By Mike Peake.
Sunday seemed to dawn much, much earlier than I expected to the sound of Gus banging loudly on my door and a little man banging loudly in my head and another churning cement in my stomach. I reluctantly and manfully pulled myself out of bed but even a cold shower didn’t make me feel any more human. However, seeing Phil made me realise how bad it could have been. At least I’d managed to shut my bedroom door, undress, turn out my light and get into bed before falling unconscious last night. Phil hadn’t managed any of this and his hair in the morning was definitely reminiscent of Doc Brown in Back to the Future. As rough as Phil looked though, I didn’t feel that much better but at least it gave me a laugh. However, Gus’s lovingly prepared full English breakfast was just a step too far for me. Needless to say, Gus drove us to the NEC again. He must really love my CRV!
Once we were on the stand, a couple of gallons of strong coffee, some sugary cake and a look at our award winning exhibits soon had me back on my feet again. I did tell you that we won the Lancaster Insurance Sponsors Choice award at the Classic and Sports Car Awards dinner on Friday evening didn’t I? I think I must have.
Paul Green’s Standard Vanguard Estate was a stunner and puts a smile on everyone’s face. Paul bought this car originally as a stop gap car whilst he restored another. A friend of his had a 101 victor estate and Paul discovered that he really like classic estate cars so when this one turned up on Car and Classic, he went to Norwich with the trailer but walked away 3 times until the vendor offered it at the right price and it came home.
Paul told his mate, who restores his cars that it just needed 3 bulbs and a tune up. Two years and a lot of hard work later, it rolled out of his mate’s workshop and to its first show, which just happened to be a very cold day at a show run by our very group at the Coventry Transport Museum where it won the Member’s choice award! Apparently, he enjoyed himself so much that he wanted to be part of the Gang and we are making his dreams come true. Yes, I know. They must be some very odd dreams.
The remaining AWARD WINNING car on our AWARD WINNING stand belongs to John and Jean Dickson and it’s a rather lovely 1961 MkII Austin A55 Cambridge. Before it came into John’s ownership, the car’s history showed an awful lot of owners, most of them in recent times and apparently all part of the Banger Racing community. Luckily, they all decided that it was too good to race and “Lucky” found her way eventually to John and Jean.
I first saw this car when John joined us on our Dark Peak tour and have to admit, I was smitten and very pleased when it was chosen to join us on our stand.
I have to say that the Lancaster Insurance NEC Classic Car show really outdid itself this year and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Not just because we won an award, (WE WON AN AWARD!!!) and not just because it seemed much friendlier this year and the rivet counters had seemed to stay away but because of the outstanding quality of all the displays. There really was some strong competition for us. (But we beat them ALL and WON THE AWARD! Naa Naa Nana Naaaa!)
Here is a gallery of some of my favourites.
After winning the Pride of Ownership at the 2018 NEC Classic Motor Show, Shiny Paul Shiny (Clappison) was invited to enter his very shiny MGB GT onto the Meguiar’s “who’s got the shiniest shiny car” stand. He was really mixing it up with the big boys of shiny. So, after donning my welders goggles to protect me from the glare of this shiny stand, I headed over to Hall 1 to see how Shiny Paul was doing.
When I got there the glare was so strong that I slathered on some factor 50 just to be safe. I have to say that Shiny Paul’s shiny MGB GT definitely deserved to be there and to my untutored eye looked every bit as shiny as the rest. On learning that shiny Paul is solely responsible for the current world wide cotton bud shortage, I appreciated the amount of work that goes into shiny.
The judges' white gloves were still white after their very, very thorough inspection of Shiny Paul’s work of art proving he still has Shiny sorted.
The other car on the Meguiar’s “who’s got the shiniest shiny car” stand, that really caught my attention, was this humble Metro. The young lad had bought it for £500 and used it as his daily runner before his passion for “tidying it up” became a bit of a fetish and he achieved this. A real credit to the chap.
Unfortunately, neither the shiny MGB GT or the shiny Metro, nor any of the multi million pound temples of shiny gracing Meguiar’s “who’s got the shiniest shiny car” stand, were deemed by the judges to be quite as shiny as this stunning Mini and all I can say is WOW!
The rest of the show was spent like most of the shows in eating cake and chatting to all our members that made the effort to visit us on the stand and say hello. It was really great to see you all Thank you. Sadly though, the show came to an end in the traditional blaring of horns and it was time to pack up and say cheerio.
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So, a massive thank you to Nick Arthur for the beer barrel, Paul Green for the Standard Vanguard, Mick and Gill Taylor for the Vauxhall VX 4/90, John and Jean Dickson for the Austin A55 and Gus and Tosh Brooks for Apollo the P5B camper. You WON AN AWARD CHAPS! Thank you. Special thanks to Lexy too for fulfilling her guard dog duties so well.
HUGE thanks to Dave Youngs and Lancaster Insurance for their continued support and choosing us for the Sponsors Choice AWARD THAT WE WON!
Thanks are also due to Phil Allin of Alvaston Press who regularly supports us with the fantastic banners and flags and tour plaques and to our other sponsor, Richard Edmonds Auctions. We couldn’t put on these events without these guys' continued support so thanks again.
Finally, hugest thanks of all to Gar Cole for his passion, drive and energy and to Captain Paul Sweeney for his continuous behind the scenes beavering away all the way from New Zealand. We hope that one day that he can join us to see the fruits of his labours in the flesh. Nothing would happen in this group without these two top chaps.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my report and that I managed to convey how much fun we had and that we WON AN AWARD!
Of course, I have to finish with a picture of our glorious Fat Controller of events, eating at an event as well as some other members who couldn’t quite handle all the excitement. Its traditional you see.
See you soon.
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