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.




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.



Click here for more breakfast photos.




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.



Click here for more breakfast photos.




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.



Click here for more breakfast photos.




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.





Click here for more breakfast photos.




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.



Click here for more breakfast photos.