Southern Classics Society is a friendly and informal, all-marque club for classic vehicle enthusiasts in the south of England

Show Reports 2015

The 2015 show season started with a bang - the biggest yet and ended with another one, see the years reports and photos below, most recent first:

Chichester College Autumn Show - 21st September 2015

The Chichester show has somewhat gained a reputation as being the one to be seen at and this years closing show was no different.

The sun was out from the start and there were autojumblers setting up before the committee arrived. Whilst the show doesn't formally start until 10:00 there was over 100 cars through the gate before that.

Also as is becoming usual at Chichester we get a bit of a backlog at the gate which spreads out onto the roundabout. This was added to this year by the road layout changes for Tesco, and an accident on the A27 plus a classic deciding to pack up as it entered the roundabout.

A quick call for volunteers at the show and it was soon pushed into the show to be fixed - this is what classic ownership is about - all helping each other out. It wasn't the only classic to be pushed into the show as a mini also needed some manual assistance. But it wouldn't be a classic car show without a bonnet up and number of enthusiasts debating the problem would it?

The other special thing with Chichester is we always see new cars and some of them 'special' in a variety of ways.

This year saw a lovely Ford flatbed lorry which had been in the same family since new (the current owners grandfather bought it new), and having been restored with only 16000 miles it was most impressive reminder of those old commercials which delivered everything in Britain.

The police were present - not one but two 'Panda' cars - one a Morris Minor, which won the 60's prize and another an Allegro - lights and sirens too (as we heard).

The leisure side of the classic movement where represented by several versions of camper vans, one - a lovely Dormobile was selected by the shows attendees as the Visitors Choice.

There was another vehicle that we hadn't seen before - but no wonder - it had travelled from Perth - Yes Australia. Not specifically for our show (but we would like to think so).

Barry drove into the show in a 1960 Peugeot 403 having driven overland from Perth to Paris (25,000 KMs) and then on to the UK, through Malaysia, China, Mongolia, Russia and many other countries.

He was now on a tour of the UK to meet friends. The car had been hand signed by many people on the way.

An amazing story - and whilst it has now been completed you can still read their Blog at 'Overland to Paris' which tells of the trip as they went.

As is also usual the Solent Renegades Car Club came bringing all sorts of Amercian cars, from classic to moderns and hotrods and other streetcars. Also on the American theme we had a good show from the Sussex Corvette Club who won the Club Prize.

Two other special things happened: we had a lot of new members sign up on the day which has now taken us to over 500 members in the club - a new record. In addition one of those new members is also our youngest member - a very keen young man who is not yet of an age to drive but very keen on classic cars - welcome to all our new members whatever their age.

Many thanks to everyone who came and made it a fantastic last show of the season - looking forward to seeing you all next year at the start of season show at the same venue.

Click here for 350+ photos.


Worthing Rugby Club - 16th August 2015

The Worthing Rugby Club Show is always popular even though it competes with many other classic car shows, being the mid-point of the season. This years was no different.

The weather looked good from the beginning and that always helps attendance. Over the day we had over 130 cars on display and probably over 10 in the public car park who didn't want to display for one reason or another. Included in this unofficial but interesting part of the show was a a Jag XK150 which had a bit of a clutch problem and sat in the public carpark with the bonnet up, and a Rochdale GT - not a car you see often and attracted many interested people.

As is usual for a SCS show the range of vehicles on display was wide - one of the things that attracts people to our social and relaxed type of shows.

As normal we have a 'Pride of Ownership' competition which is as much about the pride the owner has in their 'pride and joy' as the car itself - the winners of the awards show the breath of style from a 1914 Model T Ford to a 2003 Toyota MR2 Roadster.

One winner was a 1931 Morris Minor with its own L'Homage Caravan - a clever little folding arrangement which definately didn't have the home comforts modern caravaners expect, but which looked a lot of fun.

Talking of Morris Minors there was a good turnout of the 60's versions - check them out in the photo's. The weather held well - even though it went a bit dark to make us appreciate the sunshine and the burger/tea and ice cream vans had a steady stream of customers throughout the day.

At the end we held the raffle, the prize giving and an auction for a set of 1950's Ford plugs and points which quickly went, followed by another auction for tickets to the Goodwood Revival, both which had been donated so the funds would go to our charities.

Thanks to all the club volunteers who helped the committee setup, direct cars during the day and pack up afterwards, your support is appreciated.

Click here for more photos.


Weald & Downland Museum Charity Show - 12th July 2015

Our annual show in support of our charities: The Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebal Palsy and Marie Curie.

The first time we have been at the museum and a really lovely site - large areas of nice cut grass, easy access, and the museum of course, plus working horses.

Of course after a lovely hot week and plenty of sunshine the weather didn't play nicely! With the weather predicted to be overcast with the risk of rain we set up with hope that things would improve. It was overcast, it did rain, but did it stop people - NO - Classics arrived in a steady trickle and we eventually had 63 cars on display, many new attendees to a SCS meeting.

The order of the day was definately 'camper vans' with a Bedford Dormobile, a Commer and a VW Camper all which attacted great interest.

All vehicles had great stories and very enthusiastic owners, so tales of folding seats, little kitchens and still using them for the purposes they we made for kept many of us amused.

There were several interesting and different cars we had not seen before including a 1914 Ford Model T Pickup and a Austin A10 Cambridge which had been transformed in traditional style to a works van for 'Odd Job Bob'.

As is usual with our charity show (other than all the proceeds going to our charities), we have a 'Visitors Choice' for the The Bennett Trophy. This Trophy is in memory of Brian, our long term friend and previous Membership Secretary.

Probably due to the weather which never really rained but was 'wet in the air' the voting was slow to start, but really picked up and the winners clearly started to pull ahead of the others - about 20 cars were voted for overall, but the outright winner this year was the Bedford Dormobile (left) owned by Dawn and Dave. Second was the Austin A10 'Odd Job Bob' and third a lovely Wolesley Hornet with a period roofrack.

Also, special for the Charity Show the raffle prizes include a cake lovingly made by Phylis, Brians widow, which is hotly contested for, as it looks and tastes lovely (apparently - I have never won it!). This year it was won by our Newsletter Editor, who graciously then offered it up to be raffled for more charity money - good man. Many thanks for those who bid. The other special raffle prize was a pair of tickets for the Goodwood Revival.

The committee would like to thank everyone who ignored the warnings of bad weather and turned out to make it a good day. Again it was good to be enjoying our hobby whilst helping out people who are not as lucky as us. Thank you.

Click here for more photos.


Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum - 21st June 2015

On the longest day of the year 21 June 2015 the club held its first rally at Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum, near Ringmer in East Sussex. The warm weather bought out almost 150 cars with a lot of top-down convertibles.

Thanks to you the members, who bring your cars, and make the show - and what a show.

Having mentioned convertibles, my eye was immediately taken by a beautiful 1931 Austin 7 Ulster Sports, fitted with an original pressure fuelled engine and drive unit and with a special hand built body.
Bert Fowler and his wife were from Surrey and were visitors for the day. The car has been lovingly restored and with some very difficult projects, particularly on the engine block which had been holed, and had to be welded up to repair - a long, but rewarding story.

We have a particularly affection for Austin 7's of this era. Another vehicle of interest was a 1963 Bedford Dormobile Romany Motor Caravan, parked with roof up near our club marquee.

The vehicle is very rare and has the original pushed out front and small windscreen, which was changed on later models. It looks as if she is smiling. Known to owners Dave, Dawn and family as 'Wicky' (index number 15 WKE).

They reported that all the visitors had said 'she makes me smile' and I agree with that sentiment. Dawn said "It always brings back happy memories of bringing the children up and happy holidays. We have been all over the world in her and still love her. The children loved sleeping in the roof, the only argument was who slept by the window!"


The visitors' choice result for the show was very satisfying to me, as they chose:-
1st - Dave Gell and Dawn Hanlon - Bedford Dormobile Motor Home
2nd - James Wright - VW Beetle
3rd - Mark ?????? - Ford Popular

A special Rosette was given by the Committee to Mr C Field with his 1960's series 2 Land Rover parked next to the marquee - actually it was given to Mason for being a very well behaved little boy (and nothing to do with his Dad providing tea and bacon sandwiches to Sue and Barbara manning the Marquee!!!)

Click here for some great photos of the day.


Newhaven "Classics On Parade" Social Show - 17th May 2015


In 2015 the Society returned to Newhaven Fort, for its mid-May show. Once again the show was blessed by bright sunshine, though with a bit of a breeze.

The Fort is an unusual venue, as we have to arrive before 10:00am, and the gates are then shut (to cars) for the duration of the event. So a steady stream of eager early-birds arrived to present themselves and their cars for display on the parade ground in the centre of the Fort.

By the time the gates were shut, the parade ground was full with a shining array of nearly 60 classics glistening in the sunshine.

As well as the usual "car show" type activities, like the cars themselves, the autojumble, and the regalia/raffle stall, Newhaven Fort offers a range of other activities to appeal to all the family. There are various displays about the history of the fort, and life during the World Wars, etc., one can explore some of the subterranean passages below the defences, or you can take a walk around the top of the ramparts. These offer a panoramic view over the English Channel, or inland to Lewes, or, closer at hand, over the harbour with the cross-channel ferries, as well as numerous smaller pleasure and commercial craft, in operation. Also you can take the opportunity to view the assembled cars from an aerial perspective.

As usual at this show, there are no class awards, so at the end of the day, awards were presented to the winners of the "Visitors' Choice" ballot. These were, in third place, Anthony Nightingale with his lovely 1969 Ford Escort Dormobile, in second place, Glen Butler with his immaculate 1987 Ford Capri 280, and in first place, John Heagren with his beautiful 1951 MG TD.

In addition, the Society presented a special "highly commended" rosette. For this award, this year there was one car which particularly stood out - the unique prototype Gilbern T11 of Gordon Johnston. This rare car, the only one in existence, and standing a mere 38 inches tall, was the subject of a huge restoration to get it back on the road. Its enthusiastic owner had driven it all the way from Deal in Kent to the show, and spent much of the day explaining its features and history, to interested visitors.

Finally, a big Thank You to the management and staff of the Fort, whose efforts and hard work made the day go smoothly, and to the members of Southern Classics who ran the show and made it all possible.

Click here for more photos.


Spring Show - Chichester College - 12th April 2015


It seems that everytime I write a report of our Chichester shows it starts with a comment that it was bigger than the last one - the tradition continues: with a good sunny week before, including the Saturday and a weather report for a sunny Sunday it was always going to be a good turn out. We thought about 350, but that was exceeded fairly early on and as far as we could count (we ran out of number entrance envelopes) and it was thought that over 450 classics attended - as some cars left some more came in.

At one point we had to close entrance as there were no spaces to put anyone else (sorry but we have to leave access for emergencies). And we have to thank the local PCSO who controlled traffic at the roundabout to ensure we didn't upset the locals.

As usual there was a very varied spread of classics from tiny Messerschmit converable to several huge and shiny American cars and a large La France (see above). In between were representatives from all decades, styles and standards. The photos tell it all (see below).

Winner of the Visitors award was a Sunbeam Talbot 90 Special (left) and the judging for the other awards was a difficult task as the number of cars that could be winners was great. We had a good turnout of visting clubs with representatives from the Victory Club (from Portsmouth), Manhood, SADCASE, and a vast contingent from the Solent Renegades, whose Amercian classics and Hotrods covered the south side of the parking.

As always as well as the cars it was the owners and the vistors who made the show what it was, lots of chatting, swapping stories, tips and questions are what makes the show as enjoyable to attend.

There was a large turnout of autojumblers who seemed to be doing good business. Additionally, it was good to see a range of motorcycles, both classic, moderm and a few trikes.

The show is becoming popular with 'drop in' visitors who like classics but don't have one of there own and there was a continuous stream of visitors throughout the day.

A very big thank you to from the committee to all those that contributed and helped set up, run and tidy up after the show. All together the organisers, the owners, the vistors and the cars made a outstanding success to the begnning of the year - come alone to our other shows and be part of the fun.

Click here for well over 350 photos.