Crowds swarm into record Cheshire show

| 6 Jun 2013

Almost 3200 vehicles converged on Tatton Park near Knutsford for the Classic & Performance Car Spectacular on 1-2 June. “About 1000 cars came both days,” said organiser Stuart Holmes of Cheshire Auto Promotions, “plus another 1000 or so on Saturday and Sunday – in effect, making it a different show each day.”

The attendance of more than 35,500 people beat Tatton Park’s record RHS Flower Show, which is usually the venue’s flagship event.

CAP is also encouraging youngsters with the introduction of a new prize – the Future Generation Trophy – won by Matthew Bernie, who has been restoring a Hillman Imp.

“The fantastic turnout made it very difficult to judge all of the awards,” Holmes added, “particularly the club stands, with 92 represented including four that shared space.”

In the end, a wonderful Ford Sidevalve Owners’ Club group (top photo) – comprising cars, estates, vans and specials – narrowly missed out for Best Club Stand to the TR Register’s amazingly varied selection. Grinnall registrar Phil Horsley brought the fearsome, 4.5-litre convertible (above) nicknamed ‘The Beast’ that was Mark Grinnall’s demonstrator.

Alongside was an outstanding TR7/8 Special Feature that included the convertible (front right) that Luc Mahieu drove over from Flanders, Belgium, for the second year running.

Fittingly, given the firm’s centenary, an Aston Martin landed Sunday’s Car of Show award: Ralph Ernill’s immaculate 1964 DB5 (on left), with the ’68 DB6 of fellow Cheshire Classic Car Club member Ian Poyser. The top prize the day before went to Arnold Beverington’s 1927 Rolls-Royce 25/30.

As always at Tatton, there were numerous diverse selections from non-make-specific car clubs, such as Tameside Car Collectors, Manchester Historic Vehicle Club (above), Tame Valley Vintage & Classic Car Club (below) and last year’s Best Stand Winner, the Rochdale Vintage and Collectors’ Car Club with its 1950-1980 Tatton Time Walk.

Each of its vehicles was presented with a detailed info board, such as a ’63 Standard Vanguard Vignale estate alongside a ’55 Austin A55 Cambridge.

Allegro Club International celebrated the 40th birthday of its favourite Austin with a message for a well-known TV presenter. Its early-to-late selection included a 1750HL (on right) and a limited-edition ’79 Equipe.

There were lots of fascinating juxtapositions among the 300 private entries. How about a mint Mk1 Golf GTI (Sunday’s Best ’80s Saloon) alongside a Chevrolet Corvette convertible, a beautiful 1924 Bullnose Morris next to a 1960 Auto Union 1000S, or an Alfa Romeo Giulia Junior Z with an Austin A35?

Lots of people had come a fair distance, too. Andrew Martindale brought his lovely two-tone ’53 Sunbeam-Talbot 90 MkII over the Woodhead Pass from York. His everyday car is also a classic, a Morris 1000 Traveller. “My wife has a modern, and so does my daughter,” he said, “so I’ve gone back to what I like. I use the Morris every day and will be going to the centenary meeting at Cornbury on 15-16 June.”

Kevin and Pamela Fee drove down from Blaydon, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in their stunning ’53 Bristol 401 – last year’s Car of Show, in fact.

Nearby were another couple of Tatton regulars: the 1975 Renault 12TL of Peter Bell from Northwich and Ted Edwards from Ollerton with the ’68 Wolseley Hornet MkIII that he was involved with selling new from Coxshoots.

“The Renault was bought from KBT Motors in Middlewich by a Mrs Hollinshead of Lach Dennis on 23rd April,” said Bell. “On 27th March 1985, she sold it to my uncle when it had done all of 5850 miles.” He has every receipt for the work that’s been done on the car, with it all carefully recorded in a notebook as well. The now-rare saloon, which was his daily driver for 10 years, featured in the second series of Life on Mars.

Don Williamson’s delightful two-tone 1930 Lancia Artena Berlina (above) is the only working Artena on the road in the UK. “Basically,” he explained, “a lot of it is identical to the Astura, it’s just that it is 12in shorter because it has an overhead-cam V4 instead of a V8.”

And there were about 70 classics for sale if you fancied a change, such as a pristine Mini ice-cream van, a barnfind Jaguar saloon that drew the crowds all weekend – and even a Bohanna Stables Nymph (below the Jag) on The Imp Club stand.

Wonderful Bean pick-up won Best Rare Vehicle on Sunday

 Beautiful Lamborghini Espada was the star attraction with the Gay Classic Car Group

Immaculate Ford Escort RS2000 in the private entries area

Jensen Owners’ Club Interceptor line-up also included Adrian Howells’ gorgeous 1972 Aston Martin DBS V8 at the back


Panther Rio (on Dolomite Club stand) is believed to be the sole-surviving 1854cc-engined example


Superb Sunbeam Alpine was displayed with Dr No poster


 Wild EMPI rep Beetle took pride of place on the New Lancs VW Club stand

Find out more about Cheshire Auto Promotions’ other shows here.