20th - 21st July 2019
My intention to spend the whole weekend at Parson Drove was postponed again, due to it being the wife's birthday on the Sunday and as a family, we wanted to take her out for dinner, so decided to fit in a visit in the morning before heading out elsewhere later. For the last few years, the car-parking has been on a field opposite the show-field so that the whole of the playing-field can be given over to the show, but even now, although it was very well marshalled, the field was pretty much full. Paid camping was closed quite early this year so if anyone does want to take up this offer to enjoy Saturday's music programme, best book early on as space is limited.
Parson Drove seems to buck the trend of fewer stalls at rallies these days, as it attracts a good variety of stalls and autojumble not seen at other events. My garden clock from last year has had a new battery but is otherwise still going strong, and this year, I was able to add a few cans and could have had plenty of lorry models at bargain prices, but as they were mainly duplicates of ones I already have, managed instead to get the missus an extra birthday present of a 1:18 scale red E-type Jag, one of her favourite cars. Yes, it really was for her, honest.
The show does take pre-booked entries but generally it's turn up, pay on the gate and park up your pride & joy. So, if you've got a brand-new supercar, you'll probably get in. If you've got a pro-modified Ford Fiesta ST with some snazzy paint, you'll probably get in. If you've got any sort of American car over about 5 years, you'll probably get in. If you've got a proper classic or vintage motor, you should get in. However, if all the above have turned up early on and filled the field, and you arrive say lunchtime or very early afternoon, you might well be told to park in the car-park.
If you've come a long way with something really worth looking at and that happens, it must be very disappointing, but exhibitors (imo) should be prepared to be on-show for the whole duration of the event and not be able to duck in and out. However, a contra point of view is that if there is a turnover of exhibitors throughout the day, then later arrivals could then take their place and even more quality motors can be seen by the public, especially if visitors are making a day of it to enjoy the vehicles, music and entertainment. Social media was, however, a bit lively when one such visitor had this happen to him and then found that there were some very late model motors on show that in his opinion didn't qualify to be there, presumably on the grounds of age rather than rarity.
Motorbikes are another case in point, as if you come on any sort of bike, you're allowed to park on the main field, but again room is getting tight with public having to walk down the main access roadway into the field so look at what is there. If you really only want to see the vintage stuff, be it motorbikes or scooters, then you have to search it out, likewise the same if you want the custom bikes or Harleys, as there is also a hell of a lot of "normal" road or sports bikes (the equivalent I guess of the pro-modified Fiestas) mixed up together.
The subject of trophies also came up on social media afterwards as several interested exhibitors reckoned they hadn't been judged, so therefore didn't get a look-in. Trophies are always divisive, but I do recall seeing a team of people going around making sure every vehicle on the field had an entry number, be it a X-reg VW Golf or a 1930s Lincoln custom. What I'm not sure about is who does the judging, but I seem to recall a few years ago, it was visitor's choice for every class, which makes it fairer imo, but whether that's still the case, I'm not sure. Anyway, enough of the political reporting, and on to the motors.
I do have a soft spot for US metal, and there was certainly some variety this year. One mystery motor was a shaved metallic burgundy pre-War car which I couldn't identify, but a couple of nights later, managed to ID it as a 1930s Lincoln, thanks to Wayne Carini & Chasing Classic Cars and a sleepless night. There were some very nice convertibles and lots of good ol' boy pick-up trucks, as well as some really nice muscle cars. The days of really wild custom cars have passed, but there were some nice hot-rods about, and of course, the pro-modified boys (and girls) have their own vibrant and often loud scene.
Obviously, there was also plenty of European classics, with several one-make club displays, some catering for Japanese classics, and plenty of camper vans and some classic caravans. Dad's 1960s Fisher Holivan has now passed to new owners to do a proper restoration but I am contemplating keeping his Eriba which hasn't been used for around 5 years now just needs a damn good clean and tidy up to bring it back into use, maybe ready for next year, who knows?
2020: 18th - 19th Jul