After the wettest winter in history when my car was often wading through flood water with the aircon set to max and the windows permanently wound up and steamed up we now find ourselves under blue skies. The car becomes a different beast in summer.
I recently attended a car show. Well it wasn't a car show as such it was the Castle Combe Vintage and Steam Fair. There was a sheep dog display (enjoyed that), a Wall of Death show (enjoyed that immensely), old tractors (quite like them), steam engines (same as tractors), stalls full of tat for sale (horse shit) and a great big field full of classic cars.
Ahhh we Brits are a strange bunch. As soon as the sun comes out those of us with a classic car and a club membership badge trundle to some field so that we can sit next to our car for an entire weekend.
The men who owned these cars were chatting amongst themselves and the women who had been dragged along looked bored (well, most did).
I quite like a car show, as long as it's attached to something else. I couldn't just stand in a field and look at old cars all day, or even sit next to my own car in a deckchair with a box of wine and a pack of tabs.
The Castle Combe show had some great old motors. I loved the purple Karmann Ghia and the white Volvo 1800E you can see in the photos.
Goodwood hosts the best car shows. The Revival gives owners the chance to show off their hugely expensive classic machinery whilst the Festival of Speed is an anything goes, as long as it goes quickly and costs a lot, event. We also get to see cars on the move at these events, something most car shows lack.
Both events are internationally renown and attract a host of talent and machinery from around the world. Everyone knows we Brits do car shows better than anyone else.
But we on our wet little island we also buy more convertibles than anyone else. I had three convertibles as press cars in the early part of spring and it rained pretty much all the time. Despite that I'd love a convertible of my own just for those few days when the sun is shining and the temperature high enough to get the top down.
But I don't so I have to make do with opening the windows and getting in the mood with some sunny music. Here's to the British summer. It'll be short but that means we'll enjoy it all the more for it.
Chin chin. Here's an appropriate song.
NB I was at Goodwood FoS last year and am going this year. Follow all the stories at the Goodwood tab.
By Matt Hubbard