Christmas shoppers enjoy classic get-together in Blackheath

| 18 Dec 2015

Blackheath Village Day featured a fascinating display of classic machinery brought along by the Mean OldTimers Classic Car and Motorcycle Club as part of the busy pre-Christmas festivities on 5 December.

Fellow classic enthusiast Michael Caine of Raffles boutique arranged for the usual restrictions to be lifted so that owners could park their assorted vehicles – the oldest being an outstanding 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe – outside the shops and restaurants on Montpelier Vale.

MOT co-founder Dave Webster was in the ’59 Ford Zephyr 6 that he bought about three years ago and “didn’t miss a beat” on a trip to the south of France earlier in 2015. “It was brilliant of Michael to have the restrictions lifted,” he said. “We’ve had a really good turnout of cars. We started the club with a bunch of mates and called it the Mean Old Timers – because of where we’re based – and organise Park it in the Market in Greenwich.”

An excellent mixture of Volkswagens included a nice silver Karmann Ghia coupé and Julian Hough’s super-rare 1972 411LE Variant. “I had one when I was in my 20s, and they’re lovely cars to drive,” he explained. “This one had been in a lock-up for 17-19 years when I purchased it from the son-in-law of the first owner. Then it turned out that a mate was selling a roof-rack – the correct one for the car – so I bought that.” Next to it was Steve Brooker’s fabulous ’61 Splittie panel van, still sporting its Berlin Feuerwehr livery and featuring a couple of evocative period enamel signs on the dash.

Triumphs were also out in force, one of which also belonged to Hough – the lovely Herald convertible that his auntie had bought new. Alongside was another white Herald, the estate that TSSC 13/60 register secretary Phil Willson has owned for 30 years. “I’ve had it all to bits over, right back to basics,” he recalled, “the next thing is to go through the mechanicals.” Richard Clements brought the gleaming 1970 Vitesse 2-litre convertible that he’s owned for eight years “seven of which it was in the garage. Then I had the brakes done and it passed the MotT. I took it for a blast down the A2 this morning to clear out the cobwebs”.

A superb line-up of sports cars – featuring a Sunbeam Tiger, a couple of Jaguar XKs (120 and 150, see top photo) and John Martin’s much-travelled ’66 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII – drew lots of attention from the Christmas shoppers. The Healey had been restored in 2005, followed by the engine, gearbox and other mechanicals two years ago. It’s been all over the UK, France and Germany and, as Martin put it, “gets better the more it’s driven”.

Cool Studebaker Champion Coupe belongs to another Mean OldTimers regular

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