A gorgeous Bristol 401 scooped the top award at the annual Classic & Sports Car concours at the Shelsley Walsh Classic Meeting on Sunday (24 July). Also boasting a highly original interior, the car is owned by Bill Piggott from Brimfield in Shropshire who entered into the spirit of the occasion with his wife, dressing in period garb and laying out their picnic with wicker basket, parasol and wind-up gramophone.
The concours was open to any member of the public who turned up at the event in a classic and was judged by C&SC's Simon Taylor (Full Throttle) who was also competing on the hill in his famous Stovebolt Special.
Other cars on the shortlist for the prize included a magnificent 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost barrel-sided tourer, and a flawless 1929 front-wheel-drive Alvis. Taylor said: "I also liked a very correct suede green XK120 OTS with original upholstery, disc wheels and spats; a charming and very original early Triumph Herald drophead [below]; a pair of immaculate Turners; an almost embarrassingly shiny metallic bright blue 1979 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible; and a lovely RS3100 Capri."
Two of the wildest entries were an immaculate ex-army Austin Champ and a quite remarkable 1930 Talbot Ambulance, fully restored inside and out.
None quite made the podium, though, and the runners-up were Malcolm
Lamb's 1949 Morgan F Super three-wheeler (below), immaculate despite being
fresh back from a 1200-mile trip to Germany, Chris Watts' 1976 Jensen
Interceptor Mk3, the last to leave the West Bromwich factory under the
old regime, and Janine Walker's Ford Escort RS2000, which she first owned when she was 18, then took off the road for 10 years, and then restored.
There was superb action on the hillclimb, but not many records tumbling this year. Simon Taylor won his class – 1946-1960 Sports Racing Cars – with a 34.43, a couple of seconds outside his best while Best Time of the Day was set by Martin Jones in his Chevron B48 at 27.38.
Pre-1930 Sports and Racing Cars: David Leigh, GN Spider, 40.52 secs
1930-1939 Sports and Racing Cars: Mike Mohr, Lagonda Rapier, 42.82
Bert Hadley Memorial (road cars): Charles Plain-Jones, Austin Seven Special, 50.10
Bert Hadley Memorial (track cars): Terry Griffin, Austin Seven Race Special, 43.20
1946-1960 Sports Cars: Pat Cooper, Austin-Healey 100/6, 36.06
1946-1960 Sports Racing Cars: Simon Taylor, HWM Chevrolet Stovebolt Special, 34.43
1960-1980 Sports Cars: Mike Meredith, Morgan Plus 8, 33.13
1960-1980 Sports Racing Cars: Nigel Elliott, Triumph TR7-V8, 32.12
1960-1980 Racing Cars: Martin Jones, Chevron B48, 27.38
Morgan three-wheelers: Bill Tuer, 36.55 (Fastest Pre-War Time of the Day)