This was a great event: far better than most of us imagined!
Report from Keith Banks:
It all started in July, when an email was sent, to the Arc, enquiring about the suitability and cost, of staging a classic car show, at the Arc, with the possibility of generating new membership, for our club. You can imagine our surprise to receive an almost immediate response, saying that it was currently being considered and would we like to stage it, second weekend in September. After a half second of consideration we responded YES! It was being organised by Toolbox and in addition to our cars they were providing a 4 position computer race game, using the images of old F1 cars, on the Brands Hatch circuit. They also intended to have an IPad competition, open to all attending.
(John Howell) Better still, it was free to us!
To do this professionally and to present the right image, some investment was needed, a gazebo, pop-up displays, leaflets and business cards. All had to be designed and sourced, in very short order. Clearly a major priority was to encourage you, our members, to show your cars. Eight were needed, on each day and we hoped to have cars from various decades and types, to show that we are a club designed encourage people with an interest in cars, to join.
We managed to do this.
At 8 am on Saturday 9th September, the first group of eight assembled, at the rear entrance to the Arc and were led, ‘two by two’, by the banksman who I thought of as Noah, to our location, in front of the Apex.
Natalie Seymour, who was running the show for Toolbox, on behalf of the Arc was there to welcome us, and was very pleased with the range of cars offered.
Our chairman, John Howell, had recently bought a 1991 Renault Ambulance, which was ideal for carrying all our display equipment, great foresight!
We then had an hour to prepare our display, set up the gazebo and pop-ups and generally organise ourselves. As the volume of general public swelled we were ready. The cars we had on show were, 1901 Locomobile (steam car), an Austin 16, a 1932 Rolls Royce, an MG TD, a Lotus Esprit S4, an MGB Roadster, a DeSoto Firedome and a Renault Avantime.
There were six of us, manning the show and we were soon busy, answering questions, explaining who we were and why we were there and generally encouraging interest in the cars and our club.
We were given a discount at the Apex cafe, which was gladly accepted and a nearby hot sausage stall also offered us a good discount on their excellent product.
We were joined by a young lady who was promoting the show and distributing leaflets. She was Miss Suffolk, so she was persuaded to pose with a number of our cars.
The time passed quite quickly and most of the people we spoke to were very interested in the cars and the club.
One particularly incident occurred when a lady, who had perhaps over indulged in an interesting substance, asked if she could take the 1932 Rolls Royce for a test drive!
The weather was reasonably kind to us, just one or two heavy showers, and we were grateful for the gazebo that kept us dry. Unfortunately it rained, just before the close, so when we took our display down it was all rather wet. However we stowed it in the back of John’s ambulance and retired to the Farmers Club, for a well-earned glass or two, having enjoyed our day.
Our start time, on Sunday was a little later and we gathered at the entrance at 9 am, Noah 2 was there to conduct us to the location. We had seven different cars to show, the only repeat being the Lotus Esprit, and that was because the (my) Lotus Eleven had a flat battery! The other cars were, Citroen Ami, Hurtu (French and very rare), a Teal ( 1926 Bugatti replica), a 1962 Bristol 407, a Caterham Super 7, a Renault Ambulance (doubling as a service vehicle) and a 1947 Dodge.
There were fewer people attending, but those that were had more time and were even more interested in our cars and club. Despite the weather forecast we did not have any rain, although it did threaten, from time to time. When it came time to go home, we were grateful that it was dry, which meant that we could pack up our display and pack it, in the ambulance, without concern.
The show was a great success: both the Arc and we were happy with the interest shown. In a discussion, with a representative of the Arc , we were told that they would consider making this an annual event, with our co-operation and that they would like to have have more cars on display.
From our viewpoint, many people indicated that they were interested, in joining our club, so we await their applications. (John Howell: so far, 4 received).
In conclusion our thanks must go to those members who offered their cars and attendance on the days, Rory Holbrook, Ernie Warren, Keith Peck, Keith Wallage, Keith Banks, Gerry Taylor, Chris Kisko, John Howell, Roger Ling, Nick Challacombe and Len Oram.
Photographs and a short video, of the weekend, taken by our ‘in house’ photographer, Chris Kisko, are on our website. Do have a look!