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  1. #1
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    American Speedfest at Brands Hatch!

    Here we are, some photos from American Speedfest V, held at Brands Hatch on 10th and 11th June. Some people reckoned it was bigger than previous years, some reckoned it was smaller - and the knee-jerk statement that appeared at the last minute no doubt ensured that a few exhibitors decided not to bother in the end - but it was my first time there, so I wouldn't know.

    What I do know is that there was no shortage of things to squeeze into one day, and there was no chance at all that you might get bored. Once you'd exhausted the static displays, you could while away the remaining time at the trackside, watching the NASCAR, Pick-Up Racing or Bernie's classic V8s, or some of the varied demonstration runs.

    I decided to begin the day with an amble all along the static displays. Most of the cars there seemed to be from the '60s or later. '50s cars and rods weren't hugely in evidence, except with the NSRA, which had an expansive 45th anniversary display, and the Blood, Sweat 'n' Gears club. There were Mustangs and Corvettes of all generations everywhere, plus a strong turnout of Cobra replicas, with various rarer cars nestled among them.

    Unfortunately, and I gave myself a good kicking for this, I managed to miss a whole area of static displays on account of it being tucked away behind some of the sideshow kind of attractions. Not much I can do about that now, though, so on with the pics from the static displays!








    Traditional 1930 Model A was one of the few rods that turned up independently of a club


    Customised ’69 Mustang looked like it meant business


    ’62 Thunderbird sporting some neat period kustom touches


    1972 Mercury Montego GT was one of the rarer cars on display. Can’t say that the wheels do anything for me, but it’s great to see a more unusual car so well preserved.


    Bringing things up to date, this AK 427 Cobra replica was new to the roads last year


    Another lesser-seen ‘70s FoMoCo product, it’s a Ranchero from 1979


    I’ve spotted this ’79 Buick Regal lowrider at quite a few of the big shows over the course of the past year, and wherever it goes, there tends not to be anything else like it. I can’t say I’ve ever cared that much for the bouncy hydraulics, but I love the detailed paint and overall high standard of finish on lowriders like this.

  2. #2
    of the Croydon Teds
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    They only made 1,175 Shelby G.T.350 Mustangs for 1967, and this is one of them (or a replica of one of them)


    There had to be a wagon somewhere… it’s a ’63 Ford Country Sedan.


    Unfortunately, I never find time to have a look at the Demon Drome Wall of Death, so just had to make do with the pair of 1920s Indians they had on display outside.


    Beautiful ’63 Riviera was a rather more understated lowrider


    ’69 Olds 442


    ’71 Barracuda – not one for the shy and retiring


    Neat ’40 Ford


    One very nice looking ’58 Vette, transformed from looking like a pretty little highway cruiser to a street-racing bruiser with just a set of Torq Thrusts


    ’67 Plymouth Barracuda looks tough with the widest tyres possible without being tubbed


    ’70 Dodge Dart Swinger was one of the more unusual cars with the Mopar crowd
    Last edited by Nigel Incubator-Jones; 19-06-17 at 09:00 PM.

  3. #3
    of the Croydon Teds
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    With no badges or plates I had to scratch my head over this one for a bit, but a feel fairly confident in labelling it as a ’69 Buick LeSabre or Wildcat


    There were a few Cadillacs scattered around but Lincolns, like this ’75 Continental, weren’t quite so plentiful


    Just about managed to catch this ’55 Mercury at the end of the day


    ’66 Shelby Mustang G.T.350H was a real highlight. Only 1,001 of them were made for Hertz car hire, all in the exclusive black and gold livery. If you were a Hertz Sports Car Club member over 25, you could rent one of these for $17 dollars a day and 17 cents a mile. The scheme appealed greatly to racing enthusiasts, who enjoyed the 289 Cobra V8, and must have done a lot to help Mustang sales.

    This was a huge event, so I think this'll be quite a long thread and take me a very long time.

  4. #4
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    earl shilton
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    keep em coming nige

  5. #5
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    welwyn
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    Nice one.

  6. #6
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Excellent coverage as usual

  7. #7
    of the Croydon Teds
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    With the site down for a bit, I've had plenty of time to sort out words and photos, so here we go. Very photo-heavy, probably more so than necessary, but you don't have to look at it if it gets boring.

    A few shots of some of the on-track action. NASCAR and Pick-Up Racing will do us for today. I won't write any info for the pics because I know sod all about modern motorsport, so I'll just leave you to enjoy the photos.

    Pick-Up Racing first, shot from the infield at Druids. I'm not sure if this is genuinely an American thing, since the field seemed to be made up entirely of Fords and Vauxhalls, but racing pick-ups certainly sounds like an American creation, anyway.

    Actually, I've just found a website for the series (pickuptruckracing.com). Sounds like it's a British creation but one that's supposed to be American in its nature. Launched in 1997, the series is for purpose-built 230b.h.p. pick-ups, weighing under 2,000lbs. (approx. 900k.g.), with tubular spaceframe chassis and two-litre multi-valve twin-cam engines.










  8. #8
    of the Croydon Teds
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    Now for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, shot at Paddock Hill. The field was comprised of Chevrolet SSes, Ford Mustangs and Toyota Camrys. I thought the Toyotas were a bit out of place in the all-American good ol' boy sport that is NASCAR, but to be honest I wouldn't have known how to tell them from the Chevies if it weren't for the badges.

    Come to think of it, talking about the NASCAR reminds me of something I'd intended to mention in my introduction, but forgot about. Standing at Paddock Hill, with the NASCAR cars whizzing around, the hot sun beating down, Stars 'n' Stripes waving in the breeze and a paddock full of large motor caravans (sorry, RVs) behind me, I really felt like, for that weekend, Brands Hatch could have been in America. Of course, I speak as someone who's never been to America and it goes without saying that NASCAR in the States happens on a much more vast scale - indeed some Americans might have found our little shindig laughable - but the point I'm making is that Brands Hatch really seemed to have nailed the right atmosphere.


















  9. #9
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    Motion Picture Motors were there with a display of film and TV cars. Of course, the usual suspects were there - Starsky and Hutch Torino, Bullitt Mustang and three General Lees - plus some classic muscle cars that represented less well-known modern films. Here's selection of the star cars:


    It's got a cop motor, a four hundred and forty cubic inch plant. It's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters, so it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say? Must be the '74 Dodge Monaco 'Bluesmobile'.


    Mad Max's '74 Ford Falcon XB 'Pursuit Special'


    It wasn't such a surprise to see a Vanishing Point Challenger, but a '68 Chevy C10 representing the line-painting truck that only appears briefly was a bit unusual


    For some reason, loads of cop cars appear seemingly from nowhere whenever there's a big American car show, and Speedfest was no different. An early '80s Dodge Diplomat is something you don't see too often.


    Somewhat strangely, I thought, the event featured a tribute to the distinctly un-American Fast & Furious series of cinematic abortions. I mean, they are American but they're not properly American - not with all those Halfords specials and a godawful hip-hop soundtrack. Anyway, they had an F&F tribute and this '68 Charger kind of outshone everything else on it.

  10. #10
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    I think I've made it clear that I really enjoyed Speedfest, although I'm afraid that I was disappointed with the drag racing demos, which took place at some far flung corner of the track where I couldn't see them. That in itself wasn't a problem. Had I known that they'd be there, I would gladly have walked there, but there was no mention of where it would be taking place. I guessed it would be on the finishing straight, but I guessed wrong.

    It'll just have to be photos of the cars parked, then.


    I know that this Richard Petty tribute '70 Superbird is a popular car at Santa Pod, being a stalwart of the Mopar Euronats


    Loved this period-perfect '66 Charger super stocker


    Neat '67 Camaro


    Surrey Muscle is a name of some renown in muscle car/drag racing circles owing to the various pro streeters that they've built and raced, like this '78 Trans Am


    '67 Barracuda looked like it had jumped straight outta Bakersfield, c.1970


    '68 Charger with its travelling companion...


    ...another '78 Firebird


    '71 Chevy Nova with a great nose-downs stance

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