First-timers win top prize at Tatton Park


It was bunting a-go-go as the Rochdale Vintage and Collectors’ Car Club romped away with the Best Club Stand at the Classic & Performance Car Spectacular in Tatton Park, Cheshire from 2-4 June.

The club made its show debut with Jubilee Motors, to tie in with the Queen’s celebration. Each car sported its original new price on the ’screen in the white marker beloved of second-hand car dealers. The corral of cars ranged from a 1928 Willys-Overland Whippet – which would have been built not far from the club’s base by Crossley in Heaton Chapel, Manchester – to Jonathan Leach’s daily-driver ’81 Ford Sierra 1.6L three-door. 

Several other clubs went for the Jubilee theme, including the Gay Classic Car Group – also first-timers at Tatton – which linked the year of manufacture of each of its cars to a significant event for the Royal family. A superb ’64 Vanden Plas Princess, for instance, was built in the year that Prince Edward was born. The diverse display also featured a Peugeot 304 cabriolet, a Vauxhall PB Cresta and an ’81 Dodge Glendale camper.

Potteries Capri Club took the mickey out of the car’s image, displaying three of its cars with giant pairs of furry dice plus a wooden model of a kiln as a symbol of their base. Graham Rowley’s blue-metallic example began life as a Laser: “But it now sports a 2.8i interior, suspension and brakes, plus a high-lift cam and twin 40s on the engine.” Alongside was Ken Chesters’ stunning RS3100 running triple Weber carbs.

There must be something about people in the north-west that makes them stick to cars – none more so than Arthur Speakman, who built his Falcon Caribbean new in 1963 and intends to keep it original. “I wanted a sports car,” he recalled, “but my options were limited after I’d done two years’ National Service on 27s and 6d a week. I finished the car just before we went on holiday to St Ives – 375 miles away. That’s confidence for you!”

Christopher Marsh bought his lovely, all-original Beaujolais Red Reliant Scimitar SE5a new in 1975: “It was going to be used everyday, but we soon realised that it was too good for that and bought an old banger to go to work in and kept this for holidays.” The GTE went to Cornwall for 27 years running yet it has still done less than 52,000 miles – “and it’s never failed an MoT”.

There was plenty of older machinery, too, such as Steve Elnor’s beautiful 1937 Riley Lynx 12/4 with Sprite-spec engine – on its first trip out after an eight-year rebuild. “It was last on the road in 1960,” he explained, “and went to the States at one point – hence the whitewall tyres, which I don’t mind – but never got restored. A friend of mine did about 80% of the work and I’ve finished it off over the past two years.”

Pick of the Transatlantic motors was the fabulous ’41 Buick Sedan that Kevin Swift acquired six months ago. It packs a single-carburettor version of the firm’s famous valve-in-head Fireball Dynaflash straight-eight.

And a few more of the highlights... A fantastic turnout from the MkII Consul-Zephyr-Zodiac Owners’ Club...

...a great line-up – spanning most eras – from the Standard Motor Club...

...two-tone Lagonda 2.6 saloon looked spot-on with Nigel Harper’s Bristol 400 in the individual cars area, where there’s always lots of interesting stuff at Tatton...

And when was the last time you saw a Renault 17TL – let alone a pair? Both L-reg, the one on the right is an automatic. Alongside is Chris Boffey’s immaculate ’71 Saab 95, which was at the show all three days.

For more info on Cheshire Auto-Promotions’ next event, go to

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