The VSCC celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009, and one of the most memorable of the events to mark this took place at Prescott, exactly one year ago. Having enjoyed seeing a variety of machinery ranging from 100 year old sports to far more modern offerings in the Paddock, in the Orchard which was given over entirely to VSCC cars and the regular car parks, it was not a hard choice to decide to give this event priority in my diary for 2010 as well. Although the Saturday is the quieter of the two days of the VSCC meeting, there were plenty of people there who had clearly decided the same as me, not least of them Piers and his father, with whom I had the good fortune to spend the day feasting on some glorious history and heritage in action.
As always at such events, there is so much interesting machinery around, that the photographer cannot hope to capture everything, and this event was no exception. However, there are just over 100 photos here which give a representative sample of the cars that I enjoyed seeing.
PRE-WAR and immediately POST-WAR CARSAC
There were a couple of these early AC models parked up in the Orchard. Quite a contrast from the sort of machinery for which AC is better known!
In recognition of Alfa’s Centenary year, there was a special display of vintage Alfas in the Paddock, and these cars made a parade trip up the hill at lunchtime. They were joined by a couple of other cars which I came across parked up during the day. My love of these cars is well known, and I lost track of the number of other people I heard who said that one of these would be their “dream car”, and rueing the fact that not so long ago they were available for a few thousand pounds. A good one would not leave much change out of a million for the 6 cylinder cars and more even than that would be needed for the 8 cylinder models. Time to get saving!
Actually, this one, ready for some restoration work would doubtless be a little cheaper, were it to be for sale!This is a 6C1500.Although the Zagato bodied 2 seaters are the cars you see most often, there were plenty of coachbuilders who would provide the body work for the Alfa chassis and engine, and this is a 4 seater 6C 1750 model dating from 1930.As well as the 6 cylinder cars, there were two different 8 cylinder models to lust after, the very lovely 8C2300. One had a Zagato body and the other one by Brianza.ALVIS
Numerically, Alvis was probably only outnumbered by Riley at the event, with a vast array of cars both in the Paddock and on display in the Orchard.
This 12/50 sports an unusual station wagon body.
A rather nice SB 12/70AMILCAR
One of a number of the small cycle cars that were particularly popular in France in the 1920s.
This 1.5 litre saloon looked rather in need of some prompt tlc, whilst there is still enough of it left to restore!
Variants of the trusty Austin Seven were the doyen of cheap motor sport for many years and are still popular now. These little cars were being prepared for their first run up the hill.
This slightly awkward looking Clifton was based on the bigger Austin 10 model.This is a Six from the 1920sThis very stately model was just badged Sixteen, and almost had enough room for that many people inside its cavernous body.BENTLEY
There were plenty of classic Bentleys to be seen heading up the hill. All were the three litre cars.
There were a couple of the small 319 sports cars on display, one of which is a regular at this venue.
Purpose built for motor racing in the 1930s, these cars are highly prized now, and are always among the fastest vintage cars up the hill.
FRAZER-NASHThis one dates from about 1953.JAGUAR
This lovely 3.5 litre Mark IV had undergone a massive restoration effort over the past 12 years, which is still not quite complete. A magnificent machine indeed.
There was a second example, in even better condition.XK120XK140 CoupeJENSEN
I recall seeing this splendid 3.5 litre tourer at the NEC event last year. Just glorious!LAGONDA
There were several Lagonda at the event, with cars ranging from large luxurious tourers to smaller more obviously sporting machines.
Several examples of the Lambda were at the event. With their V4 engines, they all made a very distinctive sound when fired up.
This is a 1938 Aprilia, a very advanced family sized car, built according to the engineering quality principles that had made Lancia famous. A peek inside showed the cream plastic steering wheel. gearknob and other controls, along with some plush cord velour seats and plenty of space for four adults in a compact car. Very desirable.LEA FRANCIS
A long forgotten marque, but there were plenty of these British sports cars on display.
A stunning monster of a car, complete with chain drive.
There were lots of MGs on show, as you might expect.
There were Morgans from the 100 year history of the Malvern Link marque, with a number of three wheelers competing on the hill as well as some more parked up in the Orchard.
We particularly like the Sat Nav and immobiliser features on one of these cars!MORRIS
The early Cowley and Oxford cars are easy to recognised from their distinctive “bull-nosed” radiator grilles.
The initial Minor was Lord Nuffield’s answer to the popular Austin Seven.PEUGEOT
An example of the Bebe Peugeot, a car designed by Ettore Bugatti.
There were a bewildering array of Riley models at the event, and I cannot begin to identify them all. I am sure that expert assistance will help to fill in the gaps.
A number of these majestic cars were to be found in the car parks.
Although the final years of Singer were spent as provider of badge-engineered plusher Hillman cars, before their acquisition by the Rootes Group, they did produce a whole range of cars, many of them with the sporting credentials to challenge the likes of MG and Riley. This is one such example.
There were a large number of the popular 30/98 sports tourers at the event.
I was delighted to see a couple of that model’s progenitor as well, the Prince Henry.VOISIN
A French marque, known for producing some very exclusive and costly luxury cars in the 1920 and 30s, each of which carried the trademark radiator mascot that is evident on this car, and which would appall the 21st Century safety lobby!
MORE MODERN CARSASTON MARTIN
A DB6 Mark 2AUSTIN-HEALEY
The much loved 3000 was in evidence, of course
There were a number of classic Bristol in attendance, including both a coupe and (unpictured) convertible 400.
There were also Coupe and Convertible 401 models.FERRARI
There were a couple of 308 cars, a GTB and a GTS.
Two examples of the Silverstone, one of the fastest cars on the road in the late 1940s when these were made.
A pair of Honda Beats were parked up on the hill, next to each other. These tiny sports cars,m built to comply with the Kei regulations in Japan were produced nearly 20 years ago, and are now a very rare sighting in the UK, as the few private import cars from a few years ago have clearly either been scrapped or carefully hidden away from view!
A replica “D” Type.
LOTUSThe Evora is still not a common sight on our roads. Are Lotus really sure that they should head even further upmarket?MG
The rare V8 version of the MGB GT
MORGANThe Aero 8PORSCHE
This very original 959 caught our eye. Launched at about the same time as Ferrari’s iconic 288 GTO, this car seems largely to have been forgotten, as evidenced by the fact that whilst we were looking at it, just about everyone simply walked straight past it, barely according it a second glance. Did they not realise that the significance of this car? Clearly not!
There were a couple of 968 Club Sports in the car parks, as well.RENAULTThe more interesting cars from this marque included an Alpine GTA610, a Clio 182 Trophy and a French plated Megane Renaultsport RS250ROCHDALE
An example of the little glassfibre coupe based on Riley 1.5 mechanicals that was sold in the early 1960s.
The “Amazon” cars were built from 1958 until well into the 1970s and were very popular not just on the road but as rally cars. They came with a bewildering array of model numbers and names over the years, in both 2 and 4 door saloon and a very practical estate. Several turned up to this event.
ON THE HILLThe morning was dry, but early into the afternoon session, luckily while we were taking a rest and sampling the Prescott ales, the clouds burst and there was an almighty downpour for a few minutes, which meant the track went to be very wet, and then as it dried out, it became largely damp, with ample evidence of all the oil that had been deposited on it. Very few cars actually went off completely, though a few did some neat pirouhettes and some more simply stopped, usually as the driver completely failed to find any gear to change into.This truly is an excellent event. In some ways, It is quite different from the usual Prescott meetings, though many of the owners of the priceless cars to be found in the paddock were pushing them up the hill just as hard as competitors in purpose built hillclimbers do. Recommended for your 2011 diary!