built with motorcycles in mind, and only produced 15bhp. Despite its low amount of power, the SA322 produced a brilliant ride, partly down to the fact that the car was so light, but also because of the all-round independent suspension by coil springs.

Sports SE328
sports se28
After producing 163 SA322 cars, a change was made to the Sports model’s engine. The 322 cc engine was replaced after one year by a SE328 cc engine which could produce 18bhp, this became known as the SE328 model, Berkeley produced 1258 in total many of which were sold in America. The SE328 was capable of 70mph and averaged 70mpg, whilst these figures made for some catchy slogans, there was some dispute as to whether or not they were entirely true, as the Motor magazine, whilst testing the model found it to be capable of only 62.1mph and 58.3mpg. Regardless, the SE328 was a hit and received quite a lot of attention thanks to its involvement with lightweight motor racing at the time. People have since fitted the SA328’s with a variety of different engines, including a Used Honda CB400 super sport motorbike engine.

Sports and Twosome SE492
sports and twosome
The SE492 made its debut at the same time as the SE328 and it featured a three-cylinder 492 cc engine which generated 30bhp, enough horses to push the SE492 to a top speed of 80 mph. As was with the other SE models, many of the 492 cc Berkeley Sports were exported to America in right hand drive form. Approximately 666 vehicles where made throughout its two year stint of production.

B95 and B105
These two models were introduced alongside each other at the Geneva Motor Show in 1959. The B95 and B105 both  featured twin-cylinder Royal Enfield 692 cc four-stroke engines , the one in the B95 was capable of 40bhp whilst the B105 could provide 50bhp, which could hit 100mph, something which was pretty special at the time. The 2 models were under production from 1959-1961 and around 200 were made in that time.

T60 and T60/4
The T60 and T60/4 were the last big models to come from Berkeley and they went down extremely well in Britain thanks to the fact that it only had three wheels and could be driven with a motorcycle license, this also meant that the three-wheeler Berkeley was a cheaper option than most other cars.

They featured a similar grill to the Austin Healey cars of the time and the same engine as the SE328 models which could generate 18bhp and was billed as capable of 70mph and 70mpg. They were under production from 1959-1960 and 1800 made.

Since then….

There were a few other models introduced from Berkely which saw two or three actually produced, including the Bandit in 1960 and QB95/QB105 models in 1959.  There were also tribute models made in New Zealand in the 80’s.  Some more great berkeley photos here

Berkley Cars Ltd History

Berkeley Cars Ltd were a car manufacturing company based in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire and their expertise lay in producing economical sporting microcars. Unfortunately the company was forced into bankruptcy in 1961 when the caravanning side of their business fell through. In turn they were only producing cars from 1956 to 1961, yet during that brief period of time they managed to create some classics, of which 4100 were produced. All models were 2-door roadsters largely made of fibreglass and they were made to be “cheap, safe, easily repairable and pretty”.Remap-Engine-Tuning-Problems There were eight different models in total, one of which (T60 & T60/4) had only three wheels. There are still a number (potentially hundreds) of road-worthy Berkeley vehicles thanks to their reliability and the international Berkeley enthusiast group who help owners with details on replacement Car Parts and restoration/repair information. A company based in Syston, Leicestershire began restoring Berkeley cars in the 1980s, they even got hold of some of the original moulds allowing them to create new body panels and eventually complete T60 cars. These days it is pretty hard to get hold of a Berkeley, for similarly vintage models it might be worth considering a Used AC Car or one of the New Westfield Models that are available and based on the Lotus XI Le Mans Car which is from 1956.