Amazingly, it’s now been twenty five years since I snapped these pictures at a custom show hosted by the Bumpkin County Cruisers at Thruxton race circuit. I wonder how many of these cars are still about? Not many I’ll wager. Back as a car crazy teenager, my two favourite cars of the show by far were the purple Vauxhall HB Viva, in classic 70’s street machine style, and the orange pro street Austin A35 Van. I know that the latter is definitely still about as it appeared on eBay recently. Coincidentally, the A35 Van was built by a fella called Gary Cruse, and it was from his brother that I acquired my very first Datsun, a ’76 Datsun 160J SSS, a few years later. Small world. The Viva hasn’t been taxed since 1992 so it’s either in storage or long gone. I’d love to find this thing languishing forgotten in a garage somewhere!…

It’s interesting to see the crossover in styles that were represented at this event, from the old school street machines and hot rods of the 70’s, to the body kits and billet high tech of the 80’s. Even custom vans were still getting a look in back in 1985, with a couple of classics, “Terrestrial Voyager” and “Evergreen”. Amazingly, it would seem that “Evergreen” still exists, as the DVLA website has it down as being currently under a SORN until November 2010!

These pics came from an old 110 film camera if I remember rightly, so the quality isn’t great (nor the photography skills!), plus a few have got marked and damaged during their years of storage… they’ve never been put in an album until now. I’ll post up some more pictures from old car shows as I get time to scan them in, although I suspect there won’t be any others quite as old as these!

7 thoughts on “Customizing in ’85

  1. kyteler says:

    Far out! …and a couple of Valiant Chargers too. They can’t have been tremendously common in those parts?

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  2. RatDat says:

    Strangely, I remember seeing maybe a dozen different ones at shows in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I suspect they they might have actually sold them here new, although it would have been a pretty small market.

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  3. Antdat says:

    Cool, always had a soft spot for the 55 F-100 ford pickup,

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  4. tony king says:

    great to see these pics, i have vivid memorys of this show. high lights for me as a very young lad was the cackle of the low flyers cars coming in all together. that viva is wicked! must be nice to drive that high with the rover that far forward. . i can just about spot dads pop in a few of the pics.
    cheers for the blast for the past ed.

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  5. RatDat says:

    Tony, which is your old man’s Pop? Was it blue?

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  6. tony king says:

    yeah that was it ed,it was next to the black model y.you gave me a photo of it ages back. . .i remember laying under the back of it at this show polishing the jag axle.

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  7. Antdat says:

    Is a shame that you don;t see many cars like this anymore.

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