Our Man James looks at ways you can enjoy motoring again in your Classic Vehicle. You have become used to the boring daily commute, school run or the weekend visits to in-laws, great aunts etc, but are you actually having fun along the way. No of course not, the car you are in is utterly reliable, you are often in heavy traffic or if the road is open, there are sneaky cameras about to stop you speeding or doing anything exciting.
There are plenty of ways of enjoying Classic Motoring. You just need to decide which is for you;
Local Natter and Noggin; there is bound to be a pub near you, at which a local car club will meet each month just to have a good chinwag and swap fibs.There will be a local branch of the Vintage Sports Car Club, an M.G. or Triumph Club and an Austin Seven Club for sure, and there will be others. The D.V.L.A. produced a list of Vehicle Owners Clubs V765/1. Is it still available?
The Classic Vehicle Show; There is bound to be one near you. It is hoped to list some soon but for now take a look in your local paper or Classic Car Magazine. Entry is often free but in many cases it is best to book in in advance. Arrive with car, picnic gear and an open mind. Enjoy wandering amongst fellow enthusiasts and if you have joined a certain club, find their stand and have a chat. Some shows have an arena and you will be invited to drive your car around it for the enjoyment of the assembled company. You may make new friends, will not have parted with a lot of money and should return home with a smile. A favorite in the south is the Easter Monday gathering at Wyke Down near Andover or the Bristol Classic Car Show at Shepton Mallet on 21/22nd could be for you.
If you like aeroplanes too, a visit to Popham near Basingstoke on 7th May, is a must.
The Rally or Road Run; this usually involves more effort on the part of your vehicle as you actually progress along a prescribed route, mostly made up of country lanes with nice things to look at, with perhaps a congenial stop for refreshment along the way. Some runs are more demanding than others. In the south maybe look at The Bean Car Club Daffodil Run ( Maidenhead to Christchurch), passing through some lovely countryside including the New Forest. This year it is on April 22nd.
For those more confident there is Le Jog, a run from Lands End to John o Groats, you can try a Continental Tour, which is usually well organised with plenty of support along the way, too much to eat and drink, great company and wonderful scenery. The most ambitious will try the Peking to Paris three week run, but maybe not quite yet.
Competition. If you have the appropriate vehicle, a race meeting, sprint or hillclimb perhaps? Try a Track Day which will give you an idea of what is involved. Contact one of the racing circuits for details.
The Vintage Sports Car Club caters for all manner of competitive events, from racing to sporting trials. If you fancy a go at the latter and again have the right vehicle, these promise enormous enjoyment at rather less expense than out and out racing. The Midland Car Club has been running Trials for almost 100 years. Their three main events are well worth a look in Derbyshire and the West Country. At 3a.m. on a crisp Easter Sunday there is nothing quite like waiting on Beggar’s Roost for the first competitor to give it their all. The number of spectators who will arrive out of the mist , is quite extraordinary.
Our Man James is happy to offer further help and advice on what is on and where. To make a complete list would be great but if you want to learn more just ask. Equally if you wish to promote an event, why not send details?