Classics in the Walled Garden attracts broad range of metal

| 6 Jul 2012

With everything from a 250GT Pininifarina and a DeLorean DMC-12 to an ex-MoD Series 1 Land-Rover and a 1932 Pattisson Super Beta green keeper’s vehicle – along with a Dodge Charger R/T and a 1950s Lotus Elite – yesterday (4 July’s) Classics in the Walled Garden packed plenty of diversity.

The turnout for the annual informal gathering of classics in the gardens of Luton Hoo Estate in Bedfordshire was impressive considering rain had been forecasted to arrive soon after the event’s 4pm kick off.

Now in it’s fourth year, the show held in the Capability Brown-designed gardens was inspired by Classics on the Common (in neighbouring Harpenden) founder Peter Madden (below) and is limited to 300 vehicles – with half on show inside the walls and the other half just outside. “I had over two hundred applicants within the first 48 hours after booking opened,” said Madden who reckons the location and small scale are part of the appeal. “It’s a lot calmer than Classics on the Common and traffic isn’t an issue.”

And the weather predictions didn’t deter owners of open-top pre-war fare either with Welwyn Garden City-based Alan Brown turning up in his 1935/6 Riley 12/4 Special and Phil Homer and family in their 1937 Standard Flying 12 Drophead Coupé, which Homer spent 19 years restoring from a basket case state.Other interesting drop-tops included a race-prepared Jaguar XK 120, a Ferrari 308GTS and a Lancia Lambda – with the innovative Italian marque also represented by a pretty Fulvia and a superb Lancia Stratos replica, complete with Alitalia sponsor livery.

More popular classics included a 1971 MGB (below) with owner Martyn Gulliver amazed to park up next to a Hawk 289 Cobra replica with a registration number one digit after the one on his car. “I’m told Hawk cars use an MGB donor car so it must have been off a car that was registered at the same time as mine, possibly at the same dealership,” said Harpenden-based Gulliver who also owns a Rover SD1 Vitesse and Scimitar GTE.

Other locals included Chris Jackson who brought his two-wheel drive Series 1 Land-Rover along. “It was one of 650 made without four-wheel drive for the Ministry of Defence but was upgraded before being sold off,” explained Jackson who, after realising its rarity, converted it back to rear-drive only configuration last year. “There are only five others in this specification known to the owner’s club.”

Also showing off his recent handiwork was Stevenage-based Tom Hill who debuted his 1968 Dodge Charger following a four-year restoration, which included having custom finishes made for the 440cu in engine.

A selection of photos of other standout cars follows.