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

:: [ SVVS Evening Meeting - The Six Bells, Horley - June 2010 ] ::

The report below is by Chris Cuss and the following photos are by Bozi Mohacek. 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).  Being evening, photos were taken with very little light so have been  lightened for easier viewing.

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JUNE CLUBNIGHT AT THE SIX BELLS, Horley         by Chris Cuss

Some years ago we arrived at this venue to find it closed following the arrest of the chef. This year latecomers were being told to go elsewhere as the pub had run out of glasses and could not cope with any more customers. Certainly there were many more moderns in the spacious car park than previously. However our members are more interested in cars than beer, well some of them are, so the evening continued undaunted. The great attraction of our society is the sheer number of marques that it encompasses, around 100 at the last count, so there is always something interesting to view. This month there were two post-war vehicles that were new to the writer. The first was an Allard saloon brought by a visitor; very modern by Allard standards and unlike anything your reporter had seen from that constructor. I am indebted to Bozi for researching the following:

"Two Lexus LS400s were modified by Allard (mainly styling, aerodynamics, and interior) and used as lures for potential manufacturer backing for the J2X. The LS400s were presented to Toyota in hopes that they would be interested in the Allard tie-in, to sell a low-volume exclusive, the Allard LS400. In fact Toyota did show interest, but confusion amongst the Allard partners led to them being unable to present a clear marketing proposal. Toyota quickly lost interest."

So there we have it, a Lexus badged as an Allard rather as Frazer-Nash re-badged BMWs in the 1930s. The second car of interest was the 1984 Bitter SC coupe owned by our member Douglas Wright. This was a German-Italian co-production based on the Opel Monza. Happily the Monza shares running gear with the Vauxhall Senator so parts are still readily available in the UK. In 1971 Erich Bitter set out to design an affordable supercar based on inexpensive mechanicals. His first attempt was the CD coupe that married a German Bauer body to an Opel Manta floor pan. 395 examples were constructed before the oil crisis of that period brought demand to an end. Never daunted Bitter tried again in the 1980's with the SC with a fashionable wedge shaped body built by Maggiore of Italy. Douglas' example was finished in a pleasant shade of dark blue but was rather spoiled by the interior being completely upholstered in bright red leather so it rather resembled Miss Whiplash's waiting room. Perhaps the first owner was Max Mosley.

Triumphs were out in force. Drew Adams' 1967 Vitesse needs no introduction as it seems to appear at all our meetings. There was a brace of Spitfires; Tim Ralph's red 1966 example together with that of a visitor. Chris Lory brought his 1973 Stag and Richard Purcell was driving his 1971 TR6. Once again the oldest car present was the 1920 Dodge 2.5 litre tourer owned by Michael Ireland. Cecil Kimber's finest were represented by Mike Gooch's 1931 Montlehry Midget and Roger Chamberlain's 1932 blown J2. Moving to post-war we noted Dick Johnson's cream 1953 TD and Jeremy Bishop's 1981 BGT Limited Edition. Simon Bishop's 1929 Singer Senior warranted several pages in the last magazine as well as being featured in the Automobile earlier in the year. Such is its fame that there was a constant group of admirers. Ron Turner's blown 1934/5 Wolseley Hornet Special looked very purposeful; parked close by John Kirkby's 1924 8 h.p. Humber appeared much more sedate.

Chas Moody's 1928 Morris Cowley was as immaculate as ever and the same must be said for David Smart's 1931 Rolls Royce 20/25 limousine. Bozi's 1932 20/25 was its usual self. Perhaps the most desirable car present was Leo Smith's beautiful 1924 Red Label 3 litre Bentley with Vanden Plas touring body work. Mike Gorman exercised his 1934 Morris 10 drophead coupe whilst Tony Tester, as always, was in his 1929 Chrysler 75. Brian Lloyd Jacob gave his 1935 Riley Lynx a blast down the A217 and was kind enough to give me a lift when my 1930 Riley tourer became unwell at the top of Reigate Hill. We recovered it on the way home. Almost overlooked at the end of a line was Alan Reid's tidy Austin 7 special.

For once post-war cars were in the minority. Gary Lowsley's 1961 Austin Healey Sprite was at the far end of the car park. Michael Harvey's 1998 Morgan is almost modern. Bob Drew's cream Morris Minor 1000 needs no introduction nor does Bill Ray's 1953 Jowett Jupiter based special. Another re-creation was Peter Clark's 1967 ND TD giving a new lease of life to MGB running gear. Raymond Hobbs brought his 1972 Rover 2000TC and Hon. Sec. Malcolm Bailey was in his 1975 Opel Manta coupe. Graham Appleyard's sporting two seat Mazda continues to confuse the unwary. Derek Wright in his Series 1 Landrover was parked close to a World War II Willys jeep that seems to be a regular visitor to this venue. Other visiting cars included a Rolls Royce saloon, a sporting Datsun and a series 2 Ford Capri. In all 27 different makes of vehicle were present if my calculations are correct. Let us hope that the rest of the summer meetings go as well.

When it came to leaving time Desmond Peacock was unable to start his 1929 Amilcar CGSS on the handle. Luckily there were plenty of willing pushers around. One of whom was Brian Lloyd Jacob who, in view of the sultry weather, was wearing shorts, white socks and cream canvas shoes. The Amilcar was obviously flooded as when Desmond dropped the clutch the engine emitted a large oily cough that blackened one of BLJ's legs from the knee downwards including his sock and shoe. Totally unaware of the drama behind him Desmond roared off with a cheery wave.

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