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Governments are increasingly intolerant of the classic machinery we love – time to make a stand

According to research by the Adams Group, in terms of sales the classic car trade was worth about £5.5billion to the British economy but the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) suggest that over 34,000 jobs depend on the trade and the value of the one million-plus classic vehicles it embraces is almost £18billion!

And yet several major British cities including London and Birmingham are threatening to follow Paris in imposing or even outlawing the use of older cars and the Department for Transport is proposing legislation requiring oil companies to sell petrol with a 10% ethanol content which will render many of our cherished motorcars useless, or at least without very expensive modifications.

10% Ethanol – currently it’s 5% – would increase the octane rating to a point where it would damage older engines originally designed to run on 95 octane fuel. Nowadays 97 octane is the norm and this is already a stretch for some engines that didn’t have hardened valve seats fitted after the withdrawal of leaded fuel in the 1990s. Liquid additives are available, but they’re expensive and can be difficult to administer in the correct quantities.

The FBHVC is running a consultation featuring and online questionnaire which we at The Classic Motoring Review urge readers to complete as a matter of some urgency, especially if you own a car over 25 years-old. You can find it at:

And for more information about the FBHVC and its work, go to: