About Gear Wheels
Although Gear Wheels, the online motoring magazine,
has been established for some years, the publication has
its origins in the well-respected printed title Wessex
Wheels. The latter has been fully incorporated into
the present magazine.
Having its roots firmly
in the south west of England and inheriting the spirit of
the old title, the magazine is published for those interested
in all forms of transport where wheels or gears are involved.
The title, therefore, embraces most conveyances from a bicycle
to a paddle steamer and includes cars, motorcycles, classic
vehicles, locomotives, trams and even trolley buses; it
also takes in historic aircraft, military vehicles, traction
engines and historic racing machinery, etc. Even such diverse
mechanisms that operate cliff railways, or water mills,
are within its remit.
tracks, ancient coaching routes, long-gone racing venues
and other subjects from the past are also given an airing,
as to many these are nostalgic aspects of a bygone era rapidly becoming a distant memory. But we haven't forgotten
new technical innovations which we try to explain in terms that
can be easily understood.
Interviews with well
known personalities connected to motorsport are
featured from time to time. In the past we have talked to
Nigel Mansell and Murray Walker, to name but a few.
Gear Wheels online will be constantly updated and written in an interesting
and informative manner by journalists with impeccable credentials.
As you traverse the gearwheelsmag.com or wessexwheelsmag.co.uk web site you will notice the gear wheel symbol that appears
as the page background graphic. It is taken from the
original Wessex Wheels logo and serves to remind
readers of the origin of the title.
Editor: David Simpson
Founder of Wessex Wheels and the 'driving force' behind
Gear Wheels magazine online. An apprentice served engineer
who has held posts in many spheres of mechanical engineering,
David turned to motor journalism in the early 1980s working
for IPC Magazines where his hands-on technical skills were
employed on the leading practical diy publication of the day.
By the early
||Nineties he had returned
to his engineering roots where he became involved with consumer
and litigation issues, while at the same time attempting to
persuade one of the UK's oldest breakdown organisations to
publish a motoring magazine, an idea which eventually led
to Wessex Wheels. He is a member of The Guild of Motoring
Writers and is a registered Incorporated Engineer.
Editor: Rodney Jacques
Following an early career as a professional engineer, Rodney
joined the Practical Motorist magazine as a feature
writer back in the early Seventies. He left as Editor in the
mid-1990s to go freelance and into semi-retirement but, after
a few months and finding life somewhat dull, joined Car
Mechanics magazine (the UK's leading practical motoring
publication) as Technical Editor, a position he still holds
to this day. He is a member of The Guild of
||Motoring Writers as well as the author of and contributor to many books
on automobile maintenance and repair, a subject area where Rodney specialises. He has also instructed on mechanical engineering for many years. As a long time friend and colleague of editor David Simpson, he has been associated with Wessex Wheels magazine since its inception in 1997. Sadly, Rodney passes away on 13th August, 2012, after a short illness; he will be greatly missed by us all on the magazine.
After 26 years on Autocar magazine, where he was deputy
editor, Stuart became a freelance writer in 1981. His interest
in economy driving dates from a first attempt at the Mobil
Economy Run in 1961 with a Rover 3-litre, and in July 1984
he achieved an entry in The Guinness Book of Records
by driving an Audi 100 turbo diesel from Land's End to John
o' Groats and back as far as Falkirk without refuelling. Total
distance was 1,150.3 miles, at 59.27 mpg. When the record
was broken by a Toyota Land Cruiser fitted with an extra fuel
tank, he tried again with the later Audi 100 turbo diesel,
and retrieved the record by going from John o' Groats to Land's
End, and back to Scotland, all on one tankful, 1,338.1 miles
at 75.94 mpg. The tank finally ran dry on A74 at the then-little
known town of Lockerbie. He also established the world record
distance for production car economy, covering 112.01 miles
on a single gallon of diesel fuel with a CitroŽn AX 14DTR.
But he claims that his most successful economy drive with
a petrol car was in October 1997 with a Mitsubishi Carisma
GDI. Flagged away from Earls Court on the opening day of the
Motor Show, the Carisma traversed France without refuelling,
and then went right across Spain and over the ferry to Tangier.
Total length of the London-Morocco journey was 1,658.4 miles,
at an average fuel consumption of 65.06 mpg. Total fuel used
was 25.49 gallons - less than two tankfuls. Stuart's
as a Road Tester began soon after joining Autocar 46
years ago, and included testing a Lamborghini Miura at 172
mph. He drives about 80 different cars a year, averaging a
total of 28-30,000 miles, and has been Road Tester for Wessex
Wheels from the first issue of the magazine, which has
now grown into the web publication Gear Wheels at www.gearwheelsmag.com
Contributor: Graham Macbeth
Wessex Wheels contributor Graham Macbeth is a lifelong journalist. He has been a specialist motoring writer since 1950. After apprenticeship as a newspaper reporter on the East Grinstead Observer and Sussex Express & County Herald (interrupted by National Service in the RAF as an aero-engine fitter) he joined the staff of the Brighton-based Sussex Daily News/Evening Argus in 1950 and was thought to be the UK's youngest daily newspaper motoring correspondent at that time. While continuing as Evening Argus motoring correspondent in a freelance capacity (which he did until 1980), he moved into motor racing with the British Automobile Racing Club in 1955, initially as Press Officer and subsequently as a race organiser and then Chief Executive, including organising the British Grands Prix at Aintree in 1961/62 and as Clerk of the Course at the RAC Tourist Trophy Races at Goodwood and Oulton Park in 1963/66. During the 'Sixties he organised car meetings at most UK circuits from 'club' to international level. Except when working as a race organiser, he was Press Officer at the British Grands Prix races at Aintree, Brands Hatch and Silverstone most years from 1957 to 1996. From 1967 to 1979, he was Press Officer of the Brands Hatch group of
||motor racing circuits (including Mallory Park, Oulton Park and Snetterton). From 1979-93 he returned to full-time journalism with Practical Motorist magazine as Assistant Editor and then Deputy Editor and has been a freelance writer since. He was accepted into membership of the Guild of Motoring Writers in 1956 and has been its Honorary Secretary since 1975.
|Contributor: Roland Holt
Artist and historian is the
best way to describe this ex-BMC trained engineer who in recent
years has combined his passion for racing cars with an artistic
talent and eye for detail. Painting in miniatures or larger
format, he specialises in racing cars and track scenes as
well as detailed technical 'cut away' pictures of racing machinery.
Highlights in his career include working on racing Ferraris
and researching the pre-war Auto Union Grand Prix team from
the 1934 A-Type to the final D-Type of 1939, with separate
focus on the V16 and V12 engines of the era. Additionally,
he has produced a series of paintings titled 'Drivers and
Cars' which include Fangio in an Alfa Romeo Type 159, Stirling
Moss with a Mercedes W196 and John Surtees in a Ferrari; other
recent projects committed to canvas include the Miller 4WD
|car and the 8CTF Maserati.
But it is not just the brush and easel
where Roland excels, his artistic talent is complimented by
an extraordinary knowledge of historic motorsport events and
venues in and around the ancient 'Wessex' region of southern
England, as well as a wide knowledge of other facets of transport
from motorcycles to monorail systems, and the like.
Contributor Charles White's career has been somewhat
chequered to put it mildly. After an early career
in which he tried many different jobs including an
apprenticeship as a surgical instrument maker, a spell
as a warehouseman for an American company in the Persian
Gulf and a stint as a computer operator for NCR in
London. During the 1960's he took part in many motorcycle
road races on Royal Enfield, NSU, Ducati and Bultaco
motorcycles and twice competed in the Manx GP in the
Isle of Man. In the 1970's he joined Home Tune where
he amassed a huge technical knowledge on tuning motor
cars and developed a very successful mobile engine
tuning business to boot. During his time with Home
Tune, he wrote a number of technical articles and
a carburettor manual for internal use; and he was
involved in training other Home Tune franchisees.
Charles finally sold this business in 1988 and was
involved as an independent trainer for various Test
Equipment manufacturers until the mid 1990's. In 1984
Charles started writing for Practical Motorist magazine
(answering readers' queries) and during this time
he became friends with David Simpson, Rodney Jacques
and Graham Macbeth. Very soon he was writing technical
features for Practical Motorist and enjoyed his own
column called 'Tuners Tales'. Features for AutoTrade magazine followed and he wrote several very successful
Trade Buyers Guides on 'What Diagnostic Test Equipment
should I buy'. During the early 1990's he wrote a
series of carburettor manuals for Haynes publishing
and in 1994 he launched a new company called Equiptech.
Equiptech developed the CAPS technical database, on
CD-ROM, that provides technical information to independent
garages on modern electronic systems. Equiptech also
produced a number of books for Haynes on engine management
and wrote the support manual for the Lucas Laser electronic
diagnostic tool. Crypton and Sykes-Pickavant were
other Equiptech customers for whom technical
|| manuals were written. Equiptech was acquired
by the Omitec group in September 2000 and, after
a stint as Managing Director, Charles stepped
down to concentrate on Motorsport journalism for
the sport that he has always loved. He attends
many car and motorcycle events each year
including a number of classic race meetings.
He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers.
precautions are taken to ensure that material published
in this and associated websites is accurate, but the publisher
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publishers unless stated.
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