@Venables St

Blog Archive

Please Note

We have rearranged our website. Current news items are now found on the News page and see our Gallery and Projects pages. Old blog posts will remain on this page but it will not be updated.

Another glowing testimonial for Sean and Octagon. Good going guys – Keep up the good work!

“Hi Sean,

Just wanted to say thanks for the inspection and preventative service you did on my ‘new’ 1986 Rolls Royce Silver Spur. When I bought this car a month or so ago I had no idea where to go for maintenance, support, and service. After you checked over the vehicle, and did preventative maintenance, I feel much better about the car, and now know where to take it in the future. Octagon does great service – with more attention to detail than I’d expected. You seem to have both the knowledge base and in-house talent to look after, and sort out, just about anything.

I look forward to coming back, after the summer, for follow up vehicle service.

Regards,

Grant …”

David’s MGA Phase 2!

Well the front valence is on, and the car is back in the shop for some engine work!! I really just wanted a little ‘hot rodding’ to the engine, so that under the hood would be consistent with the outer appearance of the car. I purchased a cross flow head from Moss, which appears to be a somewhat controversial item, but which makes nothing but sense theoretically, and a mild cam from ‘Basil’, who many of you MG types probably know – and phase 2 is well under way!FullSizeRender

David’s MGA Project

I remember, many years ago, seeing for the first time, a Le Mans MGA, and being struck by its beauty. Since becoming involved with Octagon, I have often thought it would be really fun to build an, “in the spirit of competition”, tribute MGA. The racing windshield and bumperless look, to me,  reveal the purity of the beautiful flowing lines of the car. MGA’s are fairly inexpensive and readily available because of the large number that were produced and, while not very exotic, they offer the true British roadster experience. Well – about 20 yrs after first seeing the real thing, I have actually followed through on this idea. I found a solid local car that had had a decent ‘restoration’ some years ago,  I found a perspex ‘sports’ windshield on Ebay – that came with instructions on how to cut down one’s own windshield frame – and I purchased the wire wheel conversion kit from Moss, along with a mesh grill, and a ‘bumper delete’ fibreglass front valence. The boys at the shop turned the car around in an afternoon, for phase 1 of the conversion, and I think the results are fantastic. It is a really fun little car to drive and, to my eye, a timeless beauty – harkening back to many of the competition roadsters of the 50’s and 60’s. As you can see in the pictures, the front valence has yet to be installed, and phase 2 of the project will be a few engine tweaks, which continue the theme of the “spirit of competition”, a little ‘straightening’ here and there IMG_6162 IMG_6195 IMG_6218 IMG_6228 and then, eventually, a re paint in a different colour.  I will update this story as I go but, for now, I am just thrilled with the results. I’ll see you at the ABFM 2015 for the 60th anniversary of the MGA!!!

Parts Department Closing

From the owners of Octagon Motor Group:

After over 35 years of serving the British car community we at Octagon have made the difficult decision to close our parts department.

As of September 1, 2014, we will no longer be accepting parts orders (online or by phone) and the parts desk at Octagon will be closing.

We have struggled to keep this part of our business operating, but unfortunately changing circumstances (declining demand, declining margins of mass-produced parts, etc.) mean that we can no longer support this service.

We would like to thank all of our loyal customers for their patronage over the years. It has been our pleasure to serve you and offer our parts expertise. We will miss all of the great interaction and the relationships we have developed over this time with our parts customers.

The good news is that our service side is thriving and remains open and ready to serve you. So we hope to continue to see many of you around the shop and provide for all of your motoring needs.

If you have any questions or comments about the closing, please do not hesitate to contact us or add a comment below.

The Octagon Team

Cam’s Berkeley

Hi all, I would like to share my project, the restoration of my Berkeley. I have included a bunch of picture below and a more detailed description of the car and the process below. Hope you enjoy. Please feel from to comment or email me. (more…)

Another Alvis update

Work on the Alvis project at Octagon continues. Here you can see the ash frame ready for the aluminum body. More pics after the break! (more…)

The return of the ‘Knobbly’ (and the blog)

We have been making some changes to the site so are a little but slow getting back to the blog, but hopefully back on track now.

The plan was to start off again with a few links of interest, but this next piece caught our interest and sent us down the byways of the internets…

From Wired magazine: Knobbly 2.0: One of History’s Most Stunning Race Cars Is Reborn.

The quick story details the planned revival of the historic Lister Jaguar race car from the late 1950’s, nicknamed the Knobbly.

The story of how the original car came into being, however, is an interesting peek back into a different era of cars and racing… (more…)

At Octagon: 1949 MG TC

Vancouver, 1949. The shadow of war has passed, the future looking prosperous. Sitting in the Plimley dealership: the gleaming white curves, the red leather upholstery and the promise of a cruise with the top down on a warm Spring day. (more…)

MGB Fuel Pump Sale!

sufuelpumpnobkgFor a limited time only Octagon is offering an online sale on MGB fuel pumps.

The SU points type (AX1307) and electronic (AZX1307EN) for 1968-80 models are both on sale.

The AZX1307 regularly $163 is now on sale for $135 and the AZX1307EN regularly $197 is now $159. (see the MGB fuel tank and pumps page here, scroll down for fuel pumps!)

Note that this sale is only for online orders only. So use this opportunity to check out our online store and get yourself a deal!

An Alvis Update

Here’s some updated pictures from Oliver’s Alvis Speed 25 project.

You can see some earlier pics and information on the project in a previous post. We’d love to hear what you think, so feel free to add a comment or question!

some background
For those not familiar the Speed 25 was built by Alvis Ltd. in Coventry between 1936 and 1940. Alvis’s were renowned for their smooth, powerful and fast (100 mph in the case of the 25) ride. Alvis supplied the car in chassis form only and coachwork was provided by various other firms, usually in the form of a large tourer or saloon style. Oliver is making his over into the form of a period racer.

Some pics and explanations of the process from Oliver:

the preliminaries: some design fun
One of our initial challenges was getting the design right . I tried an experiment and had a company in India do some 3d drawings before we started. They didn’t get it quite right…but an interesting process. A lot of email to some guy that didn’t really get the concept of a pre-war car!

Getting started
Here we are beginning the process at Octagon.

Beginning the build
We then shipped the car off to RX Autoworks in North Vancouver to get the ash frame and body built.

This Week On the Lift!

Things are heating up down here at the shop as most people have their ‘babies’ back on the road for the summer. Lots of air care and general tuning work is par for the course and there is nobody better than our Syd to ‘smooth out the lumpy bits’! We are doing an inspection and tuning work on the Blue Alvis under the hoist, tuning and carburetor work on the Red E Type and, on the Dark Blue V12 E Type in the foreground, Sean has completed a top end, as well as switched out the old automatic for a Tremec 5 speed gear box. The length of the new gear box is slightly different than the original so we are awaiting delivery of a modified drive shaft before reinstalling – That new box should make quite a difference!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All British Field Meet 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat a fabulous turn out for this year’s event!!! The featured marque this year was Aston Martin, and we were pleased to be able to contribute Oly’s wonderful DB4 to the collection. We also brought a recently renovated MG TC, and a stunning series One and a Half E type Jag, that belongs to a customer, and is for sale… hmmmmm, he said, lasciviously. Typically, we enjoyed all four seasons in one day, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Van Dusen grounds. The cars were amazing, the people were fantastical, and the fish and chips weren’t bad either. What more could one want – well… maybe that e type.

Today In The Shop!

We  just installed a brand new 4 post 12,000 lb hoist for you big ol’ Bentley owners – This is the kind of thing that gets us excited!

Other stuff going on at the shop this week includes a once over of a recently purchased and absolutely gorgeous 1962 Austin Healey 3000, some cosmetic refurbishment of a fairly pristine 1988 Jag XJ, and replacement of the Intermediate Shaft Bearing in a 2005, Speed Yellow, Porsche 997.

Check out the pics below! (click to enlarge)

Tsawwassen Show ‘n Shine and The Spring Thaw Rally – A busy weekend for the Boys of Octagon!

Yes that's an R90S in the back:)
Yes that’s an R90S in the back:)

This morning Cam and I met a couple of good friends (Paul and Tasso) at the shop, before heading out to the 28th annual vintage and classic motorcycle swap meet/show ‘n shine in Tsawwassen. It’s always good fun to ‘run into’ various groups of old bikes on the way out there, and to behold the fabulous array that assembles on the grounds each year – This year was no exception!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEANWHILE, Oly and Lisa completed the 723.6 miles of this years venerated annual “Spring Thaw” rally in their beautiful Aston Martin DB4! The route ran from Squamish to Hope, through Salmon Arm and Nakusp. Exhilarating  roads, fantastic scenery, and a beautifully run event – It sounds like they had an absolute ball. And they even got lucky with the weather!

Oly’s Alvis Special:

We  just took delivery of  Oly’s latest project – a 1936 Three and a half  liter  Alvis Speed 25! The plan is to cut the back off  it and turn it into a period sports racer. Cam has completed some preliminary drawings that look absolutely stunning. The new body panels will be fabricated in England.

Cam and Oly take the old girl for “Air Care”, which she passed with flying colours. Frankly, I was amazed she simply made it there and back!

 

New Face!

 

IMG_0149The “New” Octagon Motor Group offers the same dedication to caring for and servicing cherished classics, but we have opened the doors to a wider variety of Marques. The addition of certain key members of our team, Like Sean Kostrzewski, service and shop manager, has enabled us to expand our service expertise to include all British Marques, as well as German, and Italian. We are extremely proud of the expanded service operations, and the new look and feel of our facility. It is now not uncommon to see a beautiful and varied collection in our service centre at any one time. Here we have part of a Ferrari, next to a gorgeous E type coupe, with a modern XK behind, and a lovely little TD on the first hoist. What’s not to like?!

Time to Dust off the Leather Suit!

We at Octagon are avid motorcycle enthusiasts as well and, as we are springing forward this weekend, here is a little inspiration for the new season! Warning… Not for the faint of heart:)

Jag-MG Club Meets at Octagon

The Jaguar-MG Club met at Octagon on February 17.  Octagon technician Syd gave a very well received seminar on ignition issues, lots of doughnuts were had, and parts were sold at a healthy discount to Club members.

All in, a great time.

 

 

Seeing Red at Octagon

Octagon went Italian this week, installing new mass airflow sensors and a new ABS/traction control assembly on this lovely Ferrari 360 Modena.  Not our usual fare, but service manager Sean (whose own Lamborghini Urraco needs the odd fettle) has plenty of experience in a range of exotics and had the job done promptly (once the parts were sourced in Seattle).

From what I gather, this Modena is not a car for the uninitiated without the traction control turned on, so its owner can enjoy it safely once again.

Jaguar-MG Club Open House

Octagon is hosting the Jaguar-MG Club on Sunday, February 17, starting at 10:00 am.  There will be coffee and doughnuts, Syd will be giving a technical lecture on ignition systems, and all parts sold or ordered that day will be 15 per cent off.

Should be good fun, informative, and a chance to stock up on some parts for those spring projects.

Event is open only to members of the Jaguar-MG Club, please.

David’s Porsche

1989 Porsche Carrera. This is more or less a daily driver (Station wagon for really nasty days). These are truly fabulous cars. They are primitive enough to  feel raw and engaging, yet sophisticated enough to offer relative refinement in comfort and handling. 1989 was the last year for this Carrera model, and represents the pinnacle of their development. The classic “air cooled” sound is music to my ears, whether running around town, or screaming up to Duffy lake!Carrera