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[ARC Logo] ARC News Issue 22 - September 1998




Geof Miller, ARC Press & Publicity
Brandlehow, Wolverton, Stratford-on-Avon CV37 0HF
Tel: (+44) 1789 73 1669


UK Clubs membership payments to ARC from ARC Chairman, Peter Oakden The level of subscription which member clubs pay to the Association has been under review by a sub-group of ARC Council. Although it may appear simple, a method of levying payments which is fair to all clubs can become very involved. We have 'Competitive Clubs' (e.g. Midland Rover Owners Club) and 'Non-Competitive Clubs' (e.g. Rover Sports Register) where currently the structure is quite different. We have ceilings which limit the payments made by large clubs. Further, we have the fact that to brand a club 'Competitive' is a misnomer since statistics show that on average only between 15% and 25% of Competitive Clubs' members are actually competitors. Thus there are many variables to be taken into account and many possible solutions have been considered.

The working party have formulated three possible schemes and the Association are holding a forum on Saturday 14th November to present these proposals to the member clubs. Each club (39 off) will be invited to send two delegates to the meeting to receive and discuss the proposals. The two delegates will be Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer and it is important that your club is present. Please lobby your committee to ensure that your club has a voice on this important issue.

ARC News Circulation

I'm afraid that life at the editor's desk is a bit of a rough ride at the moment (about like an unladen Series II 88 with H.D. suspension!) for various reasons:-

  1. ARC News 20 took five weeks from my depositing the master copy at Lode Lane, to getting out to your letterbox.
  2. ARC News 21 took six weeks, meaning that a large proportion of its content was out of date by the time your received it
  3. Phone calls and mail from car club members 'complaining' of receiving ARC News when they are "not a member of the club".
  4. Continuing mail and phone calls from members and the public about ARC News being delivered to incorrect addresses.

On items 'a' and 'b', I can only apologise for glitches beyond my control.

On item 'c' - the Rover Sports Register and the P6 Rover Owners Club are members of ARC and both clubs now participate in the ARC News circulation system. The fact that there is no car news in the newsletter is because I don't receive any input from the clubs in question. I did receive some info on an RSR event earlier this year, but unfortunately due to newsletter timing difficulties, was unable to get it out in time.

On item 'd' - I have explained previously that I do not have any influence on the address list used for ARC News circulation, this is the responsibility of your club. Each club supplies a disk to Andrew Neaves from which the master disk is compiled. From this, the distribution centre print labels and stick them to envelopes. If you change address, tell your club, and insist that they send an updated disk to Andrew. If you get your club magazine at the right address, but your ARC News is incorrect, it is obvious that your club has updated its own disk, but has not updated us.

Reproduced below is a comment from Andrew, which we hope will help overcome some of the difficulties.

It now takes a considerable time (about twelve hours) to collate all the club address information, let alone correct it with all the address error complaints we receive.

Therefore as from this month we will only do three address updates per year. The closing dates for these updates will be: 1st March, 1st July and 1st November.

Any club that has missed two updates will be removed from the circulation list until a new update is received. This gives us the advantage that: a) The clubs know when the updates are required. b) The time required will be reduced. c) Out of date information will be removed.

Please be aware that, with exception of duplicates, all address errors should be directed towards your club.

Also quite a large number of you do not show a post code. If your address label on this ARC news does not have a post code please let your club know. Doing this will enable us to offer a faster service to both the UK and World wide members as currently we have to check ten thousand envelopes to ensure the UK and World wide distributions are separated.

Listed below are the clubs now participating in the system, together with the date of their last membership update disk to Andrew. Please note that those marked * are at risk of being excluded from the system with effect from 1st November 1998

101FCC&R June 98
3 Spires Apr 97 *
LRR 47-51 Aug 97 *
Breckland Mar 98
C & D Mar 97 *
Chelt. & C Mar 98
Cumbrian Apr 97 *
Dorset Apr 97 *
E. Northants Jun 98
Essex Jan 98
L & C Aug 97 *
Leics & R Jun 98
Lightwt LR Feb 98
Lincs Aug 98
Midland Jun 98
NERO Jun 98
Newc.& Nant. Mar 98
N Wales Jun 98
Nottingham Jun 98
P & D Jun 98
P6 Owners Jun 98
RRR Mar 98
Red Rose Jun 98
RSR Jul 97 *
Series I Aug 97 *
Series II Jun 98
Shetland Jun 98
Som. & Wilts Jun 98
Southern Apr 97 *
S & S Jun 98
Wye & W Jul 98
Yorks Jun 98


NFU Mutual Insurance

Following the issue of the NFU Mutual / ARC Insurance leaflet last October, we have heard many reports of good deals and satisfied customers. One or two comments have been made about agents not knowing of the scheme, and agents insisting that membership of 'NFU Countryside' is necessary in order to obtain insurance cover.

At a recent meeting with NFU, I was able to raise these points, and it was accepted that there have been a few isolated incidents, but increased internal marketing should now have put things right. If you do encounter any difficulties, you can ring the enquiry number on the original leaflet - 0345 045031 - to get advice and assistance.

Whilst the original leaflet leaned towards 4 x 4's and 'rural motorists', ARC car clubs are included in the scheme, including classic vehicles, limited mileage schemes, etc. - in fact any insurance problem can be considered.

Pete Wilford - Cartoonist (retired)

You all know Pete, don't you? Can you imagine him being rendered speechless? - No? - well think again. John Bradbury and Harold Lowe, ably assisted by Pete's wife Jane, cajoled Pete up onto the stage in the marquee at the International Rally at Eastnor, and presented him with a superb decanter, as a 'retirement' present from the ARC, for all the pleasure he has given us over the years.

Pete's jaw dropped, and for a few seconds (it seemed like several minutes), he was speechless - there has to be a first time for everything!

Pete has retired from running his cartoon stand at shows and events, but will still be putting a smile on our faces via the media.

Reproduced below is a letter received from Pete & Jane:-

On Sunday evening 24th May at the ARC International Rally, I was press ganged onto the stage in the beer tent.

I was presented with a beautiful cut glass decanter and Jane my wife was given a large bouquet of flowers.

These were from the ARC, Club members and Friends wishing us well on our retirement at the end of the year from doing shows with our cartoon gallery.

This was a wonderful gesture and truly appreciated, even though I didn't think so at the time. I was completely GOBSMACKED for the first time in my life.

I would just like to apologise to anyone who was there, as I felt I had let you all down by not being able to respond to this great tribute, and had I known what they had in store for me you would not have got me anywhere near the beer tent that night.

Whenever I pour a drink from the decanter I will always remember all the laughs and good times spent at the last 28 National Rallies I have attended, whether competing or cartooning, and all the friends we have both made.

Many thanks to you all individually, the Clubs and the ARC, for your support and kindness.


Shugborough June 27th/28th 1998

The Series I Club worked their socks off to achieve a weekend to remember, wet on Saturday but gloriously fine on Sunday, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of THEIR vehicle.

At the International Rally at Eastnor a few weeks earlier, we had seen a wonderful line-up of hundreds of Land Rover's various models, but the line-up at Shugborough of hundreds of Series I's really was mind boggling - it made the hair on the back of your neck stand to attention!

Congratulations to Chairman Andrew Stevens, Shows Officer Andrew Cross, Rally Officer Peter Hughes, and of course all of their committee and helpers, on achieving such a superb and memorable event.

I think a few comments are worth repeating:-

  • From a member of Shugborough Hall staff - We were thinking of having you back to train some of our other customers on how to run a show!
  • Someone stopped Sue Combridge during the weekend to ask - Are you professionals?
  • Someone called out the AA to Shugborough Hall to attend to a green Land Rover!


Endurance Comp Safari - Staffs & Shrops LRC 26th-27th September 1998

Staffs & Shrops annual 'bash' under RACMSA Clubman's permit at Abbotts Bromley, Staffs. For more detail contact Allan Dawson on 01538 387348 - or via e-mail to allan_dawson@compuserve.com

LARA Workshops 2nd/3rd October 1998

Two 'workshops' on Countryside Consensus, on Friday October 2nd at the National Water Sports Centre, Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham, and on Saturday 3rd October at the Welsh Institute for Sport in Cardiff. Cost is 50 per person (30 for LARA-affiliated clubs) to include meals, refreshments and papers. Contact Alan Kind on 0191 236086 or talk to Tony Kempster on 01797 252371.

THE MALACHI TEAM COMP SAFARI - Lincolnshire LRC - 28th/29th November 1998

A team-of-3 Comp Safari at Wickenby Airfield, but individual entries will be accepted. For details contact Lincs LRC on 01472 398019, or 0976 510433, or 07970 192779, or 01427 377357.


On 30th August 1998 two Defender 110s and a Pegasus Quantum flexwing microlight aircraft set off from London heading for Singapore without using ferries, a world first, and then on to Sydney. They are crewed by 5 guys and 3 girls, with a two man base team in Hampshire. Their aims are threefold:-

  1. To complete the first ever overland crossing from London to Singapore.
  2. To raise money for the Trinity Hospice based at Clapham Common in London
  3. To visit hospitals and medical centres en route and explain the work and doctrine of the British hospices.
  4. They are seeking support from companies, clubs and individuals. You can become a 'friend' for 20, whereupon you will receive a 'T' shirt and monthly newsletters, or just give them moral support.

For more information contact the base crew, Peter Cooper or Richard Phillips, at Swarranton House, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9TQ, tel: 01962 732759, or look them up on the Web.

We wish them bon voyage!


Towing Brackets

There is a new EC directive (94/20EC), the Mechanical Couplings Directive, which at last applies safety standards to vehicle towbars. The three main features of the directive are:-

  • The bar must fit only the vehicle manufacturer's designated fixing points, and must fit all of these points
  • The assembly must pass a fatigue test of 2 million cycles at a new higher loading than previous tests
  • The towbar must not obscure the vehicle number plate when not in use.

All vehicles registered on or after 1st August 1998 may only use a type approved towing bracket fitted with an approval plate or sticker. This plate will contain various approval data and the approval number e.g. e11 00.0000

This legislation covers all cars and 4 x 4s with up to eight seats, it does not apply to light commercial vehicles or minibuses.

An important point, of course, is that you cannot fit an "old" towbar from your previous vehicle to your new, post-August 1998 Defender, Discovery, Range Rover or Rover car. Obviously Rover Genuine Parts are fully approved, but beware of cheap imitations, they are now not only cheap, but may be illegal!

Road Tax Exemption & Hybrid Vehicles

DVLA have recently introduced a tightening of the procedure for registering re-built vehicles, which applies particularly to Land Rover vehicles with their 'meccano' type constructions, and therefore particular suitability for hybridisation.

If you are planning to build or buy a hybrid with 25 year tax exemption, beware.

Points are allocated to various major sub-assemblies of the vehicle, and if you wish to retain the 25 years exempt status, you have to 'retain' 8 points or more of the original vehicle.

Chassis 5 points
Suspension 2 points
Axles 2 points
Transmission 2 points
Steering 2 points
Engine 1 point

So - Case 1 - You have a pre-Jan 73 Land Rover and you put a newer Range Rover engine and gearbox into it, you can still use the tax exempt registration of the Land Rover as you have retained the Chassis 5 points, Suspension 2 points, Axles 2 points and Steering 2 points - a total of 11 points.

But - Case 2 - You have a pre- Jan 73 Land Rover and decide to rebuild it onto a coil sprung chassis, with RR axles and suspension, you only have three credit points for the LR engine and gearbox, so there is no way this type of rebuild can retain the Land Rover's tax exempt registration. To claim tax exemption on such a vehicle is a criminal offence, even if you bought the vehicle already converted and simply go to the Post Office and claim another tax exempt licence disc.

Obviously the main concern here is that any Land Rover model originally built on leaf springs, and now sporting coil springs, combined with a tax exempt status, needs a thorough check before purchase.

Series I Club Register of Vehicles

Congratulations again to the Series I Club on their recently issued "Register of Vehicles" spanning nearly 5000 vehicles from the 80s of 1948 to the 88s and 109s of 1958, plus about 50 Brockhouse trailers (I used to design Brockhouse trailers before I joined Rover, including, would you believe, a water bowser to be pulled by a camel!)

This must have cost much midnight oil-burning to achieve, and I suspect it will require even more hard labour to keep up to date!

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