2014 Club Events
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National Kit Car Show, Stoneleigh Park
4th/5th May 2014
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Sunny Stoneleigh! For the second year running! And whereas last year we had a rather poor turnout, this year we had great enthusiasm from club members, with 16 cars present on Sunday, plus a considerable number of members without their cars for various reasons, and David Room who phoned from junction 15 on the M1 to say that he was awaiting recovery by the AA after his Speedster decided that it didn’t want to make it to the show this year!
Having complained about the absence of Spyders throughout last season, it was good to see three lovely examples on display on Sunday this time, including the outstanding 550s of Trevor Hughes and Anthony Dowdall and the beautiful 718RSK of new member David Alderton, who has quite a background in motorsport.
Graham Pyne also put in an appearance, but without his Spyder, which was safely at home in Devon. He was, however, accompanied by two of his four magnificent huskies. This is a breed of dog I rarely see – so I was surprised, a few minutes later, to bump into another one being paraded by a woman on an adjacent site. Apparently all these dogs met up later in the day and, I’m told, enjoyed the show!
Our Best in Show award went to Gary Ambidge’s Speedster, one of three on our site with white-wall tyres – is this a record?! It was wonderful to see Gary back in action again after several years when illness prevented him from driving. He and Nicky have also been married during this period, so we were able (belately) to congratulate them.
Talking of records, Martin and Mandy Chadder’s Speedster with its bright tangerine interior (and bath mat to match!) is the third Speedster they have owned – has anyone had more?
Another eye-catching car on our site was a Karmann Ghia with miniature replica on bonnet.
Club Administrator Rob Jones was interested to see his old black Chesil Convertible D join us, now under, I think, its second or third owner since he sold it, but still looking in remarkably good shape.
Over in the indoor halls, Peter and Viv Bailey were showing off two fine Speedsters (both pre-owned cars for sale) and apparently had a very busy time, with lots of enquiries.
There was another Speedster kit on show, by Severn Classics, which was quite striking with its shiny black carbon body, with chassis, subframe and engine also on display. I didn’t have time to talk to the guy on the stand, but others tell me that his attitude to SVA approval was somewhat unconvincing!
Rob Jones and I repaired to the Old Mill in nearby Baginton, as did Peter and Viv Bailey, for an evening meal and overnight stay on Sunday. This enabled us to arrive at the showground bright and early on Monday morning, though not quite as bright and early as Simon Hambly, who had come over from the Stanford Hall VW show and stayed overnight on our site in his (modern) VW Camper Van.
After last year’s show, when only four cars were present on our site on Monday (all leaving by lunchtime), this year was a pleasant surprise, as a total of nine or ten cars were around for most of the day, including the highly original Speedsters of Michael Kempster and Gerald Rigby. Michael’s newly created hard-top, which had presented him with a number of challenges in its construction, was certainly the best I’ve seen and combined practicality with outstanding good looks.
A most welcome visitor to our site was King of Spyders, David White, over from Slovenia and present at the show for the first time for at least seven years. King of Cutlery, William Welch, also showed up (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, check out his studiowilliam.com website, particularly if you are after some superb sets of knives and forks – my wife has been looking enviously at them for some time!)
Also back again after some years was Richard Lamin (yes, another Spyder on display!) By the time you read this in the club magazine, Richard will be a father for the first time, so congratulations to him (due in a fortnight, he told me).
Among the amusing things I saw at the show were a full-size Dalek (!) and a stunning Ferrari which had the impressive distinction of a tax disc showing “Make: Peugeot”. Just imagine the bathos as the owner shows off his supercar outside some flash restaurant to a group of admirers who then spot the name on the tax disc!
Despite the show halls having less dealers and stalls than they had in the past (a trend that has been evident for some years now), this was definitely a return to better times at Stoneleigh Park for the club – great weather (always such a critical factor), plenty of club cars, new members, old faces, lots of fun!