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The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show – NEC Birmingham – 15th – 17th November 2013

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The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show – NEC Birmingham – 15th – 17th November 2013

The place to share the passion for motoring, the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show is the UK’s biggest and best classic motoring celebration, held at Birmingham’s NEC.

With over 1,500 cars and 300 motorcycles on display, Britain’s best motoring clubs pulled out all the stops to showcase rare and exciting marques ranging from pre-war through to retro classics, American muscle cars to Japanese performance, European elegance to Great British sports cars and many more.

The centrepiece of the car displays was the Meguiar’s Club Showcase, which brought together the best concours cars from the club events throughout the year and crowned the winner as Car of the Year.

Other features included the Wheeler Dealer Live Stage hosted by the TV motoring show’s presenters Mike Brewer and Edd China with restoration challenges, special guests and exclusive competitions.

The impressive Restoration Theatre had a team of mechanics showing visitors exactly how to tackle all aspects of restoring a cherished classic car.

Silverstone Auctions was there with it’s sale of classic cars, motorcycles and memorabilia. Viewing took place all day on the Friday and Saturday morning with the sale on Saturday afternoon.

As well as the impressive car displays, visitors were also able to enjoy the Classic Motorbike Show featuring special guests, stunning bike club displays, a Pride of Ownership concours and a Vintage Wall of Death.

Across both events, over 600 trade stands were selling a wide range of parts, spares, tools, motoring services and memorabilia while the popular Autojumble and Bikejumble were havens for mechanics looking for that elusive motoring component.

Miniworld Action Day – Castle Combe – 28th September 2013

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Miniworld Action Day – Castle Combe – 28th September 2013

Another year of this fun show with traders, auto jumble, club stands and lots of mini enthusiasts.  There were a number of competitions, racing (of course), a number of parade laps and once again Mighty Minis were there offering Charity Rides throughout the day.

The weather was due to be very wet but as it turned out it was dry most of the day with just a slight shower in the afternoon.

As this is a local event for our club we had a very good turnout of members and their cars for the club stand and a good day was had by all, especially for one member who went on the parade lap with his six year old son who was ecstatic with the experience.

The Legendary Grand Tour – North Devon – 24th – 26th August 2013

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The Legendary Grand Tour – North Devon – 24th – 26th August 2013

Another year North Devon hosts the amazing Legendary Grand Tour to raise money for the Children’s Hospice South West. This year the weather was dry for us all be it a little windy.

Saturday night, The Kebab Run, or The Saturday Night Cruise as it is known these days!!  The run set off from The Burrows, drive through Westward Ho! Northam and Appledore with a finish at The Big Sheep.  Well this run was the end to one of our club cars, not at this stage we knew this, a bit of tinkering was not enough.

We met on the Sunday at Westward Ho!  Once the Bideford Youth Pipe Band had done their procession it was our turn to make some noise so with much tooting and merriment we set off to terrorise, sorry, I mean tour through many towns and villages in Torridge where people were lining the streets.

Then a BBQ for us, on disposable BBQ’s that were rubbish and we ended up putting it under the grill instead!!!

On Monday the majority of mad mini people put on their fancy dress costumes and spiced up their minis and made their way down to Bideford Park.  After driver briefing, the Bideford Youth Pipe Band did their thing again and we then set off to entertain the good folk of North Devon, with a stop at Lee Abby for a bite to eat, a stretch of the legs and a comfort break we ended the Grand Tour for another year in Ilfracombe.

This day was also a tragedy for one of our members cars going down the other side of Valley of the Rocks the car lost power, they managed to limp to Ilfracombe and back to their B&B but there was no way it was going to get back to Bristol.

Tuesday, we all pack up and a recovery truck picks up the first of our ill minis and they said how busy they were, not sure exactly how the conversation went but they then went round to pick up our 2nd sick mini and they came back together, ahhh!!

Gloucestershire Steam and Vintage Extravaganza -South Cerney – 2nd – 4th August 2013

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Gloucestershire Steam and Vintage Extravaganza -South Cerney – 2nd – 4th August 2013

The 39th annual Gloucestershire Steam and Vintage Extravaganza made a welcome return to South Cerney Airfield this summer, offering three days of exhibits and entertainment, displays and demonstrations, stalls and much, much more.

It took place from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th August 2013, more than 15,000 enthusiasts and families were expected at this year’s extravaganza, which is regarded as one of the biggest and best steam, vintage and countryside events in the UK.

The steam section was the heart of the show and was be packed with more than 100 full-sized engines, including some that have never been displayed in the country before, while the vintage section featured an array of buses, tractors, military vehicles, static aircrafts, classic cars for us to feast our eyes upon – it was also a chance for visitors to learn the rare and remarkable stories of some of their restorations and histories too.

Highlights of the exhibitions included a 1904 CGV Talbot, one of only two left in existence; a rare 1970 Mini 9x Prototype designed by Alec Issigonis; a 1933 Stanford 9; a record-breaking Jensen 541 Prototype, chassis number 1; a restored 1929 Cadillac; and an iconic Bedford OB bus.

Alongside the hundreds of vintage vehicles were steam-driven vintage and modern fun fairs, complete with dodgems, a big wheel, waltzers and a ghost train; ‘electric yachts’; steam-driven ‘gallopers’; and face painting; plus the return of the Ken Fox Wall of Death, which wowed the crowds with tricks, acrobatics and high-speed chases on 1920s Indian motorcycles.

There was also an Animal and Countryside area which played home to a diverse range of animals, from Shire horses to ferrets, but also drew families in with horse logging, falconry, and Paws for Thought dog displays.

Club Social BBQ – Melksham – 21st July 2013

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Club Social BBQ – Melksham – 21st July 2013

We have been trying for the past few years to have a club social gathering incorporating a BBQ but unfortunately we have been rained off well this year was an exception.  We set a date and had our fingers crossed that the weather would be good as Dawn kindly offered her house as a venue and the use of her own BBQ!!!

Dawn and Rachel organised some salads, nibbly bits and drinks as members were asked to bring their own meats and rolls.  The day dawned and the sun was shining brightly, Nick set up the gazebo which looked like it would be used to shade from the sun and not to shelter from the rain which was good news.

I think all in all there were 10 of us which was a nice number as we only had the one BBQ but at least it was not those dreaded disposable ones!!!  Rachel took charge of the cooking and almost gave Nick food poisoning by not cooking his burgers all the way through but he was being inpatient as he was hungry (as always!!).

We all scoffed our food and as always with a BBQ made / cooked too much food and ended up absolutely stuffed!!  We chatted and sat back and enjoyed the lovely sunny weather and to let the food settle!!

I think a good day was had by all, the sunshine certainly helped matters.

Thank you Dawn for providing the venue and cooking facilities.  Hopefully we can have another success story next year with a rain free day.

Atwell Wilson Motor Museum Classic Vehicle Show – 13th – 14th July 2013

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Atwell Wilson Motor Museum Classic Vehicle Show – 13th – 14th July 2013

The Annual Classic Vehicle Show was held at the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July 2013. It started with a road run followed by a barbecue on the Saturday evening and a classic vehicle show on the Sunday; hundreds of cars showed out for the event and enjoyed the sunshine.

The road run started from the Museum at Stockley Lane, Calne, Wiltshire, at 5pm on Saturday 13th July and took in around 60 miles of the surrounding country side before returning to the Museum for a barbecue and live entertainment and a licensed bar. There was a small charge of £5 for the road run, which included a burger and a hot drink at the end of the road run.

Sunday the 14th July saw the Annual Classic Vehicle Show return to The Museum; in 2011 they had over 300 cars on show. There was the usual variety of vehicles on display, including, Collectors Cars, Commercials, Tractors and Motor Cycles. This year there was a special feature on 110 years of the Standards and 90 Years of the Triumph (Standard Triumph).

In addition to the vehicles on display, there was an autojumble, tombola, traders, concours, The Museum itself was open throughout the day, also the Calne Silver Band played a few sets!! Tickets were also on sale for the annual Grand Prize Draw for a Mini Sprite Saloon which will be drawn at the mulled wine evening at the museum on Saturday 7th December 2013.

BMC and Leyland Show, Gaydon Motor Museum – Sunday 7th July 2013

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BMC and Leyland Show, Gaydon Motor Museum – Sunday 7th July 2013

A brand new show for 2013, incorporating vehicles manufactured by the British Motor Corporation, British Leyland and Rover including commercial and military vehicles.
On show, there was over 80 different marques covering a 100 year period including big names such as Daimler,  Alvis, Wolseley, Austin, Morris, Riley, Standard, MG and Land Rover.  There was also the rare opportunity to see 10 different vehicles from the Heritage Motor Centre’s reserve collection that are not normally on display!

This was an enthusiast’s show aimed at enthusiasts clubs and not only celebrate the iconic Mini but other fantastic marques. The show had something for everyone…

  • More than 800 vehicles on show - From a Mini through to the Scorpion tanks from the Alvis Fighting Vehicle Society, and all sizes in between including vans, lorries and collection of new MINI exhibitors.
  • Mini Concours with £100 cash prize
  • 80 different Marques
  • Autojumble and trade stands
  • The Mini 1959 Register – They displayed a collection of their cars by the front of the museum. There were also some VIP’s from the world of Mini’s including John Sheppard, who worked on all the BMC models from the late 1950’s onwards.
  • The Mini Traveller and Countryman Register
  • Cooper Sport 500 Register – They had at least 3 or 4 of the original “ LOE” press cars that were used by Rover to launch this final model of the classic mini in the year 2000.
  • Cowley Convoy Run from BMW Mini Cowley to the Heritage Motor Centre
  • 10 vehicles from the Heritage Motor Centre reserve collection.

 

Bristol Mini Day Washingpool Farm, Easter Compton – 16th June 2013

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Bristol Mini Day Washingpool Farm, Easter Compton – 16th June 2013

A big show for the club where we raise a substantial amount of money for The Children’s Hospice South West with Bristol showing host to one of these fantastic venues, Charlton Farm, which was the second hospice to open in 2007.  If you want to know more about The Children’s Hospice South West then please visit www.chsw.org.uk.  It is a very worthy charity and we Mini drivers support year on year doing lots of wonderful and silly things to raise money.

With a lot of preparation beforehand to get the site ready plus all the paperwork, trophies and layout for the show n shine and also bodies for car parking BMD 2013 came round very quickly.

Last year was such a wash out the weeks before the show that the decision was made to move the layout and use the barns and the hard standing areas.  This year saw another new layout where we used the fields for car parking and the club stands, the hard standing area for the show n shine and the traders were inside.

With an early start came the sun but this did not stay for long, by 11am the heavens had opened and there was no sign of any let up until about 4pm!!!  Due to this lovely weather front this affected the number of visitors to the show.

We battled on regardless, parking up the visitors and the show n shine entrants and then judging, all in all not a bad day was had with Stuart Spring winning the Best Classic Mini In Show.

One of these years we ARE going to have a dry BMD, dry beforehand and on the day would be superb, fingers crossed for next year.

London to Brighton – 2nd June 2013

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London to Brighton – 2nd June 2013

The annual London to Brighton Mini Run is organised by the London & Surrey Mini Owners Club. It is one of the biggest events along Madeira Drive with parked minis stretching all the way from the Sealife Centre to Blackrock.

The Mini Run is open to all and every conceivable type of Mini, and it is one of the attractions of the day to see just how many variants and customised minis there are.

In addition, the Mini Run is also an enormous market.  Madeira Drive is full of market stalls selling everything and anything you could want for your mini.  There is even a small course where souped-up minis can strut their stuff - one at a time.

The run started from Crystal Palace Park in London, it started at 8.30am and registration was from around 5.30, so a lot of people actually camped over at the park on the Saturday night.

The official route was full of contrasts, passing through the London suburbs of Westminster, Brixton, Croydon and Purley, past Gatwick Airport, Crawley and then into the countryside of The Weald, crossing the North and South Downs. Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs (near but not part of the A23), a steep climb followed by a gentle descent for five miles into Brighton, where the route finished on the promenade by the Kings Road arches. Although a lot of people took the M23.

International Mini Meet (IMM) – Italy – 17th – 19th May 2013

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International Mini Meet (IMM) – Italy – 17th – 19th May 2013

This annual event that, from 1978 onwards, has seen Mini Clubs from all over the world rendezvous at different locations around the world. The place chosen for this year's 37th edition was the Autodromo del Mugello, where they are counted to be about three thousand Minis, mostly all classic.

The Mugello is the area that spreads from northern Florence to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The landscape is rich and varied, including woods of beech, fir and oak chestnut trees as well as vineyards and cultivated fields.

The setting for the weekend was a full program based on live concerts, exhibitions, slalom, drift and test drive.  Minis from all over the world were presented in an exhibition area reserved for this purpose, from the Morris Mini-Traveller Clubman, Mini Cooper S from the 60s to the current John Cooper Works. And finally, as a special tribute to the host country there was a parade of Innocenti Mini around the Tuscan circuit.

The event, which has transformed the Mugello in a large exhibition park, drew about 5,000 fans from all over the world, most of which had to deal with hundreds of miles to attend. Without a doubt, however, no one has passed the distance covered by a Mini made in the USA, came from Florida after a voyage of a month.