Coventry Festival of Motoring – August 2012

There are so many events that take place around the UK that despite my diligent researches, there are still new meetings that I discover which have in fact been taking place for a number of years. The one that I’ve just attended, the Coventry Festival of Motoring is a case in point. When I looked at the details, it certainly seem to bear going along to find out if this is yet another annual one to add the diary. Taking place for the first time in Stoneleigh Park, the new name for the area that used to house the Royal ShowGround, what greeted me were a series of Car Club displays, a large area reserved for over 400 other display cars, an arena set up for some motorcycle aerobatic displays, and two exhibition halls, one of which was full of trade stalls and the other with what was called “Cars of the Future”, which turned out to mean a mixture of electric cars, hybrid vehicles and Mercedes. The event itself was free of charge, though it did cost £5 to park in the adjoining fields. Whilst there was nothing particularly stunning at the event, there were lots of cars which are not “regulars” at other events and there was a very relaxed atmosphere to the day, with plenty of people lingering for a late afternoon picnic. I did my best to photograph a subset of the attending vehicles, but inevitably missed quite a lot. Here is what I did photograph:


I spotted this bi-colore 500C from a distance and guessed correctly as to its owner, Ed Tan, whom I bumped into later in the day. There was a black 500 parked up as well, but it drove off before I could the camera at it.

There were a couple of Acecas, the coupe version of the better known Ace sports car.

No mistaking that this was an Alpina, thanks to the distinctive body stripes. It is a B10 3.5 litre model., the fifth of just 25 so constructed in the 1980s.

Suprisingly ill-represented, there was only this 164 Super to represent the Arese marque.

This lovely TE21 was parked up in the main car park just a couple of rows from my own car.

A trio of models from this mostly forgotten marque.

Not one, but two of the still very striking Lagonda models from the late 1970s.

Among the pre-war cars was a Six, several of the diminutive Seven, and an (undepiced) Ten. The camera also missed an RAC liveried A35 van, and a lovely A70 Hereford.

There were a good number of both Sprites and the larger 100/3000 cars.

Among the Bentleys at the event were a lovely Drophead version of the S Type, and a nicely restored example of the T Series Coupe which was parked up near the more recent Azure Convertible.

On display inside was this rare Zagato styled GTZ version of the Continental, with the rare rear wheel spats. Not perhaps the finest work of this styling house!
A particularly nice late model E24 635CSI was parked up next to an E28 5 series.

Among the Chevrolets were a pairing of 1957 Bel Airs in 4 door and 2 door format and a couple of Corvettes.i

A rather nice Traction Avant

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Daimler V8250, the lesser known version of the popular Jaguar Mark 2 saloon, and there were a good number of these cars in a special display area.

This DS420 Limousine saw service as a Mayoral car in the West Midlands for many years before finally being retired and passed to the Coventry Museum where it now resides.
This 250 was on show inside.

Among the few Fiats in the display were one of the launch edition X1/9s, with the distinctive side striping still intact, a couple of Nuova 500 and a 124 Spider.

From the 1950s and early 1960s were a Series 2 Zodiac and an Anglia 105E, and from a later era was this Series 3 Capri 1.6 GL

There were a couple of Escort Mexicos, by some measure the most valuable of all Escort cars, and yet relatively innocuous looking.
A display of “Fast Fords” from the 1980s included a number of Sierra and Sapphire cars, most of the somewhat modified. Among them was an example of the South African XR8 car.
There were quite a few of the first generation Mustang on show, though must seem to have eluded my camera.
Replica versions of the MG TF

Sole Gilbern was this GT, an example of the first model type made by this Welsh manufacturer, before they introduced the better known Invader cars.

The Minx nameplate had a very long life, during which time all sorts of different designs bore the name, many of which were offered with all sorts of body styles. Illustrating this are a rather nice 1930s Convertible and a 1950s Pickup.

Other Hillimans included an early version of the Hunter, an Imp and an Avenger Tiger.
Not the sort of cars that you see at any show these days, were this pairing of Hondas from the late 1970s, a Civic and an Accord. Whilst the former was in need of some attention to the bodywork, the Accord looked pretty well pristine. Nice to see that a few of these sort of cars have survived, as this was the era when the Japanese were really making their standards felt in European markets and forcing established manufacturers to try harder with their production control and quality standards.

This SuperSnipe dates from 1950 and is a very majestic car indeed. It was joined by an example from 1965, not long before the model was deleted from the production range.

Designed by William Towns, these intriguing cars were based on BMC components, this one using the Allegro/maxi E Series 1750 cc engine. Definitely different!

Oldest Jaguar was this stunning SS1 Sports Coupe. Very lovely.

There were lots of E Types, of course.
Among the saloons was a Mark 2,4, a Mark VII, an XJ40 and there was also a lovely XK120.  
This “Barbie” XJS was created for an advertising campaign for Mattel toys when they created an XJS model for their popular range of Barbie products. This particular car had had a hard like, and was in poor condition, so no-one felt too bad about taking a concours model and doing this to it!   
I came across this car in the main car park when making my way into the event. Without the benefit of badges, I would probably have guessed at some other marque.

3 litre Drophead dating from 1950.

This Countach Anniversary model was doing service for the Sporting Bears, and appeared to be in almost constant demand, as we saw it on its way in and out several times before finding it parked up.

Among the many products from the Solihull firm that were on show was one of the “Velar” prototype Range-Rovers (car number 5), as well as a number of models from each of the three generations of the model.

A Lotus Club comprised a very varied showing, with every car a different model type, ranging from Europa and Lotus Cortina through the Esprit and Excel to the more recent Elise and Exige.

There were plenty of other Lotus parked up in the main display area, too.
Lots of MGB, of course, as you would expect at an event like this.

There were plenty of other MG sports cars, ranging from earlier models, such as the TC and TF, through the MGA and the diminutive Midget.
This MG Metro was in particularly nice condition.
More recent MGs were represented by several F/TF sports cars and a number of the ZT260 model.
This intriguing device was created in 1969 by cutting 2 feet out of the wheelbase of a standard car. I dread to think what the handling is like!

Other Minis included a couple of the factory-approved Cabrios from the early 1990s and the ERA Turbo model.
There were a number of pre-war Morris.

There were plenty of the popular Minor, of course.
Less commonly seen these days were this pairing of a Mark 2 1100, in the rare Automatic form and a Series VI Oxford.
Two very different Opels: a GT from the late 1960s and a nicely presented example of the facelifted version of the first Senator.

I usually only ever see this distinctive sports car at Silverstone, so it was quite a surprised to get another viewing, with two cars at the event.

Scimitar GTE

An array of 1930s models comprised one half of the Riley Owners Club display.

The rest of the display was made up with an RM Saloon and several of the medium sized One Point Five cars.
There were a few pre-war models, most of which seem to be unphotographed by me, but I did record this one.

There were several pre-war Rover P2 and P3 models.

A nice P5B.
This well presented SD1 model turned out to be a basic 2000 version.

There were a few of the pre-war sports cars.

Following the acquisition by the Rootes Group, Singers became badge-engineered Hillman cars, with the Gazelle name applied to the Singer versions of the Minx. These are rather nice convertible models.
The Vogue name first appeared in 1961 and was applied to Singer’s upmarket version of the Hillman Super Minx, and there was a nice example of this car on show. The name was then used again on what turned out to be the last “new” model launched by Singer, this time little more than a plush version of the Hillman Hunter. Just 7 of the estate cars are believed to survive, to see 2 of them at the event was definitely a treat.
This saloon from the 1930s was rather splendid, and was quite a contrast to the 9 model also from the period..

A row of the small cars from the 1950s illustrated the different models offered, from the basic Eight andTen through the more luxurious Pennant and the rare Companion estate car.
There were also a number of the Vanguard based models, from an early Phase 1 to an Ensign Estate and a rare “Ute” pickup,
The Rapier was a sports coupe and convertible based on the more prosaic Hillman Minx.

There were a few of the Alpine sports car, as well.
This row of Gloria models from the 1930s showed the variety in bodies from 2 seater roadster to a very elegant Sports Saloon.  They were joined by a very rare survivor, a fabric bodied 1929 Super Seven.

The Mayflower was Triumph’s small car offering in the immediately post war period, and featured distinctive razor-edged styling like its larger Renown brother.
The 2000 Roadster was not viewed particularly favourably when new and now it is a car you rarely encounter.
Among the larger cars were a few of the 2000/2500 model.
There were a number of the little Spitfire sports car, of course.
TRs were well represented with examples of all generations of this popular sports car.
The Stag Owners were out in force, too, with lots of these cars on show.
Plenty of Herald and Vitesse cars, including a late model 13/60 Estate.
A lone example of the replacement for this car, the Toledo.
There were also a quartet of Dolomite Sprints parked up under the trees.
A varied display of Vauxhalls, ranging from a 1937 14 through several post war Wyvern, Velox and Cresta models.

There were several Beetles, ranging from some early cars through the 1303 and Cabrio versions of the first car, as well as an example of both New Beetle and New New Beetle.

Among other VWs were a first generation Golf Cabrio, a Mark I Jetta and a whole row of Corrados.
A what? Well, quite, I’d never heard of this marque either. From a distance, the badge looked a bit like an Aston-Martin, but it was clear that the styling was quite different. It turned out to be one a kit car, called the Vortex GT3. It features a transverse mid-mounted 3.0 V6 Volvo engine.

Not really a “classic” in the established sense, but when did you last see one of these cars? This one was a 55A GLX which meant that it had a body kit applied to try to jazz up the looks a bit. Not sure about that, but you could not argue with the nice condition of the car.

Overall, an interesting day, definitely worth thinking about again for 2013.
2012-08-27 18:31:32

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