Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Lydiate Classic Car Show nails the feelgood vibe

THERE was a back-to-basics vibe about last weekend’s Lydiate Classic Car Show which I couldn’t help but love.

If you were there – and chances are that, if you’re a petrolhead in this part of the world, you were – you’ll know what I’m on about, but if you weren’t then you missed a treat. For the past six summers there’s been a gathering of all things automotive and vaguely old in a field behind the parish hall, but it’s got better and better to the point where I reckon it’s blossomed into a bit of a gem in the classic car nut calendar.

Sure, there was the usual brigade of Triumphs, MGs and Healey Sprites lapping up the summer sunshine (including a slightly shabby MGB GT owned by a certain Champion contributor) but this year’s show in particular really did have something for everyone, with everything from 1930s Rolls-Royces to 1950s bubble cars to the two-stroke clatter of a procession of Vespa and Lambretta scooters.

In fact, my favourite car of the show by far was a 1955 Land Rover – I’ve got a soft spot for old Series Ones – which had a used ‘n’ abused look which lent it a nostalgic patina in a sea of glinting chrome and polished paintwork. Everyone I spoke to at last Sunday’s show came up with the same verdict – that it was a cracker, even if you discount the sizzling sunshine which has left my face and arms a painful shade of Parcelforce red.

Lydiate’s show is, in the simplest terms, a field with some old cars and a couple of stalls thrown it, but it’s the atmosphere which makes it such an appealing event. By keeping it simple, the organisers have nailed something even far bigger shows sometimes struggle with. A feelgood vibe.

The best thing, though, was that the £2 entry fee wasn’t going to brim someone’s pocket – every single penny went to Cancer Research UK, including the sponsorship money provided by Maghull firm P & G Motor Factors, who stepped in at the last minute to provide the volunteers with a bit of a funding boost. The hi-vis jacketed volunteers running around herding Ford Zodiacs into makeshift parking spaces really were volunteers too – doing it because they loved it – and my hat goes off to them for it.

I love giving a few quid to the charity as much as the next chap but I reckon taking my MG to a classic car show is far more fun than running a marathon or sitting in a bathtub brimmed with beans.

For more pictures and a full report from the Lydiate Classic Car Show check out next week's edition of Classic Car Weekly, published on Wednesday, July 17.

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