There’s, a huge Rolls Royce Phantom that looks as if it’s youth was spent on tiger shoots and a 3 wheeler Morgan getting stuck in the mud under a tree. A white single-seater Frazer Nash threads it’s way through the wandering crowd and finds a parking place right in front of a curious looking manor house which, if you squint, has a hint of GONE WITH THE WIND about it. But this isn’t the deep South or the foothills of the Hymalayas, it’s rural Herefordshire, just outside Ross on Wye. It’s New Years Day and this is the annual gathering of pre-war cars organised by local members of the Vintage Sports Car Club.
In previous years this event was held some little way off, deep in Cider-country at Much Marcle but in 2020 the location moved to Weston Under Penyard (most famous resident : Richard ‘Hamster’ Hammond) and the grounds of Penyard House Hotel. Now, nose to tail along it’s drive way and cramming it’s car parks are probably over a hundred pre war cars, mostly British (Riley, MG, Austin, Morris, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Frazer Nash, Morgan, Sunbeam, Alvis, Lagonda etc.) but with a tastful smattering of overseas machinery, several nice American cars, a 6C 1750 Alfa Romeo and a couple of smart BMWs among them.
The gathering in very casual in nature, costs nothing to attend and has drawn a good crowd of visitors as well as car owners. Even the weather, grey but mild, is co-operating It’s a little chaotic and cars coming in are being manouvered carefully around those already attempting to leave on the single track road while the visitors arriving in ‘moderns'(anything less than 80 years old) are hidden away in a small paddock behind a tall hedge and getting out of that sometimes calls for a push as the grass offers little grip. But no one seems to mind very much.It’s all very easy-going.
I pass an as-found Morgan 3 wheeler with deeply etched patina drawing admiring glances while the huge Rolls’ is attempting to extricate it’s enormous wheelbase from a parking spot for the trip home. A large Studebaker sedan is parked by the entrance sign as a 1980s Audi Quattro leaves the ‘moderns’ car park . People are still arriving by car and on foot having parked, like me, in the nearby village. A couple of hours , a few conversations and hand shakes later and I’m back home in time for a New Years Day dinner and already looking forward to next year.
Well done the local VSCC people. A really good event.