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

Social & Drive It Day Reports 2019

In addition to our formal shows we hold various social events and Drive It Days. Below are reports of these events hoping you will see how much more belonging to Southern Classics Society means.

2019 social event reports will appear here as they happen. All our events are now booked and confirmed. Please go to "All 2019 Events" to see the 2019 Events Calendar.




Sea Lane Cafe, Goring, Breakfast Meet - 13th October 2019


Well, the year seemed to have definitely started to turn, and there was a distinctly autumnal feel to the weather for the Sea Lane Cafe breakfast meet. There was a strong wind, with a few spots of rain, but fortunately the weather forecast was true to it's word and the rain held off until after the event. There was a good turnout of cars, a really impressive line-up in the car park. The sea views presented a rather choppy picture, there were nevertheless some intrepid kite surfers pitting themselves against the elements, and occasionally dissapearing from view in the troughs of the waves.

People quickly headed for the shelter and warmth of the cafe, where a delicious breakfast awaited.


Refreshed by a hot and tasty breakfast with good company, people ventured back outside to view the cars. The red Alfa Romeo Giulia was a striking reminder of Italian style. The Morris 1300 was an example of a type of car which was innovative in many areas, and sold in large numbers, but is now very rare. It was good to see one of our long-standing members, and an exhibitor at many of our shows, with his 1947 Morris GPO van, the oldest vehicle at the event.

The more luxurious end of the market was represented by Tim's gleaming Alvis, and the equally imposing Rover 3.5 Litre. Smaller British manufacturers were represented by the three Scimitars, The Bond Equipe, and the Gilbern GT.


There were also a couple more Alfa Romeos; the Zagato Junior is a particular rarity which was good to see, and also there was Robert's Spider.

Breakfast was very enjoyable and kept the chillly autumnal winds at bay! We would like to thank the management and staff of The Sea Lane Cafe for their help with the event and especialy for the food. Also thanks to Richard for organising the event, and to all those who brought cars.







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Carats Cafe, Southwick, Breakfast Meet - 8th September 2019


This year, our luck with the weather held, and the Carats Cafe breakfast meet was blessed with warm sunny weather. There were glorious sea views to enjoy, in marked contrast to last year's dark wet and windy day! This resulted in a steady flow of cars into the car park. The cars covered our usual wide range of ages and types, from the old to the not-so-old. We knew from past experience that the cafe serves a good breakfast, and a queue of eager customers soon developed.

Once people were refreshed by their breakfast, they gathered in groups in the sunshine to discuss the cars and swap stories and banter.


A highlight of the meet was the Abbot-bodied Ford Zodiac Estate Car. The subject of a recent extensive restoration, this was absolutely immaculate, both inside and out, and deservedly attracted much attention. (See Photo on the right)

Probably the oldest vehicle present was "Flo" the 1939 Morris 8. This struck a chord with many people, particularly this writer, whose father's first car was a pre-war morris.

Triumphs were well represented, with a pair of TR6s, a Spitfire, a Vitesse, and a Stag. Also there was the well-restored Triumph-based Bond Equipe as well. Photographs of all the cars at the event can be seen in the Photogallery.


Eventually some people started to disperse to do other things, or perhaps remained to enjoy a bracing walk by the sea and a look at some of the activities in the harbour area.

The Cafe served up a great Breakfast. We would like to thank the management and staff of Carats Cafe for their help with the event and especialy for the food. Also thanks to Richard for organising the event, and to all those who brought cars.









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Lavender Line, Isfield, Breakfast Meet - 11th August 2019


There has definitely been a theme for a number of this year's club events, with four of them involving shows and breakfast meets at local heritage railways. June and July saw us working in partnership with the Bluebell Railway, while for May and August the Lavender Line welcomed Southern Classics to its delightful location. We are very fortunate to have these two unique attractions on our patch which offer a superb backdrop for our classic vehicles

Classic cars and classic trains side-by-side transport me back to my childhood days of the 1960s. Firstly, catching a steam train to go on holiday and secondly sliding back and forth on the seatbelt-less rear bench seat of my dad's Farina Austin Cambridge!




The breakfast meet itself attracted around forty vehicles of various makes and ages all parked up in the main hardstanding station carpark and, as is the case with most of our events, some vehicles had not attended a SCS meet before. One "new" vehicle, and "literally" the standout one on display for me, was a magnificent GMC pickup. (See Photo on the right)

With breakfast served in the old station building and following much talk about the cars and other related motoring items, members and visitors began to drift away from what was a very pleasant and relaxed morning event




The restaurant served up a great Breakfast. We would like to thank the management and staff of the Lavender Line for their help with the event and especialy the restaurant for the food. Also thanks to Richard for organising the event, and to all those who brought cars.










SCS Summer Barbeque, The Fox Inn, Patching - 4th August 2019


Our barbeque at the Fox Inn was held at the beginning of August, and as befits the midsummer date, the day was sunny and dry. The cars arrived steadily from midday, and there was soon a good turnout on show in the paddock area. As usual, the event was a very relaxed affair, with members obtaining refreshing drinks and gathering to discuss their cars in the sunshine.

As time went on, the smell of cooking became more irresistable, and members started to gather at their tables in preparation for the feast to come




The Barbeque was declared open, and members lined-up to collect their portions, which were as usual, generous and well-cooked. Having eaten lunch, everybody relaxed in the sunshine and took the opportunity for more refreshments, or to look at the cars in more detail. Earnest discussions about what was under the bonnet, soon took place!

There was also a competitive element to the day. Starting with the presentation of the award for "car of the Show" which went to the owner of the lovely Bond Equipe - see the photo gallery for more images of this car. We were formed up into teams for the next part of the event




As usual, there was a quiz, run by Phil and Robert, with a picture round (featuring photos of small details of cars, to identify) and a selection of rounds of general knowledge questions. Some of these were quite tricky, and certainly sorted-out the contestants! The winning team received a large quantity of chocolate as a reward for their efforts.

The Fox Inn, as always served up a great Barbeque, and we would like to thank the management and staff for their friendly, helpful service. Also thanks to Richard for organising the event, and to all those who brought cars.





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Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park, Breakfast Meet - 21st July 2019


Our late July date for the Bluebell Railway breakfast meet dawned sunny and warm and promised the enticing combination of classic cars and steam engines. As you would expect, it proved to be popular, and there was a very good turnout. The car park (we were actually allowed to use the coach park, nearer the station) was soon nearly full, and cars filled every available space

We estimated that there were 60 or more cars present in total. The Bluebell Railway had kindly arranged for all vehicle occupants to receive a complimentary platform ticket, to enable them to access the restaurant for breakfast. The breakfast proved to be excellent, well cooked and good value.


Following an enjoyable and relaxing breakfast, members returned to their cars for some serious discussion and banter in the sunshine.

There was certainly much to see. There were a number of vehicles not seen at our events before. The lovely Invicta for example, low-slung and rakish in British Racing Green, was a dashing example of a pre-war sports car. From the other end of the scale, the stately Rolls-Royce saloon represented calm refined elegance.



Elegance from a later era was represented by the Fiat-OSCA 1500. Maserati engineering heritage and Pininfarina styling combine to make an enticing package.

Other noteworthy visitors included the classic bedford lorry painted in the livery of a theatrical carrier, and a pair of Citroen Traction Avants. There was also a good turnout of more recent classics, particularly Triumphs, which saw a selection of Spitfires, GT6, Heralds, Vitesse, TRs and Stags. Sadly it's impossible to mention all the vehicles here, but they are all featured in the photogallery, on the link below.




Adding to the interest, Richard had brought along a radiator complete with fan, and proceeded to hold an informal workshop in the car park!.

Then, as proceedings drew to a close, some people, including your reporter, returned to the station to enjoy the railway facilities and to photograph some steam trains!

The Bessemer Arms restaurant served up a great breakfast, and attracted plenty of customers. We would like to thank the management and staff for their friendly, helpful service, and delicious food & drink. Also thanks to the management of the Bluebell Railway for their help and generosity in arranging access and helping to make the day a success. Also Richard for organising the event, and to all who brought cars.



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Whiteways Lodge Cafe Breakfast Meet - 23rd June 2019


June's breakfast meet took place in the rural surroundings of the Whiteways Lodge Cafe and picnic area, up on the South Downs above Arundel. This is a venue we have visited before, and found to be very enjoyable, so we were glad to be making a return visit. Our luck with the weather held once again, and it was warm and dry for the occasion. Great weather for a run out in a classic car, and when I arrived at about 08:40, the picnic area already contained a good number of cars.

Cars tend to come and go over the course of the morning and we estimated that there were 50 or more present in total. They covered the kind of wide and eclectic range that we've come to expect at these events.


There were a number of rare vehicles present. A particularly notable one was the 1975 Alfa Romeo Montreal. Styled by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, it's unique and attractive features repaid close inspection. Another very rare car was the Gordon-Keeble, one of only 100 cars produced.

Other rareities included the Rover Estoura estate car, based on the 3500 saloon, unusually in this case, in manual form. The Sumbeam 90 mk III was also worth a look, as they are not often seen these days. There were also a number of American cars, the patinated red pickup proved to have a large V8 under the bonnet and was said to be in reliable regular use.



With the current wartime anniversaries taking place, Army Jeeps are a fairly frequent sight, less common is the Jeep in US Navy colours that appeared at the event. It was good to see.

The Cafe served up a great breakfast, and there was soon a queue starting to form. We would like to thank the management and staff for their friendly, helpful service, and delicious food & drink. Also thanks to Richard for organising the event, and to all who brought cars.



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Southdowns Nursery Breakfast Meet - 12th May 2019


May's breakfast meet saw us heading to the Southdowns Nursery, at Hassocks. This is a venue we have visited before, and found to be very enjoyable, so we were glad to be making a return visit. We were rewarded by yet more fantastic weather, with blue skies, almost no cloud, and warm temperatures. Great weather for a run out in a classic car, and sure enough, the car park was soon filling up.

There were some 40 cars present, a great turnout, and the cars looked a real credit to their owners as they lined up in the sunshine. It was a typically varied selection, ranging from saloons to sportscars, oldies to relative youngsters.


A very rare example, of a long-gone make, was the 1952 Singer 1500. It was immaculately presented, in it's pale green livery. Also immaculate in green, and dating from the fifties (1959 in this case) was the American Mercury; they may have been both a similar age and colour, but you couldn't have two different cars. One of the earliest cars was the rare MG Y-Type Tourer, a car not seen as often as the more well-known sports cars.

The Italians were also well represented. A beautiful red Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider basked in the sunshine. There was also a Lancia Fulvia, and Robert brought his more recent Alfa Romeo Spider.



The London to Brighton Commercial Vehicle Run was passing by on the road outside, which resulted in a stream of interesting vehicles, and a couple of fire engines stopped off at the Nursery.

The Restaurant serves an excellent breakfast, and people quickly disapeared inside to sample the food on offer. Many then found the lure of the garden centre irresistable! We would like to thank the management and staff for their friendly, helpful service, and delicious food & drink. Also thanks to Richard for organising the event, and to all who brought cars.



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FBHVC National Drive-it Day - SCS Run to Stansted Park - 28th April 2019


Sunday April 28th was the day allocated this year by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) for "National Drive-it Day". Southern Classics Society, as a member of the FBHVC, supports this and so Richard had worked his customary magic to organise a challenging and scenic route to mark the occasion. The start point was our usual meeting place the Bull Inn at Henfield, and they opened up early for us, and provided their usual great hospitality.

The car park was full, with over 35 cars present, and more expected en route, and the sun was shining. What better way to start the day. Following a briefing from Richard, everybody headed for the carpark, to get ready to set out on the road.


After about thirty miles of West Sussex roads had passed under our wheels, we arrived at the coffee stop, the Noah's Ark Inn at Lurgashall. This is a very attractive country pub, on the edge of a large village green, and soon the car park and the road surrounding the green were filled with parked classic cars. They looked great against the picturesque rural village backdrop. See the photoalbum for more.

Following the coffee break, we set off on the road again. After a further twenty-five miles (or slightly more if you wandered off track!) we arrived at the destination, Stansted Park House & Gardens. A section of the car park had been reserved for us, and the area quickly filled with classics. People gathered for a chat before disappesring to explore, or seek out lunch.


The event attracted a typically eclectic and varied range of cars. There were so many, all interesting in their own way, that it's difficult to pick any one for a mention. The dramatic shape of the Borgward Isabella stood out, and and provided a touch of the exotic, but there were many more.

We would like to thank the management and staff of the pubs we visited during the run - The Bull at Henfield, for hosting the start, and providing the coffee and biscuits, the Noah's Ark in Lurgashall for doing the same at the coffee stop, and the staff at Stansted Park for allowing us to use their facilities, and for reserving an area of the car park for our use. Finally, as usual, we thank Richard for organising the event, including all the hard work of preparing and reconnoitering the route, and all who attended and brought cars.

Click here for more Drive-it Day photos.




Shoreham Airport Breakfast Meet - 14th April 2019


April saw us making a return visit to the wonderful art deco splendour of Shoreham Airport. This has been quite a popular venue in the past, and on this occasion the day dawned with clear blue skies and sunshine, so the prospects were good. The cars came streaming in, and the car parks rapidly filled, the shining colourful paintwork contrasting with the stark white terminal building and the blue sky.

The cars started arriving soon after 8:00am and soon the car park was looking more like a car show than a breakfast meet. There were between 105 and 110 cars present, which was a really great turnout.


An interesting and rare visitor was the Granada Ghia Coupe 3-litre; these were a rare car when new, today even more so. Also striking was the red Alfa Romeo Giulia, an example of the company's sporty saloons of that era. From the other end of the spectrum, and redolent of the mid fifties, an era of calm and elegance, was the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire.

It was good to see the original Lotus Elan Sprint Convertible, finished in the iconic red gold and white Gold Leaf colours. These were first used on the Lotus racing cars, notably the Formula One type 49, which pioneered the use of Cosworth engines. It was a radical step then, to have your car painted in your sponsor's colours, now it's become the norm.



The event saw a good turnout of Triumph Stags, and also of Jaguars. In a similar vein, it also saw the debut at a Club event for Richard's very nice Daimler V8-250.

The Hummingbird Restaurant serves an excellent breakfast, and soon there was a queue of people eager to sample the menu. We would like to thank the management and staff for their friendly, helpful service, and delicious food & drink. Also thanks to Richard for organising the event, and to all who brought cars.





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Roedean Cafe Breakfast Meet - 24th March 2019


The 2019 social season got off to a great start with the Roedean Cafe Breakfast Meet on 24th March. In spite of being two months earlier than last year, the day was marked by continuous warm sunshine. The scene which greeted us on arrival in the car park was of blue skies, deeper blue sea, and boats at anchor in the marina below.

The cars started arriving from 8:00am and soon the car park was busy and bustling with conversation and activity. There were a total of 54 cars, a great turnout, and a credit to their owners. As the cars lined-up, it was evident that the usual eclectic spread of members' interests was well represented ranging from cars that had once been common (but are now rare), to cars which have always been very rare.


A prime example of the first category, was the Vauxhall Viva HA. At one time they were seen almost everywhere, wnen did you last see one? But there was one on show, and it was in great condition too. At the other end of the scale, there were the Alvis TF21, the BMW 3.0 CSL, and the Alfa Romeo GT which were notable examples of cars that have aways been rare and exotic.

A rare sight was the beautifully original Lotus Elan Coupe, a car which is perhaps more familiar these days in it's convertible form, but the Coupe is very nicely proportioned and it was great to be reminded of that. A number of the other cars in attendance were convertibles, and many owners were enjoying the spring sunshine.





We would like to thank Poul and his staff for their friendly, helpful service, and delicious food & drink. Well worth a return visit.



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