Going Clubbing: East Coast Retro Car Club

20140603_200459 There’s a chap I know, goes by the name of Mike, who happens to run a local online club where folks who drive old, odd or otherwise interesting cars can share the company of other like-minded folk. Every month they hold a get-togther at a marina a half-hour drive away from me, so I figured I ought to point the Rover in the direction of Shotley and see what was going down. There’s a pub there, after all. The meets are organised via something called Facebook, and me not being particularly dedicated as a social networker, I had no real idea what to expect. When I turned up there, I was far from disappointed. Take the jump to see some of the highlights. Well, my highlights.       20140603_200441 Nigel, another guy I know, is the owner of this magnificent 100% original Datsun Laurel, spearheading a personal fleet otherwise made up mainly of Toyota Camry Station Wagons. His dedication to the cause of old six-cylinder Japanese tin is worthy of some celebration. 20140603_200526 Any meeting of car enthusiasts in my region is bound to attract a few Ford Capri’s, and this one was no exception. I believe the one on the left was a 2.0 Laser, while the right hand is obviously a 2.8 Injection. Something tells me that all isn’t necessarily as the factory intended if you look under the skin. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to interrogate the owner. I will duly stalk this car until knowledge is gained. 20140603_200312 As Capri’s go, this one is something special. Or horrible, but awesome nevertheless. It started life as a 2.8 Injection and then gained a soft-top conversion and a Turbo Technics engine upgrade somewhere along the line. I do kind-of know the guy who turned up in this, but it isn’t his. I’m odds on to find out a bit more about whether it’s excellent or simply terrifying to drive. 20140603_200234 Taking a break from Fords for a moment or two, this outragously clean Volvo has only covered 17,000 miles in its life. The owner reckons there are still improvements to be made, but I struggle to imagine what any of them might be. As it stands, a 1987 Volvo with BBS style wheels and a bodykit which would look at home on a Koenig, makes quite an impression. 20140603_201134 The Opel Monza is a car which I don’t see enough of these days. Especially in white or dark grey, I thought these German Bahnstormers were really impressive looking machines. Great sounding, too, with the three-litre straight-six lump under the bonnet. This one has the wonderfully of-its-time digital dashboard, with the engine revs being registered on a power-curve graphic. The vast majority of these disappeared overnight with their owners waking up to a pile of brown dust and some tyres on their driveway. Most of these weren’t even towed to the scrapyard; rather they were hosed off the drive. 20140603_201737 This Starlet was a sweetie; the black and orange graphic down the side has the complete specification emblazoned on it. More of that kind of thing, please, Toyota. 20140603_201638 And more of this kind of thing too, please Lotus. This is a genuine original Lotus Sunbeam, with the 2.2 litre Lotus 4 (designation 911) putting out 150bhp in production trim. With the short wheelbase and rear-wheel-drive, these things were pretty brutal in the early ’80s. Among the hottest of hatches. 20140603_200342 Lets’ stray back onto Fords and a very shady looking Transit of the “I won’t let my daughter anywhere near that” persuasion, complete with dodgy “tribal” graphics along the side. There’s more to it than just hideousness, though, for under that nicely rusting bonnet there lurks:- 20140603_200334 Several hundred horsepower of very turbocharged Ford four-cylinder. Again, more information is required; next time I attend I’ll be hurling non-stop questions at the owner. 20140603_201808 And we’ll finish for tonight with a rather pretty looking flat-nosed Mk 2 Escort RS, sharing the company of the immaculate Mk 3 Cortina of Mike, the Club Chairman. Well, it’s his club, he can call himself what he likes. I look forward to my next visit. If any of you are in the North Essex / South Suffolk area, please pop along. [Images: copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Chris Haining. Phone camera used with subsequent terrible results including paper-white sky.  You get the idea, though]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here