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Thatcham Classic Car Show - 9th October 2010
or "Wot, no bacon rolls?"

Report from Terry Watson                                                                

Following a chat with Len at the Windsor Porsche show a few weeks earlier, the TV weather totty's promise of a warm sunny day, and the option of a day out in the Beck or going into the office for unpaid overtime, saw me set off for the 70 or so mile run down to Berkshire on a still grey but dry morning, a pleasant run past Oxford , over the hills, through the low cloud, to Newbury, with a stop at Chieveley services to drop the roof for the final few miles to Thatcham. On reaching the A4 I fell in with several other cars, so heading the right way, despite no 'Mag Nav' on this trip.

     

On arrival I spotted Len from the road and a short drive over the site found me in the company of Len Raynesford and Paul Smith with Chesil Speedsters and Ron Temperton with Martin and Walker 550 Spyder, a small but select group. A welcome addition later in the morning, though parked a short distance from us, was the black '56 Speedster , first seen at Windsor, where these pictures were taken. The owner of this beautiful car has apparently owned it for 18 years and originally paid £20,000 for it! It was now, probably, the most valuable car on show.

After a quick set up of the car for display and hellos to fellow club members, the need arose for the customary show arrival bacon roll. Disappointment!! NO BACON ROLLS!!!! It turned out that the food on site was supplied by a local Indian establishment. Now I like a good curry, but not at 10 in the morning! Paul found the answer later when a stroll into Thatcham found him in a cafe for a fry up. The onsite food sales went up at lunch time, with a steady flow of customers, but if they had sold basic fare early on they could have made a killing.

Time for a walk round the show lines, although this is just a one day, free, Saturday event, there was a vast range of cars on site, covering from early 1900s to modern classics, yanks, military vehicles, kits and motorcycles.

 

click on any image to enlarge

Personal favourites were an early 60's Buckler Special, based on Ford E93A, 'Sit up and beg' Popular chassis, a 1930's Open Lancia Limousine, originally built for an India Maharajah, he would have been OK for early morning food if visiting the show! Personal car of the day was an early Chevy Corvette.

     

So, as the sun remained stubbornly hidden in the mist, it was time to leave, a brief convoy off the site before Len and Paul would take the A4 East, whilst Ron and I headed West, before going our separate ways in Newbury. Four drivers prepared for the road, hats and gloves on, seat belts fastened, four keys turned, three engines bust into life...... Tech Guru Len Raynesford had a dead motor! So to the check list, fuel - check, you could smell petrol several yards away. Flooded? Crank over with open throttles - nothing. Spark - seems nothing happening. Remove dissy cap, no cracks visible, clean terminals, refit.....nothing. Cap off again, check rotor arm, contact surface on top worn out, new arm required!! Len's lucky day, Ron had a spare used rotor arm with him. With four engines running we finally left the show site.

The run from Thatcham to Newbury, with 550 leading 356, was fun, the time watching the reaction of people as the cars ran together was over only too soon, as I headed North and Ron South. The run home was grey but dry and the hood remained down for this last blast before the Beck was retired to its garage for the winter, for much needed work to stop the embarrassing oil loss it has suffered from day one, which now threatens a leak of Gulf style proportions.

A good end of season bonus, recommended for next year, just bring your own Bacon rolls!

 

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