Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show

Oldsmobile

Chris ‘Scrutineering’ Dymock stumbled across the Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show in the small village of Easter Compton just north of Bristol (UK) to discover a relatively large two day event he didn’t even knew existed and right on the doorstep – Sweet.

Trundling through the rather lovely village of Easter Compton on the outskirts of Bristol on a wonderful summer`s morning involved trying to convince myself that a never-heard-of-it-before classic vehicles show actually existed as I struggled to locate the venue. Finally seeing a little sign for the show propped up in a grass verge after I had driven right through the village, I made a turn into what looked like the entrance to a farm and stopped there as an element of doubt set in. And then absolute confirmation that I was indeed in the right place drove by me in the form of an old motorcycle combination. Whose sidecar was a bathtub complete with taps and a showerhead!

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Motorbike & bathtub sidecar ‘Prepared for a British summer’

A very reasonable £5 entry fee later and I find myself in a very large field with numerous gravel tracks and already busy with a good number of retail and trade outlets, motor club stands, auto-jumble area and food concessions – for a local classic vehicle gathering, this quite sizable, two-day event is looking like Bristol`s best kept secret.

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Secrets like a Rolls-Royce Camargue

With a veritable multitude of classic cars, tractors, military vehicles, caravans and trailers on exhibition and even a model aircraft flying display at set times during the weekend, the show certainly caters to a broad spectrum of automotive interests.

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Surely the Impreza is the next Escort in waiting

Passing a pair of competition modified rally cars – a tasty bubble-arched Escort RS2000 MK1 and an early Impreza – followed by a 70`s Rolls Camargue, Jensen Interceptor, rare Austin A40 Convertible and a custom 50`s Ford F100 pickup with a small block V8 visible under the open hood, I am eventually stopped in my tracks by a little red sports coupe that I just can`t recognise?

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Now an A30 Van really has got to be rare

Talking with owner, Ed, I discover that it`s a Karmann Ghia Type 34 ‘Razor Edge’, a very rare variation of the surfing fraternities 60`s favourite. The car was bought as a complete basket case needing total restoration and my observation that the interior was perfect turned out to be one of the reasons for the original purchase, as the bodywork was so poor that Ed even had to recreate a new nearside front wing from scratch, original coach built items obviously not being available.

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Chris was taken back with Ed’s Razor Edge

Farther along, and parked with a group of fabulous Healeys, is an Austin A35 sitting on painted Minilite wheels with wire locked spinners; hmm, interesting. A quick look under the bonnet reveals a whopping great supercharger as large as the engine itself.

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Stunning and supercharged Austin A35

Other interesting engine bays include a Ford Consul wrapped around a TVR V8 and a Morris Minor fitted with a Fiat Twincam – a popular conversion back in the 80`s. Another Moggy Minor that stood out had a ‘For Sale’ sign on indicating that parting with just £7,700 would bag some lucky person a 15,000 mile from new, near perfect example in absolutely original condition and was one of a number of cars sporting for-sale signs that had me doing some quick mental arithmetic as well as trying to find the perfect excuse if I actually brought one home, “darling, about next years holiday…”

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Morris Minor for sale stood out with just 15,000 miles on the clock

With British cars from every era and just about every manufacturer on display, American cars were also well represented with everything from the ubiquitous Mustang to chrome lavished offerings from the 50`s and 60`s including a stunning Oldsmobile Rocket 88. My favourite ‘yank tank’ however, was the 50`s Chevy Bel-Air that had its just-pulled-from-the-barn faded finish protected by a coat of matt lacquer and with a couple of surf boards on the roof rack – cool!

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Barn-Find Bel-Air (Surf boards optional)

Quite a number of clubs had stands at the show, with the Jaguar Enthusiasts`, Bristol Kit Car and Bristol Custom Car Clubs all having a wide variety of models on display. For our increasingly congested and ‘road rage’ blighted roads, the American ‘Deuce And A Half’ truck in the military vehicles display would appear to be a good solution – not a particularly high top speed, cars are likely to just to bounce off you in the event of an accident and the 50cal heavy machine gun on the roof mounting definitely cuts out any chance of silly arguments from others.

Summer Classics and Custom Vehicle Show
Chris thinks he may have solved his commuting woes

After several laps of the event and numerous interesting conversations with owners about their cherished classics, I finally completing my tour with a lunchtime stop for a very good bacon, sausage and egg roll and mug of tea and then reluctantly departed this wonderful event to make my promised visit to my sister to have a look at her new car, a brand new Nissan Note. Oh dear God, have I taught the girl nothing…

How does this event make you feel?

In one word: Surprised (in a really good way)

As a favourite meal: Breakfast roll with brown sauce and a mug of tea – food of the Gods

Anything Else: A wonderful two-day event that deserves better promotion – I`m definitely visiting again next year

Key Ingredients: A local show with such a large and eclectic mix of vehicles it offers something of interest for everyone

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