With the cancellation of pretty much all car shows this year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic , I figured a good substitute would be some show photos galleries from the archives. I’ll be posting a few throughout the year, all of which are from shows I attended before Ratdat.com existed. In fact, before I was even online or had a computer!
This selection of rather small pics are from the very first Japanese Auto Extravaganza (JAE) I attended at Billing Aquadrome in Northampton in 1997. This event was to become an annual pilgrimage until it simply became too large, with floods of modern performance cars turning up each year. My rides at the time were the two shown above. My Datsun 1000 wagon and my Cedric lowrider, complete with frshly installed hydraulics. It rained almost consistently all weekend long, but it was still fun enough for us to return the following summer. I wonder how many of these cars still exist 23 years on. Amazingly, both of mine do…

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Motor Trend Magazine from March 1973 with a feature on Pete Brock’s Datsun 510.. a hot street version of the legendary BRE 2.5 Trans-Am winning 510. So awesome was this car, that Revell immortalised it in a plastic model kit. The original Brockbuster still exists too, having been restored by Troy Ermish Racing back in 2019. You can read all about it at http://www.brockbuster510.com/

The strange and unloved offspring of Nissan and Alfa Romeo have a special place in my car collection. Currently I have five examples… two Nissan badged and three Alfa. There are maybe another four left in the UK that I know of. I’ve harboured a strong interest in these cars for many years and have tried to save what is left from extinction, but few others feel the same way, and that is largely thanks to the motoring press. Thankfully, Matteo Licata has saved me a job by publishing a book detailing the Arna story and putting the story straight in many areas…

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The weather has been glorious since the Covid-19 lockdown began here, so I have been making the most of it by working outside on my property. Naturally, this means the cars haven’t received much attention, especially as there are no car events to go to and all but essential travel restricted. I have made a little bit of progress on the Fellow Max though.

Currently, from what I am told, the DVLA have a massive backlog of paperwork to deal with, so I think it’s unlikely I’ll be able to get the Max registered before the end of summer. Despite that disappointment, I have pressed on with making it roadworthy.

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Generally, road tests and write ups on 1970s Datsuns are quite complimentary about their subjects, but not always. Car Mechanics magazine seemed less than impressed with the F10 model, Datsun 100A FII estate, when they tried it out in this short test from December 1977. To be fair, a lot of what they say is quite true. F10 estates have very little sound damping and thus are horribly noisy. The seats really are truly dreadful and the controls are indeed a bit of a mess and yet… I’ve owned two estates in the past and to this day rate them as one of the most fun Datsuns I’ve driven. The go-kart handling of the estate, thanks to its rudimentary leaf spring rear axle, makes it awesome fun, especially when equipped with a little more go than the stock A10 engine can provide (I highly recommend an A14 conversion!) It’s also a useful load carrier which was unerringly reliable. Even with all of its many failings, I wish I still owned an F10 estate.

With the cancellation of pretty much all car shows this year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic , I figured a good substitute would be some show photos galleries from the archives. I’ll be posting a few throughout the year, all of which are from shows I attended before Ratdat.com existed. In fact, before I was even online or had a computer!
Run to the Sun was, at one time, the top show of the year for me. Held in Newquay in Cornwall early every summer, it was always a riot of drunken campsite shenanigans, water pistol fights, loud music and awesome cars of all types, from classics and hot VWs, to hot rods and lowriders. This small gallery comprises of 35mm snaps from the event 25 years ago! The variety is pretty evident…

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