Hmm, a rather lovely summer`s day despite the rather iffy forecast and all the better for the short jaunt to the Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 combined with their annual antiques fair. We must have got the timing right this year as there were no queues on the roads to the event, and which had been rather impressive tail backs at the same event last year, and the efficient staff ushered us to our parking space on the exhibition field overlooked by the famous castle in prompt order. Words and pictures Chris Dymock.
As we left ‘Tiddles’, my S-Type Jaguar, and walked toward the veritable sea of stalls and row upon row of glorious classic cars awaiting our inspection, a wave of live music suddenly started and did make me ponder for a moment if we hadn`t staggered upon a rehearsal for this year`s Glastonbury Festival? Wow, the boys at the Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 could really play.
Reaching the antiques and automobilia stalls and, mmm, the utterly addictive aroma of a hog roast mingling with that of chips and sausages and bacon and fried onions and doughnuts and freshly ground coffee and… ahh, the all too familiar sights and sounds of a local classic car show; you just can`t get more British.
After a wander around the mass of stalls that were selling everything from ancient automotive magazines and light lenses, to complete engines and even a dentist`s chair (surprisingly it had been sold by the time we passed the vendor again a couple of hours later), we reached the legion ranks of classic cars.
Whatever your particular taste in cars might be, there was almost certainly something to whet your whistle at this splendid event, the Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 offered everything from petit Austin Sevens to gargantuan American pickups lined up in the sunshine to pore over and covet.
Nice also to see a great display of Jaguars which also included a superb late model XJS, the design of which does seem to be weathering well since the model was introduced to a less than warm reception as the replacement to the iconic E-Type, a number of excellent examples of which were also presented.
There was also a very good display of a number of P6 Rovers and a couple of the older P4 models dotted around the show.
Among a number of rarities at the show, one that was drawing massive attention was a classic 70`s wedge shape, Aston Martin Lagonda, which still looks futuristic even today and beggars the question of how Aston managed to squeeze a V8 under such a low bonnet.
Other rarities uncovered at the Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 included Panther J72 and Kallista models presented by the Panther Car Club, South Wales and a Dodge Charger 440 parked alongside a Starsky & Hutch replica Ford Gran Torino for those who wished to indulge in their ‘Bullitt’ or ‘Starsky and Hutch’ detective fantasies.
Not all of the cars present were show ponies, and a work-in-progress Jensen CV8 project was really interesting to have a closer look at, and for those contemplating having a bit of fun with an affordable classic, there was a decent Fiat X19 for sale in the car park for a very reasonable £2,500 or so, and which just needed a little tidying.
If your interests also include classic motorbikes, then a rare and beautiful 1930`s Indian was sure to have caught your attention.
Among my personal favourites at the Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 were a rather fabulous Delahaye with a leaping hound bonnet mascot and a spanking Volvo 122S ‘Amazon’ which my other half also took a liking to and which may be food for thought regarding potential future classic car purchasing when the funds allow (she also took a shine to a lovely 1930`s something-or-other which was advertised for sale but way beyond any budget that I could make available, and also a huge, and very pink, Cadillac which fortunately wasn`t up for a new owner…)
Needless to say that with over 300 classic cars and their owners enjoying the sunshine, there just isn`t enough space here to even begin to list the enormous variety present at the Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 which took several, very pleasant, hours to wander around as we took photos and chatted to the lucky keepers.
As far as local car shows go the Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 was simply fantastic.
How does this event make you feel?
In one word: Brilliant
As a favourite meal: Just about anything the food vendors were selling, although our rather scrumptious picnic hit the mark.
Anything else: Always allow plenty of time to chat with the owners, some of the restoration tales can be near sagas.
Key ingredients: Wonderful venue eclipsed by a staggeringly varied selection of cars and an even more varied selection of owners.
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Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015 Berkeley Classic Car Show 2015