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Sporting classics draw the crowds

Simply Classics Sports Car 15 - MG Magna

CROWD-pleasing favourites including Triumph Heralds, Minis, MGBs and Austin-Healeys featured among the 260 cars at Beaulieu’s Simply Classics & Sports Car rally.

Celebrating the colourful world of classic motoring, the event welcomed pre-1990 classics and sports cars as they joined the display. From pre-war saloons to modern day roadsters, there was something for every motoring enthusiast.

For the first time, visitors could also enjoy a whole host of special retro-themed features as part of the show.

A 1981 Matra Murena 1.6 in yellow was one of the most distinctive machines on display. This rare example of a quirky French sports car featured three seats side-by-side. An elegant 1958 Simca Aronde Plein Ciel coupe was a glamorous addition.

Also catching the attention of show-goers was a Bond Bug 700ES still wearing its original orange paintwork, while a period-perfect Fiat 131 Super Mirafiori represented an often overlooked sports saloon.

Sports car fans were treated to the sight of numerous performance machines on display, from a Triumph Spitfire to an exuberant Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. A trio of Daimler SP250 ‘Darts’ had travelled with their owners from Germany as part of a UK tour. Modern sports cars, such as the Lotus Elise and Mazda MX-5, were also well-represented.

Club stands were at the heart of the show, with the Bournemouth and Poole MG Owners’ Club and the Wessex MG Club both displaying pristine examples of sports cars bearing the famous octagon-shaped badge. The Lotus Seven Club assembled a selection of Lotus and Caterham Sevens, while the Toyota MR2 Roadster Owners’ Club showcased 14 of its members’ cars.

Hard Up Garage brought along a selection of custom-built hot rods to the show, which were started up to wow the crowds with dramatic flame-throwing displays.

Visitors and participants voted for their favourite car of the show in the People’s Choice Award. Show regular Steven Brooks took first place for his immaculate 1959 Ford Zephyr Mk2 Lowline, which is finished in eye-catching Conway Yellow.

Runners-up were Bernie Smith with his highly personalised Toyota MR2 and Ken Day with his 1969 Jaguar E-type 2+2. Also scoring highly in the voting were Gary and Shirley Bartlett with their 1972 Ford Capri Mk1 1600, Neil Mcabendroth with his 1959 Austin Metropolitan, Alex Maycroft and Jake Richard with their 1991 Mazda MX-5, Shirley Fry with her 1967 Sunbeam Alpine, Steve Macevoy with his MG Magna F1 Q-type and Ruth and Terry Norman with their replica vintage Mercedes, built on 1984 Ford Mustang underpinnings.

An additional award, chosen by Sam Hard of Hard-Up Garage, was presented to Kevin Davis for his immaculate 1980 Austin Princess. Finished in vivid Snapdragon Yellow and fitted with British Leyland Special Tuning parts, the Princess was chosen by Sam as “a car that makes everyone smile and is a bit different”. Kevin was presented with a trophy and a Hard Up Garage T-shirt.

Simply Classics & Sports Car is one of the Simply rallies taking place at Beaulieu during 2016. Still to come is Simply Japanese on July 31, Simply Land Rover on August 7 and Simply Smart on November 13.

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