December 27th

Manage a short run as it was sunny, the roads were dry and salt-free despite a light frost the night before. Swapped waves with a Rover 90 - twice - he was probably doing the same thing. All I wanted for Christmas was my V8 engine back from the machine-shop but I'm still waiting after nearly three months, so next week it's time to start nagging.

September 23rd - I finally bite the bullet ...

For years Vee has had a hot tapping from the engine that I've never been able to make any impression on despite new cam, followers, timing gears and chain, discovering the right-bank con-rods were round the wrong way (pistons at +20 so a rebore had been done) and correcting that, checking all the crank bearings and finding them at or just inside the tolerance for new bearings (all standard so no crank regrind but mirror finish on the journals), wedging feeler gauges in the rocker to valve gaps, and anything else I could think of. It left me thinking it could only be pistons and bores

Eventually I decided that when the clutch needed replacing and the engine had to come out anyway, I'd strip it and have it fully checked over and have another rebore as a minimum. To that end I laid in a clutch kit ... which was five years ago, but the clutch showed no signs of coming to the end of it's life despite a minimum of 100k, although it has been dragging quite badly from time to time, usually when it hasn't been used for a bit. The body has steadily been getting tattier, although apart from the OS rear lower wing and by the bright trim at the OS headlight seemed structurally sound throughout. The intention was that if I could solve the engine noise, then I'd tackle the body. If not ... well, I'll deal with that when it happened.

Over the years the Navigator had been nagging me about the state of Vee, saying she was ashamed to be seen in it. Then at the end of August my son said I really ought to get it done now "while you can still get some enjoyment out of it ..." (being 70 next birthday). That, and after changing Bee's clutch recently and spending a day correcting misalignment of the release arm following two release bearing failures in 60k, then realising if I had done nothing I would probably be 90 when it failed again, it rather concentrated my mind.

For a long time I'd been pondering how I would deal with getting Vee's engine out - it's bigger and sits further back than the 4-cylinder (which I have done twice now) so the bell-housing bolts are almost completely inaccessible, and being bolts going into tapped holes in the block (from what I could see) rather than nuts and bolts as on the 4-cylinder it would be even worse. So that meant getting the engine and gearbox out together. The folding hoist I had used before was only just big enough for the 4-cylinder engine, and then only by removing the bumpers and grille did it reach the middle at the full extent of the jib. I could possibly disconnect the front mounts and rear cross-member and pull the whole thing forwards to give better access, but there was no guarantee. I'd have to dismantle my full-length ramps, use just the rear half for the rear wheels, and make some short wooden ones for the front wheels otherwise I'd never get the jack under the front cross-member to get the wheels on the drive-up ramps or the hoist under the car. Then with the engine out and on ramps I'd not be able to manoeuvre the body to get at both sides in a single-width garage. Then there was the problem of storage space for a whole cars-worth of removed bits when prepping the body, and I wasn't prepared to leave the roadster outside as Vee had been when doing the roadster clutch.

I'd contacted various engine machining specialists, and the bodyshop I wanted to use, but he was fully booked until Spring or early summer, so that was out and the final kybosh on doing it all myself. One of the places I had a recommendation for is a reasonably local MG mechanical and body restoration specialist. Took the car over, was impressed with a couple of their completed cars which were due to be collected by the owners. They had the space and more importantly the window, and could do the whole lot. Engine machining and body paint is farmed out but they do the rest. After having a good feel round under the wings and rear they did say it's probably the best one they've been asked to do! Spent some time talking about times and costs, and they said I was welcome to visit anytime and work on the car myself.

I pondered overnight, said I would go ahead, then three days later delivered it, with the engine and gearbox due to come out next day! No going back now. First step is to remove and strip the engine, and decide what needs doing, then while that's underway tackle the body. Apart from the OS rear lower wing - which may be OK to patch, it depends on what they find when removing the bubbling round the arch - there is the NS front wing which I crumpled. At first look they were going to replace it, but on second look they reckon they can just replace the lower half, which has a quarter-wing replacement panel in it anyway. After that it's a case of any other nasties turning up during the prep.

September 10th/11th - NOT the Lincoln Imp!

Too far for a day-trip so we had booked overnight accommodation and evening meal at an Inn near the start on the Saturday, to travel home after the run. Close enough to delay departure until after lunch on the Saturday even though we had pencilled in but abandoned visits to either Rutland Water or Barnsdale gardens (too wet), Coningsby (no flights returning) and settled on Burghley House, we get a call from the Inn mid-morning asking if we knew they were holding a garden party that night and the restaurant was closed! As the alternative was a hog roast or paella in a damp marquee, and when I asked him why had he accepted the booking for the restaurant and not told us it would be closed until the day and he came back with "I've been busy ..." I told him to stick it. An as there were no vacancies at any of the other places we had short-listed when booking originally, and the weather for the drive across would have been foul anyway, we abandoned the whole thing, and had a nice meal in Solihull instead. Shame, as Sunday was good top-down weather, but still too wet underfoot at home first thing to be worth taking either car out anyway.

August Bank Holiday - Little Gransden Car and Air Show

Weather looking good and just the Navigator and I travelling down to our son's this year so a good opportunity to give Bee a good run with the new clutch. Glorious on the Friday, very noisy on the M6 with the hood down though. Barbeque and sitting out in Tee-short and shorts until after 10pm with the log-fired chimnea going, a fantastic display of stars in clear skies in an area of Cambridgeshire with negligible light pollution.

Saturday son and I were working on his BMW M3 Evo2 which has been suffering from an increasingly severe misfire, especially when cold. Spraying carb cleaner on the joint between the throttle body and No.1 cylinder made a significant difference to idling, which none of the other ports did, so that's the culprit, and we spent a couple of hours taking all the intake, fuelling and vacuum hose stuff off. The last thing was the throttle bodies themselves, which needed a Torx socket we didn't have at the time at the time. Subsequently son got them off to reveal the gasket which is a curious rubber-metal-rubber-metal-rubber sandwich, with the outer rubber layers being microscopic except for a raised lip around the ports. The lip on No.1 showed significant deterioration, so hopefully new gaskets (one for each pair of throttle bodies, and horrendously expensive) plus various O-rings, seals and vacuum hoses will do the trick.

Saturday had some thunderstorms racketing around with very localised heavy rain, and weird 'Close Encounters' cloud formations. Sunday similarly had the risk of showers later on, which eventually came but not before some excellent flying from the likes of Spitfire, Hurricane, Gnat, Sally B (Lancaster sick - again) and many others. One of the displays was formation aerobatics with a full-sized Extra 300 and a 40% radio controlled model, which given that the model pilot can only see things from a fixed point on the ground makes it all the more remarkable that they can keep station and timing so well. However part-way through the display I could see flames shooting out from the fuselage of the model, and within seconds it had broken up and came fluttering to earth in flames, fortunately on the grass strip but clear of parked aircraft. One woman was heard to cry out "Oh no, the pilot will never survive that ...". Devastated with severe financial pain no doubt, but otherwise unharmed. Hood up for the journey home, more heavy showers on the A1 and A14, but from the M6 it was dry so arrived home dry. 219 miles, with just a little light grinding selecting reverse when hot, easily controlled by nudging 1st beforehand.

July - Bee's clutch ...

... has reached the end of its life, and is changed

July 5th to 8th - Cornwall, Vee goes to the seaside

Had to use Vee as Bee's clutch has been getting closer and closer to replacement for what I suspect is a seized roller bearing release bearing. I've been keeping a close eye on the fluid level in order to gauge the wear, but just before this trip it suddenly started dripping from the slave. I suspect the slave piston is moving out more and more as the release bearing wears down, and the seal has reached a previously unused and rough area, so can't seal. So Vee it is, but she deserves a 'holiday' ... and no problems with someone nicking the pay and display ticket like last time from Bee.

We are gradually working our way down the north coast of Devon and Cornwall doing sections of the South West Coastal Path, this time staying just north of Bude at The New Inn, Kilkhampton. A great place to stay, ultra contemporary room in spotless condition, with good food and plenty of choice, and the owner and family very friendly and helpful. We'd done some research into local sections of the coast path using South West Coast Path which lists a series of mostly circular routes and is OK to use, but some of the symbols that are supposed to indicate a route don't link to a detail page. I would have liked to have done some using buses for the outward journey then walk back to the car, as by their very nature circular routes have at least half inland and it is the coast path and its views and scenery we are primarily interested in. However trying to work out which bus you need and where they stop from the bus company web site was impossible - it's obviously intended for people who know where they want to go from and to and which bus to use to start with!

After a terrible June we were wondering just what the weather would be like, but the forecasts at least looked mildly promising. We departed home in cloud, but sun soon broke through for the reminder of the journey, and we got there in about 4 1/2 hours including a lunch break picnic. Dumped the stuff in the room and went off to Sandymouth which was just down the road for a couple of hours walking along the beach and cliff tops as a taster. Next morning drove down to Widemouth Bay, then walked north along the path to Bude in glorious sunshine with spectacular cliffs and beaches. Had a short break in Bude around mid-day for a drink, then out along the canal towpath to Helebridge weir. Got there ready to turn and head back to the coast and Widemouth to find The Weir Restaurant and cream teas which was perfect timing, and a great spot overlooking a lake. Finally about an hour cross-country back to Widemouth, then back to the Inn for a couple of pints to finish of the afternoon then dinner in the evening.

Next day we'd decided on Morwenstowe as the church there sounded interesting. The circular walk was very short so we planned to go further along the path instead then retrace our steps instead, but our host at the Inn suggested we start from Duckpool. That would mean retracing our steps back from Morwenstowe, with all the upping and downing that the coast path implies, but as it looked shorter on the map than the previous day we decided to go for it. From Duckpool it was a very steep path up from the beach, then relatively gentle after that ... until we got past the GCHQ listening station, to find a very steep descent to Stanbury beach, then another very steep ascent up the other side, and possibly more before reaching Morwenstowe. I didn't fancy the Navigators chances of enjoying that particularly as the whole thing would have to be done in reverse to get back (although I subsequently discovered a road a short way inland between the two which would have been easier but boring) so we retraced our steps to Duckpool then drove to Morwenstowe. Our host at the Inn had lent us a booklet about the church which dates back to the 16th century in several parts. The vicar in the 19th Century R.S. Hawker was a bit of an eccentric, constructing chimney stacks on the vicarage in the shape of church towers, building a hut on the cliff nearby out of driftwood and timbers from wrecked ships where he smoked opium with his literary mates, and many other quirks including excommunicating one of his cats for mousing on a Sunday. After the church and a short walk along the cliff path to Hawkers Hut it was time for cream tea at the Rectory Tea Rooms - and if we thought the one the previous day was good this was glorious!

Next morning for the trip home it was very murky to start with, but the sun soon broke through and it was very warm the rest of the way. Much more traffic on the single-carriageway A39 and A361, but Vee was surging past everyone else on the two-lane uphill bits, and the short section of dual carriageway before the M5. That started out well, but ground to a halt and crawling south of Bristol because of a car stuck in the outside lane. After that several more sections of crawling and stop-start due to sheer volume of traffic, including the 50mph section north of Worcester on the M42 and on the M42. Probably added 3/4 hour compared to the journey down. I was keeping a close eye on the fuel as I expected to be able to get home without refuelling, but with the holdups wondered if I should do a splash and dash. Decided not to bother, and when I got to Solihull it took just over 10 gallons. However the total capacity of this type of tank is 12.7 gallons, and the gauge was still just off the E having been calibrated to show E when there was still a gallon left so I probably had at least 30 miles left. One interesting thing, as I was watching the fuel gauge so closely, was to see it rise by about 1/8th tank when we came to a halt, only to drop again when we got back up to a reasonable speed. I have noticed the gauge going up and down a bit in the past, when not watching it so closely, and not due to the normal rise and fall on left and right-hand bends, but this was something different. I had wondered if the sender was beginning to hang up on the windings again, but it must be due to something else, perhaps fuel level turbulence allowing the sender float to drop more than when flat, or vibration affecting the stabiliser or gauge. Filled up at Barnstaple on the way down and had averaged just short of 30mpg although some of that mileage was local before we set off. The rest of the journey down, the local mileage there including some pretty steep hills and narrow lanes, plus all the hold-ups on the way back, averaged just short of 29mpg so pretty good. 484 miles with no problems.

June 19th - Arden Run to Ashby Magna Vintage Festival

The dry run! For the first time this year and the first in four runs. Billed as 60 miles it was actually 48, so probably the shortest we have done, and being our local run even shorter. Complicated by having to delay departure to avoid a HERO event in the area, so maybe that and the fact we were finishing at a country show that people might want to spend the afternoon at contributed.

Ran very close to Wellesbourne airfield near the start where the Vulcan was due to fast-taxi, it being Father's Day. But not due for another hour or so, so we didn't stop. Overflown several times by a Gloster Meteor though, which was good. Unfortunately most of the run was in convoy at 30mph, even though we tried a couple of times to lose the others. A lot of hedges, so not much scenery either. Even though we started out quite late we were about the 10th car to arrive, loads having apparently got lost in a complicated bit near the start of the M45. Arrived just after 12, so had our picnic, then a wander round the show-ground. Some interest in traction engines both full-sized and miniature trundling around, and a working early combine harvester - one of those huge wooden things with belts flying around, which had an image of a WW1 tank on the name-plate, working down to boxes of rusty junk like you get at classic car autojumbles. Some owls and birds of prey for the Navigator. One interesting thing was a 'wacker' earth compacter machine that used to fascinate me as a kid in the 50s, which I don't think I had seen since then, only for one to turn up on Shed & Buried just days before the run. Seen all we had wanted to by 2pm, had debated going on to Bruntingthorpe Cold War museum which was only five minutes away, but decided to head for home as rain was forecast for Solihull by 4pm. Came round 'jet island' at Lutterworth which has a full-sized model of the UK's first jet aircraft as a tribute to Sir Frank Whittle. Arrived by 3, watched the GP, and by 4:15 it was raining so a good decision. Hood down all the way, thin sun till we got very near the show ground so quite warm. Not one of their better runs, but an OK day out, and 123 miles.

June - ZS MOT

No advisory for the chip in the windscreen that has been there for nine years and cropped up every time, but one for the o/s/f brake dragging slightly. Checked both and they seem to turn OK, but whereas I can lever the pad off the disk on the near-side easily enough the off-side is much harder, so that will need looking at.

12th June - Ratae Run

We nicknamed this the 'undulating' run, due to the dips and rises which gave some great vistas across the countryside. Not too many short distances to the Navigator got to enjoy it as well. Mid-point stop at Gates Garden Centre near Oakham which is probably the best one we have ever been to, a great deal of thought and care has gone into the development of the whole place especially the restaurant. Finish at Belvoir Castle which is pretty spectacular being perched on a hill, and the rose garden in particular which is in full bloom at this time of year. We opted for the castle tour, which is pretty extensive, and many fine paintings. You could easily spend a day here as the grounds extend for a lot further than we ventured.

140 cars but a sensible staggered start between just after 9am to something after 10am, so hardly saw another car on the road until the final stretch up to the castle. Excellent organisation and marshalling by South Leicester MG Club at the start, mid-point and finish. Weather almost a repeat of the Candles Run (and our fourth wet run in a row) in that we started off hood down, finished hood up although this time we did manage three-quarters with it down, heavy rain on the way home, then dried out until we reached Coventry, then torrential rain to arrive home soaking wet. But again it stopped and was very warm with a bit of a breeze, so a quick wash down and leather off, then several hours outside dried Bee off. 186 miles with no problems.

25th May - Bee's MOT

Passed, but with an advisory "Cannot inspect o/s/f inner sill because covered with filler suspect rust" - after a similar comment about Vee. Eh? That's how it came to me 27 years ago, and has never been mentioned before! The floor has been replaced, it looks like by dropping a new one in over the old, after the edge of the old one had corroded through by the (replaced with outer sill) castle rail. Hence left a bit of a gap, which had been fillered. The edges of the old floor have probably receded a bit loosening the filler. Short of a major job removing both replacement and original floors, and welding in new, I'll rake out the old filler and see about welding in a strip to bridge the castle rail and the remains of the old floor.

21st/22nd May - Cheshire Candles Run

Our first time on this, and only their second event. A very pleasant run up on the A41 from the M54 right into Chester with very little traffic on Saturday afternoon. Very popular, limited to 150 cars and I'd have said there was at least that many. Very well organised for the most part, online booking and payment, lots of marshals at the start in the middle of Chester by the castle. Signing-on a bit chaotic at a nearby pub as most people seemed to be queuing for tea and a bacon roll, Having just had the full English we didn't bother. Town Crier as Master of Ceremonies who was very amusing, and Fuzz Townshend of Car SOS wandering around, chatting to people and waved us off.

Hot and sunny for the start, which after overnight rain led to yet more bleached spots on Bee's paint. A tour through Chester to pass under the clock, which was a nice touch but a bit traumatic given the traffic even at that time on a Sunday morning, and me nursing Bee's clutch again. City directions are always difficult off Tulip instructions given the number of possible turns and limited road signs, cars seem to be going in several directions but we seemed to be OK. With relief we got into the countryside, although given the number of cars and slow progress through Chester we were rather a large convoy. That broke up to some extent about half an hour later when it started to rain, and the roadsters stopped to put hoods up. We often carry on through light rain, but I decided to stop and a good job too as moment later it was torrential. After that it rained on and off all day. One hiccup with the instructions in the middle saw us arriving at a cross-roads for the second time to find four other cars all pointing in different directions. But by this time I'd been able to marry-up the sat-nav with the instructions to determine the correct route. Llangollen Pavilion toilets were pretty awful, but we did time it well enough to see the horse-drawn narrow boat. Also timed it well at Carrog station for the steam train, which was the impressive 4-6-0 Foxcote Manor. Finish at Chirk castle to more rain, so after a wander and another comfort break we decided to head for home just after 3pm so as we could arrive home at a reasonable time.

The rain lessened, until leaving the M54 for the M6 we were just about dry - only to run into a bout of torrential rain round Birmingham. Started to dry out again, until another torrent approaching our exit from the M42. Still raining on arrival home at about 5pm so I left Bee out, but half an hour later the sun came out so I rushed out to leather her off to prevent any more bleaching, and by 7:30 she was nearly dry again. Monday sunny and breezy so a day outside to finish off. 276 miles, no problems other than nursing the clutch.

May - Vee's MOT

As it was booked for first thing the previous day I weakened the mixtures the usual half-turn, with the engine running in case I needed to adjust the idle screws. I didn't, but I could smell petrol, which was dripping from where the supply hose - fitted last September - connected to the near-side carb. It stopped by tightening the clamp, but it didn't go by much. Passed, but with an advisory about 'corrosion' at both rear spring hangers, but not specifying front or rear. Maybe a bit of delaminating on one, but nothing more than surface rust on the others.

After the MOT the fans came on as soon as I turned on the ignition, and the load of those makes a significant difference to cranking speed, so I though they were a far more worth candidate for being controlled from the 'accessories circuit than the radio, washers, wipers and heater fan, as that cut out while cranking, and that led to some more discoveries - one with the fan fuse, and another fuel leak.

May - Vee's Service

Driving round the block to warm up the oil I suddenly started hearing this intermittent loud rattle on the left that seemed towards the rear, that sounded more structural than something loose. My first thought was loose wheel nuts but they were all OK. While the oil was draining I got under the back, poked and prodded but couldn't see or find anything. However as soon as I got under the front to position the jack in preparation for getting the wheels off, I could see the anti-roll bar drop-link had parted company with the bracket on the end of the bar itself! So that was another job for the day, and all in all meant about 7 hours work. The MOT is due now, good job I wasn't lazy and left the service until afterwards, or it would probably have broken on the way to the MOT and failed. Rear tyres nearly down to the wear bars so they will need to be replaced soon.

April 30th - Chepstow Rotary Wye Run

Almost a case of 'Wye?' indeed. M5 travelling down slathered in salt, which being dry was powdering up from car tyres and at one point on a straight stretch looked like fog. Front of the car covered in salt dust on arrival. A heavy shower part way round then bright sun which did its usual job of bleaching the paint under the water globules, and on the journey home kept running into areas that had just had a heavy downpour, but never got in one ourselves which might have done some good washing salt off. Next day the car is covered in sticky white streaks and blobs, with the salt clumping together in gritty crystals, so a major blast with the hose wherever possible to get it off.

The run itself was a bit mixed - organisation left something to be desired in that I never received any confirmation, and after asking and being told where to sign-on, and not finding it, we eventually discover a chap wandering around with the route envelopes in his arms. Couple of hiccups in the route, one in the middle of Ross-on-Wye which is a nightmare to get through at the best of times. Also routed us into the centre of Hereford, on a festival Saturday and horrendous traffic - more of that later. The first three suggested stopping places were hopeless and all in the first hour and a half - the first one was closed, the second we had been to before so didn't stop, the third was nothing more than a shopping outlet! From there we didn't find anywhere else for a 'T & P' until Hereford at 11:30 - where the public toilets in the car park were shut! However Hereford was a bonus as the Navigator's Dad was born there, and we had been meaning to go for years to look up the street as well as visit the Cathedral, which is very impressive. The street turned out to be very close to the City Centre and easily reached on foot (with sat-nav!), and an opportunity to recreate a photo we have of her dad taken by the street name sign many many years earlier, exactly 100 years after he was born Then to the Cathedral for a quick tour, before back to the car and lunch. The second half of the run much better with a pleasant stop at a riverside castle, before the finish at Tintern Abbey. Another impressive site, with excellent information boards describing each part of the buildings, and drawings depicting how it would have looked in its heyday. Mostly hood down on the run and part way home, except leaving Hereford where black clouds were coming over, and we had a sleet shower while stopped in traffic. Driving through precipitation is OK up to a point, but not while stationary.

On the final stretch on the M42 the traffic suddenly started crawling, then at one point where the road dipped down and up again - no traffic - and we came to a halt! Yes, they had shut it due to a car having hit the central crash-barrier, with the traffic wallahs still arriving down the hard shoulder. Fortunately no one was hurt (I assume) as we were only stopped for about 15 minutes, the car was still against the barrier, but with a line of cones leading past it so still three lanes of traffic. Good job it wasn't more serious as once the Police get involved they can shut everything down for hours just leaving you there - I think 8 hours on the M6 past Birmingham is their record. A long day at 12 hours, 290 miles with no problems despite the clutch release bearing doing more worrying things lately, so engine out and clutch replacement looms.

April - Bee's service

Relatively uneventful, but I'm having to use Halfords Classic 20W/50 now as all the others have become API SL with reduced ZDDP. I say all, Millers Classic 20W/50 still seems to be SJ, but I forgot to get some in before-hand! Found a broken spoke on the left rear wheel, the first for many years. Relatively uneventful changing it even though I couldn't get the bead fully off the rim with my usual method. A bit concerned to find the clutch fluid level about 1/2" to 3/4" low. No leaks I have been aware of including down the pedal after the master seal replacement last year. I suspect the roller bearing release bearing is on the way out. For some mad reason I purchased a roller bearing release bearing in addition to the full clutch kit when the clutch was replaced in 1994. That started wittering when the pedal was just applying or releasing pressure shortly afterwards but otherwise seemed OK. In 2009 I noticed it had stopped wittering, but then in 2014 started squeaking under full pressure. That's now stopped, but instead I've recently become aware that the revs are dropping noticeably with the pedal down, something it has never done before, so I suspect the bearing has seized and is now wearing itself and the cover plate down. To monitor the level I've fitted another cap with a float switch i.e. like I did for monitoring the brake fluid level, but instead of making another warning circuit I've simply moved the brake circuit plug over to the clutch cap, just as a temporary measure until I know what's happening.

April - Brake disc change for Vee

Quite probably original, and despite not being too bad I decided to replace them. All quite straightforward with the one exception that I'd had twice before - and that was getting a socket on the heads of the bolts that secure the discs to the hubs - except that this time it was more severe than before and I had to resort to an even more lateral work-around.

April 1st - Vee goes tax free

Along to the main Post Office in Solihull as soon as it opened. Ordinarily there are queues out of the door first thing, but perhaps because of the Easter break I only had to wait behind one other customer. Not really surprised to be told "We can't do that", but I had gone armed with the email from the DVLA, and after perusing that and her computer screen for a bit longer she decided she could. I'd already completed the change of taxation class section, so she retained that half of the V5C for posting to the DVLA, and gave me a receipt for that as well as confirming it had been retaxed at the zero rate, and a few days later it showed up on the DVLA Vehicle Enquiry screen.

March 2016 - unusually the ZS is the first to get its service

Following the cambelt change in November I only discovered an oil leak in December, which turned out to be from where the dipstick tube fits into the sump. The normal oil level is above this, so any weakness in the seal can cause it to drip constantly, not just when running. After a lot of investigation I decide to try and seal it, which needs the oil level to be reduced, hence the most convenient time is during an oil and filter change.

March 2016

Vee becomes eligible for Historic status from 1st April this year as she was manufactured during 1975. As she was also first registered during 1975 and the V5C shows that, changing the status can be done at a Post Office. However the situation is complicated by the current road tax expiring on 31st March this year. I've received the V11 'Reminder to get vehicle tax or make a SORN' to renew from 1st April, but even though she will be eligible for Historic status from that date the normal fee is still shown, and starting online renewal shows the same. I've made an email enquiry asking if I can change to Historic, send off the V5C for amendment and renew the tax for no charge all in one go at a Post Office before the end of the month, or if I will have to SORN her by the end of March, make the application for the change from 1st April, and then renew the tax which will take her off SORN. It can take up to three weeks for an amended V5C to be issued, which means she could be off the road for nearly a month. The responses have been very confused!