When we began our roundup a year ago, the world was facing the most unprecedented event most of us had ever seen. Working from home, while educating our children at the same time and not being able to see friends and family are just some of the challenges  we've faced over the last eighteen months.

It's hard not to look back and wonder if it was all a surreal dream (or should that be nightmare?), but we can now look to the future with a new sense of optimism. Yes, the date for a complete relaxation of lockdown rules has been extended by a few weeks and yes, there is every possibility that this may extend again, but there is a real sense now of light at the end of a rather long tunnel.

This also applies to the world of motoring. Motorsport is fully active once again, both modern and historic, and most car venues are open and have been able to welcome enthusiasts while maintaining the safety measures that we have all become used to.

Icons of motoring

We are pleased to be able to resume this series with a look at another iconic car. This time, it's the vehicle that arguably set in place the blueprint for car manufacturing, still used a century later. If you need a hint: you can have it in any colour, so long as it's black. What more of an introduction does the Ford Model T need? Read more here.

Goodbye to a key motorsport figure

We are sad to report the passing of Mansour Ojjeh, a leading figure in Formula One and a McLaren shareholder for almost 40 years.

His involvement with the sport began in the late 1970s, when his father, Akram Ojjeh, established the Techniques d'Avant Garde investment company, better known as TAG. TAG initially supported Williams, in 1979 who went onto win the driver's title in 1980.

Ojjeh's partnership with McLaren began the following year, and they dominated the decade with five driver and four constructor titles, including the historic 1988 season that saw Prost and Senna win 15 out 16 rounds.

It was Ojjeh who persuaded Ron Dennis to diversify into road car manufacturing, the result being the McLaren F1, which we wrote about here. This set in motion a programme that has now made over 20,000 super and hypercars.

Races and events

McLaren's F1 fortunes seem to be back on track once again and after many years of a single team and driver dominating Formula One, it's refreshing to see not only a close battle for the lead, but a much closer field behind.

Baku's race was thrilling, if for no other reason than seeing a return to the podium for Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, a thoroughly deserved win for Sergio Perez, and Pierre Gasly rounding out the top three. For the championship contenders, it was a race to forget, with Verstappen suffering a high-speed crash on the main straight and Hamilton making a rare error at the subsequent restart. His misery was compounded in the next two rounds, with Verstappen taking an 18-point lead.

The F1 circus holds its second round at the picturesque Red Bull Ring in Austria before heading to Silverstone where, we hope, tens of thousands of fans will once more be able to cheer on their favourite drivers.

The 2021 British Touring Car Championship is also underway. The opening round was held at the fast and flowing Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, followed by round two at Snetterton, then to Brands Hatch. Defending champion Ash Sutton left the Kent circuit leading the standings.

Fellow driver Jake Hill, who is also a very talented pilot of historic racing machinery, was seen recently at Brands Hatch winning class in a lovely Lotus Elan. Once again, spectators were welcomed back to watch the racing and get up close and personal with the cars.

This is one of the many enjoyable aspects of historic motorsport. Being able to get up close to some of the iconic racing vehicles of yesteryear is a treat for any enthusiast, so if you haven't already made plans to get to an event this year, we'd recommend that you do so.

We'll report on Goodwood's Festival of Speed next month and also the British Grand Prix, both of which have been granted capacity attendance as part of the Government's Events Research Project

Insight from Girardo

We have enjoyed reading the columns Max Girardo has kindly produced for us, and deeply envious that he has been able to travel to the US to host the first major Concours d'Elegance of the season at Amelia Island. You can read his thoughts here.

Our eye was also caught by a great story recounted on Girardo's website about the case of a missing diamond. Read more about this scintillating, Monaco-based story here.

Motoring headlines

Renaultsport rebranded

We start with the news that arguably one of the best producers of hot hatchbacks during the last two decades is no more. Renaultsport has now officially been renamed 'Alpine'. The new brand will focus on models with sporting ambitions, with the goal being an all-electric range.

Alpine has already confirmed that it will initially offer three models – an electric version of Renault's A110 coupe, an SUV and a hatchback, possibly based around the retro-styled '5' concept that Renault showcased at the start of 2021. Might we see the famous GT Turbo of the 1980s make a return? Renault seems set on putting a sporting version of the car into production by 2023, so we can but hope.

Lotus gets a lift

We wrote recently about the demise of the Lotus Elise, and we're pleased to say that this may have been premature. Lotus has announced that it is considering selling the entire Elise tooling to enable its continued production. We are watching this story with interest.

This brings us very neatly to Caterham, who of course bought the rights to continue making the Lotus Seven almost 50 years ago. The Surrey-based company has announced an electric version of the Seven, due to enter production in 2023. The firm was recently acquired by VT Holdings, the brand that imports the Lotus car into Japan. VT Holdings is confident that it will be able to create a Seven for the modern era without losing its core appeal as a lightweight, drive-focussed vehicle with a distinct lack of creature comforts.

Lamborghini goes electric

Lamborghini has already mapped out its intent to create more electric vehicles (EVs), with the launch of its first fully electric vehicle due within the next five years. This model is said to borrow technology from both Audi and Porsche, and given the success both companies have enjoyed with their own EV ranges, we imagine this will be a positive step for Lamborghini.

Restoration fever

There has been a distinct 'restomod' theme around our recent roundup content, and June is no exception.

It is no secret that more manufacturers are producing parts for their older models, with some offering 'factory' restoration services (Ferrari, Mercedes and Porsche in particular). This month, Stellantis has announced plans to expand on its heritage parts operation by offering new parts for Lancia's Integrale, with plans to expand this to other Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Fiat models.

Interest in contemporary classic cars seems more common than at ever at present, so this news will be welcomed by many owners and clubs.

Changes to Chieftain

From Italy, to Oxfordshire – now to the news from Banbury-based Jensen International Automotive. The company is known for restoring icon of the seventies, the Jensen Interceptor, but also produces the Chieftain, a thoroughly re-engineered classic Range Rover. The latest evolution uses a newly developed chassis to give the car modern driving characteristics. This is backed up by modern engine choices including American V8 units, which produce considerably more power than the original.

The donor car of choice is the 'soft dash' first generation model – or, for the layperson, the last version of the original car. This also means that there is the option to use the LSE, or extended wheelbase, version, giving even more space inside.

There appears to be little to limit how a Chieftain can be specified apart from the customer's imagination and budget. Upgraded lighting, fresh new leather and carpets, audio improvements and more modern suspension are the starting points.

The road to recovery

In the last month, we have seen more positive news from the motor manufacturing sector as its steady recovery continues. This is tempered with caution, however, as while production during the first quarter of 2021 was up by around 17% compared to 2020, it remains just over 3% lower than the same period in 2019.

UK sales figures show similar recovery, with May 2021 recording a staggering 674% increase against the same month a year earlier, helped no doubt by dealerships being fully reopened to customers.

Interestingly, during April almost 23% of all cars produced were electrified (including full EV, plug-in and self-charging hybrid) which is in itself an increase of 33% compared with April 2019. The same figures revealed that 83% of all cars made are being exported, with over half going to EU countries. This shows that the UK's business relationship with Europe remains strong. As a contrast, the volume of exports to the USA remains at around 17%.

(Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders for Q1 2021)

Chip production looking up

We have written about semi-conductor chips as often as reimagined classic cars, as the global shortage has had a significant impact on electric vehicle production. News from Germany recently may prove to be the start of a recovery, with the government committing €140 million to what is set to become Europe's largest semi-conductor chip-producing factory.

Bosch has already invested around a billion euros in the Dresden plant, the goal being to reduce European car makers' reliance on Asian chip producers. The plant aims to manufacture 20% of the world supply by 2030. It is expected that the first chips will be made in July, destined for Bosch power tools, and six months ahead of schedule.

Good news in the insurance world

The cost of insurance fraud is felt by everyone. The Association of British Insurers produced figures towards the end of last year revealing that over 107,000 fraudulent claims had been discovered during 2020 at an estimated total cost of more than £1.2 billion. Much of this cost is passed back to honest policyholders, so when we hear of fraudsters being caught and convicted, we think that this is a very good thing indeed.

Fraud arising from 'cash for crash' is a very dangerous crime both for the perpetrator and the innocent parties who fall victim to their actions. One such example was a 37 year-old man from Bolton who deliberately caused a collision on the M62 motorway with  other vehicles, then attempted to defraud Axa by claiming for damage and injuries sustained in the staged crash.

The man was convicted both of dangerous driving and fraud by false misrepresentation at Manchester Crown Court at the beginning of May. He was sentenced to an 18-month community order, 150 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month driving ban, with the requirement to complete an extended retest.

What makes this scam all the more hard to believe is that one of the two unwitting victims was behind the wheel of a 44-tonne articulated lorry. Luckily for other road users on the motorway, both he and the other driver became suspicious of the way the culprit's car was weaving across the carriageway with dash cam evidence supporting this and being used as evidence during the trial.

A good result all round and, more importantly, nobody was (genuinely!) injured.

Another new Bugatti – let some numbers do the talking

  • 1,600 – the bhp
  • 5.8 – the time, in seconds, to reach 124mph from a standstill
  • 12.1 – same as above but this time to reach 186mph
  • 273 – top speed, in miles per hour
  • £2.75m – the price to purchase

The figures above all relate to the latest Chiron variant, named the Super Sport. Designed as a grand tourer, it features the extended bodywork seen on the 300mph-plus (and rather aptly named) Super Sport 300+, and will be firmly aimed at the ultra-high net worth sector.

Porsche – taking the rawness off very high performance

Finally Porsche and their latest 911 GT3 Touring. This is one of those cars that firstly, does exactly what its badge suggests, and secondly, has been applauded across the internet by car journalists, enthusiasts and influencers alike.

Porsche takes the already rather capable GT3, removes its spoilers, adds a touch of bright-work around the windows and gives the interior some noticeable updates against the more overtly sporting version. The new model also allows owners the choice of its excellent PDK transmission (available for the first time on this model) or a manual gearbox – still firmly the choice of the enthusiastic driver, despite the undeniable improvements made in automatic boxes over the last 20 years.

The engine is unchanged – flat six, 4 litre and 503bhp. The suspension is also the same as that fitted to the GT3 as is the weight (1,418kg, or 1,435 if the PDK gearbox is specified). Such is the popularity of this model (and its predecessor) that long waiting ,lists are expected, once again proving that the 911 simply works, with or without the aggressive motorsport-derived aesthetics.

New cars for June

  • Ferrari Portofino M – only an 'entry level' Ferrari could produce over 600bhp in its facelifted Modificato form. The car can also hit 60mph and under 3½ seconds
  • Maserati MC20 – designed as a reset for the brand V6, 600+, and around £190,000
  • Mercedes Maybach GLS and S Class – the top of the range SUV and saloons get the uber-luxurious touch. Are we alone in wondering what the 'basic' models are lacking?
  • Polestar 2 – designed to compete with the Tesla Model 3. The Swedish EV maker is going through a rapid growth phase, with ambitious plans to open new sales sites globally
  • Porsche 911 GTS & Taycan Turismo – the former being a model to bridge the gap between base and GT3 models and anticipated to have a power hike beyond the previous model's 444bhp, with coupe, Targa and cabriolet versions being offered. The Turismo is an estate variant of Porsche's hugely successful EV And who doesn't love a fast estate car?


Auction news

You can find Glenmarch's usual roundup here with plenty of strong results, particularly for contemporary classic models.


It feels like it's been a long time coming, but we are back with our clients, in person. The Ferrari Owners' Club opened the calendar with their National Owners Day at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire.

The sun was shining and over 600 stunning cars representing every era of Maranello's history congregated at the historic airfield. Lockton's David Hamer attended and reported as follows.

“With over 600 Ferraris in attendance, Sywell was a welcome return to club events after a long hiatus. It was great to be able once again to meet so many Ferrari owners and see their wonderful cars. I also had the opportunity to be interviewed on the main stage and tell people a bit more about Lockton and what we can do for them”.

Meanwhile in Oxfordshire, over 5,000 enthusiasts descended on the Bicester Heritage site for their first 'super scramble' of 2021, with almost every type of classic car one could wish to see. This event also saw the launch of the Scramblers club, designed to offer members access to news and articles from the sector plus exclusive events held at the historic site.

Both this and the Ferrari event were blessed with the most amazing summer weather, further enhancing the simple pleasure of once again congregating with fellow petrol heads, surrounded by amazing machinery.

Finding the new normal

So there we are. Summer feels like it's actually started, (well, it is still light after 9pm) and while holiday plans abroad may still be less certain, we can begin to look ahead with a renewed sense of positivity and optimism.

One thing is for sure: Lockton will be at as many car events as we can fit in, and we can't wait to see some of you again!