Sunday was another beautiful day (I now must take back my earlier assessment of English weather, we have had two great, sunny, rainless weeks!). So about 8am I headed out for Chiltern Hills, a little town near Alyesbury, about an hour and a quarter from my cottage.
Upon arriving, after another nice backroads ride, I found that when the Brits say something starts at 10am, they mean it. Almost no one was there at 9! Not like our Cars and Coffee where people show up two hours before the announced start time to get the best spot.
The show was held on the Weeden Park Show Grounds, a hefty name for a big open field, but it was covered by lush, green grass (about a foot high) so was an ideal spot for a show. I was meeting up with the Jaguar Driver’s Club who were holding their “Modern XK Spring Meet”. Well my XK is definitely not modern, so I was a bit of an anomaly amongst the 1990 – 2007 models!
JAGUAR DRIVER’S CLUB CORRAL AREA
Getting there early allowed me to help set up the signs and tents, endeared me a bit to the Club organizers, and got me a free bacon and egg breakfast sandwich! Not a bad trade off. At 10 our paddock looked a little lean with only about a half dozen cars. I took a little walk around and when I got back 30 minutes later, Jags were parked two deep and fifteen wide! Like I said, they don’t come early in England.
This kind of event is a little like a mix between what we would call a car show and a county fair. There were vendor booths, food booths, all kinds of entertainment for the kids, music, an autojumble (used parts for sale) and more (including the requisite beer booth). Families come for the day and picnic wherever there is an open patch of green. Some exhibitors go all out with cook stoves, tables, awnings, big spreads of food (both breakfast and lunch) and even the occasional pony keg.
The car show was a wild and mixed bag. Several Clubs had corrals of their own, while most entrants parked in the central area, divided into about two dozen classes. Besides cars there were exhibits of vintage trucks, buses, farm vehicles, military vehicles, motorcycles, even stationary engines. Quite an impressive array. My favorite was the Family And Relatives Tractor Society (FARTS).
As for the cars, what a treat. It is amazing the “stuff” that people have in their garages. Of course, lots of British cars that we rarely if ever see from the 40’s and 50’s. But also, Hot Rods, American cars (a ’56 T-Bird won Best of Show), strange European rides, unloved stuff, and just plain junk. If it rolled it entered. They are even getting into the “preservation” thing, and over here rust is easy! A very eclectic day. The photos don’t do justice to the 700+ vehicles on display as they occupied such an expansive area.
On the way home, I was marveling at the variety of flowering trees here, really amazing. Everything is lush and green, and the wisteria and ivy are blooming all over the walls and houses. Too bad I can’t drive and take pictures at the same time. All and all a nice outing and a bit of culture…..and the brakes worked!
Now it’s a few days to get ready to move out of my cottage and head to “the continent”, as they say here, to meet up with the Austin Healey group for the European Healey Meet and tour. I hope I have time to blog a bit while there, but if not, I will send you a link to Mike Scroogies pretty much daily blog.
I am starting to stress about the amount of stuff I must leave behind…. I had a bunch of (mostly useless) things like golf clubs shipped in the Jag and brought a much larger suitcase then I can take to Europe. Thankfully my landlady has agreed to store things for me for the month I am gone. I am going to miss my cottage, it feels like home and I am very comfortable in it and here in Bledington. I have made a lot of friends (mostly bartenders!) and will kind of miss them. But I shall return!
BIG DISPLAY OF MILITARY VEHICLES, THIS ISN’T EVEN HALF OF IT
GREAT DISPLAY OF VINTAGE TRUCKS AND BUSES.
A VERY UNUSUAL HEALEY KIT CAR, FIBERGLASS WITH A FORD ENGINE, I THINK MADE IN SWEDEN
A WONDERFUL PALETTE OF 70’S COLORS
THE ONLY HEALEY I SAW, BUT A NICE FRESH RESTORATION