Kempton Steam Museum made an imposing backdrop for its annual Classic Show on Sunday (29 September).
The wonderfully varied turnout of cars and ’bikes featured various Triumphs – including Heralds, Vitesses and Stags – as well as an assortment of Jaguars, two of which were 420Gs.
"I’d been looking for one of these or a MkX for ages but couldn’t find any decent examples for the amount I wanted to pay,” explained Greg Bricher. “In the end my wife found this ’67 car in Auckland via the internet. It was sold new to New Zealand and the guy I bought it from had known of it since ’71. The paint isn’t the best – it’s getting a respray next year – but it’s absolutely solid underneath.”
The lovely, two-tone ’69 model of John and Lindy Stevenson (below) had one owner until ’88 when it was donated to The Patrick Collection. It was sold via auction in 2005 and then recommissioned.
Mark Wrigley brought the superb Togo brown ’64 Porsche 356SC – one of only 700 right-hookers built – that he bought in 1982.
“Two weeks after I got it,” he recalled, “I drove it down to Le Mans. A few years later, though, the rust bubbles had taken hold and I put it away until six years ago. The bare-metal bodywork and repaint were done by Bruce Cooper at Sportwagen and I talked Barry Curtis out of retirement to rebuild the engine and gearbox.”
He firmly believes in using the car, and has done 14,000 over the past three years since the rebuild was completed.
Alongside was the gorgeous ’52 Jaguar XK120 fixed-head of John and Linda McLean, which they bought at Techno Classica Essen six years ago. “Most weekends during the summer we’re out and about – rain or shine!” enthused Linda. “We’re members of Hants & Berks Motor Club and next week we’re on a run to the Submarine Museum in Gosport.”
Nearby was the charming ’57 Austin A35 of their long-time chums Dave and Rose Harris.
“We met John and Linda at the Swallowfield show about 11 years ago and have been friends ever since,” said Rose. “The Austin reminds us of two that we had in the ’60s when we came back from Australia.”
“We once went away to Woolacombe on holiday,” Dave added, “with four adults, two kids and all of our luggage – a lot of which was on top of the car!”
A nice pair of pre-war American sedans featured, with a Hupmobile alongside an Oldsmobile, while the oldest car at the event was a delightful 1924 Trojan, powered by a four-cylinder two-stroke engine.
Alan Cooper’s lovely four-owner Riley Elf was celebrating its 50th birthday. It was dispatched new to Jordan’s Garage in Godalming and sold to a Mrs Cecil who kept it until she was 82 and swapped the car for a Mini automatic. Cooper bought it 10 years ago.
Citroëns were out en masse, with several cars from the Traction Owners’ Club, plus the dazzling Orange Ténéré Citroën GS 1220 Club estate of Darrin and Kristina Brownhill, Harry Emblen’s immaculate CX GTI Turbo and Paul Gibbinson’s wacky CX Kitesurf (named after its usual load), based on a 25DTR Turbo 2.
Organiser and C&SC contributor Gaynor Cauter was delighted with the turnout, which included three Our classics regulars: magazine editor Alastair Clements, who brought the family in his MG Magnette, chief sub-editor David Evans’ BMW 2002tii and Cauter’s much-travelled E-type ‘Boo’.
The star attraction, of course, was Kempton’s magnificent triple-expansion pumping engine, which was running on the day. The next steaming is on 16-17 November; click here to see more about the museum.