7th March 2013

Peter Tothill, BMC test and development engineer

Magnette enthusiasts will be sad to know that Peter Tothill passed away on 1 January 2013. Those who attended the Register’s GP100 event in 2011 were privileged to hear him speak entertainingly about his involvement with Gerald Palmer and BMC development, and we had hoped to have him as a guest at the Magnette 60th celebrations this year.

Peter joined the Experimental Department at Cowley in November 1950 as a technician, working on prototype and pre-production models of the Wolseley 4/44, Riley Pathfinder, MG Magnette ZA and Wolseley 6/90. He was therefore closely involved with Palmer’s designs as they were prepared for production. Cars were exhaustively tested for performance, economy, structure, suspension and damping, noise, vibration, cooling and braking. Much of this testing was done on public roads, where the infamous axle-tramp problem was discovered (leading to deletion of the rear radius arm), but visits were also made to the MIRA track and to Chalgrove aerodrome. Speaking at GP100 Peter recalled how the Magnette was able to survive a gruelling 1000-mile test on the MIRA Pavé surface, unlike most car designs of that time.

Peter moved to the Cowley factory in 1955, where his various roles included design of the Mini production line and assembling the very first production car in 1959. He also worked on the BMC 1100, and finally left Cowley in 1982 to open a motor supplies shop in Abingdon. He retired from this in 2001 but continued his strong links with MG and motorsport - he attended several Register events with his ZB Varitone, was restoring a ZA with Derrington head, and had been Chairman and President of the Oxford Motor Club.

written by Stephen Tickell

5th March 2013

I've added 30(!) Magnettes to the gallery. Yes you have read right - thirty. And I need your help. These cars are all not identified by their chassis numbers. In some cases I even don't know the country they are driving or rusting. Have a lok at the gallery and choos the categorie "unidntified cars" to see them all. By the way: we have the first Uruguay Magnette amoung them...

Enjoy! More in this categorie to come during the next days,...

3rd March 2013

I'm still uploading and editing the old stuff from the former website, which you only recognize once you can't find an article you're looking for. Beside some articles of owners, which can be found in the galley, I reloaded the Official Colour Scheme to the History menu. This article includes some Akzo Nobel colour codes. Not sure if these are still helping.


24th February 2013

More old reports are now avail. again. Amoungst the Malcolm Robertson series "living with Alison" - a detailed restoration report. Can be found under reports & stories. I also came across this article:  2004_seattle - a photo report from Seattle. Who is the author please?


22nd February

The fascinating reports of Josed de Sousa's trips across Asia are online now again in our section "reports & stories".

21st February 2013

Anders Bäcklund from Sweden sent two nice pictures of his cars for the gallery. '22522 and 36622 are added. You easily find them with the search function in the gallery. Just type in the chassis number or have a look at all cars from Sweden...

19th February 2013

All event reports bach to the year 2000 are now accessible again. look inthe left navigation bar at "Events" and then "Event reports". looking forward to the next season with new reports and pictures...