Saturday, 9 December 2017

Brill Classic Car Show 2017 (part 1 of 2)

This weeks blog is the first part of a two part review all about the 14th annual 'Brill Festival 2017' which included a classic car meeting. The village of Brill is nestled deep in the Buckinghamshire countryside and only a short distance from the Oxfordshire border. Brill village is only about 15 miles from my hometown, so for me its a nice local show. I have attended this show for the past 5 years and it's always been a good little show that gets better every year. Brill is probably most famous for it's windmill that has timbers dating back to 1685, and it has just undergone a full restoration. The Brill festival is a two day event that was this year held over the weekend of 26th - 27th August and featured a beer festival, a food fair, classic car show, and there is also plenty for the children to do and see. There was also live music from 'Cool Beans' and 'Inter 50's' in the marquee on both evenings. The classic car show, on the Sunday always attracts a vast array of old classic cars, from the U.K., Europe and the U.S. and there is even the odd Volkswagen or two. As with most weekends in the U.K there are numerous events to go to and as most of my friends were at other (VW related) shows, I had arranged to meet with a few of my good friends Matthew and Caroline and CJ. to head over to this show in a small campervan convoy.
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this page. Simply click on an arrow for a particular year, then click on an arrow for a particular month, this will then give you a drop down menu for all the blog entries for that month.

My 1969 VW microbus all washed and polished
and parked up at the Brill Classic Car show. When 
I first started attending this show my bus was the 
only Volkswagen at the show, today there is more
 like 7/8 VW's including bugs and buses.

Our small convoy parked up. Matthew's blue '69
SO42 Westy and CJ's '76 late bay. Matthew's
bay actually came over from California in the
same container as my bus about 6/7 years ago.

A gorgeous sunny day, a great location and good
friends, and a trio of lovely Volkswagen buses,

what else do you need?  

Once parked up and while the kettle was boiling,
Matthew made some adjustments on his 'Swamp 

Cooler' type air conditioning unit and I'm not jealous 
at all as these are quite rare over here in the U.K.

Matthew's partner Caroline had the right idea,
just sit down and relax in the sunshine while the
boys get their buses ready for the public to view.

This great little show attracts many U.S classic
cars and trucks including this awesome 1960
Cadillac Eldorado. This car was huge, this 2 door
convertible was over 17 feet long and around 7
feet wide, so driving this immaculate vehicle on
the narrow U.K. roads must be terrifying !

This car was perfectly straight and this photo
shows. Those gorgeous tail fins and rear light
clusters give this car a futuristic look. It must
have been fantastic living in the U.S in the
fifties / sixties with all their fantastic looking

The interior of the Caddy was, well bright red vinyl.
This was the classic look for interiors in both U.S
and U.K cars of the time. You can imagine cruising
down the freeway listening to cool fifties music
in this beauty.

Another U.S classic was this Pontiac Chieftain
2 door deluxe sedan ( I think). This was another
immaculate car finished in white with a light green
roof. This car oozed chrome detailing that sparkled
in the sunshine.

This really was a lovely looking car, I loved the
spare wheel mounted on the bumper and housed
in that chrome cover. You wouldn't want to rear end
this car as that chromed rear bumper was massive
and would probably write your car off.

The interior of the Chieftain was a little more
reserved than the Cadillac above. Finished in the 

same colour green as the roof, this looked a nice 
place to relax and cruise the highway.

Our contribution to the classic car show. There
were more Volkswagens that arrived later in the
day, which feature later... This was taken shortly
after we arrived which is why the show field looks
somewhat empty.

CJ has finally got his new 356 replica wheels on
his bus and the shiny new hubcaps give a good
reflection of Matthew's Westy, even though it does
make it look like it has been shortened.

Later in the day, as the show field filled up with
various classic vehicles, I spotted this immaculate
1988 MK1 Golf GTI 16v. This lovely car was like
new and 100% original. In fact the only thing new
is the tailgate that Volkswagen replaced under
warranty due to well known rust issues.

This lovely Golf started life as a company car for
a advertising executive who worked for Saatchi
and Saatchi. The present owner (only the 3rd
owner) purchased the car in 2015 and the car
only had 67,000 mile on the clock. This car is
so original it still has the original Blaupunkt stereo
cassette fitted. The current mileage is 69,500
with an average of just 2,500 mile a year.

This AC Cobra caught my eye, I'm not sure if
this an original AC or not as there are many
reproductions out there, but it did look original
and very well finished.

The badges on the body stated that this was the
427 cubic inch motor, and I have no reason to
doubt that. All that power in such a lightweight
body, this must have quick.

A bit later in the morning more camper vans
arrived. I have seen this bright mauve early bay
several times at the show but have never managed
to track down the owner to find out about his bus.

Another bus was this Dormoblie which is a local
bus to us. It is a 'work in progress' (albeit slowly!)
but it's on the road and that's the main thing.

The interior has some way to go, but the sound
deadening felt is down so that's a start!

Eddie came along in his lovely clean high top
T25. This lovely bus has all the whistles and bells
including full camping interior with gas heating.

This great 2 day show attracts many classic cars
from all years and manufacturers. It's great to chat

to the owners of these classics, as they are all so
passionate about their cars.

Like us, the Triumph TR4 owners had brought
along some of their cars. These lovely 2 door
sports cars were produced from 1961 - 1965.
They had a 2138cc engine with a 4 speed manual

This 1967 silver blue E-Type 2 door roadster
was one of my favourites at the show.This series
one model had obviously been restored as it was
immaculate in every way. This had the 4.2 litre
engine that produced 265 BHP that gave the
0-60 speed figure of 6.5 seconds and a top speed
of around 150 MPH.

The E-Type has to be one of the prettiest cars
ever designed and built, in fact upon its launch
in 1961 Enzo Ferrari called the E-Type the car
the most beautiful car that has ever been made.

The interior of the series 1, which must be such
a lovely place to sit, with its black leather and vinyl
seats and dash, and that huge array of clocks and

the wood rimmed steering wheel.

This ultra rare MK11 Ford Zephyr Abbott estate
grabbed my attention due to its rarity. I think I have
only seen one other of these, and that was an
Australian version with a straight 'C' pillar rather
than this curved pillar. This was built by Abbott's
a U.K company in the fifties who also created
conversions for the likes of Bently, and Sunbeam-
Talbot amongst others.

This car really was immaculate as you can see.
The curved 'C' post pillar can also be clearly seen.
The Australian estates, or station wagons as they
called them also had wind down rear windows.

This is a car from my youth that brought back
fond memories, its a 1973 Ford Escort 1600GT
Mexico in the red and white colour scheme. This

was one of the cars that I longed for as a spotty
teenager having just passed my driving test, 
although I never managed to have one.

The Mexico's  biggest achievement was winning
the 1970 London to Mexico world cup rally co-
driven by Hannu Mikkola. These road versions
of their winning car were produced in tribute to
their fantastic achievement. They had the 1598cc
cross flow engine.

This lovely old 1929 Morris Cowley Dome Head
Coupe is a regular at this great two day show.
The coupe had a 11HP 4 cylinder engine that
gave a top speed of 52 MPH.

This car when new would have cost £180 (that's
around $240 U.S.) and gave the owner about
28 MPG. It amazes me how the owners of these
really old original classic cars actually manage
to keep these cars on the road, I mean where
would you find spare parts for this ??

This Westfield is a replica of the famous Lotus
X1. Westfield started producing these glass
fibre boding kit cars in 1982 and are still making
them today. 

This really is a lovely kit car. This was a very well
built kit car with plenty of attention to detail. The
paint finish is, as you can see in this photo simply

The interior is finished in contrasting red vinyl,
and looks quite snug. The authentic Lotus steering
wheel was nice. I didn't manage to find out what
engine this had but it could have had a Lotus

This very old Riley is another rare car. I'm not sure
what model this is, possibly a Brooklands? Anyway
it looked to be totally original and complete. This
car is circa 1930.

The interior is sparse and void of any comfort to
talk about. The lightweight alloy dash and floor
are basic necessities and the huge steering wheel
should make turning corners easier. 

This lovely white 1983 all white T25 looked to be
a very clean honest bus. The white wall tyres were
a nice touch that suited the bus.

This standard Ford Popular 103E caught my eye
as I had one of these although mine was far from
standard. My Pop had a Rover V8 engine, with
a Jaguar rear axle and painted in bright two tone
pink! (you can check out my Ford Pop in the Blog
Archive, under November 2013) Anyway back to this
beauty, The Popular's were produced from 1953 -
1959 and they had the 1172CC Ford side valve 
engine which gave a top speed of 60 MPH and
a  0-50 time of 24 seconds.

These Pop's have always been, and still are the
U.K. rodders favourite car to customise.

There is always a vast array of classic cars from
many manufacturers and many different years at
this great show.

This lovely MK1 Ford Zephyr, or Zephyr six as it
should be called was so clean it looked like new.

The MK1 Zephyr was produced from 1951 - 1956
but I doubt they ever looked this nice.

The Zephyr had a 2262cc (138 cubic inch) six
cylinder engine with a column change gearbox.
It had a top speed of 80 MPH and a 0 - 60 time
of 20 seconds, while this doesn't sound very
impressive in 1953 the Zephyr won the Monte
Carlo Rallye, after pushing a Jaguar MkV11 into
second place. The Zephyr Six also won the East
African Rally in 1955.

This stunning 1969 Aston Martin MK1 (I think)
DB6 Vantage was immaculate. The MK1 was
produced from 1965 - 1970. The Vantage models
had the same engine as the standard DB6, a
3995cc (244 cubic inch) twin overhead cam
in line 6 cylinder engine but produced 325BHP
compared to the smaller 282BHP.

This lovely British classic, had the performance
that would still hold its own even today. The top
speed was 150 MPH and it had a 0 - 60 speed
of just over 8 seconds.

This great show gets bigger year by year and
with so much to do and see for all the family it
really is a good day out.

If you like rare cars, you'll love this. It's a Triumph
Italia 2000, This car is based on a TR3 chassis
and running gear and designed by Michelotti who
worked for Vignale. Although this is a very pretty
car, production was limited due to the price £1430
compared to the cost of a Triumph TR3A £800.

In addition to the high cost, customers were also
asked to sign a form saying that they are aware
that no spare body panels would be available
outside Italy, not the ideal way to promote your
car! Consequently only 329 were ever made and
this one is No. 316, It is believed that only 130
still exist in various states of repair.

This show always has a fantastic display of U.K.
European and U.S classic cars, some of which
are as rare as chickens teeth! I wasn't trying a
new photo effect on this photo, it is actually... 

...the fantastic reflection in the bonnet of this early
1970's Magenta coloured Triumph Stag. This
2+2 sports tourer was produced from 1970 -
1978 and had the 3.0 litre V8 engine which was
reputed to be the best tuned V8 back in the day.

So that was the first of two reviews all about the
Brill Classic Car Show 2017. Next weeks review
will be part two where you can see, plenty more
classic vehicles including a lovely Porsche 356,
plenty more U.S. classics including some lovely
hot rods from the the 'Aylesbury Vale Rods and 
Customs' club and so much more, so be sure to
come back next Saturday.

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