Competition Winner Esta Drives the Radical SR3 around Silverstone

22. December 2011


When I first got the email telling me I was the lucky winner of a Ferrari 458 Passenger ride, I'll be honest, I thought it was a joke. The chances of winning a competition like that are particularly slim, and not always being the luckiest person in the world, I didn't think I stood a chance, but hey you fill in that competition form anyway!  I would be in for the passenger ride of my life, in the Ferrari know, the one which goes from 0-60 in 3 seconds? If you didn't know that, you obviously didn't read Fred Famous' article on my winning the competition, I think he only mentioned that fact 3 times...! (see this article here)

Anyway, the Ferrari 458 wasn't going to be available until the new year which ordinarily would have been a little disappointing but Performance Direct gave me the option of going along in December for a driving experience in a Radical SR3 around Silverstone.  I'm not a girl who likes to wait and the opportunity to actually DRIVE around Silverstone, and in something that's even faster than a Ferrari 458, was just too good to pass up. More...

Winning a Passenger Ride in a Ferrari 458 Italia

16. November 2011

Winner of the Performance Direct Ferrari 458 Italia Driving Experience at Silverstone, Esta from Birmingham, came along to visit us at the Classic Motor Show / Top Gear Live at the Birmingham NEC to collect her certificate.  She was the lucky winner of the competition amongst the many thousands of entrants and will get driven by a professional driver around the world famous Silverstone circuit, home of the British Grand Prix. More...

Performance Direct at the Silverstone Classics

20. July 2011

e type jaguar at silversoneThe Siverstone Classic car show runs from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 24th and this year, Performance Direct Insurance are excited to be there too for the first time.

The stand will be located in the Trade Village next to the E-Type 50th Anniversary display, where Performance Direct will be available all weekend offering money saving quotations. Not only classic car insurance, but covering all types of vehicles, including convenient and cost saving multi vehicle policies.

The stand will have two superb vintage vehicles on display as well, a rather fun and rather attractive 1971 Fiat 500, surely the precursor to the current trend of small city cars, and a beautiful 1963 Karmann Ghia Coupe.More...

Will the New Porsche 550 Spyder Carry on the Curse of James Dean's Original?

4. July 2011

New Porsche 550 SpyderThe motoring world is awash with rumours that Porsche are set to revive the historic, legendary and infamous Porsche 550 Spyder name.   The new car, based upon the VW Bluesport concept car, should be available to buy in 2013 or 2014 depending upon which rumours you believe or possibly in which country you live.  I assume that we will probably have to wait for right-hand drive versions here in the UK.  A 1.6 litre flat-four will be turbocharged to give power output of around 200bhp via the rear wheels.  An expected 0-60 time of under 6 seconds and a top speed of 145mph are quoted as being the likely performance figures on the two-seat, lightweight, classic inspired frame.  Nicknamed the 'Baby' Porsche this little lightweight is due to get a no-fuss manually operated canvas roof as well as a conventional manual gearbox.  It all sounds very promising and here in the office we're hoping that Porsche deliver the drivers car that we all hope it will be.  Performance Direct will certainly be delivering some great value Performance Car Insurance to complete the package for lucky drivers.
Obviously Porsche have dabbled with the classic 550 insignia on the Boxster which had always claimed 550 heritage from the vintage model but will the all new version of the 550 live up to the original automobile's reputation?  In many ways I think that we're all hoping that it doesn't.  Although only around 90 550's were originally manufactured by Porsche, the vehicle quickly got a reputation for it's frightening handling and unpredictability.  If you were to buy one today you'd certainly need to make sure you have some great Porsche classic car insurance in place.  For those of you reading this who are unaware of the original legendary status of the 550, it was the car that James Dean died in.  Like all great legends though it didn't stop there, in fact things got far more mysterious than a Hollywood film.  More...

Classic Ford Show 2011 - Santa Pod Raceway

8. June 2011

Performance Direct at the Classic Ford ShowSanta Pod Raceway is the very much the home of UK and European Drag Racing and always conjures such images as elongated, huge wheeled dragsters shredding rubber as they warm up the tyres ready to accelerate at the speed of a bullet.  However, on the 4th and 5th of June this year Santa Pod once more was the stage for another Ford packed Classic Ford Show.  Fans flocked from all over the UK and from as far away as Brazil and South Africa (according to the organisers) to see more classic Fords than you could ever imagine in one place.  The sun shone and the crowds cheered at the Ford-only run-what-yer-brung and later the Old Skool Ford Drag Championship sent classic after classic down the famous strip with the tail wind helping the cars achieve some fantastic times. 

Other attractions included the ever popular London Rally School, a live arena packed out with exciting action as well as drift passenger rides.  Whether you have a mark 1 Escort or a Ford GT, a Ford Anglia or an original Mustang, then the Auto jumble was a must for anyone undertaking a restoration.  Described as an Aladdin's cave of Ford parts the Auto jumble is always popular and many of the people attending feel that ticket price is worthwhile for that aspect alone.  But it wasn't alone - in fact it was surrounded by more blue oval related paraphernalia and fans than Santa Pod had ever seen before... at least since last year's Classic Ford Show.  More...

Mini Cooper S - A Modest Classic Film Star

7. June 2011

Mini Cooper S from The Italian JobThe Italian Job came out in 1969, the epitome of cool clothes, snappy attitudes and even cooler cars, now translates into sixties chic for our modern times. In a decade which saw the first heart transplant, Vietnam and the cult of Charles Manson, the film now sits nicely alongside such iconic films as Performance and Blow Up as a snapshot into trendy sixties and early seventies culture.

You can't think of James Bond without thinking of the Aston Martin DB5, and equally, The Italian Job inspires vivid thoughts blowing the doors off an anonymous van – or the Mini car chase.

As a small boy we didn't have fireworks, they were expensive and didn't last long, they went up in a puff of smoke, literally. So each Bonfire Night, I used to get to choose a toy. It saved my parents money of course, but they put a classic spin on things by telling me – quite rightly – that it would last longer. Indeed, I still have my Mini Cooper Rally bought from the local post office (which I also still have, I'm pleased to say) which was inspired not only by World of Sport (remember Dickie Davies?) but also that iconic film.

Seeing the remake the other night left me wondering, what exactly were those cars that raced through the streets in The Italian Job? So I looked into it a little. More...

Japfest 2011 - the sun shone, the cars came, and the people loved it.

26. May 2011

Japfest.  What can be said about Japfest?  Well, the first thing that has to be noted is that no matter what the weather report says, when Japfest comes to town it brings the sunshine along with it.  The 14th of May 2011 was no exception with the descending crowds of Jap mad car fans bringing along the summertime with them.  For an outdoor car show there is no better feature to have in place than some sparkly warm sunshine glinting off glossy show-ready automotive paintwork.   Attendance figures matched last year's record breaker with over 15,000 Japanese car enthusiasts attending the show at Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire. More...

Non Standard Awards - Twice Around the World in a Mini 1275 GT

21. April 2011

Mini 1275GT at Beaulieu Motor MuseumBack in 1996 Duncan Mortimer set himself the incredible challenge of taking his 1978 Mini 1275 GT all the way around the world.  A slightly crazy challenge I'm sure you'll agree but as he was raising money for his favourite charities it was a journey that he very much believed in.  Over the course of 130 days he covered 14,000 miles on the road crossing the USA, Malaysia, Thailand and Europe.

The arduous route towards automotive history didn't put adventurer Duncan off and if anything only served to encourage him because in 1999 he decided to do it all again but to go much further.  This time his route took him across the USA, Australia, India, Pakistan, and Iran before travelling back via Europe.  His second trip around the world clocked up 24,000 miles in 11 months for which he achieved The Guinness World Record. 

In 2009 Duncan once more started preparing for a third attempt to travel around the world, once more in his well-travelled Mini 1275GT.  For this trip Duncan approached the Performance Direct Non Standard Awards to help him with funding and was awarded one of our prestigious awards which included a large amount of the funding that he needed.  Alongside more generalised insurance, Performance Direct are renowned for being able to insure the more Non Standard vehicles such as offering some great classic Mini car insurance fit for anyone driving an original Mini or any other sort of classic or vintage vehicle.  More...

The longest taxi journey... ever... with 'It's on the Meter'

29. March 2011

it's on the meter team in paris in the FX4 London taxiPerformance Direct run a fantastic scheme designed to give you (yes YOU) free money.  Free money sounds far too good to be true doesn't it?  Well with Performance Direct's Non Standard Awards you really can get granted money, up to £10,000, for your automotive project.  As long as it's an interesting idea, isn't dangerous and is achievable you really could win the needed funding.  The scheme has so far funded a diverse range of projects such as restoring such vintage vehicle's as the first British dragster, helping Duncan Mortimer to take his classic Mini Clubman around the world and providing the money to sponsor Practical Classics journalist Matt Jones to buy a classic 1978 Cadillac and drive across America - all for the same price that a holiday in Center Parcs would have cost him.  So as you can see there is little that we shy away from here at the Non Standard Awards.

Our most recent venture has been working with Paul Archer, Johno Ellison and Leigh Purnell who are also known as 'It's on the Meter' as they try to break the world record for the world's longest taxi ride to raise money for the British Red Cross - a worthwhile charity I'm sure you'd agree.  More...