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Monterey Car Week is perhaps the most prestigious time in a petrolhead’s calendar. More than just one event, as the name suggests, it’s an entire week of automotive festivities on the picturesque coast of California. There is a lot going off, so James Hanson, owner of A38 Car Storage gives us the rundown of what not to miss each day.


“I’d suggest three or four days is enough to experience Monterey Car Week. The big events kick off with Motorlux on the Wednesday evening, which a party surrounded by cars, planes and entertainment. Thursday is good for seeing some of the auction previews, and maybe the Pebble Beach tour, where you can see all the vintage cars returning to Pebble Beach in the afternoon. The RM Auction is probably the big headliner with the best cars, and Mecum auction is an experience — a fast and frantic auction which is very entertaining for a couple of hours! 

“Friday is The Quail, a Concours which is expensive but definitely worth seeing once, then Bonhams and RM have an auction in the evening. RM and Gooding also have auctions on Saturday, but this is the big day at Laguna Seca race track to see cars in action, although there are things happening there from Wednesday onwards.

“Sunday is the grand finale, Pebble Beach Concours, self-proclaimed as the world’s most prestigious car show, held on the stunning Pebble Beach Golf Links overlooking the ocean. “Other events to consider: Werks Reunion was meant to be good this year as a celebration of Porsche, Concorso Italiano for all things Italian, and Concours d’Lemons, for really bad cars!

“I'd combine the main events above with some events from the car manufacturers who have a presence there, like Aston Martin, Lamborghini, McLaren etc. Also, there is the US1 drive down the coast road to do down to Big Sur or further which may be worth including too. “Accommodation is the hard thing to organise as the prices go through the roof for the week. It is not a cheap trip to do, but I think it's one to tick off the bucket list”.

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Written by: Lauren Robinson, Partnerships Manager

We’re often asked about PPF, what the benefits are and where we would recommend you to go to have it fitted.

The technology behind the films has evolved dramatically over the years. PPF was originally developed for military use back in 1950s. 

Paint protection film is a thermoplastic urethane, a self-healing film designed to protect moving parts from stone chips, bug splats and minor scuffs. Originally developed during the Vietnam War by 3M to protect Helicopter rotor blades and sensitive parts of military parts. The thick composition of 3M’s Ventureshield, paved the way for future development to apply the technology to the automotive industry. In 1961, three German engineers worked to develop a stretchable black vinyl to hug and protect the front end of their Porsche 356.

“The Original Car Bra” wasn’t aesthetically appealing and was even argued to damage the paintwork. As ppf technology continued to evolve, brands such as Xpel entered the market with a more compliant versatile film.

Finding installers that used the right product was key in the hunt for our PPF partners. Since 2011, Xpel has become the leading PPF film manufacturer. Both Assetti and The ppf labs are accredited Xpel installers, in a saturated industry it is essential that anyone applying anything to your paintwork has gone through a level of training and understands the material they’re working with. Self-healing does not mean foolproof! 

In recent years, the industry has taken it up another gear offering different finishes if ‘barely there’ isn’t really your style. Take our (originally black) Porsche 997 GT3 for example, if you look up close it has a stunning purple and gold metallic pigment giving the overall paintwork a deep aubergine look. For that reason, it remains my favourite member of our fleet. New finishes include Gloss and satin to completely transform your vehicle look. 

After working in the vehicle wrapping and PPF industry for a few years, I’ve seen some horror installations in my time. The industry is increasingly saturated by new wrappers and PPF fitters offering installations at a fraction of the price. The cost of a bad job, to me, is not worth having. Seeing so many prides and joy with failing film or cut marks makes me cringe so getting the right PPF partners on board for the long term was essential. Four key things to take away when choosing a PPF or Vinyl Installers; 

  • Are they accredited by a reputable brand? ie. Xpel, 3M etc. 
  • Is there a warranty? 
  • The quality of the facilities – the environment is key to the quality of the finish. Temperature and cleanliness are important elements to look out for! 
  • Level of experience - how long has the installer been fitting?

I’m pleased to say our trusted PPF partners, tick the boxes. They demonstrate expertise across all their services whether it's paint protection, ceramic coating or colour change finishes.

If you’re considering PPF for your vehicle, or feel like your paintwork needs an extra layer of protection speak to one of your regional account managers below.

In the north, contact Oliver - info@assetti.co.uk - 01244 629 533

In the south, contact James - james@theppflabs.co.uk - 01344 989262

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The great debate every winter.... should I switch to winter tyres? Is the weather bad enough to make it worthwhile? Here are three reasons to seriously consider your tyre choice this winter.

1) Winter tyres are designed specifically to ensure the best performance in winter when the temperature falls below 7°C. The tyre tread is designed especially for these conditions, to increase grip in the wet, snow and icy conditions. Winter tyres can reduce braking distances by 10% on wet surfaces, and by 20% on snow compared with summer tyres.

2) The tyres also have a larger number of sipes – which are specially designed grooves in the tyres to optimise traction in the presence of ice, snow or rain. Winter tyres also have a soft compound, are more flexible at low temperatures and have deep grooves for better water, ‘slush’ and snow drainage.

3) A winter tyre reduces the risk of aquaplaning, ensures balanced tread wear in winter and improves safety. These tyres ensure optimal breaking and adequate grip in harsh conditions, which is why they remain a strong tyre choice for drivers in alternation with summer tyres.

Take a closer look here for winter maintenance guides and tips from Pirelli.

Does this sound like a seasonal tyre change for you? Find your nearest Pirelli Performance Centre now by visiting here.

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As a famous Jon once said ‘Winter is Coming’. With winter on the way and the nights getting shorter, inevitably Global Telemetrics will see an increase in vehicle theft as the opportunities arise. With this in mind, Global Telemetrics have produced some tips in order to keep your vehicle safe this winter.

The first point of call for any form of protection of your vehicle is you. Each year hundreds of cars are stolen due to small lapses in basic security. Things such as: Leaving cars unlocked (always check your wing mirrors have folded in if you have this feature), leaving car windows ajar or open, leaving things on show in your vehicle and keeping valuables in your car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZPEoJsaYrI

24/7 Monitored Tracking Device

A Thatcham-approved tracking device can alert you to potential vehicle tampering almost immediately. All Global Telemetrics tracking devices will alert the driver of battery disconnection and vehicle towing, and some higher level devices also include alerts should the vehicle be driven by an unauthorised driver. With the addition of geofence security, a tracking device can provide notification of a theft and our Repatriation Team can be mobilised within minutes to hopefully recover the stolen vehicle.

For further information regarding SmarTrack Tracking Systems click here.


Immobilisers

Immobilisation devices prevent your vehicle from starting unless a detection method such as our driver detection cards are present. This means that even if keys are stolen or cloned the vehicle will still not start unless those detection methods are present.

Global Telemetrics offer immobilisation with their S5+ iMob device. This is a tracking device with immobilisation combining the two. With this device you get all the features included in the top of the range tracking device plus immobilisation, controlled by Bluetooth Driver Detection Card.

More information about this device can be found here.


Don’t leave your vehicle unattended whilst running

Deserving of its own point rather than being in the ‘Back to basics’ section due to the upcoming winter. Each year, Global Telemetrics as a business recover vehicles that have been left to defrost, with the engine running, whilst the customer is inside the house or absent from the vehicle. Providing opportunistic thieves with an open door to an easy theft.

Global Telemetrics highlighted this problem in a YouTube campaign last year which can be seen here:

Faraday Bags or boxes

Keyless theft is a major cause of vehicles being stolen across the world, thieves are able to use a relay device outside a victims house and pick up the signal from car keys inside the property, using a small device that then connects to a device next to the vehicle, the car is tricked into thinking the key is present, opening and starting the vehicle. To combat this, faraday bags or boxes block any signal transmission from the keys to the device preventing the car from being stolen. Global Telemetrics recommends always placing keys within a Faraday bag or box when the vehicle is not in use.


Steering Locks

A tried and tested method to prevent vehicle theft. Whilst there are instances of vehicles still being stolen with a steering lock in place, it is highly likely that a thief will walk on by to another target if they spot a steering lock.


Social Media

Even if you are careful with your privacy settings, there is still a good chance that someone undesirable may see your vehicle. We all love the likes and shares but remember you are advertising there’s a nice new shiny car at your location, which could be worked out by previous posts. An innocent post a few months after posting about your new car about you being on holiday could be the information a thief needs to pay your car a visit!


Park in well lit places

Darkness is a friend to a thief, the less they can be seen the better. If you can, park in a well-lit area so that they think twice before they choose your vehicle. That thief may just think twice if they are easily visible.


Selling your Vehicle

If you are selling your car, always be careful what information you reveal and what you do with the keys. We recommend conducting any viewings in the presence of another person, and never letting a prospective buyer test drive the vehicle alone. Global Telemetrics have seen many cases where owners have had their keys and subsequently their vehicle stolen by an individual who initially enquired about purchasing the vehicle. In a few of these, people have also told their prospective buyers that the car had a tracker in it too. Leading to the thieves having a head start on knowing there is a tracker to remove!


Find out about all the products from SmarTrack online at smartrack.uk.net

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As a self-proclaimed M car fanboy, having the opportunity to just be around an E46 M3 CSL is a privilege, let alone getting to drive, live with and really get under the skin of what could be BMW's greatest M car. 

Written by: Jake Smithard


20 years on from its launch in 2003, the CSL is growing in popularity as more and more of us are looking back to older generations after every clinical new car launch. The CSL is far from clinical, one of many reasons why I love it so much!

The CSL concluded the popular E46 platform and showed what the M division boffins could really do when they were let loose with the sole aim of making the ultimate driving machine. Making the car fun to drive was one of the main targets with agility and turn-in being a top priority, plus exploiting the E46’s already brilliant chassis. The goal was achieved by taking a more traditional approach to performance and shedding 110kg off the standard car rather than adding silly power — a philosophy that resonates with me.

You would be forgiven for not spotting a CSL straight away given subtle styling differences over a standard M3, but they equate to more than the sum of their parts. It has a wider track, lower ride height, flared arches, classy ducktail, exposed carbon fibre roof, lightweight BBS wheels and a single air intake replacing the fog lights. All that packaged together with the boxy compact styling results in a car that, for me, just 'sits right’.

From the moment you open the door and climb over the bolster to nestle yourself into the bucket seat, you quickly realise the seating position and interior are closer to that of a race car than a road car. Slide the seat forward and back with the old-school lever, make a few steering column tweaks and getting comfortable isn’t an issue. You look around to find a mixture of Alcantara and carbon fibre, all blended together in a focused yet pleasant cabin. The only bit of colour in the sea of grey and black comes from the orange and red blocks in the upper echelons of the rev counter which seamlessly move the rev limiter as the car comes up to temperature.

On the road, the M division’s diet pays off and exceeds all expectation with a real feeling of precision, allowing you to place the car exactly where you’d like on the road with fantastic front end turn-in. The emotive steering feel is always one of my biggest take aways when stepping out of the car after a blast and coupling that with such an amazingly balanced chassis results in a wining combination. 

A big talking point with CSL is the SMG single-clutch automated gearbox as there was no manual option from factory. The best way I can describe it is brilliant but equally rubbish! The car wants to be driven hard to get the most from it and when you hit the downshift right it feels as crisp as anything else. Treat the gearbox like a traditional manual and it will transform the experience, using the gear selector in the centre of the car over the paddles massively helps by tricking your mind. It is a car you have to work with and learn to drive smooth rather than just jumping in and pulling the paddles with your foot to the floor. This is especially true when cold or at low speeds, it can be rather grumpy when not in its natural environment but this only feeds the character and personality of the car and ultimately, I feel it suits the car and I wouldn’t change it.

We can’t talk about the CSL without talking about that in-line 6 cylinder engine mated with the carbon air box, creating that unholy induction noise so iconic to the CSL. You find yourself craving for more noise and your hunt for any moment where you can put your foot flat, it doesn’t matter the gear, the induction bark takes over the experience and attacks your senses, making the whole car fizz and your spine tingle. 

Overall, the CSL is a car that makes you smile and reminds you why you are a petrolhead — for the purity of driving and having a true connection with a car. It isn’t perfect, but the things that get under your skin the most usually aren’t.

Jake Smithard - Membership & UK Tours

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