Strictly clas­sics in the ball­room

The car show with a dif­fer­ence – where ve­hi­cles park on the ho­tel car­pet!

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Out & About - Mike lorimer

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.

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