Thatcham Classic draws superb range of cars to West Berkshire

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Around 150 cars made their way to West Berkshire for the eighth annual Thatcham Classic on Saturday 12 October.

Despite a terrible forecast, which kept numbers down slightly from previous years, the rain held off and the autumn sun shone for much of the day at the C&SC-backed event organised by the magazine's art editor Martin Port.

As usual, the variety of classics on the field was key to the show’s unique appeal and saw eclectic pairings such as BMW 3-series E30 line up alongside 1968 Morris Mini-Moke.

At one point there were three pre-war Rolls-Royces present, including a stunning 1937 25/30 Sports Saloon with coachwork by Barker, complete with fully-fitted tool tray beneath the passenger seat.

The contest for Classic & Sports Car’s Best in Show award was narrowed down to several contenders including a 1965 Cortina GT and a lovely Austin Champ but the judges unanimously voted for Tony Wicks’ stunning 1962 Corvette C1. Owned by Wicks for eight years, the car had been treated to a body-off restoration before he detailed the car himself with the emphasis on restoration of original parts rather than replacement. He bought the Corvette following a visit to the NEC 12 years ago where he saw one and decided to begin his search which resulted in buying 876 UXF.

A late addition to the field also proved to be a crowd-puller as Mervyn Sanders arrived on his 1949 Ferguson TEA20 tractor running a Standard Triumph Engine. Sanders bought the car after being left some money by his Aunt and wanted to get something that he would remember her by rather than use the money for something more disposable. Originally believed to be a diesel, it is now converted to run on TVO (Tractor Vaporising Oil) and used for various tasks including grass cutting!

A raffle of motoring-related items kindly donated by individuals and organisations such as Moss Europe and illustrator Guy Allen raised £360 on the day which resulted in a total contribution of £450 including Gift Aid to Macmillan Cancer Support. Donations are still welcome at www.justgiving.com/thatchamclassic2012 should you wish to contribute.

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