The VSCC on New Year's Day

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Mark Garfitt’s January 1 Verzons meet near Ledbury attracted over 100 vintage cars this year. There was even an overflow car park, from which Robin Batchelor inflated his hot-air balloon and gave free flights.

This tirne the landlord’s bottle of bubbly for the car coming the greatest distance went to Paul and Sylvia Roberts, who had brought their 1925 Brescia Bugatti from Colchester, a long-wheelbase two-seater with period flared wings. The Presidential Mercedes guarded the car-park entrance, Moffatt and Felton had brought their Brescia Bugattis (the former back on beaded-edge tyres) and Rodney his Monza Alfa as well. Mark had Sally Marsh’s T35, Sir John Venables-Llewelyn arrived in his stripped GP Bugatti, and Geoffrey St John’s T55 and a 2.3 Alfa added to the sporting scene. Among the Bentleys a 2WB 3-litre two-seater was out for the first time in some thirty years.

Some 15 A7s and large contingents of Frazer Nashes and Morgan three-wheelers graced the occasion, along with all the obvious vintage makes, a 328 BMW, two 41/2-litre Invicta dropheads, a Brough Superior drophead, a smart Traction Avant Citroen of the kind once favoured by VSCC committee members, a dignified Lanchester 21 town carriage, and a smart Austin 12/4 with flowers in its dashboard vase.

Ancients included a 1904 Cadillac which had bravely made it to Ledbury despite losing most of its fluids en route, a small early Darracq, a 1904 Aster brake and the Edwardian Buick. Many big Lagondas, an OM, the Vernon Derby, and the flat-twin Sima-Violet were there. The last-named has its registration number on its flywheel, the most forward part of that machine; on the way this cyclecar had lost reverse, a fault discovered only when it encountered a gradient which was too steep for bottom gear!

A scruffy Sunbeam 16 stood next to an aloof Rolls-Royce, both sans radiator caps — security, not theft, one hopes! It was a good meet, much enjoyed by the Welsh A7 trio of Nippy, Open Road two-seater and what, to please DSJ, I will call my Ulster-Clone! WB

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