The Roaring Twenties to the Naughty Noughties! The Bewdley CCC Sep Meet

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    Another first Sunday and another gathering of the Bewdley & Wyre Forest Classic Car Club , rolls off the tongue doesn't? I rolled up on my own in the Lotus this time, the guys who had joined me last month in a MG TF and a 58 Wolsley had to go to a family party and were rather gutted as they had enjoyed last month's meeting so much. Well chaps you missed another excellent gathering…

    I was greeted by the sight of several cars already neatly lined up outside the clubhouse at Wharton Park…and what a varied group already were here. Gary had had left his Stag at home, but his 4×4 Panda was out and provided an amusing contrast to Mark's late model XJS-C 4.0. This was one of the final ones built with cleaner lanes. Patrick Stewart the actor of Star Trek and X-Men fame ran one of these for years, so if it is good enough for the captain of the starship Enterprise, it's good enough for us! Neatly lined on the other side of the mighty Jaaaag was the A30 of Tom, who had made of our earlier meetings at the Duke William. Is the A30 the cutest car ever made? It has to be up there! 
    Then, then I fell in love….a Mk1 Lotus Cortina….one of my all time favourite cars….images of the legendary Jim Clark battling around Goodwood and Brands Hatch one front wheel cocked in the air in a 1960's saloon car race came instantly to mind. This example has a great back story too, Paul the owner inherited from his Dad and restored just in time to whisk his 17 year old daughter to her school Prom. I hope she appreciates just how cool that is! I parked up my somewhat tatty Lotus next to this immaculate piece of 60's history almost ashamed at the state of it!  Pauls' son isn't quite old to drive yet but was telling me about the A30 he is working on for when the day comes. It good to see that the enthusiasm for old, smelly. leaky, rusty and unreliable cars being passed onto a new generation!

    It's always good to see our regulars and Keith and his trusty Moggy pick up was with us again as was Richard and his last of the line Mini. The club is building up now and people were already chatting away and popping bonnets to take a peek and chat old car type stuff. Other returning members Mark and his wife in his Porsche 944 also brought her parents along, but they couldn't squeeze in coupe and had to make do with a modern Renault!
    One thing we have been lacking is perhaps some REALLY old cars…we had 50's – 90's stuff in the main. Well in a few moments that was well truly put right when no less than three pre-war cars arrived neatly in a line….a '39 Morris Twelve, another Morris this time a '35 Eight and then a '29 Ford model A riding  on non standard steel wheels. But man the Ford was almost painfully cool. The owners made short work of joining our impressive line up. Out they got and all were dressed in suitably period outfits to match their rides. Fantastic! Welcome to the club, Anne in the Eight, Guy and Kerry in the Twelve and Ben in the Model A Ford. All were lovely examples, with just the right degree of patina to give them character and not over restored show ponies….brilliant. The Model had been subtlety modified and as well as the smaller diameter wheels boasted a 60's Ford 1500GT engine. Apparently it fairly bombs along!  The Twelve had been their ownership for twelve years and I was surprised to note it had a OHV motor, I had been expecting a side-valve unit. Apparently the same engine powers the period MG VA, but with twin carbs to suit this more sporting application. Anne has left the lovely Eight as she bought it, only adding a neat hand applied gold pin-stripe to add a touch of class. Just when I thought the '29 at 90 years was the oldest car we have at one of our meetings in rolls club founder member Graham and his wife in a 1928 Austin. Another lovely car, with just the right amount of aging to give it a proper stately feel. The Austin is for sale if you fancy some real classic motoring…

    Coming back a little more to date we had the BMW era first gen MINI and a delightfully retro Rover 75. Interesting to see these two Rover group projects back together, they were code name R50 and R40 back in the day and the family look and retro references are plain to see. Such a shame to see what happened to Rover in 2005. Interesting to see the R50, who's entirely BMW designed replacement is made at the Cowley plant to this day. Funnily enough the Morris Eight was also made there….so the bloodline goes back a long way. Luis, our club founder has worked hard on his Cooper and has now got the old girl working something like properly. We think of them (and the 75) as new cars, when in reality both are pushing twenty years old…
    In another echo of the Rover company we had a mint 2005 Civic Type R. Now this is generation after the Civic that shared much with the Rover 400/45 but gives us an interesting glimpse into what might have been if Rover had stuck with Honda. Paul's example is stunning and credit to him. A very fast car and already regarded as the best of the Type R Civics, this largely unmolested example is nailed on modern classic with that howling V Tec motor, that is legend for reliability as well as performance. It was great to see Paul and his family checking out all the cars in the line. He rides a Honda CB500 so is clearly a big fan of Soichiro's work!
    Last month a Wolseley had been one of the stars of the gathering so I was pleased to see another example make this month, a beautifully presented 1500 owned by Peter and his wife Maria. I really like these, they share much under structure with the Minor, but with a much plusher interior trimmed in wood and leather, so inviting and of course that 1500cc B series engine gives it somewhat more muscle than the A series in the Moggy.  Talking of the A series this what powers the little charming AH Sprite that Kevin and his wife arrived in. Last month they brought their little Riley Elf along, so he clearly has a thing for the A series engine. It is amusing to note just how many classic owners have several cars, even some of them are 'projects'. The Sprite sired the last generation of the MG Midget and it is remarkable just how small these cars are compared to modern sports cars, even the likes of the Mx5, which whilst small in modern terms is still vast in comparison to the petite Sprite.
    Rounding out our little  gathering was a car that appears to be a product of a bygone age with a wooden frame, hand beaten panels and suspension design that dates back to 1910. Of course I am referring to our counties 'home team' – Morgan. In fact Will's Morgan Roadster 100 is pushed along at a more than respectable lick by a modern Ford V6 and is barely a decade old….but what a glorious car and Will was telling me how it has earned its stripes up the tight and demanding hill climb just up the road in Shelsley Walsh. In fact it was originally owned by local businessman and coach operator Mr Yarrington who a notable hill climb competitor.
    Everybody seemed to be mixing well and enjoying the view of the Golf course from the terrace. Several months on from its inception the club really does seem to gelling and I enjoy our monthly gatherings with the friendly banter and diverse range of cars that people bring along.

    So I look forward to seeing you next month and perhaps before if we finally get around to organising a run out  somewhere!

    Apologies if I got any names wrong, I am terrible with them!

    Thanks to Wharton Park for hosting as always   

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    Great write up Don, some lovely machinery there.


    Great write up Don, some lovely machinery there.

    There was I was especially taken with the Ford Model A and the Lotus Cortina

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