Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Why the Transatlantic 175 classic car cavalcade will be a celebration of Scouse motoring

HERE’S a pub quiz question to test your motoring knowledge. What does the Range Rover Evoque have in common with the Triumph TR7, the BAC Mono and the Ford Anglia?

The answer – should you wish to try this one on your petrolhead pals – is they’ve all been bolted together just down the road in Liverpool. As were the Jaguar X-Type, the Land Rover Freelander, the Ford Escort and the Triumph Toledo for that matter.

We’ve been mass-producing motors on Merseyside since the 1960s, and yet these great industrial achievements have gone uncelebrated for decades. That’s why I was delighted to learn the other day that one of the star draws of Liverpool’s Transatlantic 175 festival in July is a cavalcade through the city centre of 175 classic cars and motorbikes, accompanied by a static display of motoring’s greatest hits on the Albert Dock. I can’t wait to see how this one pans out, because Merseyside’s been overdue a really big car event for decades.

The event’s organisers told me they’re looking for cars from across the North West which are either British or American and have “great stories to tell” –prototypes, one-offs, early models, that sort of thing – for the 5 July parade through the centre. While it’s still early days and applications have only just opened for the event, I reckon it’s got the potential to be a real hit because there are so many wonderful cars being enjoyed by car nuts across the North West.

Wouldn’t it be great to see one of the first Ford Anglias ever to roll off the Halewood production line take part in that parade, followed by a couple of the Formula One cars which fans of the Ormskirk MotorFest will be familiar with? You could stretch it out beyond Liverpool’s borders too; I’d love to see a Southport-crafted Vulcan, one of the Lotus Europas lovingly built in Banks or one of Ellesmere Port’s earliest Vauxhall Vivas winding their way past Liverpool’s landmarks.

That’s before I get onto the land speed record set in Southport by Sir Henry Segrave or the fact that Aintree is about so much more than horse racing – it’s where Sir Stirling Moss became the first Englishman to win a British Grand Prix! The North West has a wonderful motoring heritage and the Transatlantic 175 festival is the perfect occasion to share that with the world.

I’m really looking forward to hearing the noise of those 175 cars and bikes starting up as they get ready for the parade. See you there!

1 comment:

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