Castles and Sports Cars

As mentioned last time, it was the Classics plus Sports Cars Action Day at Castle Combe last weekend. It used to be the Classic and Sports Car Action Day, sponsored by Classic and Sports Car magazine, but this year the mag decided not to continue their sponsorship. A shame really, as C&SC is a good read, certainly the best of the classic car magazines available today, and it’s always nice to meet the writers and their cars, written about every month of course in the ‘Our Cars’ pages and therefore familiar to many readers. It must be said though, that their sponsorship in the couple of years extended to little more than all the lads turning up and parking together in one corner. Seeing as the management probably had to pay a fair amount for the privilege of sponsoring the day you can see why they may have felt they weren’t getting their money’s worth. If they put on a bigger display, like their excellent stand at the NEC Classic car show, they might make more of an impact, get some new subscribers, and it would all be worthwhile. Next year maybe.

In the end, it was a good day out anyway. The BOC stand was quieter than the last couple of years, with only 5 cars turning up. My 410 joined a 411, an AC Aceca, a 401 and Andrew Stevens’ 401 Special, a custom built drophead. The Aceca belongs to Spencer Lane-Jones, and it was nice to see parked next to the 410, his old car obviously. Both the Aceca and Andrew’s 401 Special went out for some circuits of the track, but Spencer did admit to taking it so easy out there that the same Datsun 240Z lapped him three times in the 15 minute session. As ever, it was a hot June day, and I kept up my now established tradition of not bothering with suncream till lunchtime and going quite pink by the end of the day. It’s the best way to build up a tan I’m sure… sort of! The 411 was a car I hadn’t met before, it’s owner a very nice chap who has had it only a few months. It was interesting, as it was a 1976 R-registered 411s5, one of the very last built before the 603 took over. My 410 is one of the very last built too, in 1969, so it was nice to have possibly the last of each type next to each other.

Apart from Castle Combe, not much of note has passed, but the car has now had it’s annual polish. I’m not a great believer in polishing all the time – I try to wash them pretty often, but this was the first time in two years and almost 20,000miles it had had a proper ‘clean off all the dead paint and rewax from nothing’ clean. The difference was remarkable, as you’d hope, but I failed to take any proper before and after photos so you’ll have to take my word for it. If it’s a nice day the car’s clean one day this month I’ll take some nice ones. The insurers need some new ones anyway to update the agreed value policy, so I have to make the car look as good as possible. I would say I’d give it another coat of wax, but that would just confuse the poor thing – twice in one year? Whatever next!

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