Crowd-pleasing favourites including Triumph Heralds, Minis, MGBs and Austin-Healeys were popular among the 260 cars at Beaulieu’s Simply Classics & Sports Car rally.
Celebrating the exciting and colourful world of classic motoring, this much-loved event welcomed pre-1990 classics and sports cars as they joined the display. From pre-war saloons to modern day roadsters, there was something for every motoring enthusiast.
For the first time, visitors could also enjoy a whole host of special retro-themed features as part of the show. The Vintage Village, created by Bows & Braces, gave classic enthusiasts the chance to browse and buy period-perfect accessories, including vintage clothing, jewellery, luggage, retro homeware, records and traditional sweets.
Vocal quartet Company B provided the musical backdrop as visitors tried out their dancing steps on the dance floor with Jitterbug Jive. Throughout the day, Vintage Victory Rollers worked their magic as they gave visitors make-overs in the event salon, while the Vintage Tea Tent served scrumptious cakes and refreshments.
A 1981 Matra Murena 1.6 in yellow was one of the unusual and distinctive machines on display. This rare example of a quirky French sports car, featured no less than three seats side-by-side.
An elegant 1958 Simca Aronde Plein Ciel coupe was a glamorous addition. Also catching the attention of show-goers was a Bong Bug 700ES still wearing its original eye-searing orange paintwork, while a period-perfect Fiat 131 Supermirafiori represented an often overlooked, but fascinating, sports saloon.
Sports car fans were treated to the sight of numerous performance machines on display, from a petite Triumph Spitfire to an exuberant Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. A trio of Daimler SP250 ‘Darts’ had travelled with their owners from Germany, as part of a UK tour. Modern sports cars, such as the Lotus Elise and Mazda MX-5, were also well-represented.
Club stands were at the heart of the show, with the Bournemouth and Poole MG Owners’ Club and the Wessex MG Club both displaying pristine examples of sports cars bearing the famous octagon-shaped badge. The Lotus Seven Club assembled a selection of Lotus and Caterham Sevens, while the Toyota MR2 Roadster Owners’ Club showcased as many as 14 of its members’ cars.
Hard Up Garage brought along a selection of custom-built hot rods to the show, which were started up to wow the crowds with dramatic flame-throwing displays.
Visitors and participants voted for their favourite car of the show in the People’s Choice Award. Show regular Steven Brooks took first place for his immaculate 1959 Ford Zephyr Mk2 Lowline, which is finished in eye-catching Conway Yellow.
“I’ve owned it for two-and-a-half years. Although it had been restored, it was still quite tatty when I first got it,” said Steven, who was presented with a commemorative Beaulieu trophy and special Autoglym prize by Beaulieu’s Financial Director Phil Johnson.
Runners-up were Bernie Smith with his highly personalised Toyota MR2 and Ken Day with his 1969 Jaguar E-type 2+2. Also scoring highly in the voting were Gary and Shirley Bartlett with their 1972 Ford Capri Mk1 1600, Neil Mcabendroth with his 1959 Austin Metropolitan, Alex Maycroft and Jake Richard with their 1991 Mazda MX-5, Shirley Fry with her 1967 Sunbeam Alpine, Steve Macevoy with his MG Magna F1 Q-type and Ruth and Terry Norman with their replica vintage Mercedes, built on 1984 Ford Mustang underpinnings.
An additional award, chosen by Sam Hard of Hard-Up Garage, was presented to Kevin Davis for his immaculate 1980 Austin Princess. Finished in vivid Snapdragon Yellow and fitted with British Leyland Special Tuning parts, the Princess was chosen by Sam as “a car that makes everyone smile and is a bit different”. Kevin was presented with a trophy and a Hard Up Garage T-shirt.
As part of the show’s retro theme, visitors were encouraged to come dressed in their best vintage attire. Many entered into the spirit of the event, with prizes awarded to the best dressed family, male and female. Haley Kitchen with her husband and two daughters took the Best Dressed Family award. “The girls love dressing up and I managed to talk my husband into it too. It really is something for all the family,” said Haley.
The Best Dressed Female of the show was Frankie Ollett with her 1940s style outfit, while Best Dressed Male was Robert Trevis. Alice Corby, of Vintage Village organisers Bows & Braces, presented rosettes to the winners, along with vouchers to use in the Vintage Village and return tickets for next year’s event.
Simply Classics & Sports Car is just one of the Simply rallies taking place at Beaulieu during 2016. Still to come is Simply Japanese on July 31st, Simply Land Rover on August 7th and Simply Smart on November 13th. For the latest information, visit www.beaulieu.co.uk/events or join the conversation with @Beaulieu_Hants on Twitter.