Despite living in Bristol for 20 years come autumn I did not hear about the Bristol Classic Car show until last April. One of the reasons for this is that two years before I moved to Bristol the show moved to it’s current venue the Bath & West Show Ground just outside Shepton Mallet a good twenty miles south of Bristol and a similar distance from Bath !
Among the highlights of the show, which I attended for the first time on Saturday and selected from over 700 photo’s that I took was this 1972 Ford Cortina MK III with unusual bulges in the bonnet and bearing the legend ‘UREN’ in place of the usual ‘FORD’. Jeff Uren’s Race Proved company beefed up the mid size Rep Mobile MK III running gear to take a 218hp 3.0 litre / 183 cui Essex V6 motor more commonly found in the large Ford Zodiac to turn this car into 130 mph road burner with a 0 – 60 mph time of 7 seconds.
Another 1972 Ford that caught my attention was this 5.8 litre / 351 cui Gran Torino, not sure if that’s a Windsor or Cleveland motor nor even if there is any external way of knowing, if this happens to be your specialist subject please do not hesitate to register and chime in below.
Only 104 Healey Silverstone’s were manufactured between 1949 and 1950 so it was no great surprise to find that the example seen here is a replica, these days more commonly referred to by auction houses as ‘Evocations’, built around a shortened 1951 Healey Tickford Saloon chassis, a model of which only 222 were built from 1950 to 1954. Coincidentally this was lot 104A in the Charterhouse Auction that took place yesterday, Sunday. Lot 104 A was expected to fetch UK £30 – 40,000 about a twentieth of the price of one of the genuine Healey Silverstones still in existence.
After World War 2 many aircraft companies diversified into automobile manufacture including Bristol & Armstrong Siddeley. German aircraft manufacturers were forbidden to make aeroplanes and so Fritz Fend approached Messerschmitt with the idea of manufacturing a humble Kabinenroller (scooter with cabin) bubble car in 1952. A KR200, 10 hp 200 cc / 12.2 cui like the model seen here but with a modified body managed to average a record 64mph over 24 hours at Hockenheimring in 1955 ! Note the cabriolet version in the back ground.
When I saw this mascot I thought it ought to belong to a Citroen 2CV powered with a Indian Motor, however it actually sits atop the radiator of a 1930 MG 18/80 Six MK II Saloon that will feature in a Tuesday MG blog in the fullness of time.
Yitzhak Shubinsky of the Israeli Autocars Ltd saw an Ashley 1172 Special and a new chassis by Leslie Bellamy at a racing car show and came up with the idea of fitting the chassis with body work from the Ashley Special in 1960. He approached Reliant who had previously worked on the Autocar Carmel and Sussita models to build the prototype seen here known as the Sabra. Reliant ended up building the first 100 Sabra models, powered by a 4 cylinder 1703cc / 104 cui usually found in the Ford Consul Mk2, and exported to the USA until Autocars Ltd Israel were ready to start assembling the cars themselves.
When I first set eye’s on this 1951 Singer Roadster my first thought was that it looked just like Noddy’s car familiar to many kids my age born around 1959 from the Noddy’s Car picture book by Enid Blyton. Closer inspection of the book cover linked here reveals a few similarities particularly a two tone paint scheme but beyond that all resemblance is mostly a figment of my imagination.
If ever a car said 1980’s it must be this 1985 Subaru XT 4WD Turbo Coupé which helped transform Subaru from farmers choice into a performance geek choice, the car was brim full of technology that was ahead of most of the opposition including computer controlled air suspension and ‘cybermatic’ steering which varied the amount of power assistance to the steering. Apparently one of these cars went straight from the docks into the Patrick Collection, when the collection was broken up the car was disposed of with out ever being driven on public roads and disappeared with out trace. If you know the where abouts of this XT 4wd Turbo Coupé please get chime in below.
Regular GALPOT readers will know I am a big fan of the Atwell Wilson Museum in Calne, the Museum are raffling the 1979 Triumph Dolomite 1500 SE seen here, tickets will be available from the Museum until the prize draw in December, I bought my first ticket at the show and hope to purchase a few more in the coming months, only 2163 of a planned 2500 of these ‘black beauties’ fitted with Triumph Spitfire sports car wheels were built.
A large selection of British Motor Corporation / British Leyland front wheel drive vehicles were on view in both the car parks and in the exhibition halls among the rarer was this range topping 1972 Vanden Plas Princess 1300 variation of the BMC ADO 16 vehicle which was also manufactured with Austin, Morris, MG, Riley Kestrel, and Wolseley badges between 1962 and 1974 during period these vehicles were amongst the biggest sellers in the UK until they were toppled by Fords.
Among many stories from my days working at a Volvo dealership some of the funniest stories involve a fleet of hearses we used to look after so this 1988 Volvo 740 His & Hearse naturally raised a possibly macabre smile.
I’ll wind up today’s review of the 33rd Bristol Classic Car show, sponsored by Footman James Insurance with this amazing 1973 Wolseley Six “Landcrab” which has been kept in this immaculate condition for 39 years ! It has never been restored and has over 30,000 miles on the clock, a testimony to the rewards of regular servicing and timely repairs.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘To Shepton Mallet’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !