I was there: The Bris­tol Clas­sic Car Show

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

For many en­thu­si­asts, the Bris­tol Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre is best re­mem­bered for the Bris­tol Clas­sic Car Show, reg­u­larly held there un­til 1996.

I at­tended this event sev­eral times in the late 1980s, and re­mem­ber once ar­riv­ing in a bat­tered state, hav­ing trav­elled from Tem­ple Meads rail­way sta­tion in a loaded-to-the-gun­wales Tran­sit minibus op­er­ated as a lo­cal cour­tesy ser­vice by Badger­line.

The ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre al­ways seemed a lit­tle hig­gledy-pig­gledy, but I do re­call it had at­mos­phere, with many clas­sics you tended not to see else­where crowded into the build­ings in a heady at­mos­phere of hog roasts and West Coun­try burrs.

A root through the Larkin ar­chive has failed to find any pho­tos of the show hall it­self, but there were al­ways many fas­ci­nat­ing clas­sics in the car parks. Al­ways one for au­to­mo­tive ex­ot­ica, I pho­tographed this BMC Fa­rina. BHT 833A, which has sadly fallen vic­tim to reg­is­tra­tion num­ber plunderers, is shown in the DVLA records as need­ing to be taxed on 6 Jan­uary, 2001. It could have re­ceived a ‘date­less’ new num­ber, but wor­ry­ingly the car’s colour is de­scribed as ‘pink’. Ra­dio West, sub­ject of the wind­screen sticker, was Bris­tol’s first com­mer­cial ra­dio sta­tion, set up in 1981 and merg­ing with Swin­don-based Wilt­shire Sound to be­come GWR in 1985.

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