Strictly classics in the ballroom
The car show with a difference – where vehicles park on the hotel carpet!
With historic vehicles parked on the carpet and on the stage, illuminated by chandeliers, there’s nothing quite like the Indoor Classic Car Show held at the Slieve Donald Hotel, County Down.
This was the 23rd annual event organised by the Classic Charity Committee that raises money for Cancer Research UK, with funds in excess of £100,000 raised to date.
More than 40 cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles were displayed in the Hotel’s Shimna Suite, attracting enthusiasts from Northern Ireland and Eire over the three days of the event.
Visitors were able to see the progress made on a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost restored by James Black of Ballinderry. This was displayed at last year’s show in chassis form, but now the restoration is complete with pristine bodywork.
There was a lot of interest in a 1955 Bentley R Type Continental with Mulliner coachwork – registration number X 111 – that once belonged to Victor Gauntlett, who founded Pace Petroleum in 1972 and helped to revive Aston Martin’s fortunes. The current owner’s family acquired the Bentley from Gauntlett in 1983 and have recently had the engine re-conditioned with new pistons and liners.
Richard Bingham regularly displays cars at the Slieve Donald and this year brought along a 1967 Ford Anglia Super from his collection of Anglias. This concours example is one of a few survivors of the 500 produced in Venetian Gold.
Harold Spiers of Ballynahinch was very proud of his recently purchased Austin Allegro Series 1 that has just 4000 miles on the clock. The Allegro – complete with quartic steering wheel – was originally registered and kept by SS Logan of Whiteabbey, County Antrim, which at the time was an Austin-Morris dealer (now MG).
Once the show was over on the Sunday, the classics had to be skilfully removed from the venue so that the room could return to its normal use until next year’s event.
‘Classics had to be removed so that the room could return to its normal use’
cars had to be removed from the hall with extreme care – as seen with this 1966 riley kestrel. Harold spiers with his original condition, low mileage austin allegro series 1. richard Bingham’s 1967 Ford anglia super – one of 500 liveried in Venetian Gold. 1955 Bentley r Type continental with Victor Gauntlett’s X 111 registration number. This 1986 mid-engine, 4wD drive MG Metro 6r4 is number 87 of 200 produced.