Getting up at 5am to drive 90 miles to a car park just off the A303 might sound like an odd way to spend a Sunday morning. To me, it was heaven. The destination was a car show.
More specifically, it was the second Haynes Breakfast Club since lockdown measures were introduced in 2020. I couldn’t get tickets for the May event, so I waited patiently for the weeks to roll by. It was worth the wait.
Anyone who isn’t into cars (yes, these people do exist) might find the concept a little odd. Wake up at silly o’clock, drive to a car park, chat with some people, look at a few cars, then arrive home before somebody on TV has reviewed the Sunday papers. Lionel Richie wouldn’t write a song about it.
The event hit the high notes. The sound of a variety of engines. The smell of petrol in the air. Folks chatting about cars. Simple pleasures. A little taste of freedom.
One guy told me why he sold his Ford Focus ST to import a Toyota Xtra Cab SR5 pickup with more than a hint of Marty McFly’s ride. Another chap explained how he managed to source an immaculate Citroën Xantia SX for a price well below the reserve. Envious, me? Just a little. Okay, a lot.
At the opposite end of the car park, I chatted with a car enthusiast who had managed to find a rust-free Ford SportKa for just £600. He had lowered it the night before, and while this isn’t something I would do, I respect his decision. His money, his car. Different stances. The kind of acceptance and willingness to embrace the views of others that’s lacking on social media.
Elsewhere, a group of people were marvelling at a two-door Rover P5B Coupe. A trio of lads were scratching their heads over a BMW-powered Sunbeam Stiletto. There was even a Renault Safrane parked between a Range Rover Sport and a Maserati 3200 GT…
That’s the beauty of a car show like this. It doesn’t matter if you’re into modified retro cars or original classics. Japanese or European. Cheap or expensive. Anything goes. Quality time spent with like-minded car enthusiasts. More of the same, please.
Car events should be available on prescription. Experts often say that going outside is good for our mental health; why not combine the great outdoors with a few hundred cars and their owners?
It’s why I’m looking forward to taking the Safrane to the Festival of the Unexceptional and I’m counting the days until the next Haynes Breakfast Club. Do yourself a favour: get along to a car event this weekend.
Alternatively, invite a few of your car-loving mates to a car park at an unsociable hour on Sunday morning. Keep your distance, stay safe and have a chat about cars. It’ll do you the world of good.
Me? I’m off to kick myself for missing out on that SHOWROOM FRESH Citroën Xantia.
There are some pics of cars and saplings at the Haynes Breakfast Club on PetrolBlog’s rubbish Facebook page.