DOWNHAM MARKET: Rare car on road to top title
A RARE Bristol car, the pride and joy of a Downham businessman, has been short-listed for the Classic Car of the Year title.
Richard Phillips hopes what he sees as the “understated elegance and wonderful engineering” of the Bristol cars will encourage classic car enthusiasts to cast an online vote for his fully-restored vehicle in a bid to give it success in the final which takes place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, in November.
“I’ve always been interested in old cars and Bristols very rarely change hands, so I joined the Bristol Owners Club a few years ago hoping one would come up,” explained Mr Phillips, whose plan worked when he acquired the 1972 model which had been in the same ownership for 20 years.
“They made 84 of this model and only 24 are left.
“This one was in a bit of a sorry state having been kept in a barn since the mid 90s. It needed major reconstruction at the back end and my mechanic Steve Cato spent the next two years restoring it.
“It’s been both a labour of love and a challenge because everything is handmade.
“You can’t pick up a phone and order a part, but that’s also one of the joys of having a car like this. It’s quite magnificent and fabulous to drive.
“It’s the history and heritage behind them that’s important too and when you do find one, it’s tremendous.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to have restored it and hopefully hand it on to the next generation.”
Not quite so fabulous is the car’s thirsty 13 miles-to-the-gallon and a trip to Amsterdam for a milestone birthday celebration which involved stopping every two hours for refuelling.
“The Bristol is designed for people who really like cars and most of the owners have backgrounds in engineering,” said Mr Phillips, who runs outsec, a Downham-based online internet company offering bespoke secretarial services for corporate clients.
Voting for the Classic Car title closes next Friday, September 28, and further details are on the website at www.ccoty.co.uk/classic_car_voting.php
Renovation of the Bristol has also led to the formation of CUP Classics, with a workshop and a showroom at the rear of the former Brundle garage at the Tottenhill A10 crossroads.
The name comes from the first surname letter of Steve Cato, mechanic Gary Ungless and Mr Phillips.
And Mr Phillips’ car will be among a small line-up of other Bristols and other treasured vehicles at a Classic Car Show on the Hunstanton Green on Sunday, September 30, in aid of the Stroke Association, and the Stroke unit at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
He said: “We have space for 150 cars on the Green in the centre of the town have almost reached the target.
“It should be a fantastic day with the whole town coming together to organise activities and raise money for two fantastic charities.”
There will be three awards but classic car owners do need to pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Mr Phillips on 07768 877781.
The event is also part of the West Norfolk Council’s Let’s Get Active 2012, showcasing a range of sporting activities in a bid to encourage residents to make activities a regular part of their lifestyles.
Motor enthusiasts can catch sight of many interesting vehicles in the event when they go on a classic car run from the CUP Classics Tottenhill showroom on September 30, leaving the showroom at 8.30am.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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