A remarkable turnout of 55 cars from the Stag Owners Club stunned the crowds at Bromley Pageant of Motoring last Sunday. “This is the most that we’ve ever had at the event,” said a delighted Ian Saich who organised the display for the South-East London area of the SOC. “There are people from all over the country and probably only two or three of the cars have Rover engines.” Pride of place went to Chris Bodill’s BRG car, which features a supercharged V8 fitted by Enginuity, alongside a perfect Pimento example that has been restored using as many NOS parts as possible. As Saich put it: “In effect, it’s a new Stag.”
Older cars seemed to be thinner on the ground than in recent years at the huge Norman Park festival, but then, as several Bromley regulars pointed out, it’s not called a classic car show but a pageant. Plus, the Mitsubishis, Subarus and modern M Power BMWs bring in a younger crowd. They also proved popular with visitors, because the organiser reported an increase in attendance to 18,107 people – up more than 1750 on last year. Maybe it was the draw of special guests Ronnie and Amy Shirley of Lizard Lick Towing, but the real star was Fuzz Townshend of Car SOS, who gave an enthusiastic commentary for all of the arena parades.
A fascinating corral co-ordinated by the Renault Alpine Owners’ Club spanned early-’60s models to Avantimes and a current Captur. Seven cars convoyed over from northern France just for the show, including the sublime A110 1300 of Christine Vanhaesebrouck and a delightful A108 Coupé 2+2 – one of just 96 built in 1961-’62 – that had been rebuilt from the ground up.
The group also featured the even rarer ’73 15TS that Wayne Johnson purchased five years ago. “It’s one of four according to the DVLA,” he said, “and I’ve only ever seen one other at a show. I bought it from the chairman of the Renault Classic Car Club, so I knew its history.” Next to it was the gorgeous De Tomaso Pantera of Renault specialist Derek Flavell.
No one could match the fine display of precision parking from the Sunbeam Alpine Owners’ Club, though. “I pushed them into place earlier on,” explained Gerry Tilney, whose immaculate beige ’66 Series V was second in line. “I’m only the polisher of it, really. My uncle owned the car since the ’70s and spent £10,000 having it restored in ’86, which was a lot then, but it still looks just as good now.” Andrew Lake’s lovely Mediterranean Blue SIV on whitewalls, at the head of the line, was inspired by the Series II driven by Sean Connery in Dr No.
As always at Bromley, there was lots of fascinating machinery to be found around the one make parking area. This is the one that Evans would like to have taken home. Ian Brookes, who lives just down the road from the venue, bought this fabulous Sahara (beige) BMW 2500 auto four years ago. It’s been resprayed, but the solid structure only needed one new wing when it was done. As Brookes put it: “I have similar tastes to Martin Buckley, including a Fiat 130 Coupé that I think he owned, a Ferrari 412 and, last year, I bought a Lancia Beta 1600.”
A wonderfully varied line-up of Austins ranged from pre-war Sevens to Allegros and Metros, with all sorts in between including these two – a charming 10/4 saloon and a mint 3-litre.
Ken Chapman went to look at a ’66 Cadillac project and came back with this 1950 Sheerline State Landaulette instead. “The Cadillac was too far gone, but I liked the look of the Austin behind it and bought that instead,” he explained. “They only made 16, one of which went to the Governor General of Canada and is still over there. It wasn’t red and cream before but it is one of the original options. The previous owner is going to send me a photo that he has of Princess Margaret riding in this one, although it wasn’t on the Royal fleet.”
Fords were out in force, probably with more cars than any other make, including a fine line-up of early to late-model Capris that included this 3000GXL and 280 Brooklands.
This isn’t just any old Granada Ghia Coupé, either. It featured in Blur’s 1994 Parklife video, but was then left in a barn for about 10 years and restored 18 months ago.
It wasn’t all cars, though: these superbly restored Mk2 Ford Transit pick-ups drew lots of attention. The Thames alongside was in great nick, too.
This massive 1965 Berliet GBC 8KT towered over the GCCG stand; it’s powered by a five-cylinder, 125bhp 7.9-litre multi-fuel engine – so it runs on pretty-much anything!
Here are some of our other favourites from around Norman Park:
Outstanding Mk1 and Mk2 Volkswagen Golf GTIs in the one make parking
Early Toyota Celica Liftback and a seventh-series Celica
Small selection of Saabs was fronted by this immaculate two-stroke 96
We reckon those are Avon safety wheels, as fitted to Bristols, on the Rover 2000
The sole Lea-Francis at the show, a lovely 14hp saloon
Club Scuderia selection included 308GT4 and stunning Berlinetta Boxer
Jensen Owners’ Club brought both types of Interceptor
A classy, understated trio from the Wolseley Register
And here’s a rare thing to finish off: this exactingly restored Talbot 1100 van is one of only two known to survive