Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Long December

The famous Martini Lancia of the 1980s which destroyed all comers in the WRC!As The Counting Crows once sang, a long December indeed it is proving to be. Still no Lotus, the Fiat is off the road too, so no classic motoring at all in the run-up to Christmas. All is sad, and the weather's been so nice too, adding insult to our collective injury! At least we got to ride our new bicycles more than we otherwise would've done.

So, lacking any news on the personal front, I shall instead reminisce about earlier events, namely my father and I visiting the Classic Car Show in the Birmingham NEC towards the tail end of October. We spent an entire day digging through the auto-jumble, admiring and observing all sorts of marques and models, chatting to various clubs staff and members and generally having a good old time.

I should note I would normally provide my own photo, but as per usual, I forgot my camera. Instead I have provided a photo I found through Google Images, which turned up a fantastic classic car photo collection on Flickr kept by a certain "tonylanciabeta". Click here for his full NEC collection on Flickr. At least next year I'll have a camera with me, since I have just received a rather nice Sony camera phone from O2, which is jolly decent of them! No longer shall that age-old excuse be employed.

As you can see from Tony's catalogue of photos, they really did have everything there. My father got rather excited about the various 3.0 litre Ford Capris on display (he used to have several - not all at once, mind you) and I spotted the distinctive (on account of it's paint job) Messerschmitt bubble car which used to be lying outside a store in Camden's Stable Market, but was now being lovingly restored by an enthusiastic bubble lover.

The whole event was extremely well organised and it was wonderful to see all the various clubs out in force. Top marks go to the Morris Minor Owners Club, who had the most impressive club stand by far, and some lovely examples on display.

On a side point, I was disappointed to see neither of the Lotus clubs had a Plus 2 on display. Shame. I know I'm biased, but I happen to think it's one of the prettier models. Maybe next year, eh...?

Oh, and one other thing. Does anyone actually buy cars at these events? The dealers were out in force too, and while one or two seemed to have reasonably priced cars on their stands, many were clearly having a great big belly-laugh at the expense of anyone stupid enough to whip out a cheque book. They must have more money than sense!