Rain. I'm not a fan, I must be honest. When you are carrying around up to 20kg's of gear fighting against the weather isn't really something you want to be doing. Lenses and bodies getting soaked, waterproof covers impeding the use of your gear and never really fitting properly. Then there's the being cocooned in a waterproof jacket, stuck to you like shrink wrap that causes so much perspiration you may as well have just not bothered. It seems I'm not the only one that doesn't feel like venturing out when the skies are heavy either, judging by the empty spaces all along Regent St. on Saturday morning, as I arrived to cover their annual motor show.
It wasn't all empty, but it was clear that they hadn't received as many exhibitors as they were expecting. Efforts had been made to space everything out, but in the end it just highlighted those that were missing all the more, with isolated trade stands and car clubs. It wasn't all bad and there were some fabulous motor cars on show. The veteran cars of the Royal Automobile Club were out in force, a superb showing of many pre 1906 vehicles entered into the concours for the day, later to be judged by Alan Titchmarsh. Wonderful Marques long since deceased, displayed in all their glory, wowing the visitors with their unique engineering solutions to creating self propelled carriages. My favourite by far was the Salveson Steam Carriage, but more on that in another post.
There was also a cheerful supply of Fiat 500's, with a fine multi-coloured display of the mighty micro, celebrating it's 60th anniversary. Oh how I wish I had petitioned my parents to buy one of these when I first saw them on a trip to Italy 20 years ago, for the money that these tiny terrors are going for now is not to be sniffed at, highly collectible as they are. Further at the end of the street, or the start depending on your orientation, was a great display of the now defunct Talbot brand. A diverse and eclectic mix of cars from the start of the 20th century up until the second world war. The best thing about these old bruisers was that you could clearly see that a lot of them were still properly used, a fact that I always appreciate when it comes to historic motor cars. Automobiles like this need use little but often, to ensure they don't just rot away or cease to work completely. Some bore the patina of age with pride, whilst others were more factory fresh; but all it seemed were runners.
So it wasn't that the show was terrible, indeed I could see great potential and I am sure that on a sunny day it would be a fabulous success. But on this occasion the poor weather turned the tables on what could quite possibly have been an automotive triumph. As I walked past the marooned Route 66 stand, the event sponsor, I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for the organisers. But that's life, you can't have sunshine every day.