18th August, Cranleigh, Surrey.
While looking for a car show to go to at the weekend, I found a small but perfectly formed gem tucked away in Cranleigh, a village located almost 8 miles southeast of Guildford in Surrey. Now the thing is with classic car shows is that I always fear they'll just be a line of the usual suspects; rows of MGB, Stags, Minors et al are all worthy, but do not a great viewing spectacle make for a seasoned car fanatic like moi. I needn't have worried though, as Cranleigh pulled out some curios, some rarities and some honest to god oddballs, as you shall see.
Full set here:
Renault Type Y; with a two cylinder engine and the scuttle-mounted radiator which was a hallmark of the Edwardian-era Renaults:
An oddity within a rarity. It looks at first glance to be a Simplex Model 50 Speed Car (an American marque, not to be confused with Sheffield-Simplex or the Mercedes Simplex) but the bonnet and scuttle shape are more like a 90 HP tourer. The actual Speed Cars have a 10 litre 4 cylinder engine. TEN LITRES, FOUR CYLINDERS. Pistons nearly 6 inches across. Chain drive to the real wheels. A glorious deathtrap in the best Edwardian tradition. And a sound like a WWI bi-plane on take off when driving.
Una coppia di Lancia; An Aprilia, one of the first cars designed using a wind tunnel in collaboration with Battista Farina and Politecnico di Torino, achieving a record low drag coefficient of 0.47. In 1936. It was also the last car designed under the company's founder, Vincenzo Lancia.
The Augusta. This is the last of the line '36 model, powered by a narrow angle 1196 cc V4 engine, a configuration that was a staple of Lancia's line up right until the Fulvia.
Mid 20's Buick model 35:
When wood and leather was a near-necessity, not a luxury:
If you knew what this was at first glance. If you did you're doing better than I did; I had no idea that there was such a thing as a Rugby Model L 1-ton truck. A Canadian brand that started in 1923 when Durant Motors tried to export their Star car to markets outside of America and Canada and found that the Star name was already registered for use by an English company.
Small, medium - but whats the large?
A 1919 Austin 20 shooting brake. In the 1920s there were people who believed the 4-cylinder 20 comparable with if not superior to the equivalent Rolls-Royce. If the coachwork were light enough, the 20 could also give a 3-litre Bentley a run for its money. hard to think that at one time Austins, Vauxhalls and Renaults were spoken of in the same breath as the boys from Crewe.
From a big Austin load lugger to a tiddly one. The UK origin of the C-cab?
Transatlantic styling on this Morris Oxford Tourer. 'So you wanna be a Nuffield gangster'...
Genuine, unrestored, '28 Model A:
Riley Lynx tourer:
Pre-war headlight/grill combos are a snapper's dream:
The Coventry tour now stops at Pre-Rootes Humber, namely a 1927 Humber 14/40 Tourer:
Standard Flying Nine:
My favourite car of the show; a 1938 Peugeot 202. Spoke to the owner at length, took lots of pictures, almost made an offer. I'm in love.
After the love-in with the Peugeot, this Morris 8 Series E looked decidedly dowdy. The sidevalve engine went on to be used, with very minor changes, in the '48-'53 Series MM Minor.
Modern Rover colour on an old boy. The Cult Of The Nightfire is spreading....
Post war Triumph Roadster. Didn't see Bergerac.
A Jaguar. Where? Here. Bentley-esque MKV drophead coupé was the last with the Standard-derived pushrod straight 6:
*Vanguard owner looks nervously at Jag owner looking for engine parts:
I've finally got to see a car in the flesh that I've only seen in pictures and admired since I saw it in Classic & Sportscar magazine in the 80's - a HRG. First made in 1936 with 1100cc OHV meadows engines, they then were fitted with 1100 and 1500cc OHC Singer engines. Post-war, the 1100 and 1500 continued being made to the same pre-war design. Car production ended in 1956 after 241 cars had been made, although the company remained in business until 1966 as an engineering concern and as a development company for others, including Volvo.
Onto the Yanks; The Caddy at the head of the post is a '55 Cadillac Series 62 Coupé de Ville:
1963½–1965 Mercury Marauder:
1967 Chrysler New Yorker Sedan looking shabbily cool:
And a close relative, a 1965 300L coupé. I'll take this, a '65 Imperial to play Green Hornet with and a '67 of the same for cruising the strip.Oh okay, Goring-by-Sea coastal road:
The Mopar love-in continues; 1963 Imperial Crown. The 1963 models were the last that had Virgil Exner's touch; Harris Mann seems to have been inspired by the interior:
1958 Lincoln Continental convertible. The hood has the same reverse-rake rear window as the sedan; 105E Anglia owners would feel right at home:
1963 Buick Wildcat:
Rare as rocking horse poop. 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II was the sister car to the Ford Torino Talladega, both introduced to homologate Ford’s aerodynamic modifications in NASCAR. This one sports the Cale Yarborough Special livery; the Dan Gurney Special configuration has the aero-style front. The Cobra Jet 428ci V8 was an option, but this one 'only' has the 390Ci FE big block:
Imagine this early '86 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with 'bags or hydraulics but otherwise standard; Florida retirement home pimpin':
1976 Ford Gran Torino Brougham. Be thankful it isn't red and white.
Daimler ambulance. Or motorhome in waiting...
Hillman Minx pick-up is a neat conversion from a saloon:
There was lots of tractor porn at the show, but I'm guessing that might be a little too hairshirt even for here, so heres an arty montage:
One of the best oddities at the show; a Minerva Land Rover. Minerva was a prominent Belgian luxury car company before WWII; post war the company produced a version of the Land Rover under license for the Belgian army up to 1953:
And a super-rare 107" Station Wagon, effectively a stretched Series 1 type body. I think there was a Series 1 109" as well but the more common Series 2 came out a few years later and the S1 109" seems all but extinct. Tickford also did a coach built S1 with a shooting brake type body based on the 80" chassis which pre-dates the Range Rover by at least 15 years.
Mercedes Unimogs; this one kitted for the boonies:
And this one keeping a Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer company:
Another ex-CC feature car. Not to everyone's taste; I personally love it:
I couldn't stop looking at this F100 panel van; LOVE that interior:
Viewt is the daily driver of the Daimler owner:
Ginetta G15 had a fully stocked engine drawer:
Morris Minor MMs seem sto be coming out of the woodwork; these two gems make it four that I've seen at show this year:
Another car I just couldn't keep my eyes off; the MGA 'Hawk' Fastback, modified and raced by Bob Lester. It has a Marshall-Nordec supercharged B-series and a lot of period competition parts on it; the grille is from a 1956 Studebaker Hawk.
POINTY, not UGGERS [/motoscat joke]
Bug goes up, bug goes down, bug goes up, bug goes down, bug goes up, bug goes down...
To think these were an everyday sight once:
Described as "horrid" by CAR magazine when new, the 'Frankencoupé' Volvo 262C has always appealed to me,in much the way the Caddy Fleetwood does above:
The older siblings look on approvingly:
The Saab blew neither hot nor cold on the subject:
The Scirrocco on the other hand, was just full of hot air: