View Full Version : Alton Rotary Club Event, 25th June

16-07-2010, 05:28 PM
While I was at the excellent Deer's Hut event (see separate thread) I bumped into my friend Neville who lives just up the road in Liphook. Neville was selling tickets to the Classic car show and Hog Roast organised by the Alton Rotary Club to raise funds for a number of deserving charities. The venue is just across the way from Neville's workshop round the back of the satellite tracking station at Oakhanger, deep in the Hampshire countryside, and most years Neville invites me to attend with the Green Machine, but up until now I haven't been able to go for one reason or another. This year would be different, and what a great event it turned out to be!

OK, here we go...



Looking as lovely as the original Geneva prototype in 1966, here's that Miura again! This time the whole family was there, with the 300SL and an original Jaguar SS100 as well. There are so many SS100 replicas around these days I didn't realise that the original was built in penny numbers and total production amounted to less than 30 cars!


Some of the more expensive/exotic machinery was parked in the back of a large grain storage building, so some of my pictures are a little blurred due to the failing light - but you can just make out the tail of AM Vantage, the Miura S, 300SL gullwing and SS100 in the background. In the foreground is the distinctive (many would say ugly) Zagato bodied Bristol Beaufighter, and in front of that... well, I'll let you have a guess first...


I was parked with the first row of cars outside of the grain silo, together with this lovely Jensen 541, which I think looks very smart for a 1950s grand tourer. I particularly like the side repeater placement at the C-pillar, which is of course where everyone expected the amber "trafficators" to be deployed from in the 1950s :clapping:

Incidentally, I once witnessed a poor woman driving around in a oval screen Beetle with car horns blaring loudly because she wasn't indicating... only she was, its just that the other drivers failed to notice the little trafficator sticking out of the B-pillar...


Neville has always been a GM Vauxhall man, and nowadays prepares cars for historic racing. With his workshop just across the road, several of his clients cars were on display, including this 70s-tastic Droop Snoot Firenza. Only 204 HPF's (High Performance Firenza) were ever made, together with 179 Sportshatches (Magnum estate cars with the fibreglass droop snoot nose cone), which wasn't enough to allow homologation for racing, but now the rules are more relaxed and history can be re-written. I believe this is one of two HPF's competing in post-historic saloon car racing today.


Looking like something out of an early VW advert, this Beetle, conveniently parked in front of the open entrance to a cornfield confused me at first. What I initially thought was a pre-reg number plate suggested it was very old, but the post-'75 rear light clusters and the indicators in the front bumper suggested otherwise. It turns out that this is a Mexican Beetle, although it retains the Wolfsburg crest on the bonnet. It also had a single exhaust and no cut out on the rear apron for the usual dual pipe, suggesting that the engine is one of the later single point injection models with a catalytic converter.


Spotless engine bay of the 300SL gullwing.


Cyclops spotlight belonging to a Czechoslovakian Tatra V8; this amazing machine turned up shortly after I arrived. I've often read that the 2.5 litre DOHC aircooled V8 sounds exactly like you would expect it to, but nothing quite prepares you for the deep growl when you hear it for real; this is one special engine :D

The car dates from 1938, and has a lot in common with the contemporary Beetle - rear engine, independent suspension by torsion bars etc. The one thing the Beetle doesn't have though is a huge rear fin and engine cooling slats that you have to look through for rear vision - no doubt inspired by Saturday showings of Flash Gordon at the flicks!


Lurking in the back of the grain silo, past the Tatra and the Audi R10 (yawn) is our mystery car. Did you guess correctly? Neville had picked it up from a supercar storage location the previous week for the car's owner, who allegedly purchased this TWR Jaguar XJR15 new in the late 80s because he thought he was getting an XJ220. He was so disappointed to discover that he didn't own an example one of Jaguar's best investments that he never drove the car, so it has only 12 miles on the odometer! Its being put up for sale, if you have deep pockets... and its not supposed to be anywhere near as good as the XJR12 to drive...


Sneaky peek over the roof of the Miura, with its distinctive slats, to the Green Machine, with its equally distinctive slats...


1950s Vauxhall Velox, E-type convertible, Hillman Imp; just some of the fantastic selection of classics sharing a warm Summer's evening, with a roast pig (apologies to any vegetarians who might be reading this, but the hog roast was very nice indeed :D).


Let's not forget the bikes - this AJS was a great example of the two-wheeled machines at the event. I love looking at chrome in the sunshine :clapping:

So that was that - by 10:00 pm the cars were beginning to drift away, the multi-million convoy of SS100, SL300 and P400 disappeared into the twilight, so I fired up the Green Machine and drove the short distance home. In the halflight of a Summer's evening, the digital instrumentation and telecam (on the night-driving setting) looks very smart :D

So then I had to wash the car again, because I had another show to do on Sunday (pictures to follow)...


17-07-2010, 03:18 AM
You're certainly putting it about Lauren. Great photos. I've heard that the Tatra V8 is something to be heard. There was one up for auction here in Sydney, I think it was earlier this year. Was originally brought over as the Czechoslovakian Ambassador's personal vehicle.

17-07-2010, 05:16 PM
Listen to it here