Despite a poor forecast, the sun shone for Simply Classics & Sports Car on Saturday 22 August 2015, one of the flagship events in Beaulieu’s calendar of Simply rallies. Visitors were treated to a colourful display of over 200 cars, made up of pre-1990 classics and sports cars of all ages.
Scoring high in the nostalgia stakes were a number of family classics, including a 1966 Wolseley 16/60, finished in a striking two-tone colour scheme, an immaculate 1984 Rover SD1 3500 Vanden Plas with only 70,000 miles on the clock, and a 1972 Morris Marina 1300 rally car, which had been built to replicate an example used in the 1974 RAC Rally.
More unusual was a 1960 Volkswagen Microbus, which had been completely restored mechanically, but still retained its faded paint, surface rust and battle scars on top. Another distinctive machine was a 1952 Armstrong Siddeley Whitley 18hp, which epitomised post-war luxury motoring. Much smaller was a Fiat Abarth 595, a sporting version of the classic Italian people’s car.
An impressive selection of sports cars was on show, ranging from 1950s thoroughbreds such as a Jaguar XK120 and a Daimler Dart, through pint-sized performance cars such as a 1971 Ginetta and a pair of immaculate Triumph Spitfires, to more modern machinery such as a 1985 Porsche 911 Turbo, a 1994 Lancia Delta Integrale and a 2006 Jaguar XK 4.2.
The Stag Owners Club displayed no less than 15 of its members’ cars, finished in a variety of original colours, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of this much-loved V8 Triumph. The Wessex Car Club also put on a varied display, while the Bournemouth & Poole MG Owners’ Club showcased a selection of MGs, including an MGA coupe and a Y-type saloon.
Throughout the day, visitors voted for their favourite cars of the show in the People’s Choice Awards. Third place went to Steven Brooks, for his stunning 1959 Ford Zephyr Mk2 Lowline in Conway Yellow. “It had been restored, but was quite tatty when I got it a few years ago,” said Steven. “I’ve restored all of the chrome and the upholstery, as well as adding period extras such as the sun visor and spot lamps.”
In second place was Gary Collins’ immaculate 1967 Volkswagen camper van, which is used regularly to attend shows. “I went to Cornwall in it last week and Ireland in it last year,” Gary said. “It’s not the most reliable machine, but that’s all part of the fun of it.”
The most popular car of the event was John Smith’s 1955 Austin-Healey 100M, finished in the eye-catching colours of Florida Green over Old English White. “It was the Earls Court Motor Show demonstration car and used for test-drives by journalists,” said John, who bought the car four years ago at auction. “I do try to use it occasionally. I love the colour, it makes you feel so happy.” John was presented with a Beaulieu trophy and an Autoglym car valeting pack, before leading a cavalcade of the most popular vehicles through the Beaulieu grounds.
Simply Classics & Sports Car is part of a range of Simply rallies at Beaulieu, covering a wide variety of motoring marques and themes.
The provisional date for 2016 Simply Classics & Sport Car is Saturday 20 August. For the latest information, visit www.beaulieu.co.uk/events.