BEAULIEU threw open its gates for Simply Ford on Sunday, welcoming Fords of all ages, shapes and sizes into the parkland.
Despite a showery start, more than 900 cars took part in the event, ranging from highly modified modern examples to immaculate classics.
Over 1,700 visitors joined the event, now in its sixth year, as it celebrated all vehicles built with a blue oval badge. The Transit was a star of the show, with a special display commemorating the 50th anniversary of Britain’s favourite van.
The Transit Van Club’s display spanned the history of this legendary workhorse, as the latest models mixed in with older examples. A crowd favourite was Tasha Rose’s immaculate 1969 camper van, adorned with one-off Jimi Hendrix-inspired artwork on its pristine panels.
Show regulars Ford Heritage supported the celebration with their own Transit Mk1, the oldest example still on Britain’s roads, along with the Transit Supervan 3. This lightweight monster wowed crowds as its raucous V8 engine, mounted in the middle of the van, was started up several times during the day.
Almost 30 other clubs showcased their members’ machines. The Mondeo Mk2 Owners’ Club brought along a range of these once-common cars, while fast Ford lovers enjoyed the XR Owners’ Club stand, where examples of the XR2, XR3i and XR4 could all be found.
Nobody could miss the line-up of the Electric Orange ST Club, featuring no fewer than nine examples of the Focus ST, all finished in the same vivid orange hue.
Elsewhere in the event, Capris, Escorts and Focuses rubbed bumpers with older Ford models, such as Prefects, Populars, and Anglias. American Fords such as a Galaxie and a V8-powered Econoline ‘dayvan’ contrasted with the British Corsair and Cortinas also on show.
Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn, presented the People’s Choice award to Dave Pritchard for his Escort Cosworth. Dave, who had driven from Wiltshire to attend the event, has spent over £30,000 lovingly upgrading and restoring his Escort over ten years of ownership, including swapping the original turbocharger for an even bigger one to give a total power output of 630bhp.
Among the runners-up were Jim Watson with his beautifully presented Ford 100E Popular and Steve Blewitt whose American Ford 300 Custom is believed to be the only example in the UK.