Spring Classic at Gaydon – May 2011

There are so many motoring related events that take place, that it is impossible to experience them all. Over the years, I have found plenty which are in the “do not miss” category”, and these are the first to be anchored into the diary, but there is also plenty of fun to be had in finding either new venues or a new event at a familiar place. The Gaydon Spring Classic comes in the latter category. On a day when the weather was likely to be unpredictable, and following a day of heavy rain leading to the potential for soggy conditions underfoot, somewhere with an indoor escape option, namely the museum, seemed attractive. Accordingly, this was the event I decided to attend on a weekend when there was plenty of other choice. What I found was – despite the billing –  quite a small-scale gathering, comprising a mixture of meetings for a variety of special interest groups and a general assembly of an eclectic group of classic and rare car. If I am honest, I was at little disappointed at the number of participants, as I was expecting rather more cars, but there were certainly a number of cars that I had not seen before, and so the trip was far from in vain.


One end of the car park was reserved for the Metro Club. Undeterred, some bright spark in an Octavia drove to this part of the grounds and parked up and had more or less to be ordered to move his car to another part of the far from full car park, as he did indeed concede that he had no connection with the Metro Owners. Once one of Britain’s best sellers, these cars have all but disappeared from our roads, so it was quite a surprise to see the array of vehicles on show, with many of the display cars from the early years of production.

Nicest surprise of the day for me was when the third Cinnobar Red early MG Metro arrived, around mid-day and the driver got out, still wearing his dog collar. None other than Rev Colin Corke, a friend whom I first met while an undergraduate when he was undertaking his theological training. I lose track of the combination of Metro, Allegro and other BL cars that comprise his collection, but suffice to say that this car was pristine. He did point out the very detailed things that still need attention, but you would have to be in concours judging mode to spot them.
There were several other MG Metros, from the first cars to the last ones.
There were some of the K-series engined cars, and a few of the Rover 100 badged models, too. Perhaps the rarest of these was this Metro Cabrio.
A special display of cars from the former Communist countries comprised a mixture of from different countries. This included Skoda (which is where the errant Octavia driver could have gone, had he actually bothered to look!  Display cars ranged from an early 1960s Octavia, through a couple of the Estelle-based cars that were the butt of so many jokes in the 1970s and 80s.

There were two Tatra 613s
Two Ladas, too. I thought that all of these had been re-exported to Russia, as you rarely see either a Samara or a 2101-based car such as this 1300.
Yugos have all but disappeared, too. Someone told me that there are but 83 left in the UK.
This display comprised a number of DKW cars, with several of the 3-6 cars and one of the later F12 cars.

This section also included a Messerschmit.
A long forgotten British marque, there were several of these 1920s workhorses. These were very basic cars indeed, even for the time.

A long line of the stylish Karmann Ghia model, with most of the cars from the 1960s, and one of the last models.

Audi 100 Coupe

BSA Scout. Dating from 1938, this was a front wheel drive sports car.  
Fords included a Mustang and a late model Capri 2.8i
MGs included a couple of MGAs, the earlier MG TF and an MG 1100.
Morris 12
Renault Caravelle
Few of the early SD1 Rovers seems to have survived, but this is a 3500 painted in the same colour that starred on many of the launch cars. Alongside it was an earlier Rover, a P3 model 75.
This is one of only three known Phase 1 Standard Vanguard Estate cars known still to be on the road. Not exactly a beautiful car, this dates from the immediate post war period when utility was more important than elegance.
There were a number of Triumph TR cars
Parked up around the back of the museum was this Evoque. Soon we will see these cars on our roads, and I predict that the car will sell well. It certainly looks good both inside and out.

So, a different event, and with quite an eclectic array of cars to see, even if there was not enough to occupy me for the whole day.
2011-05-08 17:33:25

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