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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 Skimmington Castle, Reigate - May 2002 ] ::

The following text is based on the SVVS Magazine report by Chris Cuss and the photos are by Tony Oakes and 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). Pictures have been prepared for speed of loading, and the page has been sized to be viewed at 800 x 600. Being evening, photos were taken with very little light so have been artificially lightened to be viewable.

As is traditional, our summer evening season started with a visit to the Skimmington Castle, a pleasant olde worlde pub hidden on Reigate Heath. The ever cheerful landlord was once again on car park duty to ensure that no moderns crept into our half of the steeply sloping car park. It was the combination of this slope and the loose surface that caused our editor a degree of shock when he noticed the Russell Ford Pop Drop Top exhibit some wheelspin. A plaster cast of the result depression was taken and will be presented to the Hon. Treasurer on a suitable occasion. 

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Continual heavy showers during the earlier part of the day must have put some people off as numbers attending were down on last year. However I counted 42 cars although not all of them belonged to our members. Notable absentees from the gathering were our two local residents, Bryan Goodman and Michael Doughty. From further afield Alan Milbank traveled up from the Isle of Wight and Martin & Chrissie Powell from Hampshire. Nick Wollett bought along his interesting 1950 Dellow Trials Car made of mainly Ford components and engine, in missile steel tubing frame! 

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Once again modern technology came to my aid in the form of a small recording machine so in more or less alphabetical order I was able to note the following cars. Alvis were represented by Nigel Walder’s 1928 12/50 Sports and Chris Geary’s 1953 TA 21. Our other Amilcar owner did put in an appearance, Desmond Peacock bringing his 1921 type CC. Armstrong Siddeley was represented by Mike Fay with his 1933 15 h.p. saloon whilst Keith Piper brought his concours winning 1934 Aston Martin sports saloon. John Sheldrake’s Austin 7 was also seen after a winter engine overhaul. 

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David Ralph’s 1935 Austin Kempton was naturally wearing a Michelin Man radiator mascot. David admitted that it was a replica as originals now fetched four figure sums. There was also a large perpendicular Austin saloon on artillery wheels. I have still failed to identify its owner. Others on the unidentified list were an Austin Healey 3000 in two tone paintwork as was a frog-eyed Sprite. Mike Gorman brought his 1950 Mark VI Bentley saloon and, as mentioned, Tony Russell was burning rubber in his Ford 7W drophead. John Kirkby was in his delightful small 8 h.p. Humber.

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Our two most represented marques both came from Coventry. Seven were Jaguars. Three belonged to our members; the XK120’s of Mike Erroll and Clive Bracey and the V12 XJS owned by Bozi Mohacek. In addition there were three visiting E types, two roadsters and one fixed head coupe plus a 2.4 Mark 2 saloon. Also fielding seven was the Riley marque.  There were the 12/4 Lynxs owned by Bryan Shepherd and Brian Lloyd Jacob and the 12/4 Kestrels owned by your writer and Robin Vince. The other two pre-war cars were the 12/4 Falcon of John Manvers and the Kestrel Sprite of Vernon Nowell. The seventh was the rarest of the post-war models, an RMC three seat drophead coupe.

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One car that is always easy to identify is the Jowett Jason saloon owned by Alan Benewith. The steep rake of its radiator is quite unmistakable. I am never good at identifying M.G.s the more so when we have a number of visitors. Starting with the easy ones first, I listed the editorial Y type saloon of Julian Alderton and the previous temporary editorial of Colin Mulford TF two seater. Colin was accompanied by an MGA that he had meet when en route to the filling station. Also noted were another TF, what might have been a TD and a late model Midget. Ken Berry made a welcome return to our ranks and had brought his Morgan 4/4 of 1947 vintage. 

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Frank Hayter’s large Morris was as majestic as ever and the Morris 8 Tourer causing confusion by having changed its registration. From across the pond came John Bath’s Packard Clipper 6, another car that was built in 1947. For once Terry Mistry was the only Triumph owner present with his 1947 roadster. It’s that year again. Linda and Fraser brought their Wolseley14/56 saloon and one of the younger Browns, Michael I think, came in the Daimler SP250 that was formerly owned by the late Russel Wilson Kitchen. Tucked away on the modern side was a street legal hotrod recently purchased by Tony Tester, - what mid-life crisis?  

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Also there was an interesting Reliant Sabre Sports. On the edge of the car park either someone was having a large bonfire or Tony Russell was coughing on one of his cigars. Whether it was the smoke or the chill damp but members began to leave soon after 9 o/clock. It was however an excellent turnout for the first of our outdoor evening meetings. Even some of the rarely opened bonnets were lifted displaying some awesome internals ! Last photo shows how to shoe-horn some 12 off 441cc cylinders into an XJS and leave no spare space for anything including room to work in.

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