Catching up with Wheels Day

Been slack at posting again – too much to do with the car show coming up. So in order to catch up here’s a mainly pictorial post on the annual Wheels Day.

Wheels Day is the annual show organised by the Surrey Street Rodders and has been taking place for over 40 years. Always held on Good Friday the show took place at Rushmoor Arena near Aldershott. There must have been the best part of 1000 cars on display ranging from Hotrods and Customs to Classics. Personally I feel it’s a shame that there are modern souped up cars on display but each to their own I suppose.

Mario had an entry, although we were a little late turning up after celebrating a friends birthday the night before!

Loved the Woody and Buzz hanging off this pick-up
The picture looks red but this was soooo orange! Great Matt paint finish Couldn’t decide about this. Had it just been pulled out of a barn/field or very carefully made to look destressed? Tiny, Baby Airstream – would look great behind Mario! This Cosmotron had been completely handcrafted on a BMW Z3, very comic book, space age.

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Wheels Day back on Track…

We’ve had a very busy few weeks. Starting with the Goodwood 74th Members Meeting, which was great and we promised you a post but we’ve got so many photo’s to sort from the event that it’ll have to wait for a short while.

However, better news is that Mario is out of his Winter Hibernation and has been out and about. We started him up on the Thursday before Easter and took him for a careful first drive. One of the front brakes was stuck on and got rather warm but a gentle drive and some sharp breaking seemed to free it off, James also took the wheel off and it would appear the problem is caused by the brake shoe adjusters not adjusting so that will be a future project. I took him round to the local hand car wash for a bit of spruce up but he embarrassed himself by refusing to start after his wash. The battery which had seemed fine that morning just died completely but at least it was easily rectified.

On Good Friday we set off for Wheels Day organised by the Surrey Street Rodders at Rushmoor Arena near Aldershot. Following the problems a couple of years ago, you now have to pre-register and Mario had been selected and was in possession of a shiny pass. Unlike previous events we practically drove straight in, much better organised. By far the best day of the Easter Weekend, it was lovely, warm and sunny, although it was a shame it had rained so much the night before making the ground rather boggy. Mario got his usual attention and lapped up the compliments while we wandered around the exhibits and stalls, picking up a great one-man vintage lunch box/picnic set which is destined to become a ‘Gin Caddy’. We had a great day and Mario certainly enjoyed the run after being cooped up for the Winter.

DSC08142 Very subtile paint on this woodie rod, flames and checkers but in muted colours which unfortunately don’t show too well in the photo.DSC08143DSC08144 This Saab pickup was great.DSC08145 For those old enough to remember, Rainbow’s Zippy and George in a rod!DSC08149 Needs a bit of work but the horns were a great extra.DSC08151 Favourite car of the car (apart from Mario of course). The ‘paint work’ was fantastic and appears to be real, James made a guess at about 17 or so layers and rubbed down in an amazing nearly symmetrical pattern before being matt lacquered.DSC08152 DSC08153 DSC08158 DSC08159 DSC08160 DSC08161 A beautiful little Simca which had a rather stompy engine. Hopefully the owner Des will be bringing it to our car show in May. It won a prize at Wheels Day.DSC08168 DSC08169 DSC08170 DSC08174 DSC08176 DSC08177 DSC08178 Lovely immaculate VW Pickup with a mini VW bus in the back.DSC08180 DSC08181 DSC08184 DSC08187Easter Monday dawned pretty bright after the horrendous night of Storm Katie and we were going to take Mario to the GRRC Spring Sprint at Goodwood but it was cancelled due to weather damage to the grandstands. However a friend from Derbyshire was staying in Chichester so we took Mario to pick her up and out for an afternoon tea and bubbles at the Kennels. With a ride in Mario she had the full Goodwood Experience! We had a few problems getting home as travelling cross country we came across several lanes blocked by fallen trees and floods.

So all in all a pretty good Easter. The Members Meeting blog will follow shortly.

Under the weather…

Bit delayed in writing this – sorry.

Easter is often recognised as the start of the Classic Car season and our regular outing on Good Friday is to Wheels Day, organised by the Surrey Street Rodders. This show which started for Hod Rods and Custom Cars 41 years ago, now encompasses classics from all areas. After last years show which moved to Dunsfold, where they had problems with huge numbers and traffic jams, leading to totally unacceptable online bullying and insults to the organisers, it looked like it might not happen again. However with a bit of time to reflect on things, SSRs decided to move back to Rushmoor near Aldershot and limit the numbers, so this year you had to apply and the organisers selected 500 or so to be able to buy a pass. Mario was one of the lucky ones.

DSC00213Unfortunately Good Friday was rather wet and horrible but we set off anyway and had quite a good run over, although Mario still seemed a little under the weather and the power was dropping off the longer we were running. There was no queue at all at Rushmoor Arena and we were swiftly into the show field which was less than half-full. We sat in Mario while the heavy rain went over but then it brightened up and we were able to have a good look round. We subsequently found out that only half of the pre-entered cars had turned up due to the inclement weather. There were a few interesting vehicles there (and some hideous ones!), we met up with some friends and James was able to buy lots of workshop stock from the traders.DSC00214DSC00212DSC00216DSC00215 DSC00217 DSC00220 DSC00222 DSC00223 DSC00224 DSC00225 DSC00226 DSC00227 DSC00231 DSC00233 DSC00235 DSC00239 DSC00241 DSC00243 DSC00247I loved this single person picnic set, thought it would be perfect for lunch at the Revival, however it seemed quite pricey and had been left out in the rain but I’ll keep a look out for one.DSC00244 We bought Mario a present – some little extra driving lamps, we have a real problem driving Mario at night as the lights are so poor, we tried these and thought they looked quite good, so for the Revival this year we’ll be able to see where we’re going!DSC00248 DSC00249 DSC00250 DSC00251 DSC00252 DSC00253 DSC00257 DSC00258 DSC00259 DSC00260 DSC00264 DSC00268 DSC00269Didn’t really want to take a photo of this as it might be thought of as  encouragement but it really was the most ugly thing I’ve ever seen. It’s owner obviously loved it though and was busy polishing it, so each to his own!DSC00266We left in the early afternoon as it was rather damp, Mario was still rather sluggish on the way home, he really hasn’t been right since last years Revival.

The rest of the Easter Weekend turned out rather better – well certainly sunnier. We were going to try a new monthly meet on Sunday afternoon at Alton but as it was James’ birthday we went on a trip round the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstock instead, very enjoyable and interesting plus delicious cocktails.

Easter Monday is the Goodwood Road Race Club sprint, so we thought a nice sunny drive over the downs in Mario would be a pleasant way to spend a bank holiday. However Mario had other ideas and less than a mile from the workshop was behaving very badly, we noticed water around the head and so took him immediately home. We swopped to a modern car, a shame as it was such a beautiful day and Goodwood Circuit looked absolutely fabulous, the Daffodills looked even better than they had been for the Members Meeting. We had a wander round the paddock and watched some of the timed runs.DSC00343 DSC00350 DSC00352 DSC00353 DSC00355 DSC00363 We saw the Catterham spin as it came out of the chicane and go sideways into the barrier quite hard. After it had been recovered there was an almost perfect impression of the car!DSC00366 DSC00376 DSC00381 DSC00382 So what about poor Mario – well the ‘Doctor’ has examined him and there is low compression on the 4th cylinder, caused we think by the seeping head gasket. The Water pump also isn’t too clever which has probably caused the engine to run too hot and hence the damage to the head gasket, hopefully not too serious. The next thing is to source the replacement parts and James will have the head off and check the valve seating as well so hopefully Mario will be back fighting fit before too long.IMG_0829DSC00338

A ‘Wheely’ good day out – Wheels Day 2014

ssr posterGood Friday traditionally means a trip to Wheels Day. Organised by the Surrey Street Rodders this show has been going locally in various venues for 40 years and these days incorporates everything from the original Hot Rods and custom cars to American, Classics, Sports, trucks, buses, bikes and to be honest quite a few dreadful vehicles which shouldn’t be allowed near a show!

Mario has been attending regularly since we have had him and as always is very popular, his cuteness, shape and colour scheme seems to bridge the gap between the various genres and appeal to everybody. This year for the first time the event was held at Dunsfold  Aerodrome, home of ‘Top Gear’. It’s a good location for us as it’s nearer and a lovely cross country drive which brings us in on the southside which seemed much less crowded. We arrived around 10am and drove straight in but the good weather and the 40th anniversary had brought cars out in droves and we spent some time being parked up!

The rest of this post will be a series of pictures of things that caught our eye. Over the years we have witnessed the changing fashions in hot rods and customs, the current style seems to be what I’d call ‘Sheddy’.  Stuff made to look (in most cases) in an unrestored condition with ‘rust’ and bare metal showing. Lots of the cars are ‘slammed’ and ‘chopped’ e.g. the suspension when stationery lowers the car so the sills are barely above the ground and the roof line is lowered so the windows are long and thin. The immaculate and heavily painted, flamed and chromed cars of previous years are quite few and far between these days with a much smoother and simpler single colour look being dominant.

Mario was again used to advertise our forthcoming car show.DSC07979 An immaculate classic –  4.0R Vanden PlasDSC07983

1950’s Plymouth Station WagonDSC07984 A really cool Batman ice cream/snack wagon, think it was based on a Mark 3 Escort, love the glass bubble in the top so the vendor can stand upright!DSC07987 Allegro Police Car – bit worried about James’ growing love for 70’s and 80’s ‘shitters’ the thing is they were pretty unloved at the time and hence very few have survived making them rare and quite ‘desirable’ these days!! We will not be adding any to the family though.DSC07991 A ‘sheddy’ slammed Citroen Dyane, big wheels and big engineDSC07992 We bumped into a guy we hadn’t seen for years. Thirty odd years ago we were all in the venture scouts together and Geoff sold James his first ‘classic’ a Ford Cortina Mark II 1500GT complete with a roll back roof and a fur fabric headlining. Geoff was showing off his recently finished project another GT Cortina. Absolutely immaculate the new white paintwork was dazzling.DSC07997DSC08000DSC07998 This Mini had a very original bonnet – copies of the Beano.DSC08006 I loved this bus, afraid I know nothing about it other than it had been converted into a motorhome, and it had a fantastic New York Liberty Tours paint jobDSC08008 DSC08010 Now this is the car that really took our eye, think it would make a stunning BIG brother for Mario, although I’d never be able to park it! It’s a Hudson Hornet and it was for Sale… if we win the lottery tonight! The second one parked behind is in race spec and has competed at Goodwood.DSC08018 DSC08022 DSC08024 This Mercury was amazing, subtle in two-tone cream and white with great lines, room for all your friends too.DSC08027 DSC08028 DSC08030 Probably the rarest car at the show – A Mazda MX4 twin rotor wankel engine and again totally immaculate.DSC08031 DSC08033 Another Hudson, maybe this colour scheme would fit in better with the ‘family’. The interior was blue and black zebra fur!DSC08040 Simca 1100, the engine is fitted with ‘twin webers’ in a better conditions than it would have been new inside and out.DSC08041 DSC08043 Classic CapriDSC08044 DSC08045 Chevy Bell-Air. Station Wagon’s are increasingly popularDSC08048 On the way home we stopped to take a few new pictures of Mario.DSC08065 DSC08073Happy Easter Love Mario xx

A motoring Easter…

Good Friday was dry but very cold so we decided to leave Mario at home and popped over to the Surrey Street Rodders Wheels Day at Rushmoor Arena. This event is mainly for custom and American cars but there is always a good collection of classics there too. We used it as a good opportunity to invite cars to our forthcoming Haslemere Classic Car Show. While not as many vehicles as previous years there was a very good turnout and a few gems.

DSC07876 The fashion seems to be for vehicles which sit on the ground!DSC07878 DSC07885 This narrowed bus was pretty cool.DSC07886 DSC07887 James rather fancied this roof rack for Mario, it was a perfect size but don’t think it would have carried very much.DSC07901But Mario did get a gift, we found this rather fetching suitcase, unused from the sixties and a rather good colour match, will be very useful for the Goodwood Revival.DSC08077 Easter Monday brought another motoring event the annual GRRC Sprint at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. A bright day but still very cold and the wind was howling through the chicane. We had gone to see our friend Christopher compete in his D-type replica but unfortunately there was a problem on his first practice run so he took it home and got his Mark I Jag instead but this too had a problem when the wheel splines stripped and lost a wheel. Both ‘disasters’ happened when the second driver was at the wheel but Christopher was just relieved that no one was hurt and he was awarded the ‘spirit of the Sprint’, he also managed to get the car home with a borrowed spinner and the spare wheel.

This Cunningham C4 recreation was sold by James several years ago as a project and now looks the part on the track, it will be at the Revival in September and it’s owner was delighted that it was faster than one of the GT40’s!DSC07999 DSC08000 DSC08007 DSC08013 DSC08027 TV Chef James Martin was competing in his new Mini – a good practice for the Mini race at this years Revival.DSC08035 DSC08043 DSC08049 DSC08055So a good if chilly weekend, finally today it is looking a little more Spring like so hopefully Mario will be venturing out soon, those days at the seaside are in sight.