Royal Vintage

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To find out how the distant parts see vintage affairs, or how Celtic historic car shows work out, what better than to take a look at that which formed part of the celebrated Royal Welsh Agricultural Show at Builth Wells (this year’s marking the silver jubilee of the Society at Llanelwedd)? The car section was the responsibility of the Rhayader MC for the twenty-third time.

Bikes and cars were divided into pre- and post-1930; this year there was an equal number of each, but more later cars, down to a 1959 Standard Ten. The vintage element consisted of J Carter’s very fine Berliet-engined 1903 Sunbeam with automatic inlet valves (well-known to London-Brighton Run followers), J Thomas’ impressive 41/2-litre Bentley which was used to take spares for the Bentley team to Le Mans in 1928, 1929 and 1930, and R Worthing’s 1924 Model T Ford two-seater, in black naturally and recently overhauled into a quiet-running pick-up.

These were backed up by two A7s — a 1929 version rebuilt after serving as a shelter for chickens and my 1930 reproduction Ulster (this was a local run for it and it amuses me in my editorial second-childhood, all good children commencing their active motoring in A7s, surely?)

Also present were the immaculate “regular” 1932 Model B Ford saloon, a local A7 Opel two-seater, a Barker Special Sports Daimler, a nice XK120 Jaguar, a manual-gearbox Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, and examples of utility transport including a 1938 Austin 12 van, 1949 Land-Rover, 1939 Standard 8 tourer, and a 1938 Austin Cambridge saloon which has run just over 46,000 miles from new. WB