Billericay Summerfest 2019

Billericay Summerfest, organised by the Rotary Club of Billericay, is somewhat akin to an old fashioned village fete. It’s a free to enter event, but there are places you can make a donation to charity scattered about should you wish.

Summerfest has everything from stalls set up by local businesses, to music, Punch & Judy, a children’s fun fair, arena displays and, importantly to this blog: The Queen Vic Classic & Sports Car Show.

The largest of the stands in the show was the MG Car Club Anglia Centre’s.

MGFs and TFs are starting to be considered classic by the MG community. Rightly so in my opinion; they are fun little, mid-engined cars! I personally prefer the later TF. I think it’s the better looking car of the two and it’s a firmer handling car without the hydrogas suspension.

Prices are creeping up now, but they are still an easy investment if you wanted to get an MG sports car.


There were plenty of Midgets and MGBs on display. In more recent years, the rubber bumper clad cars from the mid-late 1970’s have become a lot more appreciated. Many were pulled apart to have the chrome bits retrofitted.


I really liked the additional front valence on this GT.


There were also a couple of rarer MGCs on display. The MGC share the same chassis as the MGB but features a 2.9 litre inline-6 rather than the traditional four cylinder. The bonnet has a bulge in the front to accommodate the larger engine and radiator.


This red convertible MGC was beautifully restored and tastefully modified. Note the triple carburettors, heat wrapped manifold and braided oil lines leading to a front mounted oil cooler.


The RV8 was the last hurrah of the MGB platform. The Rover V8 wasn’t a stranger to the MGB chassis as it had been previously used in the MGB GT V8 in the 1970s. To the best of my knowledge it was the first time it had been used in the convertible though.

The V8 had been enlarged from 3.5 to 3.9 litres and now made 190bhp at 4750rpm. It was mated to a manual 5 speed gearbox and a limited slip differential. Yet still retained the MGB’s leaf spring suspension and rear drum brakes.

They were quite a niche car and, dare I say, technologically inferior to the TVR Griffith so didn’t sell well here.

However, many were sold in Japan and as they’ve become more collectable, several have made their way back over.

The RV8 is a rare car and it was nice to see one in person!


There were also a few earlier MGs. Here we have a 1950s TF:


As well as two pre-war T-types. One was a police car.


The other was this stunning little red car. Beautiful colour combination and looking ever so sleek even with the top up.


This Magnette was also nice to see. Although MG are famed for their sports cars, they have also built some saloons. The Magnette and 1300 (based off of the Austin 1100 spring to mind) very rare cars and nice to see at a local show.


Away from the MGs, there were some American cars on display.

A Buick from the golden age of the American automobile.


this Pontiac GTO was really nicely done. I like the style and size of the aftermarket wheels, and I also like the Pontiac logo pressed into the seats. I’m not sure if that was a part of the original upholstery or done later, but it looks really cool!


Completely original Bel-Air. This sounded so smooth as it drove in.


Very low Saleen Mustang. The SN95 isn’t the most popular of Mustangs, but I think they are a really nice looking car! I’d have one for sure!


I can’t remember the last time I saw a classic Charger in real life. The modern cars are very popular in the States (well, Georgia) but it’s been years since I’ve seen one of these! I’d forgotten how big they look haha!


There was also a rather large Kenworth. Again, these look normal in the U.S, but here they are massive!


The only other commerical vehicle I saw in the show was this 1920s Ford


There were a few other classic Fords dotted about too.


The white estate below is a Ford Corsair 2000E. It came with the 1996cc Essex V4, a really unusual engine configuration.



Really don’t see many 4th generation Escorts about anymore, especially in such good condition.


Of course there were some other cars present that were representing the other British automotive giant; British Leyland!

We’ll start with the best car British Leyland ever build: the Rover SD1 Vitesse. This example had an aftermarket exhaust that made the V8 sound superb! Owning one of these is genuinely on my bucket list. I think they are great cars.


Here we have a very original Austin Mini. A lot of cars being built today are still influenced by Alec Issigonis’ innovative design.


Wolseley. Pretty cars but I can’t say I know much about them.


Original Land Rover with inboard lights.

Austin A40, designed by Pininfarina of Ferrari fame.


Rover P4. Considered the pinnacle achievement of Rover for many many years. They were a great car!


Followed by the Rover Metro. My Mum used to have one of these. They are a far cry from the luxurious saloons Rover built in yesteryear. They have a lot of charm though.


Triumph’s TR4. Incredibly good looking little sports car.


Sunbeam Alpine Fastback Coupe. I didn’t know these existed before this show. It reminds me a lot of the first generation Plymouth Barracuda.


There weren’t many German cars, but there was quality rather than quantity.

First off we have this lovely E30 3-Series convertible. These have exploded in price over the last couple of years. I predict the E36 will do the same too!


The other German car was my favourite car of the show. It was this 1978 Porsche 911 in proper 1970s specification with the collapsible bumpers, big wing, graphics and chequered seats. Look at those wheels too! Gorgeous!


The final vehicle I’d like to highlight is Matt Everard’s Tuk-Tuk, which is now the world’s fastest!

The record run helped raise awareness and money for the Havens Hospices in Essex and he reached a speed of 74.3 mph!


I love the lucky horseshoe!


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By Richard Francis

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