A welcome return to vintage car shows

What a welcome sight to see classic car shows popping up once again, and especially here in the West Country.

One of the best events takes place at Chanters House, Ottery St Mary on the August Bank Holiday.

It is well organised, located in a beautiful location and attracts a large and varied selection of cars.

Admission is free and is a must for any vintage car enthusiast.

A few years ago I visited an event for Jaguar owners and my dear old friend and his wife Doris were present with their precious bright red Jaguar XJS, which they had entered in the driving obstacle course of precision organized at the end of the afternoon.

I was not eligible since I had arrived in a Rover.

This competition took place against the clock and consisted of various maneuvers with plastic bollards delimiting the course.

When it came time to compete, my friend was deep in conversation with an old friend so he told me I would take his place and handed me his car keys.

Not one to miss an opportunity to put this high-performance car to the test, I set off at top speed for the first “U” bend with spectators held back by a white band.

Unbeknownst to me, Doris’ fine china picnic set was in the trunk, ready for afternoon tea later.

The first time I heard of it was the crushing and popping behind me as I raced down the course.

Too bad, I quickly concluded that there was nothing I could do to save the day, so I continued regardless.

Mums and dads watching the drama picked up their children and ran to safety as the china smashed into small pieces with every turn, making the most appalling noise.

Returning the keys, I told my friend that there was good news and bad news.

The good news was that I had won the contest, but would he like a beer in the tent instead of tea?

If you happen to be attending an event like this yourself, I suggest taking a quick peek in the trunk first!

Written by Paul Jolly, classic car specialist and appraiser

Paul Jolly, classic car specialist and appraiser

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