Thousands swarm into north London boot fair

| 5 Oct 2016

More than 30,000 people flocked to King’s Cross in north London for the Classic Car Boot Sale last weekend. Organiser Wayne Hemingway was chuffed with the turnout, as the leading fashion designer explained: “It’s a bit different from other car shows in that it’s aimed at a younger audience because the intention is to get the next generation interested in old cars.”

Andrew McAdam from the Association of Rootes Car Clubs was delighted to learn that Hemingway’s first car was a Singer Gazelle. In fact, ARCC Gordon Jarvis had brought his younger version of the same model, a ’68 Arrow Gazelle: “It’s a military version that I bought from the son-in-law of the first owner two years ago.” Macadam confirmed that the ARCC would definitely be coming back to the Boot Sale. He was also pleased to report that it had raised £60,000 towards its new permanent facility and was close to putting down a deposit.

Lots of Rootes cars featured around the Boot Sale, including this wonderful late-’50s Humber Super Snipe which even had a working in-car record player!

Hemingway (on right, below) was also smitten with this charming pre-war Hillman Minx tourer.

C&SC’s Car of Show went to the fabulous 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak that Gary Oakley (in centre) bought more than 10 years ago. (Photo by Will Slater Photography)

“I drew the front end of one a long time ago when I was a graphic designer and always dreamed of owning one,” Oakley recalled. “It was a one-family-owned car that I imported from Minnesota. The dad was presented with the car and only did about 3000 miles before it was stored in a barn. The son inherited the Pontiac but didn’t get on with it and decided he wanted a muscle car so it went back in the barn until they decided to sell it. Only 150 were made in this colour: no one wanted a dark-green flake because pastel colours were all the rage at the time. All I’ve done is to convert it from 6 to 12V, and I use it pretty much every day.”

Classic Car Boot regular Hilaire O’Shea “fried the electrics” when he fitted a new starter on his BMW 2002 Touring, but had asked mate Damon Hatcher if he would like to bring his tii along. Vendors without classics often team up with classic owners for the event.

All sorts of classics featured around Lewis Cubitt Square and the indoor area, such as this rare Citroën DS Confort, which featured in C&SC in May 2005.

There’s a Rolls-Royce under there, honest! Silver Shadow made a magnificent display table.

Last year’s Car of Show winner at King’s Cross: Owen Thompson’s lovely Mercedes 220SE.

Bizarre assortment of antiques and curios by this VW T25 camper; the Nuttall’s Mintoes dispenser looks like something made by the evil kid next door in Toy Story.

Immaculate 1950 ‘oval-window’ Volkswagen Beetle drew lots of attention.

This Datsun 260Z auto nearby was in equally immaculate condition.

The evocative Vintage Mobile Cinema was giving free five-minute film shows every 20 mins; the glorious late-’30s G-Type 25hp saloon alongisde came from Vauxhall’s Heritage fleet in Luton – one of three such cars that the firm ran on its chauffeur fleet until well after WW2.

And if you were in the market for a new classic, there were plenty to choose from, such as this tempting 1964 Sunbeam Alpine Series IV at £8500.

Cute Fiat 500 was also looking for a new home.

And if you were after something bigger, how about this mid-’60s Cadillac?

Click here to find out more about the Classic Car Boot Sale