Sherborne Castle is a 16th Century Tudor Mansion built for Sir Walter Raleigh who leased the grounds of the ruined old Castle from the crown in 1592. Last weekend David Root, wearing his Italian Auto Moto Club hat, kindly invited me to Sherborne Castle to visit a very busy Classics at the Castle event.
As one might expect from the grounds of such a storied estate many interesting automotive stories, myths and legends emerged from the day. The Lancia Delta Integrale seen above parked next to David’s Lenham Alfa was painted pearlescent white when it was purchased by Lance Bombardier Mark (Bing) Chandler several years ago. Mark intended to return the car to it’s original factory specification however before he could fulfill that dream he was killed in action in the Helmand province of Afghanistan while protecting the local population from insurgent intimidation. In memory to their son Marks parents have had the Lancia restored to it’s original factory specification.
As can be seen by the striking contrast between the Austin 7 Hamblin Cadet and the second generation Toyota 4Runner Sunday’s event catered for a diverse range of motoring tastes.
Some years ago the special above was labeled as being the Aston Martin DP155 however once some experts has compared it to period photo’s of DP155, a car that was raced in New Zealand by Reg Parnell in 1956, it was noticed the driver sat in a central position atop the transmission in DP155 and that a number of other features of the special in my photograph above did not match the description of DP155. The mystery of this specials identity has still not been solved four years after this linked thread was started on The Nostalgia Forum.
The AC (Brooklands) Ace above was the first of two Ace prototypes, the car seen above was also known at the “Ace of Spades” featured a Ford Taraus V6 motor and all wheel drive. Curiously both the prototype Aces, the second second Ace prototype is powered by a Lotus Engine and was built in 1997, are coming up for auction at Dorset Vintage & Classic Auction on September 20th.
Despite being born in an age where Ian Gilmore once told his sound engineers “We want everything louder than everything else”, it’s been a while since I sat in a vehicle with a hi fidelity system big enough to host a rave, I remember the first time I did so, in 1990, I played Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No:3 in G and was very moved despite not turning the volume passed the number 4 on the dial. The four door Escort Mark V is reminiscent of the 2 door Project 2000 Ford Escort Mk VI RS2000 built by Max Power magazine towards the end of the last century.
According to the blurb in the window of this 1937 32hp Daimler “… is widely repudiated to be the personal transport of King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor and Mrs Wallis Simpson following his abdication and exile to France.” An odd use of the word repudiate which I have neither been able to refute or repute.
Perversely while the original 1973-1976 MGB V8 was only available with a GT Coupé body while the retro 1993-1995 MG RV8 was only available with a Roadster body. Some enthusiasts have taken it into their own hands to bring older GT’s up to RV8 spec complete with all the lower body panels from the newer model like the owner of the 1972 GT above which features a 190 hp 3947 cc / 240.8 cui RV8 motor.
With an 85 hp aluminium block motor with origins that date back to 1922, solid front and rear axles and a wooden frame to carry the body the 1955 AC 2 litre Saloon was not exactly ground braking, but it did handle and perform well with an 80 mph top speed, though not as well as the contemporary Bristol 403 which was capable of over 100 mph.
David and i looked at each other in disbelief as bidding got underway for Lot 15 a 1987 Bentley Mulsanne previously owned by Geoffrey Rose chairman of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) got underway for just £1,500 in the Charterhouse Auctions tent. Surprisingly what must be nearly a 3 ton vehicle finally went to someone for just £2,300 excluding the auctioneers commission. That is a lot of car for not much money, though taxing it and keeping it running for a year might cost a lot more than the car is actually worth.
Over a year ago some of you may remember I attended a Piston Heads meeting in the car park of the BMW factory, for the Classics in the Castle event the Piston Heads were asked to organise a classic and sports car run, the vehicles that took part in this event with in an event is deserving of it’s own blog which I may get round to when there are not quite so many events to cover in the off season. Among my favorites was this 1954 Austin Healey 100 BN1 which was first fitted with a Chevrolet V8 by Greg Gatehouse in California around 1965. It is now on it’s third V8 a Fastco 6276 cc / 383 cui crate unit. Amongst the other interesting upgrades is an button actuated hydraulic handbrake which replaces the conventional cable operated system.
FN are well known Belgian manufactuers of fire arms, in the early twentieth century they also manufactured cars and motorcycles. Above is a 1912 FN Roadster that was taking part in a smaller Vintage Run which also finished at Sherborne Castle last Sunday.
Disappointingly there was no Concours d’Elegance or even an audience vote for a popular car but the stands of the various clubs taking part were judged in a competition with the Austin A30/A35 owners club coming third, Porsche Club GB second and Wessex Ferrari being awarded first prize.
Many thanks to David Root and the members of the Italian Auto Moto Club who made today’s blog possible, and to Tim Murray who pointed me in the right direction regarding the green open wheel special.
Thanks for joining me on this “Classics At The Castle” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when all being well I be bringing you the latest from this weekends Silverstone Classic event. Don’t forget to come back now !