May 4, 2009
May 4th was a holiday in the UK, so I went back to Popham for another visit. On the way I passed a lot of old MGs, Jaguars, and Austin Healeys on the highway. When I got off at the Popham exit, I joined a long line of to-die-for cars, apparently headed for the airport! It turns out this is one of the (if not THE) biggest antique car shows in England, with something like a thousand cars and a bunch of motorcycles attending. I thought I'd died and gone to British car heaven.
I've heard of Gogomobiles before, but had no idea what they were. Here's one for you.
MG-TC, I believe.
Morris Minor 1000 convertible.
Jaguar 3.8 liter MK2
A Jaguar D-type.
An early Rover. I talked to the guy that restored this one (as well as a lot of other folks) and got the whole story of how it was rescued from the junkyard 30 years ago, languished in somebody's garage for 15 years, and then completely restored over the next 15 years to what you see here. We agreed it made no economic sense to undertake such a restoration, but if nobody did it, we wouldn't be able to enjoy these cars...they'd all be gone. The hood ornaments were a study of transition. There was a line of these, and the hood ornaments evolved over the years. Despite a virtual assurance of rain, a thousand cars showed up. The rain held off until 2PM, so everybody got their fill.
An Austin 7.
Another Austin. And like most of the other cars here, it was perfect.
Armstrong Siddeley. I've heard of these a time or two reading Car and Driver 30 years ago, but never saw one before. There were several of them lined up at Popham! Ever see a sphynx with jet engines and wings?
A row of Jensens..Intercepters and Jenson Healeys.
There were several Scimitars on hand, which favor the Volvo P1800. I'm not sure that I've ever seen one before today.
Here's a comparison of an original Mini (on the left) and the New Mini on the right. The original is much smaller in all dimensions.
Messerschmitts were well represented, with both three and four wheel versions. These look like they've just escaped from an animated movie. There were 7 or 8 there. I'm not sure where else you'd find that many in one place, unless they get together every year somewhere in the world. A google search for "Messerschmitt three-wheeler" will get you a lot of hits on these.
Porsche 356S, parked next to a Boxster.
There were also about three hundred old motorcycles on hand. Like the cars, most were restored to absolutely perfect condition. This one's a Norton.
You don't see one of these every day. It's a Sunbeam.
Morris Minor 1000 Traveller "woodie".
Here's an old Chrysler. There were quite a few American cars there as well.
I heard there were only a few of these Ranchero-like Mustangs built. It appeared to have come from the factory, so it was very professionally done. I've always wanted to do this do a Karmann Ghia.
Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite.
This is obviously an early Healey (well, the early is obvious, but not the Healey part), but there were 10-12 of them there spread through the years.
I couldn't resist this one.
MG J2 Sweptwing.
This is a new MG, but I believe they are made in Europe somewhere.
Jag XK120. Check out these lines. Is this exquisite or what?
3.4 liter MK2
This is an Alpine. These things ruled the mountain at the hillclimb road races I saw in Germany in the 70's.
Lotus Super 7
Another three wheeler. Like most of these cars, there was a spec sheet on the car that told all the details of the particular car, pertinant history of the marque, and that sort of thing.
runway, and there were.
A homebuilt Jodel D-9
Would you believe a trike with a 351 V-8? It occured to me while I was there that the British are some serious tinkerers, and that being eccentric is a badge of honor there!
MGC which apparently came with a straight six.
1976 Subaru 360, with 16 hp engine. I believe this is one of the first Subaru automobiles.
TR6. When I was in high school I wanted one of these so bad I couldn't stand it.
A "real" Ranchero.
Super Morgan. you just don't see these every day!
Hotrod with Offenhauser V-8. Note four plugs and three exhaust ports!
I spent four hours and took over 600 pictures at this affair. There were also vendors selling airplane and automotive parts, tools, fasteners, and the kind of stuff you see at the SNF and OSH fly markets. I'm going to Farnborough this year, and will stock up on metric fasteners while I'm there.
You Brits (and others in-the-know) are welcome to correct me where I've screwed up, or label some of the unlabeled ones for me....
Return to England.