Not much room at the inn

The VSCC got off to a good start for 1998 with Mark Garfitt's assembly at The Verzons near Ledbury, the attendance so great this year that latecomers had to reverse out of the car park, and those in modem cars lined the road verges outside as never before. As insurance against salted roads, Mark came in his FN-BMW, not the Marsh Bugatti.

Vauxhall 30/98, Bentley, Alvis, Riley and Frazer Nash represented the best of the VSCC. A7s of many types were there, including the Mid Wales contingent of Gould Ulster, proper Ulster and top-hat saloon, led by the 1922 8hp Talbot-Darracq. Two of the smaller Daimlers were parked side-by-side. The Type 35B GP race-trim Bugatti of Mike Marshal, driver's name on its scuttle in Continental fashion, drew the cameras. A Morris-Oxford had the rare Chesterfield twin carburettor ohv conversion and the arrival of two Salmsons earned approval. Chris Gordon came from Malvern in yet another oddity, an air-cooled vee-twin Humberette, and Jeremy Collings had his immaculate Zollerblown McEvoy Star tourer out again.

The enthusiastic Morganists produced around 12 three-wheelers, with a gate-crasher confusingly like a Super Sports `Moggy' until the scintillating Harley-Davidson engine on its nose gave it away as a JZR. The Meadows-'Nashes of Brian Gifford, Grenville Neale and Sandy Burnett represented the 'Chain Gang', with an Anzani-Nash for good measure.

An early 1920s Chevrolet tourer reminded me of boyhood, the oldest visitor was a veteran Napoleon, and the Collings' 1913 Zust and 4.5-litre Bentley came in later. The Distance Award went to Nigel Plant's Railton Terraplane from Spurstow, near Tarporley, and then all departed, to face torrential rain...