By Mike Peake
The 1st meet of the year! Winter is over! (yeah, right!) And, miracle of miracles for a meet that our beloved Fat Controller has organised, IT WASN’T RAINING! You don’t believe me do you? I’m not sure I believed it myself, but it’s true as you saw from the photos. It was however, “Bloody Cold” by the Standard British temperature scale if you included the wind chill.
I’ve been a very busy chap with work recently so my preparation for our 1st joint meet consisted of rocking up to my lock up the day before expecting to take Poppy to the service station to top up fluids and air and give her a quick wash. Poppy had other ideas though as she had a slightly flat battery but even with jump leads to the modern she still wouldn’t start. I’m still using my cheap 21st birthday jump leads so I had to wait until they stopped glowing before I could disconnect and tinker.
Fortunately, my tinkering revealed nothing serious and a quick change of spark plugs soon had Poppy back in good voice. I was able to resume my plan for fluids and a wash … and a quick drive round the green lanes to dry off before being snuggled back in the lock up. (I know, any excuse for a drive eh?) Poppy ready, I was soon back at home slaving over a hot oven to bake my award-winning lemon drizzle cake.
The following day I was up at the crack of dawn as I’d promised Gar I’d be there early to help direct traffic and set up. To my delight it was one of those bright sunny and very cold winter mornings. The Honda needed full de-icing before I could drive to the lock up to retrieve Poppy. Poppy, being cosseted in the lockup, required no defrosting and started at the turn of the key and I was off on my beautiful drive to the Coventry Transport Museum.
The A429 was my route of choice and as I’m sure I’ve said before, I love this road and in the early morning sun it was as beautiful as ever. As I was zipping through the frosty fields along this Roman road (Fosse Way) I fell to wondering at all the people that had travelled this road through its history. From Roman Soldiers, Saxon Pilgrims, Viking warriors, medieval black death carriers to me in my 48 year old Triumph Herald. My reverie was bought to a sudden end when I hit a series of large pot holes and realised that perhaps this 2000 year old road was starting to show its age.
After a trouble free beautiful drive, my grin and I arrived on the Museum’s forecourt where I was greeted by Gar, Jim and Joel Lodder and such a mountain of photographic equipment that I was left wondering where we were going to put the cars! Joel is a Photography student and was recording our event for posterity and one of his assignments. As you will see he is rather good.
I was a little concerned that young Paul Cheetham, our usual resident cameraman, might be a bit put out by this but he showed great maturity and only displayed some mild “camera envy” when he arrived. We soon took his mind off this by teasing him about the battle scared modern he’d turned up in.
At about 10 o’clock our members started arriving with some stunning cars, cake characters and stories. Not everyone had trips as trouble free as mine. Phil Allin thought it a good idea to wash Big Rov before setting out and was left wondering why he had a giant P5 shaped ice cube on his drive. Did I mention that it was reading “bloody cold”? Not the brightest of chaps is our Phil, but surprisingly, after Big Rov defrosted the trip was made without further mishap. Other madmen worth mentioning are Toby Bruce for his 3 hour trip from Bath in a 1920’s Lea Francis that wasn’t exactly weather proof and of course our almost permanent winner of “Furthest travelled” Eric Dalton for his 900 mile round trip from his home in darkest Scotlandshire. But at least the heater worked in his Rover VDP. Unlike Gus and Kurt who turned up in Henry, a TC Midge kit car based on the 13/60 Herald, without any weather protection at all.
Everyone showed heroism today though in coming out in the cold giving us one of our highest group turnouts to date. I think we counted a total of 56 classics plus those in moderns in the naughty corner. So a huge thanks to you all for turning up. It was great to meet you all and so good to welcome so many new faces. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.
Entertainment for the day was provided by the Brooks Brothers who spent their day pushing their Austin 7 up and down trying, without success to start it. I’m sure that if Super Enthusiast Man were able to turn up, he would point out that it had a starter handle. However, it appeared that Gus had stolen SEM’s underpants to use as a face mask so SEM was a bit embarrassed to show his …er face.
Once the Brooks had tired of pushing the diminutive Austin they started playing “can they fit a fat bloke in it” which everyone found hilarious!
It really was a fantastic and varied display of classic cars made even more varied by welcoming members of our sister group and their pre-millennial cars for the 1st time. I’ll get to the prize winners shortly but 1st, I want to mention my personal “stand out cars” and favourites of the day. (Hey, it’s my blog so I can if I want!)
The 1st pair, both really unusual and, I think, rare as I’d not seen either in the flesh before. Both seem to have military connections but couldn’t be more different. Here they are, an Austin Champ and a Trabant. Aren’t they fantastic?
My favourite car of the show was a very difficult choice as there was lots of competition but it had to be this stunning example of BL’s unfairly maligned Austin Allegro. In my opinion it has to be the best example on the roads today and an absolute beauty. I loved it.
Finally I have to mention Gus Brooks TC Midge. After all, it is my beloved Triumph Herald in a mini skirt. What’s not to love?
It was now time for the awards. We had five to give out and they were given as follows.
Best Pre Millennial Vehicle was awarded to Ian Angel and his Family for their LDV Mini Bus.
Best Pre 85 Brit Went to Paul Green and his Standard Vanguard Estate.
Best original condition went to Tosh Brooks for his Austin Big 7 (which wasn’t that big.)
Most Interesting Vehicle was given to Peter Lockley for his Standard Vanguard Phase 1.
Best in Show as voted by attending members also went to Paul Green and his Standard Vanguard Estate so he was a double winner today.
They are all extremely worthy winners, I’m sure you’ll agree. There was massive competition among all the wonderful cars attending making the judges positions unenviable.
The rest of the day was spent trying to console Ian Farty Woodward who, for the 1st time in our history, didn’t win anything for his Ford Zephyr. He was distraught and threw a right hissy fit. In the end we sent him home after making his Dad Bernard promise that he will foil all of Farty’s promised attempts to nobble any future competition.
I am very sorry to report that we also had our 1st experience of cheating in our vote for Best in Show. However this blatant skulduggery was easily spotted as all the 58 votes for Liam’s Volvo 70 were written in red crayon and that isn’t how you spell Volvo Liam!
With that, a great day came to an end. Goodbyes until the next one were said and we all set off for home.
Huge thanks to our Fat Controller Gar Cole for organising such a great show but especially for forgetting to book the rain this time. Also, huge thanks to all our members for braving the cold, salt and bus lane cameras to make this show our best attended so far.
More photos are available on the galleries section of our website - just click here.
Thanks for reading and see you all at the NEC in a couple of weeks.
PS apologies for wrong or forgotten names but I lost my notes again. I know. I’m pathetic. But please PM me corrections so as not to embarrass me in the group. I know you wouldn’t want to do that would you?
Filter by Author
Filter by Month