21-22 SEPTEMBER 2013
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Four cars braved the trip to Manchester to inhabit the Volvo Enthusiasts Club stand for two days at the inaugural Footman James Manchester Classic Car Show - and we were rewarded with a great weekend.
Having all assumed that Manchester would be cold and wet(!) we were a little on the warm side to say the least and the umbrella could have proved its worth as a sunshade.
Event City was easy to find ‘though not quite the claimed 5 minute walk from the hotel, proving to be 30 mins on day 1, but this being pared to 20 mins thereafter by missing out the walk through the Trafford Centre!
After a prolonged photo shoot for The Saint Car on arrival that resulted in a Daily Mail slot the following Monday, all four club cars were driven into the building – a carpeted hall no less – and spaced out on a stand that Kevin would once (?) have loved to shoehorn 9 or 10 onto! Placed close to the entranceway, we felt in a privileged position.
With only a minimal amount of stand building (there is very little you can fit into an 1800 and Colin’s LowRider is full of speakers and pumps); Kevin had travelled with “Roger Moore” prostrate in the front passenger seat and a box of club magazines in the boot, the convertible had the overspill from The Saint Car, Robert’s 240 was full of tea, crisps and the kettle and Colin brought the Club banners.
Saint Car and Convertible
ST 1 (aka 71 DXC) had pride of place at the front of the stand, with Gillian and Tony Whitton’s 1800 convertible beside it, Robert Hughes’ powder blue 240 (all original) was next and then Colin Hughes LowRider - which was a considerable draw each time visitors heard the hydraulic pumps start up!
The Saint Car and the convertible had made a pretty picture on the M6, driving in “convoy” from Bewdley. Having only done 30 miles since its MOT, 71 DXC performed flawlessly. The convertible had been fitted with electronic ignition just a few days before the trip (123ignition) and it has transformed the performance, fluent in all ranges and a vast improvement in fuel economy. No longer the snarling, spitting monster of old, now just a purring puss cat.
The organisers had placed The Saab Owners Club next to The VEC stand and we all had a great time throwing insults back and forth across the demarcation line. We will be requesting neighbouring stands again next year! A beautiful Saab estate in a glorious sunflower yellow was Car of the Show, well done that Saab.
240 and LowRider
Many visitors to the VEC stand were there solely to see ST 1; all were impressed by what they saw - and by the back story of Kevin’s determination to find and put the car back on the road. They were just as amazed that the car had been driven up having only passed the MOT a week before.
For a new show there was a reasonable flow of visitors, although perhaps numbers were affected by the Manchester Derby on the Saturday afternoon, but it bodes well for the future.
Sadly, there were a number of complete no-shows by some clubs and other clubs seemed to have large gaps on stands that were obviously intended for many more cars. The VEC stand could have accommodated at least two more cars and there must be Club members in the area who have vehicles that visitors would love to see. Often the complaint can be that “It’s always the same cars on the stand”, but you can only fill said stand with what is available.
Fancy a go yourself next year?
Classic Motoring Monthly short revew >>