Queen Square Bristol Breakfast Club – August 2013

They say that it is a sign of ageing when you moan about how quickly time passes. I absolutely refute any suggestion that I am any older now than I was years ago (!), but I can certainly say that it really does not seem like a month since I was last in Bristol’s Queens Square early on a Sunday morning, eager to see just what sort of interesting cars had been brought out for display. And now, on a day that started off with some lovely cloudless skies, it was time to do it all again. Those lovely blue skies suggested to me that, holiday season not withstanding, more people than ever may just feel tempted to get their classic out of its parking place and head down. And so it proved. By 9am there was a steady stream of arrivals and soon all the parking places on the inside of the square were full, and even the perimeter was running out of spaces. As ever, not everyone stayed for all that long, so there was plenty of activity and new arrivals to keep me entertained until around 11am, at which point I adjourned  across the city to another event, only to discover a lot of the same cars had done the same. That event is subject of a separate report, allowing me to concentrate here on what was on show in the Queens Square.


As well as my own car, there was another locally owned 500 model.

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As ever, there were plenty of Cobra type models present.

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There was also a lovely Aceca.

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Oldest Alfa was this very pretty Guilia Spider which arrived mid morning.

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As well as seeing this well known Alfa Special, it was a pleasure to catch up with its owner. David Roots, and have a good chat.

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There were plenty of more recent Alfa, too, with GTV, GT and 156 models in evidence.

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Another appearance of the Graber bodied Alvis. It is always a pleasure to see this elegant car.

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Late arrival was this Maxi 1750. Close inspection revealed a number of different shades of white paint, suggesting that this is very much a working car rather than a pristine concours model. Still, you don’t see a maxi very often these days.

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A second series Sprite was joined by a number of Big Healeys.

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Turbo R, as imposing looking as ever.

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This lovely M3 was at Wilton House last weekend. Good to see that despite its pristine state, it is getting out and about and doubtless being enjoyed every time it is on the road.

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Just one of these locally made cars this month, a splendid 403.

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This 1956 Bel Air was particularly striking, in its authentic turquoise paint scheme.

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A nice duo of Corvette, with the recent C6 Grand Sport model that was on site from early in the day managing to move up a bit to create the space to get a C2 Corvette Stingray in alongside it.

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Strange to think of the BX Estate as a “classic”, but then try to remember when you last saw one. At some point in recent years, the vast majority of them clearly all but disappeared.

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The V8250, a close relative of the better known Mark 2 Jaguar saloon.

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Another outing for this distinctive 1970 Charger, which came and left in convoy with a couple of other American machines.

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This Viper was attracting plenty of interest. Can’t imagine why!

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A number of Ferrari models, all painted red, attended. They were all V8 cars, ranging from a 328 GTS through the 348tb to the later f355 models.

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Most unusual Ford of the day was this mark 1 Granada. A 3.0 GXL model, these were once the staple of the executive car parks, but now they are a rare sighting indeed.

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Attracting most interest of all the Fords present, though, was this 1965 Thunderbird. Huge, for sure, but very glamorous.

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This F100 pickup appears large to European eyes, but compared to the models being sold these days, it is a minnow!

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The owners of this Sierra XR4i said that he has had it for 25 years. Initially it was his main car but more recently, it only comes out on special occasions.

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I did like this Mark 2 RS2000 Escort.

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Another appearance for this Mark 2 Consul.

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Earlier models included a late 1940s Prefect, as well as a couple of pre-war Model Y cars.

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There were a pair of Avengers, one of them the very collectible Tiger version.

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Another appearance for this Thema Turbo as well as a second generation Delta HPE.

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Earliest Lotus was this splendid little Elite.

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The later Elan also seems like a very dainty machine.

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Esprits were out in force, with at least four of them present.

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In addition there was an Excel, a front wheel drive Elan and the modern Europa.

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Lovely 3200GT, which belongs to Paul Hanmore, organiser of the Bristol Auto Italian Motor Club, and whose wife I caught up with for a conversation during the morning (Paul was clearly elsewhere at the time)

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The local MX5 owners would appear to be enthusiastic supporters of this event, and as in previous months, there were plenty of these small sports cars on show.

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I do like these R107 SL cars, and this was a nice example.

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Perfect day for an open topped MG, so no surprised to come across a Midget, several MGBs and the later MG RV8.

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This has to be one of the rarest cars of the day, a Mitsubishi Colt Sigma, top of the range model offered in the early days of this Japanese marque’s days in the UK, in the late 1970s. It was not pristine, but even so, just when did you last see one?

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This lovely Morris car was present last month, but it was nice to see it again.

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I initially assumed that this was an Austin A60 Pickup, a once popular utility vehicle based on the 1950s A55 Cambridge, but closer inspection revealed that it bore Morris badges. More commonly seen these days in the Van version that was also offered, production of this model ran through into the early 1970s. A combination of a hard working life and rust has claimed almost of all those produced. though.

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This Monza was clearly an early arrival, and was the car next to which I parked my car. Not easy to get decent photographs of it, thanks to the metallic graphite paint and the strong sunshine. Nice car, though.

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I’ll confess that I was unable to recognise this car from a distance, and even close up I had to cheat and look at the badge. I had to do a little research on returning home. According to Wikipedia, this was a British marque, founded in 1950 by WA Hudson and S Underwood from Derbyshire, the Paramount had an aluminium over wood frame body with a BMW like grille and was mounted on a separate tubular steel chassis with front transverse and rear semi elliptical leaf springs. It was originally intended to have Alvis engine and suspension but to reduce cost the production versions used Ford 10 components including the 1172cc side valve engines, but fitted with twin SU carburettors, which resulted in poor performance. The car was however well built and equipped and was listed in both 2 and 4 seat versions. In 1953, the company was bought by Camden Motors and production moved to Leighton Buzzard and the Ford Consul 1508cc engine was an option in a longer chassis as also was a Wade or Shorrocks supercharger. The price was now an uncompetitive £1009 and production ceased in 1956 after about 70 cars had been made, of which it is believed that just 8 survive and only 3 are roadworthy. This particular car dates from 1956 and is a 1.5 litre Roadster.

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This was one of a couple of 205 GTi models on display. The other one looked rather less “original”.

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This 1970 Roadrunner arrived in convoy with the bright green Dodge Charger of the same year, which made for a very colourful sight around the square. This is not a car that I have seen at this event before.

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This is definitely the year of the 911, and this event was no exception, with a significant number of these much loved German sports cars on display, with a mixture of models from the original shape through the 993 to 996 cars, with an original Flat Nose, which arrived late in the morning being a particular highlight.

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There were plenty of front engined cars, too, with one 928 (a car which seems nothing like as bulky now as it did when new) as well as 944 and 968 cars.

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Lots of very individual Hot Rod machines, some of which I recall seeing last month.

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The very elegant P5 model 3 litre Saloon.

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The Vogue was an upmarket version of the Hillman Super Minx.

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The Impreza P1

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Another appearance for this Series 2 Alpine.

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In the 1920s, Sunbeam made high end sports tourers and it was quite a surprise to find not one, but two examples of these, handily parked up next to each other.

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A very nicely presented Supra from the late 1980s.

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There were plenty of Stags present.

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It was also good to see this Vitesse 2 litre Convertible and a TR6.

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This splendid Bubble Car that I had seen at the event last month was making another appearance, and it was definitely generating lots of interest.

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As ever, there were several TVRs parked up around the Square.

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This immaculate Nova GTE (badged GSi) was present again this month, having been seen in July as well.

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This is a good event, with the element of surprise always adding to the pleasure. Now I’ve been a few times, it is clear that there are plenty of regulars, but there always appear to be some cars that have not been seen before, which makes it well worth allocating a couple of hours to pop down to see what is on show.

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