We missed the July Whaplode Bluebell classic car meet due to holiday, and thought the same was going to happen in August, as I was due to be down in Essex working all day, but an early start luckily made an early finish, so was able to tootle over as soon as I was home, which at least meant being parked near the gate for a change. Most of the gravel parking was given over to motorbikes and scooters and like Parson Drove a few weeks ago, anything on two wheels is in through the gate. Again, there are some vintage and classic amongst the modern stuff, but you have to look for it.
Through the gate into the grass camping field, it seemed relatively slow to fill up, but eventually it did, however, the published attendance of 235 vehicles is misleading as there was a very high proportion of motorbikes. The most popular car choice on the night was the ubiquitous mini with early examples of both Austin and Morris Mini Coopers on show, together with several others from every decade the traditional Mini was produced.
There were several traditional British convertible sportscars such as the MGC, Lotus Elan, Triumph Spitfire & TR6, Frogeye Sprite and replica Sebring Healey. Moving to the tin-tops, it was nice to see a Jenson Interceptor and Saab Sonnett as well as the MGB and a MG Midget with a removable hard-top, giving the best of both worlds. Another open-topper was the beach buggy, and continuing the air-cooled theme, there were several other VWs including a Beetle, early Type 2, later bay-window version and Transporter camper vans.
With regard to British family motoring, I was a little surprised to see an Austin Princess amongst the British family cars on show, not many of those are left due to poor built quality and tin-worm. Likewise, there was also an Allegro Vanden Plas parked up early on, but I didn't get a good look at that as it left fairly early. There was a striking two-tone Triumph Herald, equally striking green Ford Zephyr convertible and later (dare I say uglier?) dark blue Zephyr saloon, and I also liked the look of the blue Vauxhall HC Viva (was it still a Viva if it had the 1800cc engine, or was it a Magnum?) as well as the earlier HB Viva GT.
Matching the general trend, US metal was thinner on the ground, but I did have to have another look at the Lincoln Town-car, which is still for sale two months on, but I must resist its chromed attraction. Other than the 1940s Plymouth and Dodge pick-up, the only other American motor I can recall was a red Corvette.
With the usual excellent catering, now open earlier from the outside trailer, beer on tap in the yard as well as in the pub, likewise ice-creams if you don't mind about losing your street-cred, this venue is still the best local gathering I attend for atmosphere. The last meeting of the year will be on 4 September.