Author Archives: AIB Team

2 men, 2 Jensen’s & 2000 miles – What could go wrong?!

The Alternative Spring Break Tour (From The Navigator’s Perspective)

Credit – Jenny, Richard and Adam Fischer

As the original Spring Break Weekend was unfortunately cancelled due to the virus, Richard, Adam and I decided to go ahead with our Scottish holiday once the hotels opened up again in our 1973 Jensen’s.  Adam drives the red Healey whilst my husband and I are the proud owners of a Jensen SP in green.

We set off early on Friday 30 April up the A1, stopping off at Ferrybridge Services to drop off some Jensen Healey parts as Richard had recently sold his Healey. We enjoyed breakfast in the car park and then headed for Scotch Corner via the A66 to Penrith. We had wonderful views of the foothills of the Lake District, as we drove closer to Scotland. There were daffodils growing by the side of the road and sheep and lambs in the fields; we were definitely in the countryside!  We stopped for fuel and lunch then continued our journey to Pitlochry and the gorgeous Atholl Palace Hotel. They have been welcoming guests for over 135 years; I enjoyed a well-deserved cup of tea, while the boys had a beer outside. The hotel is set in beautiful grounds, with a waterfall, large car park, tennis courts and plenty of opportunity to walk around. Pitlochry is a popular holiday resort in a beautiful setting of lochs, rivers, mountains and woods.

We went exploring in the rain on our first route to Cally Bridge, passing desolate moorland in the sleet and snow. Passers-by must have been surprised to see two classic cars out in this weather; little did they know of their journeys ahead. The Bridge of Cally is an attractive village on the River Ardle, but we could not park at there so kept moving and stopped off for fuel at Blairgowrie’s Tesco. Shortly after, on route to the Cairngorms National Park, Richard spotted a sign for the Reekie Linn Falls, and thankfully with fantastic timing, the sun had appeared and the water glistened in the rays.

We carried on, the roads became steeper and the induction roar grew louder from under the bonnet.  We began to experience how quickly the weather conditions can change in the mountains as the windscreen wipers were busy clearing the snow off. A spot of retail therapy in Braemar was very enjoyable, while the boys were having a rest from the day’s driving. We headed further north to see the scenery around Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s summer residence. Time was flying by so we decided to head back to the hotel via the same route.

Taking The Lead

Adam decided to take the lead here and blast up the winding roads just as the Healey was designed to do. We found him waiting with a huge smile at the base of the Glenshee ski area to take some photos of the incredible scenery as the weather had cleared up.

We returned back to Blairgowrie’s Tesco to fill up both cars ready for the next day’s adventures. The SP has a very thirsty engine, Adam’s Healey less so, but in open desolate countryside it was wise to keep the tanks topped up!

More exploring followed on the Sunday; off to Tummel Bridge, passing through Drummond Hill Forest. Adam was concerned about his suspension, as you can see from one of the photos, but fortunately everything was okay. It was easy staring out of the window seeing all the different shades of green pass us by. The views of the surrounding mountains were stunning, seeing the strongly defined mountain tops covered in snow, lower slopes and the lochs below in the valley.  We were in Perth and Kinross country.  We visited Deil’s Cauldron Waterfall which was quite a sight with all the rain, sleet and snow we had encountered!  It was a long walk to the waterfall, but a chance to enjoy some fresh Scottish air.

We left luxury behind on Monday and made our way to John O’Groats via Inverness on the A9, for a couple of days in the very far north. I had the map open on my knees to follow the route, just in case the sat nav had other ideas in mind. We soon arrived at the Welcome to Sutherland sign, about 83 miles from John O’Groats. The sea was appearing with plenty of white horses and the wind was howling, but it was dry, much more pleasant for driving long distances. We arrived safely at the Seaview Hotel in time for a cup of tea and exploring the touristy bit down the road. Adam found a shop selling local beer so he stocked up well following a long day’s drive.

On Tuesday we took it easy, starting off with another re-fuelling session in the nearby town of Wick, which we discovered is an ancient place with a large harbour. We saw an array of rugged cliffs south of the town where wreckages from storms at sea can be found. However, a short heavy downpour sent us scurrying for the cars.

On Tuesday we took it easy, starting off with another re-fuelling session in the nearby town of Wick, which we discovered is an ancient place with a large harbour. We saw an array of rugged cliffs south of the town where wreckages from storms at sea can be found. However, a short heavy downpour sent us scurrying for the cars.

It cleared up and we visited Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, which was set right on the edge of the sea in a desolate area. Goodness knows what it would have been like to live there 200-300 years ago. We went for a long drive in the afternoon along the A897 which Adam nicknamed the ‘rally stage’ as he was playing catch up having missed the left turn; his Lotus engine certainly got a workout. We ended our afternoon at Dunnet Head which is the most northerly point on the mainland.

On Wednesday it was time to leave a very windy John O’Groats and travel to Gairloch on the West Coast. I lost count of how many times we went around corners to find a breathtaking view before our eyes.

A Twisty Drive

We visited Corrieshalloch Gorge en route. We were lucky with the weather as it was sunny and warm while we followed the footpath down to the bridge and across it. I am not a huge fan of heights so I got across it as quickly as I could. The boys, however, took their time, in awe of how deep the gorge was. There was viewpoint at the end of the trail, giving the full perspective of this force of nature. We reached the Gairloch Hotel at 5pm after a fantastic, twisty drive of 220 miles, with the SP certainly living up to its reputation of being a comfortable grand tourer, taking all the twists and turns throughout the day in her stride.

We enjoyed a restful day in Gairloch, exploring the village and seeing the harbour. Adam drove the SP to Torridon in the afternoon along single track roads where we went for a walk around a nature reserve and the far end of Loch Torridon, seeing deer in the field and houses precariously backing onto rocks and mountains.

On Friday we were on the last leg of the journey to Stranraer. It was a longer run of 320 miles but the route went through a number of mountain ranges which were again mesmerising, but it was a long day behind the wheel for the boys.

We had reached the end of the holiday and considering there was a seven-hour drive back home, Adam decided to leave on Saturday as he had to go back to work on the Monday.  Richard and I explored Stranraer on the Saturday morning in the drizzle, the weather had finally caught up with us. When Richard was working he spent a considerable amount of time here, so it was a trip down memory lane for him.

We packed up the car and set off for Harrow after breakfast on the Sunday, and had an excellent journey home. We both travelled more than 2000 miles and I daren’t contemplate how many times we filled up the SP (our petrol bill for it was £900.00).

Before this trip, I had not been to Scotland but we were very lucky to have been able to do so and I would strongly recommend anyone thinking about it to go ahead and visit this beautiful country. Just do it in the right car!

Thanks to our friends at the Jensen Owners’ Club for providing the article, for more information about this club please visit

Concorde Classics Car Show – A Garden Party for Car Enthusiasts!

On Sunday 11th September 2022 will be the 13th Concorde Classics Car Show held at the Concorde Club in Eastleigh. The show first started in 2008 when a group of like-minded people wanted to support local businesses, as well as raise money for worthy causes.

It was decided to utilise the lovely grounds around the Concorde Club to stage a charity car show, little did the small organising team realise what a great success the show would become and now features as one of the best Car Shows in the area. Many visitors describe the show as a garden party for car enthusiasts.

The show in the first year featured a few cars on display and was really just for owners and their vehicles taking part. After two years of running the show, the organising committee teamed up with Naomi House Children’s Hospice to make the show primarily about supporting and raising funds for Hospice. In fact, every penny made from the show goes to the charity.

Naomi House is a children’s hospice providing a professional palliative care service for families whose children and young people have a life limiting illness and their families from central southern England. The charity provides care to families living in communities across the seven counties of Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire. The children’s charity has two specialist units, Naomi House for children, and jacksplace for young people. Each unit is purpose built and provides an appropriate environment for each age group. It costs around £4.5million a year to run the two units. The vast amount of money for running the hospice come from donations and fund raising like Concorde Classics Car Show. In the last 12 years the Car Show has now raised over £107,000 for the charity and in November 2019 was awarded the Dr Peter Lee Award for long term support to Naomi and jacksplace.

As the word spread, and the show changed from not just a show for owners but for visitors as well and began growing in popularity. Today the show attracts over 3,000 visitors with around 160 cars on display at any one time. The cars on display vary from vintage right the way up to modern supercars and is very family orientated.

Being family orientated the organizers understand how expensive it can be for a family day out and therefore set the entry cost to visitors low, being £5 per adult, £1 for a child under 12 and children under 3 can get in for free. Tickets are purchased on the day only at the entry gate, and payment by cash is requested. All display vehicles need to prebook, and the show is so popular most of the display places go by June before the show. Display owners pay £8 per car to display. During every show the public vote for their ‘Car of the Show’ and the winner has a lovely photograph taken of their vehicle and awarded a trophy. In 2019, the last full normal show before Covid, the winner was beautiful Jaguar E-Type.



Every year the organizers want to have a special attraction for people and over the years we have had an array of attractions like Michael Schumacher’s Benetton winning F1 car, Dragsters, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Batman and his Batmobile and much more



The show always attracts a lot of attention, and the show often gets celebrities attending to help support the show. The TV chef James Martin is a big petrol head and has a wonderful array of classics cars and often attends the show with one of his beauties. The photograph shows James being interviewed with his beautiful Ferrari 275 GTBC. You will often see ‘The Stig’ at the show, although don’t expect him to talk to you, but he does enjoy sitting in people’s cars.

Whilst wondering around the show you will see a great selection of cars, treasured by their owners all willing to chat about their cars and what they have and do to maintain them, whilst relaxing and enjoying the show themselves. The show has a Ferrari and Super Car section, often sporting the newest Super cars on display for visitors to see. At intervals during the show you will hear the ‘Sound Off’ competition and this is great to hear the rumble of V8 and V12 engines.

The show has a large marquee with trade stands, and you can have a go on a large Scalextric track, the fastest person around the track over a number of laps will win a prize.  If you’re hungry then there is a BBQ, Ice Cream Van, Bar and Coffee van. Attention to detail is the show organizers wish and they are always looking for new and exciting things to bring enjoyment and fun to all who attend.

If you fancy a ride out in a car, then the show has Sporting Bears Charity running ‘dream rides’ for a donation to the show charity. You will be taken on a 10-mile drive to experience an array of different cars and is a must do for any visitor, so make sure you book your slot on the day early as places go quickly. Visitors attending the show are directed to nearby car parks and the show runs a Park & Ride scheme as well, so look out for the signs when arriving. To help transport people across the car parks they have Trigger the Train which you can ride on for free, the kids love this experience

This year the show is being sponsored by Airsports Insurance Bureau (AiB) in Chandlers Ford and the show organizers are planning a special show to welcome people back after the recent pandemic. The show this year will feature a Movie and TV car and bike display. The show will have a wonderful ‘Back to the Future’ DeLorean, Herbie the Love Bug, James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 and many more.

To find out more about the show visit



Motorhomer sets up YouTube Studio from his camper!

Philip Tomlinson, a long standing AIB client, has started to use his motorhome as a studio to record YouTube videos!

Philip, owner of popular arranges rallies for his members across the UK. Spending many weekends away, he soon realised that a mobile studio would be absolutely necessary to record content for his new Youtube channel ‘Those Two Wits’.

Philip has teamed up with his good friend Bruce Lauderdale to create witty videos that leave their subscribers with a smile. Their funny reactions to other videos and the hilarious games they play with other YouTubers, make up the core of their content. Bruce, originally from South Africa, lives full-time in his self converted campervan. He is a professional videographer and he brings his expertise in this field combined with his talent for comedy, to the mix.

Philip’s eldest daughter recently got married to an American, in the USA. To better understand American culture and history, Philip and Bruce started to watch YouTube videos about the USA. They recorded their reactions to these videos and asked American citizens to leave comments on what to watch next, with hilarious results!

Their escape room style ‘Beat The Bomb’ game is a great success. The players objective is to defuse a pretend bomb by solving a series of puzzles. Each puzzle tests different skills, including hand to eye coordination and memory. At the end of the game, the player receives a score that is recorded on a leader board, with the highest-ranked being awarded a trophy at the end of the year.

Partner vs Partner is another one of their creations where couples compete against each other in challenges. These include games like ‘Raw Egg Roulette’ and ‘Undress Your Partner Blindfolded’. Seeing really is believing with these random, weird and downright hilarious games!

Their TikTok account boasts over 219,000 followers and 3.7 million likes, and they are gaining ground on other social media. In addition, they will soon be releasing longer-form podcasts that last around an hour, where they debate a range of exciting and compelling subjects.

If you are interested in watching any of their content, search for ‘Those Two Wits’ on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok or use the link below:

Those Two Wits

Introducing….. Charmagne Alderson!

Charmagne Alderson


As our successful team at AIB continues to grow, we would like to extend a warm welcome to Charmagne Alderson. Charmagne joins our administration team working with Administration Manager, Megan Greer. 


The position became available when our brilliant Ben Simpson, who previously filled the role, has joined our sales team working directly with sales manager, Kirby.  Ben spent six months working in our customer service and administration department, learning the insurance ropes before making it impossible for us not to promote him into our sales team. 


22 year old Charmange was born in Guildford before growing up in Waterlooville, attending Crookhorn College. She honed her customer service skills within the hospitality industry and joins us from  Premier Inn, where she was a duty manager.  



Charmagne often gets told she looks like the older sister, Susan Pevensie in the 2005 blockbuster, The Chronicles of Narnia. it’s great to have her fantastical skills on our side! Charmagne has a rescue dog called Jenny, lives with her boyfriend Tyler and has a whopping ten siblings (some of whom are half / step brothers and sisters). Her large family means she is personable, communicative and she now is part of another great, extended family at AIB.


Charmagne’s father had the honour of paving Cheryl Cole’s driveway! Parking is now ‘ALOUD’ Ms Cole!’




“I have been warmly welcomed into the team here at AIB. I am enjoying the role immensely and feel lucky to work with such a talented group of people. The job is interesting, exciting and it’s been a great experience working with Megan so far – I look forward to a positive future within this excellent company.”



Megan Greer says: “It’s safe to say, Charmagne has hit the ground running. Her excellent attitude to customer service and the complex skillset she brings from the hospitality industry is evident in her approach. She has already been of great assistance to me in the day to day running of AIB and I am so pleased to have her on my team.”


Watch the New Lotus Emira in Action!

Lotus has released a new film of the Lotus Emira in action, showing the eagerly anticipated V6 First Edition being put through its paces by Gavan Kershaw on the iconic Hethel test track.

Gavan, Director, Attributes & Product Integrity, Lotus Cars, leads the dynamic development of every Lotus and is part of the highly experienced team which engineers in the thrill of driving.

Amid some sideways action, he explains the Emira’s outstanding performance on both the track and the road, adding: “With the 3.5-litre V6 configuration and the supercharger, you start an acceleration from as low as 1,500rpm and the car just pulls and pulls and pulls, getting stronger and stronger as the revs increase. This is what a real sports car feels like.”

Gavan also expands on the car’s intuitive driving performance, plus the four different driving modes – Tour, for maximum stability and control; Sport, for increased body slip and throttle response; Race, with even greater motorsport-derived dynamics and a revised instrument cluster; and Fully Off, where the stability control is completely disengaged.

He concludes: “The whole package is tuned to give you maximum reward and confidence. It’s ‘For The Drivers’.

Thanks to our good friends at The Lotus Forums for providing the article. To read more about Lotus including the restructure of Lotus UK and more information on the Elise, Exige and Evora please visit them at

The Car of the Day is the Luxury Ford Zephyr Zodiac 1962!


The Ford Zephyr is an executive car that was manufactured by Ford of Britain. The Zephyr and its luxury variants, the Ford Zodiac and Ford Executive, were the largest passenger cars in the British Ford range from 1950 to 1972.


The Zephyr Zodiac or Zodiac Mark I was an upmarket version of the Zephyr launched at the London Motor Show in autumn 1953. It had two-tone paintwork, leather trim, a heater, windscreen washers, whitewall tyres, and spotlights. The engine had a higher compression ratio increasing the maximum power to 71 bhp.



In 1956, the Consul, Zephyr, and Zodiac were all restyled. The six-cylinder cars’ engines were enlarged to 2,553 cc with power output correspondingly raised to 86 bhp. The wheelbase was increased by 3 inches to 107 inches and the width increased to 69 inches. Top speed increased to 88 mph and the fuel consumption was also improved at 28 mpg‑imp.



Mr P has snapped some fantastic photographs of his 1962 Ford Zephyr Zodiac, the height of luxury. Mr P has insured his pride and joy through ourselves here at AIB with a bespoke classic car policy. The policy includes optional extras such as UK and EU breakdown cover, Motor Legal Expenses Cover up to £100,000, Courtesy Vehicles for the duration of repairs and Agreed Value.



If you have Ford Zephyr or another classic car would like covered under a specialist classic car policy, call our friendly motor team on 02380 268351 for a bespoke quotation.

The Car of The Day is…. The legendary Skyline R32 GT-R!

The only Japanese supercar of its generation. One of the best cars Jeremy Clarkson says he ever drove.



The Skyline R32 GT-R (Grand Tourismo Racer) — nicknamed “Godzilla” for effortlessly crushing all competitors in Group A Series racing — winning 29 consecutive races in the Japanese Touring Car Championship and three consecutive championships in the Australian Touring Car Championship after being reintroduced by Nissan in 1989.



This remarkable track record is part of the reason the Skyline R32 GT-R has such a strong following among serious car enthusiasts around the world. Other reasons include impressive appearances in games and popular street racing movies like The Fast and Furious series, a reputation for having launched the JDM car scene, a leading role in serious street and drag racing, the exclusivity wrought by a 25-year import restriction in the United States — which finally ended in 2014 — and performance that is nothing short of incredible. If you want maximum bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat a well-tuned Skyline R32 GT-R imported directly from Japan.



Mr D has shared some pictures of his fantastic Skyline R32 GT-R! Mr D has insured his pristine example through ourselves with all of the amazing benefits we can offer.



Here at AIB Insurance we offer specialist classic car polices which can also include optional extras such as UK and EU breakdown cover, Motor Legal Expenses Cover up to £100,000, Courtesy Vehicles for the duration of repairs and Agreed Value.



If you have a Skyline GTR R32 or another classic car would like covered under a specialist classic car policy, call our friendly motor team on 02380 268351.


Exam Success for Jordan!

Congratulations are in order at AIB as December spells personal achievement for our dedicated team member, Jordan Thomas.



Jordan passed his IF1 – Insurance, Legal and Regulatory exam meaning he’s now one step closer towards achieving a professional qualification.


These achievements not only celebrate personal growth, but also endorse AIB’s commitment to continuing professional development. AIB remain committed to encouraging all staff to progress with examinations to enable us to offer the highest level of customer service to our clients and insurer partners alike.


More details of the Insurance professional qualification and can be found here:


In memory of Chris Smith – Mr Westfield

Chris Smith built the first ever Westfield Sport Car in 1982 at his home named Westfield House. In 1983, he founded Westfield Sports Cars. Forty years later our club members are realizing just what a phenonium he started at the time. Club members, employees past and present and friends and family were saddened to hear of his passing away in November 2021. The following words and photos are from a Westfield Sports Car Club magazine article penned by member Nick Clarke who attended the funeral service.

Chris Smith

(founder of Westfield Sports Cars)

10th May 1944 – 30th October 2021

I was deeply saddened after learning of the passing of Chris Smith, the founder of Westfield Sportscars.

When the family got in touch with the club asking if a few cars would be able to attend the funeral and wake, I myself felt compelled to make the effort.

With cars travelling from different parts of the country, most of us met at McDonalds in Stourbridge for some lunch beforehand, knowing we were only a few mins away from our first stop. We then set off for the funeral directors where parking was a bit of a challenge. We decided to park on the double yellows on the opposite side of the road a bit further down, and got ready to go once the funeral cars arrived. We were to then follow the cars to the crematorium which was only a couple of miles down the road, which I personally felt quite emotional. Thankfully we all made it without any of the cars boiling over, with my fan running almost constantly for 15 mins!

When we arrived at the crematorium, it was very clear that the family were very pleased to see 8 cars had managed to attend and pay tribute to Chris. Having been told beforehand that we’d be watching the service outside on a TV, we were surprised to be told to come inside.

It was a lovely service, and interesting to hear about Chris’s life and tales such as him taking pole position in Monte Carlo!

After the service, we felt a little out of place and decided not to hang around for too long, so we made our way over to the Dunsley Hall, the venue for the wake. When we arrived, we swiftly parked up outside the hall, making sure we were all ready for when the family arrived. It was then picture time, where we must have got 8 sets of photos of all the different angles of the cars outside the hall!

After a few minutes, the family arrived and the smiles on their faces as they saw the cars made it all worth it. We were all personally thanked by Richard and Holly for coming, and were once again surprised to hear that we were to come in for some refreshments, and not feel we have to leave early!

What a lovely old place this was, wood everywhere and fantastic views out the back.

After a nice chat with the others, 2 cups of tea and a slice of cake, we all decided to make a move. It was nice to meet the family, albeit in such sad circumstances, and I feel very privileged to have attended.

What a lovely family they are. Thanks Chris, for allowing us all to enjoy the cars you created all those years ago, and the opportunity to meet some lifelong friends along the way.

Rest in peace.

Thanks to our friend Nick Clarke, a member of the Westfield Sports Car Club for his tribute.


Car of the day… Mantula Coupe!

The Mantula Coupe was launched at the Motor Show in 1984 beginning a long relationship between Marcos and the Rover V8 engine.



The Mantula Coupe evolved from the 3 Litre form with the addition of a front-end spoiler,- giving the car a lower approach angle, extended wheel arches, a wider back end, and a bonded windscreen. The interior was also altered with the addition of a gearlever console, incorporating storage trays. The suspension was unaltered from the 3 Litre.



In July 1985 Marcos ventured for the second time into a soft top car with the Mantula Spyder. The original car was fitted with a detachable T-top which was dropped on subsequent production models due to being too expensive to produce and not entirely practical.



In 1986 with Ford live axles becoming difficult to source, the fully independent rear suspension was introduced. Utilizing differential and hubs from the Ford Sierra range and wishbones, uprights and A-frame developed by Marcos, transforming the ride quality of the range, the live axle was phased out on factory-built cars at this stage.



Mr O has a lovely 1992 Marcos Mantula currently insured with us under a bespoke classic car policy. The policy has many benefits including agreed value, choice of repairer, salvage retention and 30 days fully comprehensive EU cover! Thank you, Mr O allowing us to share your pristine example.



Here at AIB Insurance we offer specialist classic car polices which can also include optional extras such as UK and EU breakdown cover, Motor Legal Expenses Cover up to £100,000, Courtesy Vehicles for the duration of repairs.

If you have a Marcos Mantula or another classic car would like covered under a specialist classic car policy call our friendly team on 02380 268351.