With everything from a Trident Clipper to a Chevrolet Corvair, NSU Prinz and a pukka Jaguar C-type this year’s Classics on the Green gathering impressed for its sheer diversity and rarity.
Fine summer weather boosted attendance at the annual Watford & District Classic Vehicle Club organised event on Hertfordshire’s Croxley Green on 3 August, which took place just a week after a similarly strong turnout at nearby Harpenden which hosted Classics on the Common.
The quality and volume (the green was full a couple of hours after the 4pm kick off) at the Croxley event was again proof of the enthusiasm for classic fans to show off their metal without the fuss of a concours or marque-specific gathering.
As ever, the simple ‘turn up and park’ (after a donation to various charities) guaranteed amazing juxtapositions: with standouts including Aubrey Finburgh’s original C-type parked alongside an early 1960s Cadillac limo (below) and a VW Golf GTI next to a World War 2 Willys Jeep.
The highly patinated condition of the Jag racer had several admirers Googling the car’s PUR 120 reg number to verify it’s authenticity, although the more eagle eyed spotted its all-round drum brakes – a feature unique to early examples and which replicators seldom bother emulating.
Also getting attention thanks to its patina was Adrian Arnold’s barnfind Ford Cortina Mk1, which he bought from its first owner –a Ford of Dagenham employee - in 2009. “The owner Harry Bird had a heart attack in 1976 and stopped driving. The OOO reg number was issued to Ford employees,” said Arnold who re-commissioned it and has since taken Bird for a drive.
“He was amazed that the engine ran so well as he’d bought it for a tenner from colleague during a tea break at the factory,” added Arnold who also brought his immaculate 1966 Lotus Cortina Mk1, fresh out of a five year restoration (below).
Much rarer was Steve Riley’s 1969 Trident Clipper – a V8-engined,glassfibre take on an Austin Healey chassis.
“Some 90 Tridents were made but only 39 were Clippers with the 289ci V8 engine – the rest had the Essex V6 – and this is one of two on the road in the country,” explained Riley who’s owned his car for ten years and recently did a 15.5 second ¼ mile at Santa Pod. “That was before the diff expired.”
There was plenty of impressive American fare too, with Cadillacs, Buicks, a 1958 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 (above) and Paul Alford’s fabulously Americana festooned 1960 Plymouth Belvedere. “ I bought it from an importer and spent the last three years restoring it while buying American novelties on ebay,” said Alford (below).
But top crowd puller in the yank line-up was Richard Bremner’s sublime 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Corsa (below) which he imported from Montana a three years ago but has since had re-sprayed in its factory original Sierra Tan. "The previous owner sold it as she struggled with the gearbox which has a tendency to engage reverse instead of first if you're not careful. It's a known Corvair characteristic but I think she was tired of suddenly going backwards at random," explained Bremner.
Also proud of his classic was Bristol owner John Blair (below) who’s had his 401 for 50 years during which time he’s clocked up more than a quarter of a million miles in it.
And there were plenty modern classics to keep 1980s and 1990s car fans sated, from a Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera and Audi Quatttro to a couple of Lancia Integrales, including Richard Johnson’s Monza Red 1990 example (below).
The Chesham-based Lancia enthuiast has owned it from new: “It was the original launch car and I’ve done 106,000kms in it without any problems.”
Photos of other highlights at Classics on the Green follow below. Double click on the lead image above to launch a slide show of all the images.
BMW Isettas caused amusement with the owners allowing people to try them for size.
Austins separated by six decades.
Great turnout by the Daimler SP250 Owners' Club.
Wimbledon White Ford Mustang and love ly Magnette ZB Varitone.
Unrestored Land Rover tow truck.
Gorgeous Swallow Doretti and MGC.
Great period-coloured Cadillac added to a quality turnout of Detroit iron.
Rare Uren-tuned Ford Savage Estate.
Superb Jensen Interceptor Mk1.
Alfa 6 owner claims his is the last registered with the DVLA.
Adrian Arnold's heavilty patinated Ford Cortina - left in a lockup for 32 years!
Triumph Gloria was a highlight at Harpenden's Classics on the Common.
Ford standouts included this Crayford Corsair convertible and an Escort Mexico.
Fantastic 'working' classic.
NSU Prinz was one of the show's rarer highlights.
More of the impressive juxtaposition: 1950s Austin Somerset and 1990s Lancia Integrale.
Line-up on the Green included plenty of obligatory E-types.
Customised VW Beetles.
The Mods (or what's left of them) were in town.
1966 Ford Mustang looked good.
Skoda racer was so noisy the owner left wearing ear defenders.
Audi Quattro sated 1980s fans interests.
As did E28 BMW M5.