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Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society caters for veteran cars, vintage cars & classic cars, as well as commercials and motorcycles.



:: [ SVVS at Reigate Tunnel - September 2007 ] ::

The SVVS was again invited by the Reigate Business Guild to display our vintage and classic vehicles in old Tunnel Road above the Reigate Caves in the support of the National Heritage Open Day Scheme. The event was held in conjunction with the Cave Society. The following text (to follow) and the photos are by Chas Moody.  Please click on any thumbnail picture below to see the full size picture. To return to the thumbnails please click the Explorer "Back" arrow (top left of screen). 

 

Reigate 2007 Saturday 8th September With the bad weather which beset many of our events this year behind us, we hoped for fine weather for the Tunnel Road display and were not disappointed. First arrivals were 'Reigate regulars' Thelma and Julian Alderton in their 1947 M.G. Model Y Saloon taking pole position in our line-up. The 1928 Morris Cowley saloon belonging to yours truly was next in line, followed by Derek and Jaquie Wright with Jaquie's 1969 Morris Traveller smartly finished in a rather fetching maroon, the shade of which I think is Mulberry, which contrasts well with the exterior woodwork. 

  

Roger Horstman followed in the 1955 triumph TR2, which uses a twin carb 1991cc four cylinder Standard Vanguard engine producing around 90 bhp. The line-up continued with the 1980 1500cc Triumph Spitfire of Brian and Lucy Rice. One of the last made, the Spitfire was not wearing its factory hard-top which it sported at this event last year.  The Wealden Cave and mine Society take over with their display within the tunnel on this National Heritage Day, up to the entrances of the East and West caverns. These were open for guided tours which many SVVS Members enjoyed. The tunnel was built in 1823 as part of a toll road beneath the estate belonging to Lord Sommers. It was one of the earliest road tunnels in Britain and considered a wonderful feat of engineering at that time. Our display continued after the cave entrances with Karen McBride's 1979 yellow MGB driven by Bob Hubbard, which spent the first two years of its life as a factory development car and has several non-standard features, perhaps the most obvious being the triple windscreen wipers. 

  

Peter Dingle was next in line in the 1923 Bullnose Morris Oxford four-seater tourer. This model is often referred to as a 'Little Oxford' as it has the short chassis and small Cowley size radiator but the larger capacity (1802cc) four cylinder side valve engine which was an optional extra in 1923. So many purchasers opted for the larger engine that it was made standard for 1924 and beyond. 

 

Brian and Maureen Daley wowed us with their 1933 M.G. 6 cylinder 'L type' Magna with Brooklands style body. When questioned about the lack of weather protection, i.e. none, Brian assured us there was plenty of floor drainage! The first section of our display up to the mouth of the tunnel was completed by the 1933 Austin Seven box saloon owned since 1988 by Richard and Jennie Clark. Theirs is the long wheelbase deluxe model which has had four owners since new and has a mere 37 thousand miles on the clock despite having toured Europe. 

 
We were pleased to welcome new member John Rennie driving his very smart Austin Seven Ulster which has a history of racing in VSCC events. The sound of the exhaust reverberating in the confines of the tunnel was quite exhilarating! 

  

John and Margaret Chapman with granddaughter Abigail brought the largest vehicle, their 1937 Derby Bentley with 6 cylinder 4% litre engine, followed by Tony Russell with his 1937 7W Ford 10 sports tourer. The 1950 Dellow which Nick Woolett has owned since 1999 has an interesting history. Its first owner was a Captain Griffen of Bideford. Power output has been increased by using a 1600cc Ford Cortina engine. Nick tells me that the chassis side members on these cars were formed from army surplus rocket launcher tubes! Frazer Clayton and Linda completed the line-up in their 1938 Wolseley 14/56 saloon. Many thanks to all the above for providing an interesting and varied display. Thanks also to Tony Russell for organisational support and to Reigate Business Guild for providing a nice bottle of plonk to each Member.                                                   Report by: Chas Moody

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