When the sun rises accompanied by raucous morning birdsong at around 6am, and the day ahead is forecast as fine and mild, it’s an invitation to rise and shine that few can ignore. Such perfect sports car weather should not be wasted, so when your roofless reporter arrived at the Breakfast Club venue after choosing the longer more scenic route into town, it was not a surprise to see the southern section of the car park almost full, well before the nominated starting time of 8am.
It was my Fiat Spider’s turn for an outing and pure coincidence that a parking space was available next to Mike Whitford’s current model Fiat Abarth Spider. The proximity allowed for an interesting comparison between the classic and contemporary. Unfortunately, Peter King arrived a little too late in his classic Spider to make it a cosy threesome, but he parked next to Mark McKibbin’s Lancia Fulvia and opposite John Althuizen’s Ferrari 328GTS to make a second Italian enclave. There was also Des Dillon’s recently purchased and immaculate 1971 Alfa GTV making its Breakfast Club debut, a marauding black Ferrari Marenello looking for space, a very tidy Xi/9 and an Alfa 90 which arrived later in the morning making for quite a diverse range of classic Italian automobili.
Roadsters were in profusion, most going topless and making the best of the late Spring weather. There were MGs and Triumphs of course from the 40s, 50s and later, a trio of Austin Healeys, several Porsche Boxsters and Mercedes convertibles, a couple of Ford Capris, Graham Longmore’s D-type Jag, Ken Purcell’s 350Z, Ian Mallows’ Lotus Elan, Ian Maud’s Toyota MR2, Bob Murphy’s Z4 and even a beach buggy (with the roof up!). There were plenty of coupes as well. Old and new Mustangs continue to be popular as do older Mercs like Ray Youlden’s new 1976 4.5SLC. There were several Porsches, both front and rear engined, a lovely Volvo P1800, a couple of 2-door Jags (XKE and XKR), an M3 BMW, a 240Z, a gorgeous Austin A40 Farina, three Minis belonging to Graeme Longhurst, Neville Peters and Trevor Batt, as well as a trio of Isuzu Belletts (at least one of which was a 2-door) drove in nose to tail and paid us a visit.
Home-grown and imported sedans were again very popular. A 1957 Oldsmobile in red and white caught my attention later in the morning, but due to our numbers probably exceeding 90 cars, it had to park on the outer, as did an imposing black Bentley which found a spot by the side of the road. A beautifully presented Zephyr Zodiac MkII from the late 50s or early 60s made a debut appearance, joining the ranks of British sedans present which included several Jaguars and a Triumph 2.5. Mercedes, Citroen, Subaru and a VR4 Mitsubishi Gallant also bolstered the sedan contingent this month …. and in case that wasn’t enough to maintain your interest, there was John Fowler’s old Dodge tray truck as well as several motorcycles on display for those who prefer two wheels.