Queen Square Bristol Breakfast Club – November 2013

Much as I enjoy the monthly gatherings of cars at Ace Cafe, for the variety and sheer unpredictability of what will turn up, as well as the cameraderie among the participants, some of the appeal is lost when the winter darkness means that there is no daylight in which to enjoy the cars. That’s where a Breakfast meeting scores over an Evening gathering, and with the forecast (and reality) for a gloriously sunny (if rather nippy) second Sunday in November, I looked forward to the monthly Queens Square gathering all the more than usual. I was not disappointed. Although there were more cars parked around the square that had nothing to do with this gathering than usual, there was still plenty of space for all manner of cars from the 1920s to 63 plated newly acquired machines to be show off. Dspite the nice weather, many seemed not to stay that long, so some cars arrived, and were gone before I got to them with the camera, and a few others were parked in places where the long winter shadows made photography something that would have produced a disappointing result. So, apologies now that there is no picture of the Porsche Boxster Spyder (driven with its so-called roof nowhere in sight) or a lovely Citroen DS21, and nor is there a picture of David Roots’ Alfa Special, even though I spent a good while chatting to him! Anyway, there’s plenty that I did photograph as this report will testify:


There had been some discussion on the Abarthisti forum at making this an area meet, but despite a gentle reminder issued the night before, it seemed that all those who had initially expressed interest decided against the plan, and there were just three Abarths, all 500s, present.

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A number of Cobra replicas, as ever.

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147 GTA

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Series 4 Spider.

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A rather splendid 3 litre Open Tourer.

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There is quite often a very nice red E30 M3 here, but today it arrived in convoy with a silver grey one, and then I spotted that there was another red one on the other side of the square.

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There was also an E28 M5, the red paint looking slightly faded, but otherwise this is a very appealing car, looking remarkably like the standard cars, giving few clues of the potent M engine under the bonnet.

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There are always some interesting American machines present at this event, with a mix of cars which have been seen before and ones which are making their debut. This gargantuan Sedan de Ville comes in the latter category. Absolutely massive by comparison with everything else present, it was no surprise that the owner parked it on a corner, where we could all enjoy its period styling and interior.

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This 1956 Bel Air is a car I have seen here before. Still nice, though.

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There was also a late model C4 Corvette Convertible.

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This is one of those British marques that few have even heard of, and yet what is great is that different models bearing the distinctive badge keep on showing up. I am sure I’ve not seen this particular car before.

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328 GTS

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This Escort RS Turbo is one of the short-lived first generation models, and it was absolutely immaculate. Needless to say, it generated plenty of interest, with lots of wistful comments to be heard along the lines of “I wanted one of those when I was your age…… ” (dad to kid!).

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I also rather liked this Mark 2 Cortina 1600E, also in excellent condition.

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There were a number of other Fords which make regular appearances at this event, including a Mark 2 Consul, a 1960 Popular 100E (and undepicted a Consul Classic)

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I heard this one long before I saw it. A brief conversation with the occupants once they parked up confirmed my guess that it is a GN. Powered by a 3 litre Vee- twin motorcycle style engine and with chain drive, it attracted lots of interest.

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A rather neat kit car based on Metro mechanicals, and with plenty of Austin-Rover switchgear in evidence.

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This splendid Avenger Tiger is a regular, and it was parked up next to a GLS model.

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This rather nice NS-X was one of those cars which did not linger long.

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A couple of Mark 2 saloons.

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There were plenty of kit cars, some more closely related to the Lotus/Caterham Seven than others. These are just a few.

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Making a noisy entrance mid-morning was this Gallardo. Needless to say, once parked up, it also pulled in the crowds.

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This distinctive Esprit attracted plenty of comment as it arrived and did a lap of the Square looking for a parking slot.

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I’ve seen this first generation RX7 before. An elegant shape that still appeals over 30 years later.

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There were a number of sporting Benz here, all of them from the last 20 years or so, of which only this SL55 AMG seems to have made it in front of my camera.

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Among the MGBs present were these two.

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Traditional Morgan

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The 1920s Cowley saloon was making another appearance at this event, as was the J60 Pickup.

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Firebird Trans-Am.

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As usual, there were a number of 911s on show, with the newest being one of the special edition cars produced this year to mark the model’s 50th anniversary.

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Other Porsche included a 928 and a 944 Cabrio.

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A rather nice RM Series Saloon

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This P6 model 2000TC is an event regular.

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Perhaps the stand out car of the day for me was this, a stunningly presented Ensign Estate. The Ensign was the cheaper version of the 6 cylinder Vanguard, offered for the last few years of this once popular car’s life time. I’ve not seen this one before, but whoever owns it has clearly done a fantastic job on restoring it.

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No fewer than three of the 2000/2500 Mark 2 cars attended today.

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There were also a couple of Stags.

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You can always rely on there being TVRs at this event, and sure enough there were. A couple of Tuscans were joined by a duo of S models and an early Grantura.

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As I was taking a picture of this Cavalier Estate, the owner appeared, and seemed a bit bemused that I would find his car interesting enough to photograph. It turns out that he bought it last year for £700, and that he has another Cavalier of this generation. One has power steering and one does not, and he said that the difference is marked. Mark 2 Cavaliers like this are rare these day, especially the Estate.

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As ever, a very enjoyable way to spend a sunny November morning.

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