Show Season Starts

Last weekend I went to a show at Stonham Barns in Suffolk for their “Spring Break” car show the first of the season for me. This was going also going to be my first show I had done on my own without the support of Mustang Maniac. The show was over three days, Friday, Saturday and the Sunday that I went too. I have no preconceived notion that I would win anything and I didn’t enter any groups before hand, although a little silverware never hurt anybody. I had been to many shows on my own as a visitor and not as an exhibitor in the past except for the Birmingham NEC during November last year and the Enfield Pageant where the car was very much a work in progress. The alarm went off at seven o’clock but the gates didn’t open until nine on the dot. I couldn’t sleep anyway and  had lots to do; like checking the water, tyre pressures putting the cleaning materials in the trunk and most importantly checking the weather, the sky was almost as blue as my car. I had already made my mind up that I wouldn’t being if there was a good chance of rain. Weather forecast promised lots of sun with cloudy spells at times. Perfect, I got in the car and started her up and I was on my way. Google Maps on my phone directed me to the direction of the show nearly thirty miles away. As I got closer I could see other great looking cars heading in the same direction. Pulling into the gates there was another Mustang that pulled up behind me. I gave the thumbs up and got one back too. I smiled – a lot. Common sense was in full play as there were marshalls directing all us early birds into the fields half hour before they were due to open. The owner of the car behind me got out and introduced himself to me as speaking to me at the NEC show. The penny then dropped and placed the face as being one of the many people who I had spoken too. We parked up next to each other, followed by a Galaxy 500 and a cracking looking Burgundy Camaro SS.


There was cars arriving at a steady pace as we talked about our cars and the LED lights we both had with the variations in them. We eventually decided to go look at some more cars, that gave me a chance to take even more pics of my car. For a valid reason that I will get to later.

I decided that i was going to lift the hood again and let people have a look.

I wasn’t sure how to play it so secured the car and walked away and watched from a distance to see how things played out. I was pleasantly surprised to see the respect of the visitors looking holding their clothing away from the paint work. After half hour or so, I was confident to walk way and look at some other fantastic cars that was now pouring into the fields.

This blue and white Thunderbird had a spectacular paint job.

One of the prize winners here was a real nice Caddy with a Dodge Viper v10 wedged in it. This bike just seemed to go on and take over the whole car park, it was massive with Beetle flat four in the back of it.

Under the hood of the cars were some strange sights a water bottle made out of a Jack Daniels bottle, some poor chap had a leaking radiator.

At one o’clock the judges were on their way round and made virtually no stops at the “standard” road cars. Their time was spent around the Hot Rod / Rat Rod sections. Some of those cars were absolutely amazing, I knew right at that point no prizes were going my way. Shortly after the judging there was a lot of cars leaving around two o’clock, so much so that the bloke on the mic announced that he hoped none of those cars leaving were trophy winners, he didn’t have to worry. I wanted to stay and see the result of judging, so I spent my time aimlessly wandering around looking at the time and effort owners had put into their cars. The stalls were mainly selling items and not really any old car parts as such, nothing that you wouldn’t see at a local car boot sale to be fair. At three o’clock the winners were announced, not a single standard car got an award of the ten trophies that were up for grabs, the hot rod guys and the latest trend of, huge camber angles on a VW Beetle, “slammed” trucks and cars sitting on the floor took the prizes. Never mind, better luck next time. I think I got how this show worked, the emphasis was a Hot Rod based entries for the show, their webpage advertising the event was showing a selection of the previous attending cars that were all hot rods. There was some fantastic cars there that day, but I thought other cars deserved the prizes so much more, like the Thunderbird, the Camaro SS, a beautiful Chevy Bel Air, Caddy Coupe de Ville etc. But, as I am not a judge it was irrelevant what I thought, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and of course some will say the cars that got the awards deserved them. Regardless of the results, I thoroughly enjoyed the show and meeting a few faces that I had previously seen at the NEC at the end of last year, speaking to total strangers who wanted to look at my car, along with other wonderful cars that were on show. Would I go again? Yep. Did I enjoy it? Yep. The weather was spot on all day, and yes I did get a bit of sunburn on my head! I enjoyed the trip home so much as the main road had a convoy of Classic Cars going back to their homes. I was now officially part of the Show Car scene driving there and back in my own car. Thumbs up to every body going past, or those that went past us. Horns were going, people waving to everybody, what a great day all round and perfect way to end the day. I was shattered when I got home. 🙂

This weekend, I had a good friend of mine Mike turned up to take a look at the car. Mike has a Mark two escort and just restored that to its original golden glory. Last time he had seen my car was about a year into the restoration where I had managed to start it up after the re-wiring it. I pulled the covers back and he was surprised to see the difference. I started her up in the garage to get the feel of the engine note, and breath in that unmistakable odour of fresh burning fuel. The roads were damp and the air was pretty damp. He was looking out to the sky as I had previously promised him a ride in it if the weather was OK. As it wasn’t raining I asked did he want to go out in it? At which he thought about it for zero seconds and said “Yes, if you’re sure”. I was, I shut the hood and started to back her out the garage and he got in. It was slightly amusing to see him looking for the shoulder belt, I told him that this was a proper car and only had lap belts. We set off down the road and I said that we would drive to the next village. As we got to the next village it started to spit with rain, I still had the window open. No, this can’t be happening, rain on my car! The car was now getting wet, so much so that I had to put the wipers on for the very first time. I was quite surprised at how well they actually worked. We done our circuit of about half an hour and headed back home. We pulled up to junction for a right turn and in my enthusiasm the rear wheels scrambled for grip untill I let of the gas. I gave this car respect in the rain and gave no sudden acceleration, obviously not enough respect was given to standing start in the rain. Me BAD!  A mile or so from home the rain stopped and the wind had pretty much dried the beads of water from the car. The car was put straight into the garage, and Mike was met by my wife and made him a cup of tea. I of course was out there in the garage drying my little lady. I joined them a short while later satisfied that the car totally dry, not that there was much to dry by the time we got back. I didn’t cover her up at this point, as the warmth of the engine in the garage along with the boiler would dry it out thoroughly over night.


As I had to clean my car the previous week with a bubble bath as it had got dusty, I have now completed my first review for car detailing products; the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax Paste, click here for the hyper link to go straight to it. Or, go to the top menu “Car Detailing Products” where the link can also be found. I intend to add more reviews soon for the likes of; Meguiar’s, Poorboys World, Chemical Guys, Autoglym etc. etc. Why did I take more pics of my car as I mentioned at the beginning? 1) Just because I could, and 2) The shine on the car was from the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax Paste that I could now finish the review off with.

How did the rain react to the paint? It was blown immediately off the car with the wind rush from driving. There was hardly any water on the car at all. I had not seen that level of beading before to be honest, impressive.

Share my Content

14 thoughts on “Show Season Starts

  1. Your Mustang is really superb, and the shine was incredible. It is quite amazing that the car shows over here in the US are about the same as in the UK. The judging can be wonkers here too. Spring is coming, and I am looking forward to more shows. I was rained out of one here on Wednesday. Oh well. Thanks again for the great photos and for the wonderful stories.

    1. Thank Tim, I have come to the conclusion I don’t care about the trophies now as they all seem to be in the “trophie club” together. I get more pleasure out of talking to the ordinary people who like my car. I have had an email in the past to say that a father and son have bought a project Mustang to work on after being inspired by my project. That is something those two guys will cherish together with lots of happy memories. That’s what’s its all about for me, what would judges know about that?. Take care we are looking forward to a hot weekend with a bank holiday on Monday too.

  2. Beautiful show, Mart! I do say so, I am all in favour for any kind of cars’ exhibit, be it as a participant or just as a spectator, what is not to like?

    1. Totally agree, I didn’t realise just how big the USA car scene is in the UK. Some incredible cars, not so sure I would want to drive some of those enormous Caddy or Chevy on our little twisty roads.

Leave a Reply