Friday 24 August 2012

Summer Classics at Easter Compton 2012

Summer Classics was held over the weekend of the11th and  12th of August at Easter Compton. Another local show meant a short drive in Frank to the venue and a weekend with the family. I managed to get some sketching in too. The event had a huge range of vehicles of many different types, which made a refreshing change to a lot of show and shine events, giving a relaxed and informal atmosphere where anyone was welcome to show their vehicle, whatever it may be. For more information on the Summer Classics Show please visit the Website:

1953 Kaiser Manhattan

(digitally painted ink sketch)

This Kaiser is a rare car indeed, and the restoration is of a very high standard. It's seeing big American cars like this that get me thinking, maybe we need a bigger family car.

I first saw this car at the Gloucestershire Steam Rally where the weather meant I only got as far as a pencil sketch. I was very happy to see this car again and took the opportunity to ink the sketch whilst I had the opportunity. 

Chrysler Roadster

(digitally painted ink sketch)

1965 Mercedes UniMOG

(digitally painted ink sketch)

UniMOG stands for Universal Motor Gerat (great is german for Motor). This is a very versatile machine as it is 4 wheel drive and functions like a tractor where various equipment can be attached to the front and rear of the vehicle. The gearing is very low and the current owner said they can haul up to 40 tons! This machine was originally owned by Cardiff International Airport as a purpose built snow blower. It is now undergoing a rolling restoration whilst working on a small holding. THe current owner was very excited about all the bits of kit he could strap on to it. You can pretty much run any piece of equipment that uses a 3 point linkage system.


 1954 Corvette Stingray

 Dodge Convertible

 Rowena checks out a Chevy step side with a great patina

 6 Wheel Drive Military Truck

 1950 Studebaker Champion 2 Door

This car is believed to be the only one in the country and only 51 remain of the 9,362 that were built. The car was bought by the current owners as a 50th birthday present. They travelled to the USA to pick it up. After some "well needed maintenance" they toured the Southern States covering 5000 miles.

 1953 Paramount Sports

Approximately 80 of these were built, 8 of these are known to exist and only 3 are on the road. BOught in 1975 this example was restored and put back on the road in 1988, and used ever since.

last but not least...
Frank sported his show and shine guise over the weekend (a layer of linseed oil to keep the elements at bay).

Friday 17 August 2012

Gloucestershire Steam Extravaganza 2012 Report

It's always a joy and an education going to a steam rally and having such a good one on my doorstep meant another weekend out in Frank, a lot of sketching and dodging rain storms. 
The Gloucester Steam Extravaganza took place at South Cerney Airfield, this is a huge venue which was definitely filled with Steam Engines, Commercials, Military vehicles, Tractors, Cars and Motorcycles. There was a huge amount to see and I was kept busy for three days, so I can highly recommend going next year, please keep an eye on the website for details of the 2013 event:

Working Steam engines driving large wood saws.

1901 Aveling and Porter RC10 "Prince Albert"

(digitally painted ink sketch)

This 10 ton Steam Roller "Prince Albert "made its first appearance at the Gloucestershire Extravaganza since 1937 at the Rally. It was bought as a wreck and intended as spares for another engine, "Queen Victoria" (see photo below), but it turned out that nothing could be used so instead the family that owned it decided to do a full restoration. Restorations on cars are one thing but a steam restoration is a major undertaking and I have huge admiration for anybody that achieves such magnificent results. "Prince Albert" worked on the North Circular in London among many other road works.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Family owned and run, Queen Victoria was bought in the fifties when it stopped it's working life. The weekend after it was purchased it was taken to a rally.

1919 Fowler K7 Ploughing Engine

(digitally painted ink sketch)

This rally was a real education for me and this was one of the highlights. A Ploughing engine, these would work in pairs using the underslung steel cable to drag a plough from one end of a field to another. Also due to the rain being on and off the owner gave me permission to uncover and cover it so I could continue sketching. This meant climbing all over the engine to get a big canvas cover on and off the motion on top, great fun!

Portable Engine

(ink sketch)
These small engines are the original steam engines that were used to power various machines. These would be moved about using horses, until those clever Victorians worked out they could move the engines under their own steam. These engines are very rare and it was great fun sketching it.

1912 Chenard Walcker

(digitally painted ink sketch)
This is a French veteran car, according to the information it was at one time fitted out as a pick up which I would have loved to have seen.

Field Marshall Tractor

 (ink sketch)
I could not resist sketching this as it is possibly my favourite tractor.


(ink sketch)

Greeves Scrambler

(ink sketch)

Here's some more pictures to show the huge range of attractions on display.


Steam Wagon
Pretty much an early for of a pickup. These could go pretty fast, some up to 60mph.

Two Tractor Engines the one below was very small indeed

Living Wagon
These would be towed behind steam rollers and would sleep up to 4 workmen as they worked on the roads


There were a huge amount of Buses.
 A very nice International Harvester Pickup, my pick of the show.
 Trojan bus


 40 Pickup with a Transit engine
 Two 30s Plymouths with very different looks


Ealry Marshall
 Lea Francis Uni Horse

Allis Chalmers Model B


Rex Cyclemotor

1952 Bown Auto Roadster
Powered by a Villiers Mk 2f

Grand Prix Retro, Le Puy Notre Dame, France 2012

The end of July means only one thing for a number three wheeler and motorcycle riders... Grand Prix Retro. The event takes place in the lovely historic town of Le Puy Notre Dame (France). The weekend consists of a rally on the Saturday with a jolly round the French countryside, followed by some night racing.... sorry demonstration racing round the town. Then the weekend is topped off with a day of racing in the town on the Sunday. For more information on this event please visit the website:

We attended the event for the second time with our son Noah, who had a specially fitted seat in the Morgan Family, which meant that I was downgraded to the back seat. Which on the up side gave me a better view of the French countryside.
Noah testing his seat out whilst eyeing up the gearstick, whilst mother reaquaints hersefl with the controls.

Before arriving at Le Puy Notre Dame we spent some time at a friends farmhouse in Normandy where we acquainted ourselves with various machines, and a French Summer Lifestyle.

Mr Mattey's Super Sports undergoing a bit of the old fettling.

Machine of the holiday, the faithful old Cymota resting against the farmhouse between rides.

Noah giving the horn a good test.

Once we finally arrived at Le Puy the cars were unloaded and we relaxed before the rally the next day.

An early start and some light exercise before starting the rally..

Unfortunately we hit a problem just before hitting the start line...
Lots of steam and water coming from the exhaust pipe could only mean one thing....
...a blown head gasket
No matter, after a bit of cursing the team set to work cleaning up and getting one of the 15 head gaskets back on.
 Whilst waiting for the engine to cool down we paroused the alway great line up of bikes that attend the event. This AJS had a blanked off exhaust which was a common modification in the 30s.

 Mr. Coste's Chevrolet Morgan hauler.

 Ready for the off with appropriate footwear.

 After a touch of fettling the family was back up and running. We made it to the lunch stop before a lot of people, by using a short cut.
A Great little Terrot

Sunday saw the paddock filled with fantastic machines and a great day of racing.

Monet Goyon

(désolé pour le cycliste que j'ai perdu le bout de papier avec les informations moto sur elle. Pouvez-vous m'envoyer les détails planifions si vous lisez ce
 (digitally painted ink sketch)

My one and only sketch fro the weekend was this fantastic Monet Goyon, well I was on holiday but you can never keep a serial sketcher down.

 Unfortunately this Monet Goyon met with some sort of bending accident.
The posh hotel in town with a very smart Bugatti 57 on the left.