Blog #9: Your Best Motoring Memories
The 6th and 7th September will see the return of the ever popular Beaulieu International Autojumble where over 2000 stands bursting with classic and vintage motoring items will be pitching up on Beaulieu estate. You’ll be able to feast your eyes on everything from cars, motorcycles, parts, accessories, clothing, literature and memorabilia.
Generally, interest in classic and vintage cars has grown incredibly. It seems we’re not the only ones getting sick and tired of seeing the same cars driving around - it’s becoming harder and harder to find something unique! Car production is such a mass market now, with people getting stuck in the cycle of opting for the newest and latest models, with almost half of UK households now owning two or more cars.
Lets sit back and cast our minds back to yesteryear, when the motorcar first came on to the scene; a luxury item that everyone wanted to own! Arguably, the 50’s and 60’s were the golden years for cars. Throughout those two decades, some great cars were manufactured, and it was noticeably the period when cars became more accessible to the mass market. Remember how much more enjoyable days out and work commutes became when you got behind the wheel! It’s easy to think back to those days before power steering, electric windows and metallic paint to those cars that will never be forgotten.
It all seemed to start in around 1948 with the Morris Minor, the result of Sir Alec Issigonis’ attempt to combine luxury and convenience. It was essentially a new generation of the compact car, managing about 65mph and if you were lucky enough to have driven one, you’ll remember that it was a delight to drive! This was closely followed by Issigonis’ second brainwave, the iconic Mini.
We all know and love the Mini as the iconic British car, right through from the 1960’s to the present day. It’s hard to meet someone nowadays who hasn’t owned a mini or wished that they did, and it was incredibly influential vehicle to a large generation of car makers. Attention was initially drawn to the Mini by John Cooper, who had an extensive background in Formula One and rally cars. He saw great potential in the Mini as a performance car, which eventually lead to a joint venture between Cooper and Issigonis to devise the Mini Cooper in 1961. Since this date, there has been a range of models released to the mass market, but one thing’s for sure, the Mini is here to stay!
One car that didn’t stand the test of time is the Ford Cortina - let’s all just pause a moment and remember this magnificent motor. Despite being the best selling car of the 1970’s, the Cortina graced car showrooms for just twenty years, between 1962 and 1982. This probably won’t surprise anyone reading this who may have owned one, but the Cortina was Britain’s best selling car for almost 10 years, enjoying an unbroken run from 1972 right through to 1981. It was an attractive car to the masses as it was economical, cheap to run and easy and inexpensive to produce in Britain - think of it as the modern day Ford Fiesta!
The final car that we think deserves a good, strong pat on the bonnet is the Rover P6. First hitting the road in 1963, the P6 series included the Rover 2000, 2200, and 3500. Rover wanted to use the P6 to appeal to a larger number of buyers than previous models such as the P4 (not such a hit!). Well to cut a long story short, Rover were successful! This saloon car was awarded the very first ‘European Car of the Year’ award in 1964 and was generally acknowledged by the industry as one of the safest cars on the road. This isnt going to go down as the best car of our time, but it was certainly a car that we don’t want to forget!
The motoring events at Beaulieu are the perfect opportunity for car loves seeking some nostalgia. You can go along to take a look and enjoy your favourite cars, take some pictures and ask some questions. Or if you’re in the market for a purchase, the Automart, Dealermart, and Auction has everything from restoration projects through to the finest classic cars. So whether you want a project that’ll get you greased up in your garage or a car in pristine, driveable condition, you’ll find it at the autojumble. What’s more, the autojumble ticket gives you full access to the National Motor Museum, Palace House and Gardens, and Beaulieu Abbey - meaning you can drag the family along too!