Report from the Footman James Classic Motor Show

Report from the Footman James Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham 12 November ’11 by Jim Myers

Some highlights:
Bexhill 100 Motoring Club – Had a nice conversation with Tom Mason, the Bexhill annual motor show manager. The Club holds a splendid ‘family day out’ motor show on August Bank Holiday Monday every year (27 August for 2012). Profits go to local charities, so a small donation of £3 is requested for entries. For further details of how to apply contact the Car Entries Secretary, F. Hemsworth via the website: http://www.bexhill100mc.co.uk/

As a Karmann Ghia owner, I naturally gravitated to the Historic Volkswagen stand where I talked to Robin about his own collection – a ‘split window’ ’52, an ‘oval’ (refers to rear windows in early Beetles) and a very nice DKW sports coupé, if I recall correctly. For any of you old Volkswagen fans out there, there’s a Vintage Volkswagen Show at Lavenham on Saturday 23 June 2012. For more information check this website: http://forums.pre67vw.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=47300

Fancy a trip to the Emerald Isle? The Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run takes place June 1 to 4th 2012, tracing the route of the famous Gordon Bennett Cup Motor Race of 1903. This looks to be a wonderful event. Interested? Contact: http://gordonbennettclassic.ie/

On Jack Colby’s behalf I made a beeline for the Gordon-Keeble Club stand where three of these noble beasts were on display. Jack has one of the 99 (or 100 if you count the final car said to have been built with left-over parts) Gordon-Keebles ever made, and is greatly attached to it. I can see why. I talked to the very nice chaps on the stand who had heard about Jack’s Gordon-Keeble, probably from the editor of Keebling, who had kindly reviewed Classic in the Barn. For more on Gordon-Keebles, see: http://www.gordonkeeble.org.uk/ (see picture of G-K)

On the stand of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain I was lucky enough to meet Nick Pellett, committee member of the De Dion Bouton Club. Jack Colby wants me to say that a De Dion Bouton will be appearing in his third case to be published in novel form, Classic in the Clouds, due for publication in the autumn of 2012. But if you can’t wait for that, read his second case due out in February 2012, Classic Calls the Shots, featuring a 1935 Auburn. Or if you haven’t already read it, Classic in the Barn, already published and featuring a 1938 Lagonda. (see picture of De Dion)

Displayed on the Singer Owners Club stand was the splendid 1934 Singer Le Mans, which won a gold medal at the famous (or rather notorious) Berlin Olympics in 1936. An equally splendid and more recent Singer, a 1954 roadster, also took the stage. It rejoices in the name of Elvis – think about it! For the full story visit the website, singerownersclub.co.uk. (see picture of Elvis)

A special treat for me was the display of cars on the ‘Early Ford V-8 Club – UK Branch’. Fans of ‘flathead V-8s’ (of which I am one) were indulged, not only by the cars on this particular stand, but also by the appearance of Henry Ford’s famous engine on other stands, notable the Allard display. (see picture of 36 Ford V-8 Phaeton)

All in all, the visit to this show was an intense experience…so many cars, so little time!

Jim Myers – 15 November 2011

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