A fascinating mixture of vehicles gathered at Dunstan Green, West Berkshire for the 12thThatcham Classic on 7 October. The event, organised by C&SC’s Martin Port, raised £1120 for the Rosemary Appeal Cancer Support and Dialysis Unit.
Car of Show went to the fabulous 1966 Shelby GT350H that Thatcham regular Terry Bridle bought in 2004. “I don’t mind bringing it out in the rain, as long as it’s no too heavy,” he said with a smile, “because it gets a bit lively on the crossplies.” It sports the original warning label on the dashboard that reads, ‘This vehicle is equipped with competition brakes: heavier than normal brake pedal pressure may be required’. Just 1001 of the ‘Rent-a-Racer’ models were built for Hertz.
Russell Payton’s superbly detailed 1964 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia picked up the Spirit of Show award, which was presented by Pearl Taylor, Mrs Throttle: “I only bought it recently but it took me a while to find it after I’d seen a few rusty cars. I was talking to Martin McGarry at Karmann Ghia Motorworks one day and he mentioned one that he was intending to keep. I drove up to Mansfield and that was it. The previous owner was comedian Ross Noble’s wife; he’d bought the car for her as a Christmas present and it had only done about 1000 miles in five years.” Payton’s brilliant detailing, with hamper and suitcases, even included a period cup-holder accessory.
Michael Fitzmaurice’s wonderfully original 1935 Austin 10 Lichfield saloon was another recent acquisition: “It had been in Somerset all its life until I bought it a few months ago. It had been laid up for more than 30 years in a barn in the Levels that flooded in 2014. The water came almost up to bonnet height and you could see a tidemark on the instruments, but they’re all working again now. The floors had to be replaced but the chassis is as solid as when it was new.”
Philip Joiscie brought the lovely 1947 Bristol 400 that had been his wedding car: “It was exported new to Rhodesia and I bought it from a bloke in South Africa about 20 years ago.”