Sunday, 15 June 2008

Charity 2!

My last few blogs have covered both the disaster in Sichuan, and the efforts to relieve the suffering. So I thought it was about time that I did my ‘bit” – and by joining forces with Ash from the best English website about the Chinese car industry - We have come up with a plan to see what we could raise from an already stretched automotive Industry.

The Chinese car companies and Joint Ventures have been extremely generous to the cause – but by pooling our resources, myself and Ashley have managed to squeeze a little bit more out of them, and are offering the chance to bid on some truly “once in a lifetime opportunities”.

To Read more about the individual work done by the Chinese automotive industry here

And here:

So by using my contacts at Lotus, MG and LTI, and Ash’s contacts at Lifan as well as his own website we have managed to convince the powers that be, to offer some great contributions.

The items listed below will be on offer by Auction, which will start on Tuesday 17th June at 9.30 am (GMT) and finish on Tuesday 24th June at 9.30 am (GMT). We will conduct the auction via Ebay, and payments will be made via PayPal direct to the charity.
If you have any queries about the auction, how to payment or would like to offer a similar gift please feel free to contact me or Ashley by email: or

I am sure you will agree that both the items on offer, and the cause that it supports are well worth forgetting all about the price of fuel for 5 minutes and making a serious donation.

Lifan Automobiles
On offer are a twin set of Lifan model automobiles, 1:18 in size, and full of realistic features, such as opening doors and real working suspension.

Both models of the well selling Lifan 520 are on offer, the sedan version, and the recently launched Lifan i520, essentially a hatchback version of the 520.

These vehicles are not available in any shop, and are only normally given to VIP guests and customers of Lifan. Like many Chinese manufacturers Lifan create limited edition model vehicles purely for internal use and gifts to special customers and friends of the company, this is one reason why they are produced in such great detail and with close attention to accuracy with the original vehicle.

Ideal for the model vehicle collector, or Chinese motoring industry buff. A definite collector’s piece for the future.

Who are Lifan:
Lifan are a large manufacturer of motorbikes, perhaps you don’t know of them yet in the EU and USA, but mark my words, one day you will!

Here is a brief description of Lifan:
Chongqing Lifan Industry (Group) Co., Ltd is an awakening giant. A company with a history dating to only 1992 enjoying a history success with a recipe for developing into a true powerhouse is positioning itself to become the Chinese Toyota. Lifan has been granted many awards by the Chinese Government including the prestigious China Top Brand award and is rated as the fourth most valuable company in the central China manufacturing Mecca of Chongqing.
No one is to say these are small feats for a privately held, even one ranking among Chinas largest, company with a short history. Approval for export and import of its products was granted in 1998. The 2007 fiscal year saw Lifan become the number one net exporter of Chongqing with US 40Billion being exported to over 100 nations.
American Insurance Group, or AIG recently purchased a 25% stake in Lifan and Lifan hopes to raise RMB 1billion with its IPO planned for late this year on the Shanghai A-Market. The ambitious goal of producing 500,000 vehicles a year by 2010 has been set with factories in car production at home and in countries such as Russia, Vietnam, South Africa, Egypt, West Africa and South America.

You can read more about Lifan on China Car Times , or on their official website

You can find and bid on the item on ebay by using the following link:

China Car Times Advertising

China Car Times is offering one month of free advertising from July to August 2008 as a charity prize.

China Car Times regulary receives more than 1.6 million page views, with a large number of visitors coming from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and of course China!

The advertising space is usually sold for 1,000USD per month.

The advertising space is being auctioned off in aid of the Sichuan Earthquake appeal that China Car Times is currently running. The winner will receive the right to place their advertisement at the top China Car Times, below the headlogo, but above the first story. The advertisement specification is 728*90 pixels.

We wont accept any advertiser that is planning on advertising their adult website etc, so its probably best you email prior to bidding! Obviously the advert would be best aimed at a company in the automotive industry, either one wishing to enter the Chinese market, or a Chinese one wishing to aim at the foreign market.

If you have any questions about the auction, please contact us directly at hello AT – obviously replacing AT with the swirly @
You can find and bid on the item on ebay by using the following link:

London Taxi Factory Tour + Ride and Drive

On offer here is a tour of the largest UK owned vehicle manufacturing company London Taxi’s International – home of the Iconic London Taxi.

LTI Vehicles is Britain's premier manufacturer of purpose-built taxis. They are universally recognized for giving the UK the 'black cab', the icon of the world's best taxi system
The first-ever black cab left the company's Coventry factory in 1948. Since then, more than 100,000 vehicles have rolled off the production line. Nowadays, LTI taxis can be seen in large numbers on the streets of London and other cities and towns in Britain and around the world, including North America.
The roots of LTI's business go back to 1919 when Carbodies Ltd was established as a coach-building operation under the guidance of Robert 'Bobby' Jones on a small site in Coventry.
It was not long before the expanding firm moved to new premises, followed by a further relocation to the present Holyhead Road factory in 1928.
Carbodies soon made a name for itself in the automotive industry for the fine quality of coach-building it could offer prestigious motor companies like Humber, Singer, Daimler, Jaguar, Ford and Rolls-Royce.
In the late 1940s, Carbodies diversified into building taxis. Thanks to a partnership with Mann & Overton and Austin the first FX3 taxi model, carrying the Austin badge, rolled off the production line in 1948. Over the next ten years, more than 7,000 taxis were produced, mainly for the London market, with only a few hundred used in the provinces.
During the 1950s, Carbodies built bodies for the Commer van and, in conjunction with BSA, made the body for the Daimler Majestic. The company also gained experience of building convertible and estate body shells, developing, tooling and producing shells for every Ford convertible until 1964.
As 'convertible' work declined, Carbodies concentrated on producing complete taxis, starting with the FX4 in 1959.
Carbodies was bought by Manganese Bronze Holdings plc in 1973. Then, in 1982, Carbodies took over the intellectual rights to the FX4 from British Leyland.
When Manganese Bronze bought Mann & Overton in 1984, a new company by the name of London Taxis International was formed to manufacture and sell taxis.
London Taxis International (and its predecessors) has manufactured more than 100,000 taxis with numerous model changes, including the Fairway Driver in 1992, Fairway Driver-Plus in 1993, Fairway 95 in 1994, the TXI in 1997, the TXII in 2002 and the TX4 in 2006.

The offer includes a private tour of the factory, lunch, a drive in one of the latest Iconic ‘Black Cabs’ and some special merchandise to commemorate what promises to be a memorable day.
You can find and bid on the item on ebay by using the following link:

MG Factory Tour + Ride and Drive

Generously donated by NAC MG is a tour of the world famous Longbridge manufacturing facility in Birmingham. The home of the British Motor Industry for over 100 years, this will be one of the first ever public tours of the facility since Shanghai Automotive joined forces with Nanjing Automotive a memorable and exciting opportunity to anyone interested in British Motoring History, MG, or even the emergence of Chinese Automotive industry..

The Longbridge plant is an industrial site situated in the Longbridge area of Birmingham, England. Opened in 1905, Longbridge was once the largest manufacturing plant in the world. During the 20th Century the site employed many thousands of people, central to the economy of the local area. Longbridge has produced a wide variety of products, although consistently over time the product has been automobiles, perhaps most notably the iconic Austin Mini. During the Second World War the site produced munitions and aeroplanes such as the Short Stirling.
The factory at Longbridge was founded by Berkshire-born Herbert Austin. He learnt the engineering trade at the Wolseley Car manufacturer, working on tools as well as cars. Whilst at Wolesley, Austin produced an experimental three-wheeled car, and then another in 1896 which was exhibited at the Crystal Palace. This success emboldened him to begin his own business.

In it’s time Longbridge was one of the largest production facilities in the world, reduced in size to accommodate modern production techniques, it still exudes character. The century’s of blood, sweet, tears and politics that have all helped create a magical environment and historical setting for continued car production in the 21st century. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit a magical facility as it re-launches the MG brand into Europe, along with the heavily revamped MGTF sports vehicle. Included in this offer is a drive in one of the first MG TF LE500 vehicles, be one of the first people in the world to enjoy the thrills of driving an open top MG sports car build at the newly owned MG Company.
You can find and bid on the item on ebay by using the following link:

Lotus Factory Tour + Ride and Drive

Lotus has generously offered a tour of their sports car factory in Hethel Norwich, and just as exciting – an opportunity to try out the latest vehicles on offer on their world famous race track.

Lotus Cars is a British manufacturer of sports and racing cars based at Hethel, Norfolk, England. The company designs and builds race and production automobiles of light weight and high handling characteristics.
The company was formed as Lotus Engineering Ltd. by engineer Colin Chapman, a graduate of University College, London, in 1952. The first factory was in old stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey. Team Lotus, which was split off from Lotus Engineering in 1954, was active and competitive in Formula One racing from 1958 to 1994. The Lotus Group of Companies was formed in 1959. This was made up of Lotus Cars Limited and Lotus Components Limited which focussed on road car and customer competition car production respectively. Lotus Components Limited became Lotus Racing Limited in 1971 but the newly renamed entity ceased operation in the same year.

The company moved to a purpose built factory at Cheshunt in 1959 [2] and since 1966 the company has occupied a modern factory and road test facility at Hethel, near Wymondham. This site is the former RAF Hethel base and the test track uses sections of the old runway.
Chapman died of a heart attack in 1982, at the age of 54, having begun life an inn-keeper's son and ended a multi-millionaire industrialist in post-war Britain. The carmaker built tens of thousands of successful racing and road cars and won the Formula One World Championship seven times.

Since then Lotus are known around the world for developing the best handling sports cars of all time, working on countless engineering project for all the major automotive companies worldwide, as well as developing some of the greatest own brand sports and super cars of their own, including the Esprit, Elise, VX220, and Exige models all of which have been designed, engineered, tested and built at the Hethal engineering, production and testing facilities.
You can find and bid on the item on ebay by using the following link:

So there we have it some amazing gifts that I am sure you will agree that they are ones that – "money simply can’t buy". Kindly offered by 3 of the great British car companies – Lotus, MG and LTI.
Showing that not only British motoring is alive and well in the UK, but also that they recognise their social responsibility is global – all companies are intrinsically linked in China having either wholly owned or Joint Venture companies established there. All companies employ Chinese people and have been deeply moved by the events in Shichuan, and each has individually contributed to the Charity causes supporting the people and the families affected.

This Auction is just one small part of that support; I and Ashley (China Car Times) would like to express our thanks to all of the companies that responded to our requests for support. We would also like to thank Lifan for supplying some limited edition model cars for the auction, and to the Automotive PR company APR for supporting the project with some additional PR support in the UK.

My Personal thanks go to:

Ben Boycott – Lotus China
Richard Ji – NAC MG UK
Mathew Cheyne – LTI UK
Martin Hayes – APR

The Auction
The auction is being held by Paul Stowe ( with help from China Car Times ( and supported by LTI, Lotus, Geely, Lifan, MG and APR in aid of those affected by the horrific earthquake late last month in Sichuan province of China. Currently, tens of thousands of people are without homes, without furniture, without the means to further their lives. We hope that by auctioning off Chinese car auto memorabilia, we will be able to aid those affected in some way, no matter how big or small. By bidding on this auction, you will be giving to those who are less fortunate than yourself.

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