Help, we need somebody. Not just anybody

It is busy times at Great Escape. So we're looking for some extra help over the summer.
We have two temporary roles available. We need a valeter and weekend handover person to work part-time weekdays and on a rota basis at weekends at our Midlands site near Evesham. Ideally aged over 25 to fit our insurance criteria the work is light manual and you must be presentable with a professional attitude.
The second role is for a driver to support our film business work. Full time work is available during June and July and will involve transporting film cars to various UK locations from our different sites. Once on location you will stay with the film crew and move the cars as required and provide assistance as requested. Each film shoot will involve. 2-3 nights away, fully expensed. All cars are transported using our trucks and trailers. You must be comfortable using these vehicles, although full training is provided. The transport vehicles are based in the Midlands so if you are centrally based you will find the role convenient. Some mechanical knowledge and a practical disposition would be advantages.
We offer competitive pay and package.
To find out more email or visit Please do not call in the first instance as we are flat out managing customer hires and may not be able to return your call quickly.

Saddle up the ponies, we're going for a drive

Now you can hire the greatest of all American muscle cars, the Ford Mustang, from our Peak District site in Chapel En Le Frith. Black with black interior, shaker style bonnet cowl and side exit exhausts, this is the proper Mustang experience for anyone who loves these brilliant full fat V8 road cars.
The Ford Mustang for hire in the Peak District from Great Escape is a late 1960s fastback coupe with automatic gearbox.  The car is standard except for side exit exhausts and subtle but oversized wheels, which much improve its stance. It is available to hire on a self drive basis by the day, weekend or week or can be provided with a chauffeur for weddings.
This car comes from the golden age of Mustang production in the late 1960s when the car's shape and performance were perfectly aligned.  It is from the ultimate year to - 1967, the same as the Bullitt car made famous by Steve McQueen.
To find out more about hiring the Ford Mustang from Great Escape visit or call 01527 893733.

Be Bobby For The Day

Steve McQueen, James Dean, Cary Grant. All wonderful role models I'm sure and at various points in a typical day I imagine I'm one or other or all three.
But spare a thought for Bobby Ewing. Effortlessly rich, glorious of hair and blessed with everything money could buy (except a secure shower, of course). Personally, with the exception perhaps of the bouffant locks, I suspect that there is a little part of most men of a certain age which really quite likes the idea of Being Bobby, if just for one day.
I think you may, by now, be able to see where this is going. Because now you can Be Bobby. Great Escape Classic Car Hire may not be able to offer oil wells and South Fork but we have the next best thing - Bobby's wheels. We've added a classic Mercedes SL R107 convertible to our fleet just like the one our Bob drove in Dallas.
The latest addition perhaps explains our new-found admiration for TV's second most famous shower star. There are few classic convertibles that we can honestly say deliver the same combination of style and relaxation. Our new SL is nearly 30 years old yet drives as easily as a modern car and is almost certainly better built. It wafts better than Linda Gray's perma-set hair on a gentle Dallas breeze. Its chiselled lines are exactly what you want from a convertible - big long bonnet, stubby rear and pillarless doors.
What Bobby knows and the growing legion of classic SL fans are discovering is that the car has hidden depths too. It is quite sprightly and handles tidily. This isn't a B-road banzai but you can enjoy the twisties if you wish. And with the top up or down the cabin is a joy - spacious, stylish and infinitely practical with a decent boot, small rear seat and plenty of storage space.
The E Type may be more glamorous and driver-orientated and the Alfa Spider may be more stylish but the Mercedes SL tops the list if you want to cover long distances effortlessly. Which may explain why Bobby Ewing, despite his many trials and tribulations during the 80s, returned from the shower for another scene with his beloved SL.
You can Be Bobby for the day or weekend from our Cotswolds site where our Mercedes SL is available to hire from £199 for 24 hrs. To find out more call 01527 893733 or visit

The coupe that copes

When we get a classic hire car that is popular and runs right it is like the stars lining up.  Such is the case with our 1969 Jaguar E Type coupe based in the Cotswolds.  I inherited this car - which I now own - from a hire company in Suffolk (which is still going).  To say it had not been looked after would be an under-statement.  It hadn't been serviced for several years, the head gasket had blown (but it was still being sent out on hire), it had the wrong wheels fitted and the clutch was on its last legs. Not much about it was right.

Since the car came to our Cotswolds fleet in 2010 I have spent close to £10,000 getting it right. It's had major welding and suspension work, engine overhaul, new clutch and loads of other more minor bits of titillation. The next job is the interior, which is fine but if I was being picky, it's a bit patina-ed.
All of which is just as well because it is an incredibly busy car. In 2011 and 2012 it was our busiest car by far and 2013 looks like it will be even busier. Between early March, when we start hiring again in earnest, and now the car has barely had time to cool down.  That it has managed to average 500 miles a week without a murmur of fault - and massive grins from customers - is testament to the work put in to make it run right.

The car's popularity even outstrips our V12 convertible, which perhaps has something to do with the enduring appeal of the classic Series 1 and 2 hard top coupe shape. As a driving experience it is hard to beat - the view down the long bonnet turns any road into the Mulsanne Straight and the power of the 4.2 litre straight six still thrills 4 decades after the car left the factory. We drive lots of different classic cars every week but the E Type remains a special treat any time.
The popularity of the E Type has led to us adding more E Types to our fleet.  We now have a choice of 5 to hire from our sites in Devon, Cotswolds and Yorkshire. Our fleet includes E Types from all periods of production - early Series 1 coupe through to late Series 3 convertible. Hire prices start at £279 for 24 hrs including insurance, generous mileage allowance and full UK support. To find out more call 01527 893733 or visit

10 cars, 2 great days

Sometimes running this business doesn't feel like a job at all. After a busy weekend of two events for private and corporate clients the Great Escape team is feeling tired but relaxed.  Here's our weekend.  To join us on our next customer classic car driving day which puts you behind the wheel of 5 classic cars for £199 call 01527 893733 or visit

Cotswolds Driving Tour

On Saturday we took 16 customers in 8 cars on one of our favourite 100 mile routes through the north Cotswolds.  The day was fully booked and included a mixture of existing and new customers.  We took 8 classic cars and each customer drove at least 5 - with the chance to test others when they got back.  The cars were E Type convertible, HMC Healey, MGB, Alfa Spider, Mercedes SL, Triumph TR6, DeLorean and Porsche 911, giving everyone a mixture of cars to sample. The route took in Chipping Campden, Broadway, Shipston and Lower Slaughter, giving everyone the chance to gun the motors and scare the tourists, which of course is perfectly acceptable and much recommended by us.

The weather was glorious and at the lunch stop at The Slaughters Inn the customers entertained the pub's drinkers with a stream of classics of which the DeLorean as usual stole the show.
As well as overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers - some of whom have already booked again for our rallies later this year - the HMC Healey won the award for most popular car, perhaps thanks to its rumbling V8 soundtrack. The Alfa and Mercedes SL were rated the most surprising cars of the day, both being enjoyed for their mix of easy cruising and style.

Corporate Event

The annual Drive It Day on April 21st coincided with an event we ran for corporate customers around Castle Combe. This gave the Great Escape team the opportunity to drive some of our favourite cars through the Cotswolds to The Manor House hotel in the village, taking in the glorious Fosse Way.  We took the E Type, 911, HMC and Mercedes SL.

The small corporate event involved a short drive to Lacock and back, with a coffee break.  The customers rated the HMC once again the car of the day. The HMC may be heresy to some - it looks like a classic but was built in 1999 - but personally I'm with the customers.  It looks superb - particularly in blue and cream - and has the reassurance of modern mechanicals clothed in an achingly pretty 1960s retro body.  Frankly, what's not to like? If you've tried to live with a 1960s Austin Healey, even over a short drive, you'll appreciate why we - and our customers - love the HMC so much.

For more details on our driving days and corporate events visit or call 01527 893733.

Enjoy the B-roads

When Pininfarina designed the elegant hard top coupe roof for the MGB convertible it created one of the nicest budget GT cars ever to come out of Britain. The MGB GT transforms the venerable B into a great GT car with loads of luggage space.
Great Escape Classic Car Hire now has a MGB GT for self drive rental from its owner operated site in the Peak District. It is a 1975 chrome bumper car finished in red with a black interior and a manual overdrive gearbox. It is perfect fort exploring the great roads and scenery available right from the site's doorstep in Chapel en le Frith.

The MGB GT is one of a fleet of cars available to hire in the Peak District, ranging from classic sports cars like the Triumph Spitfire to modern classics like the Mercedes SLK.  For more details visit or call 01527 893733.
"If you like MGs or just enjoy classic British budget sports cars we now have the widest range of MGs to hire in the UK," explains Graham Eason of Great Escape.  "Our fleet ranges from classic early 1960s MGB convertibles to late MGFs."
MGB GT hire starts at £150 per day.  Every day includes 24 hrs use, unlimited mileage, insurance for 1 driver and full UK breakdown cover. 
Great Escape Classic Car Hire has the largest fleet of classic cars to hire in the UK.  For more details call 01527 893733

One man's better is another man's worse

Classic car enthusiasts are a particular lot. I know, I'm one of them. And one of the things that gets their goat and mine is the originality vs improvement debate.
Take my Alfasud (I wish you would, etc). I want that to be factory spec, no mods, no improvements. There are so few left now that I feel that's the way it should be.
But is it right? The reason for this naval gazing on ephemera, whilst the world waits for a young dictator to blow it to pieces, is that I've been driving our Yorkshire Morris Minor Traveller for an event in London with Tyrrells Crisps called The Tweed Run. And there are few cars more English than the venerable Moggy Minor Traveller.
This one is a little different. It's a 1967 car that's been fully restored and individualised. On paper based on my Alfasud position I should dislike it. I really don't.
It's got a 1275 Mini engine, 5 speed Sierra box, Jaguar XJ40 leather seats, electric windows and auxiliary gauges.
What I like about this car is that it's got love in it from the man who converted it and it's a genuinely improved and useable classic. It's comfortable, it munches miles and yet it looks from the outside exactly like a factory spec Moggy. So much so that it can be used for a 1960s themed event like The Tweed Run.
To the naysayers who argue for originality I'd say it has its place. There are a lot of Moggies about so why not personalise one of them? It's a sign of passion, just as much as a concours Meguiars winner.
Our Yorkshire Moggy shows what is possible with a basic 1940s design. Whereas the original car is now really a local runabout, this car can be used for long trips. I just have one criticism though - that Sierra box. Stirring its porridgy cogs reminded me of the asthmatic Sierra I had in the 90s, and it wasn't pleasant. Still, a small price to pay for progress.
We have a choice of standard and modified Morris Minor Travellers to hire in Yorkshire or Cotswolds. Prices start at £150 per day. For more details visit or call 01527 893733.

The charges that dare not speak their name

Today the European Union 'cracked down' on what it calls unfair charges for credit and debit cards. Hooray cries a nation of holidaymakers, frequent flyers and concert goers. And many others no doubt. Well, it's a step in the right direction but rather inevitably not a big enough one.
Without the ability to en mass lobby our democratically elected representatives in a manner familiar to deep-pocketed multinational corporations and their trade bodies, the humble consumer frankly gets a bit of a rough deal when it comes to the definition of 'fair'.  Because the latest crack down only caps charges made for debit and credit cards, it doesn't really stop the practice. Those who currently charge excessively for credit and debit card transactions still have the option to call the costs 'booking fees' or 'administration fees.'  So the problem remains.
I am but a humble small businessman plying my trade across the world wide web. But I see the problem from both sides. I understand that commission-driven companies, like ticket agencies, need to recover their costs. And I understand that consumers expect to be treated fairly and honestly. They don't, for instance, expect to see one advertised price and pay a wholly different price at the end of the transaction. Which is really the issue - whether you call it a booking fee, admin fee or a credit card charge, it's still a charge on top of the advertised price.
The issue comes down to whether a company is service-driven or sales-driven.  Either is equally valid, but be honest about what you are.  So, for instance, most airlines and holiday companies advertise their warm, cuddly and friendly natures. Fly with us, we're great. We love you. We want to enrich your life. That is the fighting talk of a service-driven business. But when you come to book 9 times out of 10 you are smacked with hidden costs for administration, booking, using a card or any number of extras that you might consider were a fundamental part of whatever it is you want to buy. That reflects a sales-driven business.
To succeed a business cannot be both, except in an industry where all of its competitors are doing the same thing. Which you might argue smells rather of a monopoly. Any business that wants to grab a competitive advantage would align its entire operation to one culture or the other. If you don't think that is possible take a look at Ryan Air - love them or hate them you know exactly what you're getting, a sales driven business focused on low prices and, therefore low service. If you want a better service you can have it but you pay for it. An expectation that it clearly makes clear on its shop front. That clear, honest approach takes guts but has given Ryan Air an obvious competitive advantage.
Administration, booking fees, card fees and so on are what it takes to do and be in business. While the Ryan Air approach works in a highly commoditised business where price is key, it doesn't work in classic car hire. So we don't charge extra for using a card and we don't charge you to administer a booking you've made with us.  That applies whether you book online or by phone. We are being stung by the card processing companies who have continuously put their fees up, yet we haven't increased our prices since 2011. That's because we're in an economic downturn so it's up to us to work lean and keen.
The same applies to our hire packages. I believe a day means a day so our prices are based on a full 24 hrs use. We can do AM to PM hires but we'll reduce the price accordingly. Where possible we also provide unlimited mileage - or if that isn't possible due to the maintenance costs on our cars we offer a generous allowance and make that very clear on our site.  We provide a specialist, comprehensive insurance policy as part of the price.  And we provide a full UK breakdown service backed by local site support at no cost. It may seem like a small point but that means you won't be charged for calling the service out, even if it costs us several hundred pounds to do so. Some hirers only offer a free breakdown service within a limited radius of their sites - we don't because to me that's a hidden cost.
We also spend a fortune on maintaining the cars. I can't guarantee they won't break down but I know we've done our very best to prevent it. So when you see one of our shiny cars on the website and book it based solely on the photo and description, I am confident that we have been honest and transparent about the car. We even show you what work we've done on the car over the last 2 years.
I would prefer that companies avoided extra, unexpected costs but if they want to charge them, like Ryan Air, at least be honest and upfront about it.  People power is hard to mobilise but my advice is - check the small print before you click 'yes'.
For more details on what we do and how we work visit or call 01527 7893733.

Beat the summer rush

After Easter things get rather busy here at Great Escape as customers pick their hire dates over the summer.  The combination of an early Easter, the trend for staycationing and the fact that we've won a big TV contract over the summer means we're beginning to run out of hire dates on our most popular cars. 
So we've launched what we like to think is a bit of a public service announcement - to avoid disappointment, book now. You can check availability online or by calling 01527 893733. We've added more cars and more locations to help cope with demand but popular dates in August and July are already nearly fully booked at some sites. 
As a reward for booking early - and making our lives a lot easier - we're offering 10% off all bookings made during April.  Just book online using discount code 10 or call 01527 893733 and mention the offer. This deal applies to any car booked from our Yorkshire, Devon or Cotswolds sites between May and October 2013. 
Over the last 6 months we have invested over £50,000 in the quality and reliability of our hire fleet and removed cars that we just don't feel cut the mustard. We continue to invest because we want our fleet to be the most reliable hire fleet in the UK. Since January 2013 we have added £100,000 worth of new cars to our fleet, available to hire from our main sites in Yorkshire, Devon and the Cotswolds. To find out more visit or call 01527 893733. 

The king of the cubic inch

Another day, another Jensen article. So apologies, but our customers can't seem to get enough of them so we've added a third. The new car is based in Devon at our site near Exeter and has garned a lot of attention because it's a Mk2 rather than the more common Mk3. But does it really matter? The short answer is yes and no.
Now, at the outset I should say that getting anal about the specifics of classic cars really isn't my thing. I can parry 1963 vs 1965 interior detailing on an E Type Jaguar with the best of them, but it doesn't float my boat. What.So.Ever. It's not that I have anything against people who do, it's just not for me. I much prefer jumping in and driving the cars.

So, with that out the way, lets get back to naval gazing detail. If you just love Jensens you'll love either the Mk2 or Mk3.  There's very little difference between them apart from the rear seat design and the wheels.  Under the bonnet is a different story as the Mk2 'only' has a 6.3 litre V8, the later car makes do with a paltry 7.2 litre Chrysler lump.
If you're a Jensen afficionado you'll probably fall into one of two camps. One set of Jensen enthusiasts tend to favour the Mk2 because it has all the luxury and updated style of the Mk3 but with the benefit of the high compression 6.3 litre V8 engine that is supposedly more response and flexible than the later engine. Alternatively, the other camp argues that the later car looks better - mainly thanks to the wheels - and is better built.  Although most Mk3s shared their dashboard design with the Mk2 the very last cars had a slightly odd walnut effect design that personally I dislike but many prefer.

I've driven Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 Interceptors and, to be honest, they are all as good as each other. The 6.3 litre does deliver its power differently to the 7.2 but it would take a prolonged back to back test to notice. i do prefer the Mk3 but only because I just like the idea of the biggest engine imaginable, and I like the wheels, but a very good Mk2 would float my boat just as well.
So there you have it. Mk2 Jensen vs Mk3. For me it's not the same as the debate between early and late E Types, which vary considerably. If you love the Interceptor just enjoy the experience of being powered along smoothly and effortlessly by one of Britain's best GT cars.

Our new Devon car is available to hire from our site near Exeter with the same comprehensive package as our other cars. We have three Jensen Interceptors available to hire at our sites in Yorkshire, Devon and Cotswolds. For more details visit or call 01527 893733. Mention this article to claim 10% off Jensen Interceptor hire.

Wafting without the wafting

With summer just a hint around the corner - as soon as the Spring snows disappear - we thought it was about time we invested in some more convertibles. So we've added perhaps the daddy of GT convertible tourers - the mighty Mercedes R107 SL, built throughout the 1970s and 80s. It's the convertible car for the customer who likes wafting without being wafted by the less than warm breezes of a British summer. 
The Mercedes SL is a classic Merc in the old tradition - hugely solid build, fuss-free to drive and extremely relaxing whether you keep the top up or put it down. The Great Escape Classic Car Hire Mercedes is a pre-facelift model with the 2.8 litre straight 6 engine.  This means it has simple, classic 70s styling and attractive chrome/colour coded wheel trims. The car has an automatic gearbox, huge, comfortable armchair seats and a good size boot. 
The Mercedes SL is available to hire from our Cotswolds site near Stratford Upon Avon by the day, weekend or week.  Prices include unlimited mileage, insurance for 1 driver (extra drivers £25 each) and full UK breakdown cover. You can find out more by visiting or call 01527 893733. 
"The Mercedes Sl is all about fuss-free, relaxed cruising," explains Graham Eason of Great Escape. "It's perfect for wafting along with a slight breeze in your hair."
Mention this article and claim 10% off the hire of the Mercedes SL in the Cotswolds. 

For richer or poorer, you need a 70s Grand Tourer

My name is Graham and I have a bit of a thing about 70s cars. Particularly GT cars. There, I've said it. Jensen, Aston, Iso, Jaguar, I love them all. And the more proprietary their parts, the more I love them. Which is why I nominate the Jensen Interceptor as the best British GT car of the 1960s and 70s. Here's why.
Luckily, and without a hint of smugness, I've been fortunate enough to drive most of Britain's GT output from the 1970s as part of my day job running Great Escape Classic Car Hire. Not all of them, but enough to perhaps make a judgement call.

Aston V8

The daddy of British GT cars for many, tr Aston started life as a svelte 60s DBS and ended it in the 80s as a white bodykitted acid casualty. In between it adopted fancy wheels and a bonnet cowl, and a hand built v8. I've driven a Volante and coupe from the 70s and 80s. The coupe runs the Jensen very close for style and probably edges it for on-road presence and drama, but it lacks the refined, cohesive feel of the Jensen. It's heavy, noisy and feels like a combination of components rather than a fully formed design. As a buying proposition its major downsides compared to the Jensen are purchase price - at least twice that of a Jensen - and the twin devils of a handbuilt v8 and, to be polite, 'premium priced' specialists. Oh, and the Volante is awful, a pumped up badly built Mustang with a terrible case of the tremors.

Aston DB6

Laughable as it may now seem given their respective values but the DB6 was a close rival of the Jensen when they were both launched in the mid 60s. Today a semi-decent DB6 is 10 times the price of a comparable Interceptor. And the Jensen is a much, much better car. The Aston, likey all Astons, has remarkable presence but to my eyes it doesn't look as good as the Interceptor. It does have superlative steering and a decent ride, plus proper space for 4, but it again lacks the refinement and comfort of a good Interceptor. The engine feels agricultural and the car drives rather like a truck.
I love the Aston for its sense of occasion; my point is to burst the bubble a little that puts the DB6 in the rarefied world of exotica. On simple merits, the Jensen is a better car.

Jaguar XJS

Jaguar had been slowly turning the E Type into a GT during its lifetime but only truly hit the mark when it launched the XJS in 1975. Combining styling cues from a variety of GT sources, the Jaguar was meant to be the exclusive GT with the reassurance of mass manufacturing behind it. The big hole in that concept, of course, was that the mass manufacturer in question was BL, a company whose workers could threaten to walk out if their tea bags were changed from PG to Tetley.
The big v12 Jag is a very, very good car, far better than it ever gets credit for. It handles neatly, rides brilliantly and has a super smooth v12. The problem for me, compared to the Jensen, is that it's very familiarity makes it a bit too mainstream and unremarkable. The three speed auto box is also useless, blunting the engagement, and the interior is pretty low rent on pre-90s cars. It runs a Jensen close, but no cigar. Still, buy an early one before they go intergalactic.

Porsche 928

As the last Jensens shuffled off the production line, along came the 928. The 928 came from a different planet, an advanced, aerodynamic GT right at the cutting edge of trans continental mile munching so beloved of GT man. The trouble is, whisper it, it's not very good. I owned one for a couple of years and grew to dislike it intensely. Sure, it cost me thousands and thousands of pounds, which I could have forgiven if it had been astonishing to drive. It wasn't. The 928 looks good, it is well built and it is comfortable. It's quick. It grips the road. But it's too wide, too heavy and tries too hard to be a sports car. A true GT is a cruiser that can lift it's skirts when it neess to. The 928 gets the balance all wrong - it wants to race but is too lardy to be much good. It's a good car, just not a great one.

Jensen Interceptor

Pitched against the list above, the Jensen isn't perfect. It's an old skool ride with basic engineering. It has poor ventilation. But it does so much so well. It rides well, it has lovely steering and a slurry, robust gearbox. The engine pushes the GT vibe to the limit with 7.2 litres. It handles ably. It is superbly comfortable. The interior, whether you go for an early or late car, is space age GT. And it still looks brilliant. A- if you had to draw a GT car blindfolded, chances are it would look like an Interceptor.
So there you have it, an entirely subject but frankly entirely correct assessment of the 70s GT. Now, where's my Cinzano?

We have various GT cars for hire from several locations.
01527 893733

Bringing the Robin in from the cold

The poor old Reliant Robin, nee Regale, nee Rialto has had a tough time over the years at the hands of jokers and Jeremy Clarkson. Sure, it only has three wheels and is made of plastic but in these eco-conscious times shouldn't we laud its energy saving credentials rather than laugh at the three wheeled wonder?
At Great Escape we're always aiming to be at the cutting edge of the classic car market, looking for the classics of the future to offer to our customers.
For a long time I've pondered the Reliant 3 wheeler and laughed. I'm laughing no more. Customers are turning away from such everyday metal as E Types and Jensens and demanding more eco-friendly cars. We had to do something.
Sadly the list of economical eco-friendly classics is a short one that largely starts and ends with a three wheeled device from Tamworth. So we began the search for a Rialto. Or Robin. Or Regale. Although there are plenty about, our requirements were specific. It needed space for 4. It needed to be aspirational. It had to be white to cater for the self drive wedding car market. It had to have blacked out windows because I wouldn't be seem dead in it. And perhaps, just maybe, it would give us a shoe-in to the lucrative stretch limo market that we had hitherto been locked out of. Yes, an economical, stylish, white stretched Reliant Robaltegale would kill many birds with one stone. And probably its occupants.
So today we announce the latest addition to out fleet. It's long. It's white. It does 45 to the gallon. Frankly, we're putting deposits down on our personal Aston Rapides right now. This is it, le grand time.
You can hire this unique car, tailor made for the modern world, from our Cotswolds site for £95 per day on a self drive basis. Sunglasses, hat, fake beard all available as optional extras. 01527 893733