Seaham’s Annual Car Show

Every year Seaham holds what is termed a ‘vintage car’ show which includes some vehicles whose vintage is, to be polite, not ‘so vintage’

This year was no exception with some vehicles showing engines off which one could eat one’s dinner, every part of which was polished chrome. Even on show was a Hillman Hunter (If anyone remembers them) in superb condition, however I digress.

Walking round I thought I had found the car of the show: a Ford Zephyr. Originally bought new in August 1962, that owner had suffered a driving ban and promptly ‘garaged’ the car. It was then bought by someone with a view to renovating it – but never did,  even though he had spent £s obtaining some of the parts required. Purchased by the current owner as a ‘seized-up’ hulk in 2012, he spent 18 months getting the vehicle roadworthy to the point the only ‘new’ item on the car were the carpets.


Bench front seat, steering column change – while she cuddled up and her hands were……..; but I digress again……………..

Then I saw this reasonably modern Mini and thought to myself what has he got under his bonnet  but yet again I digress…………….


Then my breath was taken away when I saw this:


A Corvette; and looking inside:


one had to wonder whether the seats had been molded to the car or had the car been moulded round the seats – even the seat belts were red. Seeing this I wondered why I drooled over a red Austin Healy 3000 I once owned; and sold when I hitched up with a woman who had a two year old daughter as there was no room for the daughter – how stupid was I……….

It is a fact that when seeing cars such as those illustrated, some of which we may have owned at one time or another, we can but wonder just why did we get rid of them?

Cherchez la femme?



6 thoughts on “Seaham’s Annual Car Show

  1. There is beauty in simplicity. A friend called recently in a hired Ford. As he’s not good at reversing (out of our driveway) I offered. No ignition key, just put the fob in the vicinity of the dash – and it was Blackpool illuminations. “Press that button to start”. OK. Won’t start – it’s out of gear, but won’t start until the clutch is depressed.

    Electronics, miles of wires, relays, and light bulbs that can only be changed at an authorised service depot. Attempts at home servicing might alert through some satellite that ‘modification’ is being attempted and shut the car down. Progress that some lap up like manna from heaven, and accept such as the norm, and I do love my washing machine. But my cars are old, and simple. They don’t break down. They don’t fail me, but how much longer will I be allowed – through regulations – to maintain and use them?

    Things should never get that complicated. Oppressed by regulations.

    1. PS: Where are we going? To a point where we cannot leave our homes without an implanted chip that unlocks the front door? That our chosen method of conveyance will only activate to said chip when training, insurance and taxes etc. are all up to date? Will we be fined and accounts debited automatically if we walk across the road in a non-designated crossing place?

      Fantasy? Is not today’s world a fantastic place to someone born in 1816?

  2. I well remember the Hillman Hunter. In fact I used to have a gold one with a black vinyl roof more years ago than I care to remember. I needed something cheap to get to work in and venture out in at the weekends when I returned permanently from the newly independent Zimbabwe. I couldn’t afford personalised numberplates, so I settled for a personallised car instead!

  3. I had driving lessons and passed my test in a Hillman Hunter. 1969, first time. I’d bought a very old version beetle which wasn’t very reliable but as soon as I had the pass certificate I took it out for a run. Actually, I had been using the car on occasions, through the lanes to go to my farm job at weekends long before I was 17, let alone having passed my test. But England was a different country in those not so far off days.

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