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

Show Reports 2017

See all the Show Reports from 2017, most recent first.


Tangmere Aviation Museum Autumn Show - 24th September 2017


Sunday 24th September 2017, was the date for the Society's final show of the year, at Tangmere Aviation Museum. We had first visited this location in the Spring, and the weather had been great, would we be so lucky again? All fingers were crossed!. The day started bright and sunny, and your committee, who were there very early to prepare the show, blinked into the sunshine accross the huge concrete apron, wondering if it would ever fill up.

Any doubts were soon dispelled as the steady stream of cars started arriving. The new parking arrangements put in place after the last show worked well and the cars were quickly dispatched to their places.



The flow of cars kept on coming, with very few breaks through the morning. The apron was soon filled with cars, glinting in the sunshine and stretching away into the distance. The range of cars was as wide as usual, with a number of rarities, and coverimg the usual diverse mix. There was something for everybody, whether your tastes are with traditional English and European classics, custom cars, or American cars and hot rods. There was also a well-attended autojumble, with a wide range of stalls to tempt visitors to emty their wallets.

Also available was the Aviation Museum, which provides a fascinating look at the role of the RAF in general, and Tangmere Airfield in particular during WW2 and the postwar jet age



Well, our luck held, and the weather stayed dry to the end! Our thanks go to the Tangmere Aviation Museum and their staff, for providing a great venue, and for their help in making the show possible, and to Richard for all his hard work in organising the event. Thanks also to the Society members, who willingly lent a hand to help the committee in running the show - without this kind of assistance, it would not be possible. More help is always welcome, so if you fancy a go, please speak to one of the committee, Finally, thanks to all those who brought along their cars and made the show a success.

Click here on this link for all the photos.




Worthing Rugby Club Show - 20th August 2017


On Sunday 20th August, the Society held it's annual Worthing Rugby Club Show. This show was held in glorious sunshine, and attracted a great turnout of cars - over 220, a record for this show!.



Your Webmaster/photographer was away on holiday attending his own one-make club National Rally, so my thanks go to James Wright for stepping into the breach and doing an excellent job of taking the pictures for this show. The rest of this report has been compiled from words by Robert Spence, many thanks to him.



The show got off to an eventful start for one of the committee, who broke down en-route, was towed to the show by another committee member (who happened to be passing on his way to the show), and then fixed his car using parts bought from the autojumble! As usual the cars covered a huge range of ages and shapes and sizes. This is one of the shows where we arrange the cars by decades, so there were 16 winners of "Pride of Ownership" awards. Well done all. As well as the cars and autojumble, the Institute of Advanced Motoring were on site all day, to meet and talk to members and spread their message.





Our thanks go to the Worthing Rugby Club and their staff, for providing a great venue, and for their help in making the show possible, and to Richard for organising the event. Thanks also to the Society members, who willingly lent a hand to help the committee in their endeavours. More help is always welcome, so if you fancy a go, please speak to one of the committee, Finally, thanks to all those who brought along their cars and made the show a success.



Click here on this link for all the photos.




Borde Hill Gardens Charity Show - 9th July 2017


On Sunday 9th July, the Society held it's annual Charity Show. This took place at a new venue for the Society - Borde Hill Gardens, near Haywards Heath. The day dawned sunny and warm, and seemed set fair for a good show. So it proved, with a great selection of cars.

The show got off to a steady start, with a regular flow of cars through the morning until the grounds were filled with a typically eclectic mixture of vehicles. Borde Hill House made a really attractive backdrop as the cars formed-up on the grass, in the warm sunshine. This being our Charity Show, funds were being raised for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, and Marie Curie.



The cars represented a wide range of types, sizes, and performance. At the smaller end of the range, the delightful little Rosengart appealed to many visitors, while from the other end of the range the large American military truck drew many admiring glances (though negotiating the entrance was a challenge, but worthwhile!).

Other cars whith a particular appeal to visitors were the Borgward Isabella, and the Austin Healey 3000 Mk III

The tea room and restaurant apparently did a great trade during the day, and there were also plenty of people enjoying picnics on the lawn in front of the house, surrounded by gleaming classics in the sunshine, what better way to spend the day.



The Visitors' Choice award went to the beautiful Gordon Keeble (shown above). This being the Charity Show, the winner also collected the Brian Bennett shield (presented by Brian's widow). Our Congratulations to the proud owner.

The show seemed to be very well received, with the attractive gardens being both a good place to display the cars, and providing an additional attraction for visitors to relax and enjoy. Our thanks go to the owners and staff at Borde Hill, for their help in making the show possible, to all the Society members (both those on the committee, and who willingly lend a hand to help), and last but not least, all those who brought along their cars and made the show a success.



Click here on this link for all the photos.


Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum Show - 11th June 2017


On Sunday 11th June, Southern Classics Society returned to Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum, for our 2017 show. After the last show, the report said that the venue on the lawn was great, but expressed the hope that the weather would be better in 2017. Well, so it proved. After initial cloud had burned-off, the weather was sunny and warm, and a good flow of cars saw the lawn in front of Bentley House rapidly filling with a stunning array of nearly 200 cars. There was also a good range of autojumble stalls, with old and not-so-old parts, tools, brochures and models

As usual at our shows, the cars covered a huge and diverse range, from pre-war to modern, stately saloons to stripped-out sportscars, tiny two-seaters to large American cars. Something to suit all tastes.



Cars that particularly caught the eye were the exotic Maserati Mistrale (the subject of a seven-year restoration), the immaculate red MG TD, and the beautifully trestored morris minor GPO van (in Post Office Red, of course) which came with its own uniformed postman, and even a pillar box! However, there were many more, all worthy of a closer look.

For anyone seeking even more variety, there was the miniature railway, the wildfowl reserve, or the opportunity to visit the motor museum, which contains a wide variety of cars .

Meanwhile, the tea room ensured that attendee's food and drink requirements were catered for throughout the day.



On two wheels, there was a beautiful 1961 Vespa 152 which obviously struck a chord with visitors, as it was voted the winner of the "Visitors' Choice" award. The East Sussex MG Owners' Club put on a special display, and won the highly commended award.

Our thanks go to all those who brought along their cars, particularly those who helped to run the show, and to the staff of Bentley, who made us welcome, and provided the facilities.



Click here on this link for all the photos.


Newhaven Fort Show - 21st May 2017


Sunday 21st May saw Southern Classics returning to Newhaven Fort. This is an unusual show for us, as to satisfy the Fort's health & safety rules, no vehicle movement is allowed between 10:00 and 16:00. The number of cars which can be accommodated is limited by the size of the parade ground - this year we fitted-in about 75 cars, more than in the past - we must be getting better at it!

The cars covered the usual wide range, from large American cars to small pre-war saloons, from raw, performance cars to more dignified luxury cars, and everything else in between! The weather was beautiful, with warm sunshine, which showed-off the cars to best advantage. Once the cars were in position and displayed, members were free to enjoy the facilities that the fort offers.



There are displays telling the history of the fort through the years, and its role in various wars. Also, the interior of the fort can be explored, with various narrow passageways and underground chambers, for powder and shell magazines.

Best of all is the opportunity to explore the ramparts, offering magnificent views out to sea, inland to Lewes and the Downs, and over the bustling activity of the port of Newhaven itself. Also, uniquely amongst our shows, it offers the chance of an overall view of the show, from several different vantage points.

Meanwhile, the tea room ensured that attendee's food and drink requirements were catered for throughout the day.



There was a public ballot for the "Peoples' Choice" awards, with prizes being awarded for third, second, and first places. There was also a "Highly Commended" award, for a car which the committee felt had the certain something which raised it above the norm.

As usual, we must end with 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 on this link for all the photos.


Spring Show - Tangmere Military Aviation Museum - 09th April 2017


Tangmere show marked a big change for Southern Classics in 2017. After a long and successful period in Chichester, the time had arrived when we had outgrown the venue, and simply had to look elsewhere. Richard, our events co-ordinator. worked very hard to find a suitable new venue, and the outcome was the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum. This offered plenty of space on the historic concrete apron, and the proximity of the very interesting museum. The day dawned bright and clear, with a cloudless blue sky, and any doubts we may have had were soon dispelled by the steady stream of arriving cars, which built up during the morning, with the people manning the gate working overtime to get them all into the show.

It was amazing to see this vast space, rapidly filling up with a huge and varied selection of classics, glinting in the sun. There was a wide range of autojumblers too, with all kinds of goodies to tempt the attendees.

As usual this show saw a large number of American cars of all ages taking part, and here we had the space to do justice to them. A very impressive display they made, too.

We were pleased to be joined by Sam Hard of Hard-Up Garage. He brought along his extremely impressive 1960 Cadillac Coupe de Ville which won the '60s Class award. He also brought along a large wartime US truck, as an autojumble transport, and this provided a vantage point for some overhead photography (by him, not me!- see below). When Phil (newsletter Editor) approached him for a chat, he was surprised to find himself being live streamed over the internet to the USA - amazing what you can do with technology.



It's hard to select particular cars to write about when there are so many of interest. One car worthy of mention because of its local connection is the Pre-'50s class winner, the attractive 1933 March-bodied Riley of Richard Perry. (Picture on the right). March bodies were the product of a company set up by Freddie March, the man who would later go on (as the 9th Duke of Richmond) to establish the Goodwood Motor Circuit.

As usual, we were pleased to see representatives of other classic motor clubs in attendance. Local clubs like SADCASE and the Manhood Car Club for example. The West Sussex Region of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club brought along an impressive selection of Jaguars, and took the award for Best Club Display.

The good weather stayed with us all day, creating a great atmosphere in which people could relax and enjoy the cars. There were about 15 autojumblers (a record for one of our shows) and they and the refreshment stalls seemed to have plenty of customers.

Finally, last but by no means least, we must finish with a huge thank you from the committee to all those that contributed and helped set up, run and tidy up after the show, both from Southern Classics, and also from Tangmere Museum. All worked extremely hard in the heat and sunshine, to ensure that the show went well. Thanks also, of course, to all the exhibitors who brought along their lovely cars, and all the visitors who came to see them.

Click here on this link for over 370 photos.