Plans for new Jensen unveiled

We've always loved the Jensen Interceptor. After all, it was one of the two cars that got us into classic car hire in the first place. So at Great Escape Classic Car Hire were interested to read the recent article in Autocar with Brendan O'Toole, the man behind the proposed new Jensen Interceptor to be built in Coventry.

O'Toole runs CPP, a specialist low volume car manufacturer and supplier to top-end brands. When we originally heard of CPP's plans to revive the Jensen brand with manufacturer at Jaguar's famous Brown's Lane plant, we were somewhat sceptical. After all, plenty of people have tried and failed to revive Jensen over the years. Back in 1976 it was lack of scale and volume that killed Jensen. So we couldn't quite work out how CPP could make low volume manufacture economical.

O'Toole seems to have a plan. CPP already has a track record in low volume manufacture and has assembled a high quality suite of suppliers who can provide the specialist skills that it cannot economically provide on its own. CPP argues that by bespoking its products it can be viable for any production run between 1 and 250 cars. As well as offering this service to the automotive industry, it makes sense for CPP to also offer fully complete products to the end market in specialist niches based around desirable brands like Jensen.

In principle, this looks like a much more workable solution than some of the previous attempts to create pure stand-alone businesses. The question is whether enough people want to buy a Jensen Interceptor in the 21st century. We love them and there's no doubt that they still excude charm and character. But a new Jensen Interceptor will have to update the hairy-chested medallion man image that stuck with the car in the 1970s. In short, the new Jensen needs to be cool and desirable. Just as Aston Martin quickly discovered that James Bond won't sell cars for ever, CPP needs to make the Jensen Interceptor as good as it can be for the modern market, not a car that just rests on aging laurels.

We are very excited about the new Jensen and we wish CPP all the best. In the meantime, if you can't afford a new one or can't wait until it arrives, try the original - we have two Jensen Interceptors to hire from our bases in Yorkshire and Cotswolds. For more details call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/.

New online booking system

Great Escape Classic Car Hire has launched a new online booking system that makes buying classic car hire on the internet quicker, faster and easier. It can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the world.

The new facility replaces Great Escape's previous in-house booking system and has been developed by the UK's leading car hire software provider. It enables customers to search cars by type, location, price and availability and provides full specification details for each model. Bookings can be completed online in a few minutes, enabling customers to confirm the car and dates and avoid disappointment.

Great Escape Classic Car Hire has invested in the new system to improve the customer experience. Online bookings, particularly from overseas, have taken an increasing share of the company's overall sales so the investment in the new technology should help the company to grow further in 2012.

"We have the largest choice of classic cars to hire in the UK," explains Graham Eason of Great Escape. "So we need a simple online system that enables customers to select the right car and dates to suit them, quickly and easily.

"The new online booking system covers all of our sites and our entire fleet of 50 classic and performance hire cars."

The new online booking system has been launched in time for Great Escape to capitalise on the Christmas gift market.

For more details on the Great Escape range of classic cars for hire, call -01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/.

Rewind to the 80s

The 80s gets a bad rap as the decade of excess. Big hair, big shoulders, big spoilers on your car. But there's one 80s icon we've discovered that proves that in the era of bigger is better, less meant more.
We're talking about the Peugeot 205 GTI. Light and small with a minute 1600cc engine and pleasing lack of go-faster paraphernalia, we've just rediscovered how good the 205 GTI is. The Great Escape Classic Car Hire Peugeot has just returned from a few weeks of fettling that has returned the car to the B-road banzai it should be. Frankly, this is one heck of a car.
23 years since our 1988 car was built and we're not sure its combination of peppy, rev-happy acceleration and go-kart like handling precision have been bettered. Here is a front drive car that entertains along every inch of the road. The steering is super-direct, with plenty of feedback, and the handling is a delight. The 205 doesn't achieve handling greatness at the exclusion of driver input and skill, in the way that say a Mazda MX5 does. This is a car you have to drive, that has character and verve. And it will catch you out. The Peugeot's lift off oversteer is the stuff of legends - for good reason. Release the throttle mid-bend and chances are you're going to hit the greenery. But it's these flaws that make the MX5 great. There are plenty of faster cars that will get you from A to B more safely and with less effort, but that isn't the point of a driver's car.
Today the Peugeot 205 GTI has to be the ultimate classic car bargain. Good examples start at £1500. They're easy to fix, pretty reliable and economical too. And at that price, sacrilige it may be, but if it goes seriously wrong, scrap it. There are plenty about.
Having driven E Types, Jensens, Astons and Porsches that cost more to service than the Peugeot costs to buy, frankly I'm amazed more people haven't caught on to the Peugeot 205 GTI. We'd like to see more people hire this amazing little car - and at just £95 for 24 hours, including unlimited mileage, it must surely be the most enjoyable way for a classic fan to spend under £100.
The Peugeot5 205 GTI is available to hire from our Cotswolds site near Stratford Upon Avon. For more details call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/.

Jaguar XJS for hire in Yorkshire

Great Escape Classic Car Hire has added a Jaguar XJS convertible to its hire fleet in Yorkshire. The new V12-engined car complements our existing XJ-S for hire in the Cotswolds. It is finished in red with a beautiful cream leather interior and walnut veneers.
The Jaguar XJ-S is experiencing a solid renaissance as classic car fans warm to its combination of elegant style, comfort and ease of ownership. This is reflected in its demand as a car for hire. It's perfect for a day or weekend away touring the Yorkshire Moors, Dales or coast in cosseting, svelte luxury. The combination of silky smooth V12 engine and one of the most unruffled rides this side of a Rolls Royce, plus the benefit of a full electric convertible roof, make time in the XJS a very relaxing experience.
The new Jaguar XJS convertible is available to hire from Great Escape's Yorkshire base, with collection from our Leeds site. Every hire day includes a full 24 hours use, unlimited mileage, comprehensive insurance and full AA breakdown cover. Prices start at just £195 for 24 hours.
For more information on the Jaguar XJS to hire in Yorkshire call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/.

New MGB roadster in Suffolk

Great Escape Classic Car Hire has added a new MGB convertible in Teal Blue to its growing self drive rental fleet based in Suffolk. Available to hire from our central Suffolk location near Stowmarket, the 1975 original chrome bumper MGB convertible is available to hire by the day, weekend or week.

The new car is one of the last chrome bumper MGBs to be built at Abingdon by MG and combines Teal Blue paintwork with black leather interior. It has a standard 1800cc engine with stage 2 Oselli head (so it drives better than a standard car) and attractive period-style Minilite wheels. It also has the desirable manual gearbox with overdrive.

Great Escape Classic Car Hire's Suffolk fleet is ideally located for exploring the quite roads of the coast and countryside of Suffolk and within easy reach from London by car or train.

The new car joins the largest fleet of MG cars for hire in the UK, from Great Escape sites in Yorkshire, Cotswolds, Lincolnshire and Suffolk. Every hire day includes a full 24 hours use, unlimited mileage, comprehensive insurance for 1 driver and full UK AA breakdown cover.

For more details on the MGB visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/ or call 01527 893733.




Hardworking Morris

The Great Escape Classic Car Hire Morris Minor Traveller lived up to its name recently when it travelled an astonishing 600 miles in 4 days. The back to back hires over the Goodwood Revival weekend in September tested the reliability of this 54 year old voyager. Thanks to a careful maintenance regime the car passed the test without fault.

The mammoth trip took in the Goodwood Revival, where the car was eligible for the exclusive pre-66 parking area, as well as a tour around the Cotswolds. The Morris Minor Traveller is very popular with customers who enjoy the nostalgia of driving a car that was many people’s first experience of family transport.

The Morris Minor Traveller is part of Great Escape Classic Car Hire’s fleet of 5 Morris Minors for hire in the UK. All cars can be hired on a self drive basis and prices start at just £145 for 24 hours. For more details on cars for hire and locations visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk or call 01527 893733.

Another successful event for Great Escape

Great Escape Classic Car Hire is celebrating another successful corporate event, this time for a group on a stag do. The classic car rental company provided a range of 5 cars for the group of 13 men to tour the Cotswolds in the late autumn sun. The company also provided a route with a treasure hunt – to add a competitive element – and suggested lunch stop.

The group drove a 100 mile route in a variety of classic cars from Great Escape’s Cotswolds fleet, including Alfa Romeo Spider, MGB convertible, Bentley T1 and even a Morris Minor Convertible. It was the fourth corporate event run by Great escape in just two weeks.

Great Escape regularly runs events for corporate and private clients and this experience means the company is able to cater for different budgets. Prices for corporate events including a tour, treasure hunt and lunch can start at as little as £145 per person.

“We tailor every event to the customer,” explains Graham Eason of Great Escape. “We have the right logistical support to ensure every event runs smoothly and a wide range of cars to accommodate all tastes and budgets.”

For more details on Great Escape Classic Car Hire’s corporate events packages call Graham or Jamie on 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk.