May 10, 2019 at 10:56 pm #16054RadarModerator
Well with a lot of competition it was no surprise that the turnout was a little down on the last little gathering of the B&FCCC. However there was still very interesting tin on show: With JLR much in the news it was great that two drivers were in products of Rover's spiritual home…Solihull. While today the plant turns out huge Range Rovers and the Jaguar F Pace back in the 60's and 70's the Rover P6 and 88/109 Series II Land Rover were the bread winners. The former was represented by the Rover 3500, propelled the legendary aluminium V8 that has been fitted to everything from race cars to LDV vans and only went out production 2004. The car itself looked the business in white, if uncomfortably like a Police car for those of us used to go a little too quickly on occasions back in the day! In a contrast to the executive comfort of the P6 the Series II on show had been slightly modified to a military spec radio car. Looked an excellent example of these mobile Meccano kits! Let's hope the new Defender due on sale in 2020 becomes such an icon.
Representing a later period in Rover history was a clean and now very rare 216 GTi Twin Cam. The Rover R8 programme was perhaps the high point of their collaboration with Honda, and one can't help but wonder if Rover would still be with us had they stayed with them. As for the R8 it is just in the process of transitioning from daily runner and just a normal car to being a proper classic. It was good to see one with the rare 2 door shell and free revving Honda engine. Nearly a million of all variants were made believe it or not as 2 doors, 4 doors, five doors, coupes, cabrios and estate cars with a variety of engines including a fire breathing turbo. I think many under value Rover these days.
We have been lucky enough to have some copper bottomed classics at meetings so far, icons like the Alpine A110, Alfa Romeo Spider and Jaguar E Type spring to mind. This time the icon was a stunning AC Ace…the car that sired the legendary Cobras when a certain Carroll Shelby popped a Ford V8 under the hood. But the Ace is beautiful car in it's own right and so typically British. Beautiful lines, more delicate than the later V8 Cobra and an interior that just beckons to you to come in and drive, listening to that sweet running six cylinder purring as it pulls you eagerly along. Utterly beguiling…thank you for bringing it along
I was pleased to note that we now have some 'regulars'….the Austin Minor PU that joined me and my Lotus on a recent outing over the Worcestershire and Shropshire hills. The Merecedez SLK of course and the beautiful Borgward Isabella 1500TS. But also pleased to see a Moggy Traveller in the photos, it looked like it was running on slightly wider rims. Brought back happy memories of Moggy Traveller I used to rattle about Northumberland in back in the early 1980's.
We generally seem to get a couple 'modern classics' too and this meet was no different with a Mazda Mx5 and an 80's VW Polo. The Mx5 is the best selling sports car of all time which kind of speaks volumes about it really and latest generation remains in production, putting smiles on people's faces. The Polo blood line started back in 74 as the Audi 50, and God knows how many millions have been made since, so good to an older one still out there.
So sorry I couldn't be there myself, I was up in Scotland with some fellow motorcyclists, but I hope to see you at the next meet for a look at your cars and a bit of chat.
Thanks to The Duke William for hosting again, see you June 2nd!
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