Why Classic Cars are important

The Timeless Significance of Classic Cars

Classic cars hold a special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts around the world. Beyond their interesting designs and characterful engines, these timeless treasures embody a rich tapestry of history, culture, and craftsmanship. From vintage Aston Martins to iconic Mustangs, classic cars captivate our imaginations and remind us of a bygone era. But are some good reasons why classic cars are actually important.

Preserving Automotive Heritage

This is something I’m passionate about, heritage not only engages our imagination but also informs us on ways of solving problems, this has relevance now and in the future. Classic cars are more than just vehicles; they are living artefacts that tell the story of automotive evolution. Each model represents a chapter in the history of design, engineering, and innovation. Whether it’s the elegance of a vintage Rolls-Royce or the raw power of a muscle car, classic vehicles offer a glimpse into the past, preserving a legacy for future generations to appreciate and, importantly, understand.

Celebrating Automotive Design

One of the most compelling reasons why classic cars are important is their role in celebrating automotive design. From the graceful curves of a Jaguar E-Type to the rugged charm of a Volkswagen Beetle, these iconic designs inspire awe and admiration. Classic cars showcase the ingenuity of automotive designers who pushed the boundaries of creativity and style, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

Fostering a Sense of Community

Owning and restoring classic cars is more than just a hobby; it’s a way of life for enthusiasts who share a passion for vintage cars, bikes, trucks etc. Classic car clubs and events provide a sense of camaraderie, bringing together like-minded individuals to celebrate their love for these timeless machines. Whether it’s swapping stories at a car show or cruising down scenic routes, classic car communities foster connections that transcend generations and enduring friendships.

Investment and Appreciation

Beyond their cultural significance, classic cars can also hold value as investments. Rare and well-maintained models can appreciate significantly over time, making them sought-after assets for collectors and investors. However, the true value of classic cars goes beyond their monetary worth; it lies in the joy they bring to enthusiasts and the memories they create for generations to come.


In a world of constant change, classic cars offer a sense of stability and nostalgia. They remind us of simpler times and evoke a sense of wonder and admiration. From their exquisite craftsmanship to their timeless designs, classic cars are more than just vehicles—they are symbols of passion, ingenuity, and heritage. As custodians of automotive history, it’s essential to recognize and celebrate the enduring importance of classic cars in shaping our culture and enriching our lives.



Recent announcements about Q* highlight the rapid, exponential development of AI. The sheer rate of change is astonishing and is catching most people out. Make no mistake this is already revolutionising aspects of your life.
For instance totally realistic videos of anything you want can be created rapidly, faces swapped on existing vids, anything. What ever story you want to tell, whether real or false, can be illustrated with 100% believable made up video. This is really great for creativity, allowing people to make amazing films without big budgets and long production times. But it is also extraordinarily bad for social justice and the spread of misinformation. False accusations can be ‘backed up’ with convincing made up video. Now with reatime face swap systems you could even doctor live feeds from CCTV and smart door bells. This is technology that exists right now, not some far of possibility.
With the amazing power of AI huge advancements are being made in medicine, cures for cancer are a real possibility within our lifetimes. But the flip side of that is there is also the potential to make unstoppable bioweapons or things targeted at certain biological groups, bio-genocide for example.
In my sector we can see how genuine autonomous systems can radically improve safety and efficiency, avoiding crashes and smoothing traffic flow, this is true of cars, trucks, trains and planes, speeding up airports etc. But with networked integrated travel our movements can be controlled and with no real way of having a manual override when it inevitably has a glitch everything we rely on could potentially stop.

AI can radically improve manufacturing, food production and education, it can assist us and make us more capable. But it can, and will, replace many jobs entirely, from your local GP to aircraft pilots. This is far bigger than the industrial revolution. Every single job in the service sector can be replaced by AI in one form or another. In fact I can’t think of any existing job that can’t be done better with a combination of machine and AI. And at the moment this transition is only being controlled by the chaos and short term view of market forces.

AI is a tool, and like any tool we need to know how to use it safely and put in place systems to prevent misuse. The same principle applies to all powerful tools, from hammers and chainsaws to cars and nuclear power.

The big difference is that AI is more powerful than any other tool mankind has ever made.

This needs a proper grown up conversation urgently.

EV battery mining

I keep seeing posts about how much mining is needed for an EV battery, and that got me thinking.

Looking at the batteries I’m developing for our projects here means I can see exactly what goes into a full battery pack, I also have to deal with recycling cells that I have tested to destruction whilst checking they deliver what the manufacturer says they do.

I’m not going into how much resources are used in making the cells, maybe I’ll do a post about that some other time, but I wanted to see what happens to the stuff I send of for recycling and what that means for the environmental impact over a long time.

Firstly there’s a couple of things to get straight, batteries in EV’s last a long time, usually longer than the rest of the car. I drive a 2012 Nissan Leaf which is still going strong, we also have a 2012 Peugeot Ion which is at over 90% it’s original capacity.

The current crop of cars are experiencing battery capacity loss of less than 5% per 100k miles, so million mile EVs seem quite likely.

In the UK petrol and diesel cars last an average of 17 years, their life ending when crashed or uneconomic to repair, so it seems likely EV’s have the capability to exceed this.

Oh, and by the way, batteries are repairable contrary to popular belief. If you want to learn how to do this for a living I run IMI industry recognised short courses to show you how.

So batteries last a long time, and even if the car gets scrapped off the battery can be used in energy storage systems on your house or on the grid. This helps the grid out at peak times and also means we get much better use out of solar and wind power as the power can be stored and used when needed. Think about how many kWh you use at home each month, look on your electricity bill, many car batteries can store about 50kWh so if there was a power cut how long would that run your house? Couple that with solar on the roof and you’ve got a bit of energy independence.

But eventually everything ends up as scrap, in the case of our scrap batteries we use a place in Milton Keynes and I had a chat with them about what happens to our cells at their facility, which was really interesting.

One interesting point is that most cells have some energy left in them when going for scrap, so these guys use that remaining energy to power their factory! That also results in a cell with no energy at all, so no chance of sparking a fire as it goes through the plant.

The cells are then broken up and the component elements separated, aluminium, copper, nickel, manganese cobalt etc. are refined and sent for re-use. What’s left is a mix of lithium and graphite which looks like slightly damp mashed up pencil lead. This goes to another company for separating into graphite and lithium.

All these components are valuable to a greater or lesser extent, currently there are so few EV batteries coming out of service (they are still in use!) that the operation is relatively small scale which means I have to pay a small fee to get my ex-test battery cells recycled, but as volumes increase they expect to be able to pay me for the scrap cells in a few years time.

There are new battery recycling plants popping up now in the UK so it’s an industry that is growing.

This also means that the batteries I used and abused will be turned into new batteries.

Now here’s an interesting thing, battery manufacturing methods and designs are constantly improving, one of the type of cells I’m buying now are 15% better in energy storage capacity than the ones I bought last year. That’s an amazing change.

So the stuff I send for recycling gets made into batteries that are better than the ones they used to be.

It’s reckoned by people much cleverer than me that each recycling round results in improved battery efficiency by about 5%.

It also means that less and less mining is needed as the years go by, as more and more of the batteries are made from pure materials from recycled batteries.

There’s obviously some waste in the process but it looks like its about %5 of the mass, this is things like glue, stickers, some resins that don’t separate well, that sort of thing.

So even if the average battery life was only 10 years that would mean 50% of today’s mined materials would still be in batteries in 100 years time, and if they live as long as combustion cars that turns into 170 years.

Which I thought was interesting .

It’s also wrong. Because in 100 years we are unlikely to be still using lithium batteries. Look how far we’ve come in 30 years, from lead acid, to nickel metal hydride and now to lithium. So whats’ next? Sodium ion certainly, then maybe aluminium air (probably 10 times lighter, cheaper and smaller). Who knows.

But in terms of the current rapid expansion in the number of lithium based EV’s there is clearly a lot of mining to be done, this this won’t go on for ever, once we have enough for the growing fleet we can use a high percentage of recycled material. And a lot of that new material can be mined a lot closer to home, such as Cornish Lithium which is using the old tin mines. Maybe shipping huge quantities of material around the world isn’t really necessary after all? A lot of things are changing, and changing fast.

Interesting times.

Why has a is guy like Ralph so interested in Climate Change

I’ve had to make many very difficult decision in my career, and running a company where employees depend on me getting it right for their job security is something I take very seriously.

Clearly the automotive industry is going through massive changes, and I mean really massive. Changes to the way factories are designed, built and run. Changes to materials and technologies in the car. Changes in working practices. Massive changes in car design, connectivity and propulsion methods. At every level the industry is changing. this is even more momentous than when steam gave way to internal combustion.

Our industry is tightly regulated by legislation on emissions, safety, recycling, energy efficiency etc. and these regulations are instigated by politicians who in turn are responding to what people currently care about, after all that’s how they get votes. But there is a big change in how many people view the car, for many in cities it is a bothersome dangerous burden and not the great personal freedom tool that it is to the rest of us. So politics is changing too, and so will laws in our industry.

Consumer preferences have changed dramatically too, in the past I have made outlandish bold statement vehicles for car PR organizations to help them engage with customers, but now this may be seen as wasteful and not environmentally sensitive (even though these were usually end of life pre-production prototypes destined for the scarp pile).

So I know that change is coming my way, whether I like it or not. And I have a duty to adapt my company to keep everyone gainfully employed.

But even more than that, when I started looking into this I was thinking about the future of my family, of everyone’s family, what future will it be?

I’m an engineer and I work on hard data. But the trouble with a thing like climate change is there is one hell of a lot of noise coming out of the media, governments and even more so from social media. People quoting wildly different facts and drawing opposing conclusions. After all getting likes, clicks or subscriptions takes a bit of drama.

So I looked at the sources of the data and found a much calmer discussion, based on science, data and well tested arguments. And what I found is a very big probability (after all nothing is 100% certain except death and taxes) that the world is currently warming up at a speed that is faster than at any point in its history. And it turns out that the speed of change is rather important, because that determines how long species have to adapt to the change, and currently its happening so fast that we are seeing species actually dying out at an increasing rate. And personally I don’t want that to happen.

We also have the problem of extreme weather, with substantially more energy in the atmosphere there are stronger winds, the jet stream is buckled and makes weather more changeable and extreme, and the higher heat means more evaporation and rain in some places, but drought and high temperatures in others. It’s a very complex system and one that appears to be a major area of research, modeling climate (the big averages) is apparently reasonably accurate whilst modeling weather (the detail of what will happen in precise locations at precise times) is still tricky.

The upshot of all this is I’ve had to rethink my business, career and lifestyle. My annual mileage is drastically reduced, we don’t have foreign family holidays, we buy local food produce more etc. In my business I’m concentrating on new energy powertrains (although my first EV conversion was in 1993!), synthetic fuels, sustainable oils, low energy production methods, renewable energy etc.

And I’m now working on public transport vehicles, converting buses to EV and hydrogen. Public transport is vital but has a long way to go, and I want to be part of that solution.

I’ve also started a training company to share sustainable skills to help people keep their machines running well for longer, reducing waste.

Hopefully I’m doing something right. Time will tell.

Where does climate change data come from?

Climate change data verification is a critical process to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and credibility of climate-related information. The verification of climate change data involves several key steps and methodologies:

  1. Data Collection: The first step is to collect data from various sources, including weather stations, satellites, ocean buoys, ice cores, tree rings, and more. This data encompasses a wide range of climate indicators such as temperature, precipitation, sea level, greenhouse gas concentrations, and more.
  2. Quality Control: Raw data collected from different sources may contain errors, anomalies, or inconsistencies. Quality control procedures involve checking data for inaccuracies and correcting them. This includes identifying and addressing issues like sensor malfunctions, calibration errors, and data transmission problems.
  3. Data Homogenization: When working with historical climate data collected over long periods, it’s essential to ensure consistency across time. Data homogenization involves adjusting historical records to account for changes in measurement methods, station locations, or instrumentation over time. This ensures that trends and anomalies are not artifacts of changes in data collection methods.
  4. Peer Review: Climate scientists and researchers subject their data and findings to peer review. Peer review involves having other experts in the field assess the methodology, data sources, and conclusions. This process helps identify any potential biases, errors, or limitations in the data and analysis.
  5. Data Transparency: To enhance transparency and credibility, climate scientists often make their data and methodologies publicly available. This allows other researchers to independently verify the results and conduct their own analyses.
  6. Cross-Validation: Climate data is often cross-validated using multiple sources and methods. For example, temperature data collected from weather stations can be compared to satellite-based temperature measurements or reconstructed from proxies like tree rings and ice cores. Consistency across different sources and methods strengthens the confidence in the data.
  7. Long-Term Trends: Climate data is analyzed for long-term trends to distinguish natural variability from anthropogenic (human-induced) changes. Statistical techniques, such as time series analysis and trend detection, help identify significant trends and their statistical significance.
  8. Climate Models: Climate models are used to simulate past and future climate conditions. Data is used to validate these models by comparing their output to observed data. Models that accurately simulate historical climate conditions are more likely to produce reliable projections of future climate change.
  9. Independent Verification: Independent organizations and government agencies often conduct their own assessments of climate data and trends. These assessments can serve as additional verification and validation processes.
  10. Continuous Monitoring: Climate data is continually monitored and updated as new data becomes available. This ongoing process ensures that climate information remains current and accurate.

It’s important to note that the verification of climate change data is an ongoing and collaborative effort involving scientists, researchers, and organizations worldwide. Rigorous verification processes help build confidence in our understanding of climate change and its impacts, which is crucial for informing policy decisions and mitigation strategies.

Climate change data is collected from various sources and through multiple methods to monitor and understand changes in the Earth’s climate system. Some of the primary sources of climate change data include:

1. Weather Stations: Weather stations around the world record meteorological data such as temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and atmospheric pressure. This historical weather data is crucial for assessing long-term climate trends.

2. Satellites: Earth-observing satellites provide a wealth of data on various climate-related parameters. Satellites can measure sea surface temperatures, ice cover, land surface temperatures, greenhouse gas concentrations, and more, offering a global perspective.

3. Ocean Buoys: Floating ocean buoys equipped with sensors collect data on sea surface temperatures, ocean currents, and other oceanic conditions. These buoys are strategically positioned in oceans to monitor changes over time.

4. Ice Cores: Ice cores extracted from glaciers and polar ice caps provide valuable data on past climate conditions. By analyzing the composition of ice cores, scientists can reconstruct historical climate patterns, including temperature and atmospheric composition.

5. Tree Rings: The study of tree rings (dendrochronology) helps researchers understand past climate variability. Tree rings can reveal information about temperature, precipitation, and droughts over centuries or even millennia.

6. Proxy Data: Various proxy data sources, such as lake sediments, coral reefs, and cave formations, provide indirect evidence of past climate conditions. These proxies are used to reconstruct historical climate records.

7. Climate Models: Climate models simulate the Earth’s climate system, allowing scientists to project future climate scenarios based on various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Climate models use historical data as input to validate their accuracy and make predictions.

8. Atmospheric Measurements: Instruments like weather balloons and aircraft are used to collect atmospheric data, including temperature, humidity, and greenhouse gas concentrations in different layers of the atmosphere.

9. Environmental Sensors: Ground-based sensors, such as those used in weather networks and environmental monitoring stations, measure various climate-related parameters at specific locations.

10. Oceanographic Research: Oceanographic research vessels collect data on ocean temperatures, currents, and salinity levels through direct measurements and sampling.

11. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitoring: A global network of CO2 monitoring stations tracks greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii is a prominent example.

12. Glaciological Research: Glaciologists study glaciers and ice sheets to monitor their changes in size and mass. This data helps assess contributions to sea-level rise.

13. Paleoclimatology: The study of past climates through the examination of geological and biological evidence provides insights into long-term climate trends.

14. Hydrological Data: Data on river flow, snowpack, and groundwater levels are important for understanding how climate change affects water resources.

15. Environmental Surveys: Surveys and studies conducted by environmental agencies, research institutions, and organizations worldwide provide valuable data on climate change impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human societies.

Climate data is often collected and curated by government agencies, research institutions, and international organizations. It is made available to scientists, policymakers, and the public through various databases, research papers, and climate monitoring platforms. These data sources collectively contribute to our understanding of climate change and its impacts on the planet.

Why should we trust climate change science?

It’s a very good question, and there is a very good answer. Trust in climate change data is built on a combination of rigorous scientific processes and not just one data point, the data has transparency in that it is openly available for independent review, it’s rigorously peer reviewed by other scientists who desperately want to show how clever they are by spotting a mistake, and importantly there’s the convergence of evidence from multiple independent sources often working in very different areas. Here are key reasons why we should trust climate change data:

1. The Scientific Method

Climate change data is collected and analyzed using the scientific method, a systematic and evidence-based approach. Scientists follow established protocols for data collection, measurement, and analysis to ensure accuracy and reliability.

2. Peer Review

Research findings and data are subject to peer review, where experts in the field evaluate the methodology, data quality, and conclusions. This process helps identify errors, biases, or limitations in the data or analysis.

3. Transparency

Data sources, collection methods, and analysis techniques are typically documented and made available to the scientific community and the public. This transparency allows others to replicate studies and verify results independently.

4. Consistency Across Studies

Multiple independent studies conducted by scientists around the world consistently support the conclusion that the Earth’s climate is changing due to human activities. This convergence of evidence reinforces the reliability of climate change data.

5. Long-Term Monitoring

Many climate data sets span decades or even centuries, providing a historical record of climate trends. Long-term monitoring helps identify patterns and anomalies, contributing to our understanding of climate change.

6. Global Collaboration

Climate scientists from different countries and institutions collaborate on research and data analysis. This international cooperation ensures a diversity of perspectives and reduces the likelihood of bias or manipulation.

7. Data Validation

Climate data is subject to rigorous validation processes. Researchers use various methods, including cross-validation with independent data sets and comparison with physical principles, to confirm the accuracy of measurements.

8. Independent Verification

Government agencies, universities, research institutions, and organizations worldwide collect and analyze climate data independently. This redundancy in data collection and analysis provides checks and balances.

9. Historical Records

Historical climate data, such as temperature records, ice core data, and proxy records, offer insights into past climate conditions. These records help validate current climate models and observations.

10. Scientific Consensus

The overwhelming majority of climate scientists and scientific organizations agree that climate change is occurring, largely driven by human activities. Scientific consensus is a strong indicator of the reliability of climate change data.

11. Real-World Impacts

Observations of real-world impacts, such as rising global temperatures, sea-level rise, melting ice sheets, and changes in weather patterns, align with the predictions made by climate models based on climate data.

12. Reproducibility

The ability of different researchers to reproduce climate data and results independently adds another layer of credibility to the findings.

13. Continuous Monitoring

Climate data is continually monitored and updated as new data becomes available. This ongoing process ensures that climate information remains current and accurate.

Of course no scientific data is entirely immune to errors or uncertainties, but the combination of rigorous scientific practices, peer review, transparency, and the convergence of evidence from multiple sources makes climate change data highly reliable and trustworthy. Hopefully it forms the foundation for informed policymaking and effective climate action to address the challenges of global changes.

Who is Ralph Hosier

Ralph Hosier is a British automotive engineer and television presenter known for his work in the automotive industry and appearances on various automotive-related television shows. He has decades of expertise in advanced vehicle engineering and modifications. Ralph has been involved in designing and building custom and modified vehicles, and he has shared his knowledge and experiences with audiences through television programs and publications. He has had a diverse and notable career in the automotive industry, here is an overview of Ralph Hosier’s career:

  1. Automotive Engineering: Ralph Hosier is well-known for his expertise in automotive engineering, particularly in the field of vehicle modifications and customizations. He has been designing and building custom vehicles since the late ’80s, often pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of automotive engineering. He has worked in the automotive industry at R&D facilities for large and small companies including many years working with Ford, JLR and Rolls Royce and Bentley.
  2. Television Presenter: Ralph Hosier has appeared on various automotive-related television programs including Supercar Megabuild, Mission Ignition, Scrapyard Supercar, where he shares his knowledge and passion for cars as well as working behind the scenes helping to create the shows. He is known for his engaging and informative presentations, often demonstrating the intricacies of vehicle modifications and automotive engineering.
  3. Engineering Projects: Throughout his career, Ralph has worked on a wide range of automotive projects, including performance enhancements, restorations, and unique vehicle builds. He has been involved in projects that showcase innovative engineering solutions and creative design.
  4. Writing: Ralph Hosier has also contributed to automotive publications and magazines, where he has written articles on topics related to automotive engineering, vehicle modifications, and industry trends.
  5. Consulting: Beyond his media appearances, Ralph has provided consulting services to the automotive industry. His expertise in vehicle modifications and engineering solutions has been sought after by both automotive manufacturers and enthusiasts.
  6. Educational Outreach: Ralph has been involved in educational initiatives related to automotive engineering. He has participated in workshops, seminars, and events aimed at educating individuals about the technical aspects of cars and modifications.

Ralph is a chartered engineer, a member of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers.
There are now more letters after his name than there are in it 

R.Hosier B.Eng(Hons) C.Eng MIET MIMI MGoMW