Commercials take centre stage at Bromley Pageant of Motoring

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A magnificent assortment of lorries and vans from the Historic Commercial Vehicles Society was among the special displays at Bromley Pageant of Motoring last Sunday. Pride of place went to a stunning 1950 AEC Regent 3/Merryweather fire engine in immaculate Borough of Douglas livery.

The display also featured a 1974 Ford D Series with an Atlas Copco air unit on the back used for starting jet engines, plus superbly restored Morris Commercials and Minor Lights Goods Vehicles – a couple in Post Office Telephones colours. The HCVS, the first club of its type, was set up in 1958.

Various motoring anniversaries were celebrated elsewhere around the Norman Park venue. It’s a half-century since Honda starting selling its cars in the UK, which the Owners’ Club and S800 Clubs jointly celebrated with a group featuring an N600, plus S800 Roadster and Coupé, first- and second-generation Civics and early Accord hatchbacks.

Ford clubs were out in force – it wouldn’t be Bromley without them – and the Kent branch of the RS Owners’ Club marked 30 years since the Sierra RS500 was homologated for racing with a line-up featuring Sierras and Sapphires.

But the modern RSs were upstaged by a super-rare ex-police car on the Ford Cortina MkII Owners’ Club stand. Jim Payton’s fascinating 1970 Twin Cam four-door – one of two built for Mid-Anglia Constabulary – was on its post-restoration debut after an 11-year rebuild. “A bloke brought it to the National event in 2006 and didn’t have the heart to scrap it, so I gave him 100 quid,” he recalled. “About 90% of the work was done in the garage, including most of the spraying which was done by a former prototype painter for Ford.”

Ken Chapman brought his glorious 1938 Hudson Eight, which had also been exactingly refurbished: “It’s had a bare-metal respray in a period colour, Pearl Grey, which the painter went to the US to buy. The mechanicals are easy enough to sort because the engines were also used by Railton and Brought, but it took me ages to track down the correct corduroy upholstery material.” 

Nearby the stunning bodywork of Alan Wise’s fearsome 800bhp 1972 Chevrolet Camaro SS dragster gleamed in the fierce sunshine. He’d driven it round the M25 from Redhill. “I always leave early, though,” he said, “so that I don’t end up in traffic. It’s having a season off this year, but has done 9.4 seconds for the quarter-mile at 145mph.”

An excellent Transatlantic turnout also included this sharp-looking mid-’60s American Motors Ambassador, styled by the legendary Richard Teague.

There were lots of rarities to be found along the many rows of one-make parking – a Bromley staple – including the lovely 1966 Peugeot 404 cabriolet that Peter Simmons bought 10 years ago. It’s been resprayed since then and had the Kugelfischer mechanical injection pump rebuilt.

And when was the last time you either of these Fiats? The 125 Special and 124 estate were both in great condition, the latter after a recent restoration.

A small but colourful Alfa Romeo line-up featured a late-model GTV, a gorgeous blue Montreal and a yellow Giulia 

Later in the day they were joined by a Giulietta SS, a 1750GTV and a Ferrari Mondial.

An impressive Crown and Cedric Club group included several early-’70s Coupés.

SD1s dominated on the Croydon Rover Owners’ Club Stand, or CROCS!

John Devile’s distinctive Iso Fidia is one of three bought new by John Lennon, and featured in the November 2013 C&SC article on cars owned by the Fab Four, which he had very kindly displayed on the dashboard.

A funky pair of Capris drew lots of attention, bringing back happy memories in the process – the 3.0S on the right featured in the hit TV series The Professionals.

Another nice pair: the H-reg Daimler V8-250 on the right must have been one of the last sold.

And this is the one that our roving reporter wanted to take home: a lovely Daimler Double-Six Series 3, on Kent alloys (of course). Perfect!

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