Panther Enthusiasts Club UK

Essex Area

Chelmford Valley Car Meet  Wednesday August 6th 2008

Classics by the Sea

Evening Meeting at the Star Public House, Steeple, Essex

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It was a warm sunny evening, warm enough for driving in a tee shirt. You don't get many of these evenings in the UK and I'm glad I made the effort to attend this evening event in the little Essex village of Steeple. It was a very pleasant drive, so much so that I didn't mind driving right past the pub and ending up in Bradwell looking over the Blackwater estuary. The reason I missed the pub was that there were no cars visible from the road, they were all parked in the small caravan park behind the pub! What a great turn out there was, at least 60 plus cars of all kinds were assembled in the park. The remarkable thing was that the majority of that 60 plus cars was not made up of clubs, but of individuals, like me, just enjoying a drive out in their classics. One thing I noticed about this non club format is that everyone mingles and chats. My conversations with the other classic owners ranged from an overheating problem on a TR3A, Morris Minor front suspension problems, the racing history of one of the Healys, buying and importing a big American classic, what was a carburettor doing poking out of the bonnet of a Bond Minicar and how small do you have to be to fit into the back seats of a Ford Probe. It was almost dusk when I took the first photographs and as you can tell well and truly dusk when I took the second photo of the "T" Bird, so they are not very good photos. However, they should give you an idea of the variety of classics present and perhaps prompt you to  attend should Chelmer Valley hold similar events next year. For me the most striking cars present were the magnificent "T" bird, the 2 Healy Silverstones, the Riley, the very clean MGC and the very old Buick (wicker basket on back) that was driven all the way from Wickford. I noticed that this car had no front brakes. How do they pass an MOT are there different rules for very old vehicles?  I  drove home hood down still in tee shirt, the car seemed to be purring along (always seems that way at night), but I must attend to my headlights (again) as they are more akin to searchlights. I hope I didn't annoy too many other drivers. I'd put the car into the garage and just closed the door when there was an almighty clap of thunder and the heavens opened - who says there is no such thing as luck.



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