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Billericay Summerfest is an annual event organised by the Billericay Mayflower Rotary Club to raise money for charity. It’s completely free to enter but you can make a donation upon entry should you wish (luckily I had some pound coins in my pocket, I had taken a £20 note expecting it to be a fiver to get in!)
It’s a big event! There was a stage for live bands, lots of trade stalls selling craft items and home made foods, games and attractions for the kids and a centre stage in which there was a dog show and routines performed by some local dance troupes.
Being an MG event there were, of course, lots of MGs. The Midget and B platforms were as always a popular choice for those displaying their cars.
Some people turn their noses up at the rubber bumpered cars of the 1970s. The bumpers had to be fitted and alterations made to the suspension to make them compliant to the U.S market. I think they are just as charming as their chrome nosed counterparts but in a different way. The suspension is easily remedied. I certainly wouldn’t say no to a rubber bumpered MG if I had the opportunity to own one!
This gold MGB was beautifully presented! I liked the custom interior as well!
There were a lot of Fs and TFs as well. I can’t say I know an awful lot about them. I’d imagine that they are a tonne of fun to own and drive. Mid engine, rear wheel drive and convertible. I know the earlier cars were prone to head gasket issues but you can buy uprated head gaskets for them now.
I’ve never seen one in orange before! It looks really nice! New favourite colour for these for sure and I don’t normally like orange cars.
A few of the newer generation of MGs were also on display. Again some people really turn their noses up at these Chinese made cars. The Chinese owners have kept the brand alive and going however and they are making nice cars.
The only issue I can really highlight with the newer genration cars is the quality of the interior of the MG3. In comparison to the higher spec cars it felt very cheap and plasticy as I explained in my write up of the London Motor Show. However, I can’t be too critical of the 3 as it costs a lot less than it’s Ford counterpart!
It’s the rarer cars that always attract me though. There were two Magnettes. An early one:
Along with a later one which really caught my heart. I think this generation Magnette is such a good looking car and I think it may be the first I’ve seen in person!
How cool are those huge seat belt buckles?
An MGA. The sports car of the 1950s Gentleman.
The best MG there though and possibly even the best car of the show was this little MG 1300 auto.
For one, it was beautifully restored. You also don’t see many 1300s about and autos are even rarer! I really, really liked this little car.
There were lots of other classic British cars of other marques too.
MG’s sister companies from Leyland were also represented. The Healey Sprite was based on the Midget platform.
Then there was the bigger Austin-Healey. A super car of it’s day!
The Triumph TR4 the prettiest car Triumph ever built.
Along with an iconic TR7.
Jaguar E-Types are one of the most iconic British sports cars. Controversially I prefer the coupes to the convertibles. I just love the side and rear profile of the coupe!
The Daimler SP250, a very rare British sports car!
There were only a couple representing the pre-war period. Two Singers and a Humber respectively.
Along with this really cool old truck.
The British were also great at building huge luxury saloon cars!
This Jaguar is lovely!
The Rolls Royce aficionado will say that it was the Silver Shadow that brought Rolls Royce down from being owned by Royalty and state leaders to… ugh… CEOs, musicians and… new money…
I love them though. I think they are an incredibly smart looking car and great value for money in this day and age. Let’s just not mention the cost of fuelling one.
The humble family man was also able to buy some great British cars. Surprisingly there were no Minis but there was a Morris Minor!
Along with a Rover Metro which was a bit of a surprise! These are a great practical classic now and at the time were good city cars. These cars are bitter sweet to me though. Rover used to build huge luxurious saloon cars which rivalled Mercedes and the like back in the 1950s and 60s. They the 1990s they were reduced to these and the Mini… Great cars for sure but not representative of what Rover originally were.
Somewhere in the middle of all this are Ford. Ford are our local company having important facilities at both Dagenham and Dunton in Essex. The Dagenham plant is huge now but was colossal back in the 1960s and 70s. They’re a very popular manufacturer in this part of the world and, as they do now, they used to make cars for every purpose. Many have been preserved.
The Mk1 Escort is one of the most popular Ford classics. An unassuming car at the time, they went on to have huge motorsport success and several fast variants were produced, including the Mexico. Now, they are worth crazy money.
Other valuable classic Fords include the Sierra Cosworth. Many of these were killed by chavs and getaway drivers and thus they have become incredibly desirable.
The Lotus Cortina saw great success in motorsport in the 60s. They are still very popular in historic racing today.
The 105e Anglia is a great little car for hot-rodding. Rear driven, light weight and able to house a number of engines, they can be transformed into really fun little machines. I wouldn’t want to be in an accident in one though! They were always notorious for being a little unsafe in contact.
The Granada, on the other hand, is quite a good car to have an accident in. The huge saloon cars have proved to be popular on banger tracks over the years. It’s a shame really as they look lovely and comfy inside! Lots of wood and big seats to sink into. I bet they are great on a long run!
The Ford Corsair was a good looking saloon car. Some were powered by a V4 engine which is rather unusual.
My favourite of the old Fords is the Zephyr. They just look like a shrunk American car! Very cool!
Talking of Fords and American cars, Ford obviously originated in America and there were plenty of American Fords on display.
Mustangs are of course the first car you think of when you think of American Ford.
There were a few other American cars on display too!
The Chevrolet Bel-Air is one of the best looking cars ever built in my opinion.
This generation Camaro are starting to become more collectable. I’ve seen plenty of V6 ones but the V8s like this one are a little harder to find.
There were a few Japanese cars. The Honda S2000 is an amazing little sports car. The F20C is an awesome little motor housed in a shell that handles sublimely.
The “blob eye” Impreza was one of my favourite cars growing up. I’d still love one!
There were a few unusual Porsches. A 924, I always associate these with Tony Montana from Scarface who had one in the film.
The 944. The working man’s Porsche. One of the few Porsches I’d really like to own alongside a 996 generation 911.
A 914. I haven’t seen one of these in many years! It looks good with the bigger wheels and livery.
Sitting between the 944 and 914 was this gorgeous Lancia:
Of course, it wouldn’t be one of my blog posts without some Mercedes. There were only two on show. One was a W201:
The other was a W204 C63. The proper C63 with a displacement of 6.3 litres.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! It was a good show with a few really interesting and unusual cars. The fact that it was for charity made it even better! Looking forward to next years!
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By Richard Francis