Visitors to Beaulieu on the Sunday of August Bank Holiday weekend could have been forgiven for thinking they had stepped back in time, as over 300 classic cars filled the grounds of the National Motor Museum, gleaming in the afternoon sunshine, for Simply Classics.
The event, only in its second year, has grown rapidly in popularity
within a relatively short amount of time, and there was a fantastic
range of classics on show, from Morgans and Morris Minors to Bentleys
The highlight of the day was the presence of two very rare vintage
racing cars, owned by Chris Williams, which were started up at regular
intervals through the day to give visitors an idea of just how powerful
these cars are. The matt-black Packard-Bentley, affectionately nicknamed
“Mavis”, boasted a massive 42 litre Packard V12 engine, which quite
literally ‘fired up’ as Chris revved the engine, throwing flames out of
the exhausts on both sides.
It was accompanied by a Napier Bentley – a 1968 one-off special build
vintage racing car with a 24 litre Napier Sea Lion W12 aeroplane
engine. The engine had three banks of four very large stub exhausts, and
the sound it makes when it has been started up has been likened to a
World War I biplane.
A number of rally participants entered their treasured vehicles into
the Concours Competition – a brand new feature introduced to the show
this year. Judged by freelance motoring journalist, Dale Drinnan, and
Managing Director of Vintage Tyres Supplies, Chris Marchant, each of the
entrants’ vehicles was scrutinised in detail. The winner, Kevin Curtis
from Totton, with his electric Monza blue Ford Escort RS1600, was
presented with a special Vintage Tyres anniversary trophy by Mr
Marchant. It is a rare car, and according to Kevin, who is part of the
RS Owners’ Club, 1150 were originally built and today the car is thought
to be one of only 200 still in existence.
On the day, visitors to Beaulieu were asked to vote for their
favourite vehicle on display in the People’s Choice Awards. Brian
Robinson from Ashurst won the award with his beautiful Jaguar XK140, and
was presented with a special edition 60th anniversary
Beaulieu Trophy by Lord Montagu. Second place went to a 1909 Paterson
touring car, with owner Jan Degeling receiving a Vintage Tyres Trophy,
followed by Gary Collins’ VW Campervan in third place. Gary, from
Chichester, was presented with a bottle of Beaulieu Apple Cider.
Following the presentation, the top ten vehicles voted for in the
awards took part in a cavalcade through the grounds, and created a
display for visitors to admire against the stunning backdrop of Palace