TVRs take centre stage at Tatton Park spectacular

| 13 Jun 2017

An outstanding group of 25 of Blackpool’s finest – spanning 1800S to Sagaris – helped the TVR Car Club to land the Best Club Stand award on the Saturday of the Classic and Performance Car Spectacular in Tatton Park on 3-4 June. Organiser Stuart Holmes said that it was a fitting tribute for the marque’s 70th birthday “and the best display of TVRs that we’ve had in the show’s 31 years”. Pride of place went to Steve Ducker’s awesome 420 SEAC, one of three ex-works racers fitted with experimental stainless-steel chassis. “The problem was that the torque caused stress fractures so this one has a mild-steel front end,” he explained, “but it retains the stainless back half plus the front uprights and rear semi-trailing arms. I got it about a year ago and all I’ve basically done is to put it back to the livery when it was raced by Steve Cole for David Gerald. I just want to preserve it as part of TVR’s history.”

Steve Sullivan’s almost-unfeasibly immaculate Ferrari Testarossa drew crowds all day. “I restore cars for a living and rebuilt it from the ground up,” he said. “It was the one that nobody in the trade would touch. It’s 1987 so it’s from the last year of knock-on alloys. It’s been like this for eight years. We love ’50s music and have a couple of American cars from that era.”

Nearby was the superb Volkswagen Golf GTI that David and Judith Massey bought new in ’83. “It was a personal export but we made sure that it was a UK-spec car so that we could sell it when we came back here,” David recalled. But, as Judith pointed out: “We never did. It was our everyday car when we got it and was in regular use until 2004 when we bought a Mk5 GTI.” Alongside was John Brady’s gleaming Alpine-Renault A310.

An amazing selection elsewhere in the private entries area included this fabulous pair. Coal merchant Alf ‘Buick’ Murphy bought his Buick Super Riviera in ’99. It has a 263cu in (4-litre) straight-eight and the wider body that came in for ’51. Alongside was Gary Trinder’s recently acquired 1930 Austin 12/4 Martin Walter coupé: “It’s only been back on the road since this spring, but I quite often drive it around Bolton instead of my modern car if it‘s a nice day.”

Renault Owners’ Club stalwart Alasdair Worsley had looked after a ‘coal scuttle’ NN for 19 years and had purchased his own, a 1927 model, about a year ago. “It was a shocking shade of bright orange,” he recalled, “so the first job was to take off the body – it only takes about a day with one of these – and repaint it. I made the seats and my mum trimmed them.” He added, just as it started to rain: “The next job, definitely, is to make a hood for it.”

Best German Car went to the dazzling ’76 Inka BMW 2002tii that Chris Smith bought more than 20 years ago. But, as he pointed out: “It had been sitting in my garage for about 15 years until someone told Paul [Wilson] about it. He took the engine apart and got it running then went through all the mechanicals.” He came in convoy to the show with Wilson’s gleaming Granadarot ’02 and Anders Bilidt whose lovely Derbygrau ’66 1600 was the oldest ’02 on last year’s 50th-anniversary Bavaria Tour (click here to see the full report).

Runner-up for Best German Car was Robin Longdon’s gorgeous Oxford Blue Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring, which won Best Grand Tourer at Gawsworth Hall on 1 May.

An outstanding display from the TR Register’s Red Rose Group included Peter Marsland’s immaculate TR2, winner of Car of the Day on Saturday.

Peter Pearson’s wonderfully original 1976 Lancia Fulvia Coupé 1.3 has doen just 29,192 miles and had never been restored. “It was Ziebarted new and went back for subsequent treatments,” he said.

This colourful 3 Graces Northwest Club line-up includes a General Motors interloper – the yellow-and-black ’56 Chevrolet Bel Air – that looks spot-on with the Fords.

An excellent turnout of Transatlatic motors also included this superb two-tone 1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix.

A fascinating selection of vintage machinery included a 1914 Model T Ford next to a 1927 Citroën Tourer.

The Wolseley Owners’ Club held its Wocfest national event with highlights including an ex-police 1946 18/85 Series III and one of only two Mudlarks left from the 15 built in ’48 as prototypes for what became the Austin Champ.

Here’s another rarity: a 1934 (’35 model) Morris 10/6 that was bought as a dismantled project by the current owners in 1988 and restored to its current condition in just 13 months. Just nine are known to survive.

Gorgeous vintage sports cars from the Riley Motor Club, which also brought a line-up of post-war models.

This lovely 1946 Austin Sixteen fronted the North West Casual Classics display, which won Best Club Stand for the weekend.

The Austin was bought new for the Chief Constable of Edinburgh, who kept it until ’72.

The Dolomite Club brought a selection of models and a Sprint engine – with all ancillaries fitted – for visitors to inspect.

An excellent Ginetta Owners’ Club group featured four G15s for the model’s 50th birthday, plus three G32s, a G33 and a Gilbern GT at the back.

Classic & Sports Car was there, too, with my Citroën GSA next to the spectacular 1957 Chrysler Windsor that Carl Minshall bought about 11 years ago. “I put my fascination with American cars down to watching lots of TV and films in the ’70s,” he said with a smile. And, yes, they are lined up at the front!

This fabulous bronze metallic Ford Granada 3000 GXL was first registered in Romford, Essex, but had owners in Suffolk, Cornwall and Dorset before coming to the north-west.

Nearby was another nice pair of British classics: a gold Alvis TE21 with a Cactus Green Triumph 2000 Mk1, both in great condition.

And if you were in the market for a classic, this two-owner 1985 Citroën 2CV looked tempting at £4995. It had a new chassis that was ‘stripped and Waxoyled’ when it was fitted in ’96.

About 2400 classics swarmed into the park each day. Find out more about the next Tatton show here