By Mike Peake
Well, what a weekend that was! It has been a tough few weeks for me so I was REALLY looking forward to a break and a weekend of playing cars. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
I wasn’t able to make set-up, so when I arrived Friday morning, I got the full “smack in the face” experience of our stand. IT WAS AWESOME! The chaps had done a fantastic job but let’s face it they had incredible material to work with.
From the gloriously crusty Wolsely to the ridiculously shiny Humber. From the rare-as-hens-teeth James and Browne to the common-as-muck but very, very shiny MGB GT. From 117 years old to the mere baby at just 40 years old. (No, not Bernard and Paul! I’m still talking about cars. How very rude of you!)
We even had a stationary engine, a foot powered lathe, bales of straw and a Herald tail lamp! Our Fat controller of events, Gar Cole, had really excelled himself again… and then some.
So let me introduce the exhibits and their proud owners. I’ll start with the gloriously crusty Lincoln Hunt and his mad-as-a-box-of-frogs 1928 Wolseley. (Hmmm, did I get that the right way round?)
Lincoln proved to be a proper stalwart this weekend. Despite some issues at home AND being called out all night to keep our railways running, he still made sure he was at the show helping out. He’s a top chap is our Lincoln. He’s even promised me a boot load of Herald spares!
Lincoln’s 1928 Wolesley has been languishing in his barn ever since his Dad bought it approximately 50 years ago, after the one-off special body had already been fitted. It has been part of Lincoln’s life ever since he can remember. He particularly remembers the thrashing he got after he’d shot out the headlamp with his catapult.
Lincoln showed his dedication to the club again by exhuming this beauty from its burial place among literally thousands of other projects and 50 years of accumulated detritus to show it on our stand as well as bringing all the accessories you can see in the photo below to make the “barn find” section.
Lincoln has now begun to clear the thousands of potential projects and has a metro engine on standby as he has promised to resurrect this car for the road.
Next up is Roger Spaven’s 1978 Series 2 XJ6 4.2 Jaguar. Actually, the newest car on the stand but you’d never know it! (Who said that? How very rude!)
Roger is Vice Chairman of the Isle of Wight division of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club and had always admired the Series Jaguars but wasn't actively looking for one. However the Isle of Wight has a thriving and close-knit classic car scene and word reached Roger via the islands ' jungle drums ' that a series 2 was available and the widow of the previous owner was trying to contact the club.
She had been approached by members of the islands active oval racing scene but her husband had owned the car since 1995 so it held 20 years of memories for her. Naturally, she wanted it to go to a home where it would be restored.
Roger and his good mate Keith went to view the car in October 2015. The paintwork had seen better days but importantly, there was very little sign of corrosion.
The previous owner had made some ' odd ' modifications during the past 20 years. He’d stripped the chrome bumpers and painted them a matt grey, fitted modern blue led spot lights, replaced the original biscuit rear bench seat with a black leather 2 seat VDP rear bench, and finally a Halfords special high-level brake light on the rear parcel shelf.
Despite being stood for many months the big cat fired up right away, Keith bravely volunteered to take it for a test drive while Roger followed in case it broke down, Keith decided to do a brake test and they worked brilliantly, unfortunately the sunroof seals had seen better days and he was drenched in cold stale water that had accumulated in the sunroof recess. Despite Keith being wet and smelly, a deal was done for the car including a shed full of spares.
Back at home, more issues came to light. Non-functioning wipers, washers, blower and lights. After carefully replacing various relays and putting right some of the electrical modification the previous owner had done, all was now working correctly and the car was booked in for MOT.
Roger was amazed when the Jaguar passed the mot with no advisories! A good inspection of the underside revealed no previous welding or rot, something of a miracle for a 70s era XJ that lives in a salty coastal town, but Roger knew this car was an excellent base.
Having used it and enjoyed it for several months the car developed an oil leak from the gear box and one day during a house move it broke down due to a faulty fuel relay. It was at this point Roger decided to take the car to his friend Ray's garage and restoration business. The plan is to strip the car for a full bare metal re-spray, restore the chrome work and put right any aftermarket modification including that leaky sunroof. However, you know what we car people are like, whilst acquiring a new rear seat for the car Roger, purchased a 1985 series 3 at the same time so now both cars are competing for time and funds to be restored.
Shiny Paul Clappison’s shiny 1972 MGB GT is very shiny. Shiny shiny shiny shiny, shiny. Shiny shiny. Shiny shiny, shiny. Shiny shiny shiny shiny, shiny. Shiny shiny. Shiny shiny, shiny! Shiny shiny shiny shiny, shiny. Shiny shiny.Shiny shiny, shiny. Shiny shiny shiny shiny, shinyness. Shiny shiny. Shiny shiny, shiny. Shiny shiny shiny shiny, shiny. Shiny shiny. Shiny shiny, shiny!
In case you didn’t notice, Paul’s MGB GT is VERY, very shiny. A previous owner, a retired engineer completed a restoration of the car making it quite shiny, but by 2015 health problems forced the reluctant sale once again. However, it wasn’t until April 2017 that Shiny Paul Shiny steps in and purchases this quite shiny MGB GT.
The quite shiny MGB GT wasn’t quite shiny enough for Paul shiny so he spent the next 6 months shinying it and got it so shiny that it won shiniest car at the Manchester Classic Car Show. By the following April, after lots more shinying the MGB had made it to the finals of the Pride of Ownership area at the NEC restoration show where it won Best In Show for being so shiny.
It was great to have such a shiny celebrity car on our stand but we noticed that Paul may have become slightly obsessed. You see, in between kidnapping passers-by and forcing them to see how shiny his MGB GT is and telling them how he’d made it so shiny, he was caught several times lying down by the side of the car, using a toothbrush to make parts of the car that nobody could see shiny and muttering “my precious”. As you can imagine, it was incredibly embarrassing for us to come across such intimate scenes so we told him to get a room!
I strongly advise the wearing of a welders mask to protect you from the glare before viewing the following photo.
Of course someone had to take it too far and play a heartless trick on our dearly sainted Fat Controller of Events, Gar Cole. I can’t imagine the type of evil mind that would put this sign on the back of his buggy without him noticing and then letting him drive all over the NEC with it! Despicable behaviour and very childish.
To be continued...more cars to come!
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