Berkeley Classic Car Show

In maintaining our love of events large and small and in the run up to the big one for us this year, the Le Mans Classic, Chris ‘Scrutineering’ Dymock and his antique loving partner Lynnette finally manage to tick all event boxes together at the brilliant 2014 Berkeley Classic Car Show, Chris picks up the story from here (Words and Pictures: Chris Dymock).

Isn`t it wonderful when the Gods smile upon you and all is harmonious in your personal universe for a moment. What`s happened? Well, when your chosen hobbies don`t happen to coincide with those of your partner (classic cars for me and antiques for my partner, Lynnette), then you`re usually faced with the choice of either having a solo visit to a particular event or, one or the other of you trolling around a venue for hours on end like a B movie zombie extra desperately feigning a modicum of interest as the virtues of the others hobby are extolled at length.

Berkeley Classic Car Show
Some cars were clearly a long way from home

Which is why, when I saw a roadside advert for the upcoming Berkeley Classic Car Show that I haven’t attended before and held at local historic venue, Berkeley Castle, I was slightly relieved to find out that this particular event also encompassed a large antiques fair and, as the weather had finally settled a couple of days before, we were blessed with a fabulous English summer day for our excursion.

Berkeley Classic Car Show
Stunning in red MK11 stood out

And what a great event the Berkeley Classic Car Show turned out to be. We queued for a short time to get in and were parked in a set of fields located below the promontory on which the castle is perched. After a walk around the antiques and automobilia stalls for an hour or so, we made our way into an adjacent field to be met with the sight of around 300 classic cars of all eras.

The JEC made sure there were a good selection of E-Types
JEC ensured there were a good selection of E-Types present

With everything from early twentieth century rarities, a collection of glorious E-Types and some more recent Jaguars presented by the Jaguar Enthusiast`s Club (JEC) and even a number of absolutely massive, modern American pick-ups, there was certainly something for everyone, and I think I demonstrated admirable levels of self-restraint during the numerous conversations with owners whose cars were displaying ‘For Sale’ notices, although some credit for this must also go to the looks I was regularly receiving from she-who-must-be-obeyed.

Berkeley Classic Car Show
Great to see cars like Toyota’s Crown (Ed – My Dad had one)

Other interesting cars present were a pair of well preserved, and wonderfully kitsch, 1970`s Toyota Crowns – Japanese cars of that era have a rapidly increasing following in the classic car world, a Jensen 541 fully decked out in the livery of long-gone Silver City Airways, a superbly restored Triumph GT6 (one of a number of cars displaying engine bays you could probably safely eat your lunch off), a number of Alvis’ and quite a collection of American cars of the fifties and sixties whose styling and sheer physical presence still draws admiration with this classic car fan.

Berkeley Classic Car Show
Standard Vanguard Estate appeared incredible value at £4,500

Among a number of personal favourites-of-the-day were a couple of superb Packards from the twenties and thirties, a rather lovely Reliant Scimitar SE4a, a truly adorable Austin Seven which was so small it looked like as if I would be able to wear it rather than just to sit in it (I`m not small) and a rather superbly restored, one of the last ever built, Standard Vanguard estate which, up for sale at a very reasonable £4,500, did tick a number of boxes for the both of us as we could visualise popping Ossie our Lurcher in the back and enjoying the odd picnic or two at a somewhat more cathartic pace than modern life seems to demand these days.

Berkeley Classic Car Show
You could eat your dinner off of some engine bays, like this clean Capri 2.8i

The Berkeley Classic Car Show proved to be a great way to while away a very pleasant afternoon, wandering amongst some truly glorious cars and, once again, the quality and variety of the cars displayed, and the friendliness and approachability of the owners, proved just how fantastic a local event can turn out to be.



How does this event make you feel:

In one word: Relaxing

As a favourite meal: Freshly cooked doughnuts and a cup of tea.

Anything else: A great idea to mix an antiques fair with a classic car show – how British!

Key ingredients: Antiques, automobilia, classic cars and a truly eclectic group of traders and owners.


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