Packed Classics on the Common disrupts Harpenden


An amazing range of machines from an aero-engined Peugeot motorcycle to a posse of Ferraris turned out for Classics on the Common in Harpenden on 22 July. By early afternoon, the two greens were jam-packed with a fantastic selection of vehicles, with a stunning set of Isos including two Grifos lining up with vintage tractors and hot rods. 

Star attractions included a fabulous Maserati 5000GT brought up by local Trident specialist Andy Haywood, who restored this Allemano-bodied stunner.  

A strong turnout of Americana included Julian Balme’s much-photographed ’54 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Carrera Panamericana replica, which he drove up from south London through the rush hour.

Kent Thirly is spoilt for choice with an early Jaguar E-type and GT350 Mustang in his garage, but choose his cool Hertz rental for the drive over from Sawbridgeworth. “It’s a really tough choice but we’ve just changed the Mustang from auto to manual which has transformed it. I’ve always loved the rental story and bought this from a friend three years ago. Mustang Maniac does a great job looking after it, “ said Thirly.

Fresh back from a European tour including a run around the Italian Dolomites, Barry Davis’ sorted MGA Twin-Cam was still carrying the rally plates: “We found it 24 years ago in a sad state and I restored it myself. I’ve owned more exotic cars, but this is my favourite. I’ve just put the original engine back and it ran great on the Tour even on the really hot days.”

Other much-admired long-term classics included anaesthetist Mark Wrigley’s cool 1964 Porsche 356C: “I bought it in 1982 for £2,500 and it’s the only Porsche I’ve owned. Two weeks after buying it, I went to Le Mans with my girlfriend to witness the Porsche 1-2-3.  By 1987, the body had started to rust badly so I put it away and started saving for the restoration. Sportwagen did the bare-metal rebuild in 2010, and I’ve done 24,500 miles in the past five years. We’ve had some great drives across Europe including Portugal this year.”

Highlight of a strong pre-war Ford turnout was Norman Bloor’s nicely patinated ’36 Ford Coupe: “I’ve always loved the shape and had been looking for years. This came up for auction in Texas and I bought it with only a single photo for reference. It’s only required a new water pump and drives great, but the plan is to keep it as original as possible.” 

Cutest car at Harpenden was Paul Sutton’s two-tone Austin 7 Ulster:  “I restored it with my dad in the ‘80s – he even did the trim,  and every time I take it out it’s guaranteed to make me smile.”




Excellent showing.....why doesn't the Northern part of East Anglia (Norfolk) fail to hold any similar events? Plenty of suitable vehicles here - and plenty of space - but seems no incentive by anyone to organise........maybe the local backward looking councils would try to veto an event anyway.

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