Clubs star at Bristol Classic Car Show


The 33rd Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show attracted a number of superb club displays over the weekend of 21-22 April. The event featured a total of 65 owners' clubs, plus an eclectic selection of classics in the Royal Bath & West Showground's huge outdoor spaces, especially on the Sunday, when many enthusiasts enjoyed the show as a Drive It Day destination.

The MG Car Club South West Centre had an impressive backdrop of a period-style pitlane for its line-up, which was headed by Jim Lott's immaculate 1989 Metro Turbo. Alongside it were a '69 MGA Mk1 1600, '69 MGC Roadster and '72 MGB GT.

The Landcrab Owners' Club International always puts on a good show, and this year it went for a beach theme. The four cars on the stand were headed by club chairman Clive Serrell's Austin 1800 Mk1, which deservedly won a rosette for 'Best Engine Bay' over the weekend.

An intriguing Speed 20 Charlesworth saloon took pride of place on the Alvis Owner Club stand. Owned by Hugh Bradnum, whose TA21 drophead-coupe was also on display, it featured a number of individual touches specified by the original owner, a Mr AWF Smith. Among the changes from standard were 'cutaway' running boards and front windows that had been modified so that there was room within the door for a leather-trimmed armrest.

The car was entered in the 1933 RAC Rally, finishing 24th out of 94 entrants. The following year, it came 18th on the same event.

There was only one car on the Austin Princess Sheerline Club's stand, but it was Colin Cummings' beautiful 1953 Sheerline. Before Cummings' ownership, the big Austin hadn't moved for 30 years, but it has now been fully restored, although Cummings reports that he's still got plenty of smaller jobs to carry out.

He'd travelled down to the Bristol Classic Car Show from Nottingham, a journey of 200 miles each way.

Other rarities included the Reliant Sabra on the Sabre and Scimitar Owners Club. Produced as a result of Reliant's links with Israeli firm Autocar, the Sabra combined a body by Ashley with a Ballamy chassis and a Ford engine.

Most were built for export but there was a UK version, known as the Sabre. Only 44 four-cylinder cars left the factory, plus 77 six-cylinder variants.

Not to be outdone, the Early MG Society mustered seven cars, including a 1928 14/40 MkIV Sports that is claimed to be the only example in the UK with its correct bodywork.

The Land-Rover Series 1 80 on the right was finished on 20 December 1950, which was the same day that its present owner was born...

Mick Sheppard's immaculate Ford Cortina Mk1 GT was part of an impressive line-up of Ford's once-ubiquitous saloon...



First time I've been to the Bath and West showground. Well worth while, it was a really good show, a great mix of cars and traders / autojumblers. The location is a bit of a surprise when you put it in the SatNav, it's on the dark side of Shepton Mallet so a long way from the city. I guess the "Bristol" reference is because 20ish years ago it was in the centre of the city rather than because of a desire to emulate the geographical descriptions of low cost European airlines.

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