This is only the third time that the Abbey has held this event – although we didn’t attend last year because it ws much reduced due to Covid concerns. However, it is clearly now a very popular event and exhibitor tickets sold out some months before. We had some late entries but luckily, we managed to persuade the organisers to squeeze in two or three more places for our diminutive 500’s.
With our pitch directly in front of the Abbey and the Orangery café, we had the prime position and the organisers generously provided free bacon butties and coffee for all exhibitors. As ever, our cars proved very popular with the thousand or so visitors for photographs, selfies, reminiscences and general chat.
With the help of various members of the family, we managed to take all three of our fleet, plus trailer, and it was great to have 11 cars out in total – eight classics and three moderns, and to be able to catch up and have a good old chinwag with friends we hadn’t seen for a while. It was also lovely to meet three new members Jenny and her husband from Birmingham, Ivor from Rugby (possibly our oldest new member in his early 80s?) and Joe Anzalone, brother of Rob, who regrettably had to come in his modern 500 as the paperwork for his restored and recently imported family heirloom has been stuck in the DVLA quagmire for weeks with little end in sight. It was great to see Mike again, gradually venturing farther and farther in his immaculate car. Thanks also to Sean for making the drive from Huntingdon.
The weather forecast was set to be overcast and grey but turned out to be sunny and perfect weather for a car show. Delapre Abbey looked impressive and ensured there was enough to keep us occupied. There was a Heritage Fair, tours of the historic building, the walled garden as well as its delicatessen café and a visiting gin caravan – very popular amongst the co-drivers!
The grounds of the abbey were the site of the Battle of Northampton, a key event in the War of the Roses and so midway through the afternoon a group of battlefield re-enactors turned up with their muskets and put on a show. A few of us stretched our legs in the woodland and lake walks during the day.
Around 120 cars were there with a good mix. Inevitably there were the “pseudo” classics – Morgan’s and MX5’s – but also the odd pre-war gem, together with the usual Mercs and Jags and a variety of BMC products. There was also an interesting selection of US muscle cars including my niece’s 800 bhp Shelby Mustang which manages around 100 miles on a tank full. Who said range anxiety is limited to electric cars!
But as ever our little cars were the stars of the show and when we cavalcaded out of the Abbey drive at the close of play, our route was lined with photographers.
It was lovely day in so many ways but most of all, an opportunity to get together again with our fellow club members, both old and new, and to enjoy our cars in the sunshine