American giants rally at Knebworth

| 3 Aug 2011

The annual Rally of the Giants pulled in some spectacular American iron on the last Sunday of July, with everything from a 1936 Ford V8 Woody and a brace of Nash Metropolitans, to a 1942 Chevrolet Gillig school bus packing into the grounds of Knebworth House.

The show – which celebrated its 25th year at the Hertfordshire venue – was organised by the Pre '50 American Auto Club and is regarded by local and Continental-based devotees of American marques as an un-missable fixture of the show calendar.

Predictably, popular American makes dominated with the Cadillac displays featuring everything from a 1949 Sedanette (above) – with gorgeous fastback body that was later emulated by Bentley’s R-type Continental series – to a more well recognised 1959 Coupe De Ville (below).

Also getting some attention was John Willet’s 1953 Coupe (below), which the Northampton octogenarian restored himself.

Other highlights – which looked particularly spectacular under the glorious sunshine – included a couple of convertibles from different decades: a 1968 Buick Electra and a 1954 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 (below).

More conventional ‘American’ icons were on display such as a 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback (below) while talk of the show was the Metropolitan Owners Club’s line up. With less than 1500cc under their bonnets, the cars may not qualify as ‘giants’ but Metropolitans were built under licence in the US by Nash, so their inclusion at Knebworth was entirely fitting.

But talk of the show was the 1942 Chevrolet Gillig School Bus (below), fresh from the set of the movie 'Captain America'.