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Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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A ‘Wobbly’ Weekend at the 3 Day Jubilee Special

Manchester at the Tatton Classic & Performance Car Spectacular,

Ahead of the long Jubilee weekend the weather forecast was described as likely to be a ‘bit wobbly’ – and it was. The Manchester Group had decided to present a holiday theme on their stand at the Cheshire show, and there were more antique picnic sets on display than you could shake a tea spoon at, including several old box cameras. Really there was no desire to lay the picnic blankets on the wet grass, so when Phil and Maria started the barbeque this drew quite an interest inside the MSTG marquee, for who could ignore sizzling sausages and a cup of tea. Even Her Majesty turned up at the Tatton show, in the form of a life size cardboard cut-out that was strategically placed next to one of the classic limousines on display. However it was the Rochdale group stand that won a stand prize for such an imaginative display of cars placed under a series of huge loops, home-made from lengths of electrical conduit and concrete bases.

We had a good line up of Standards both pre and post war, including an impressive line-up of Flyers on the stand. We also had some interesting Triumphs. David Wyld’s rare 1978 TR7 drophead coupé has been well documented as one of the few experimental pre-production models produced by the Triumph Motor Company at Speke Liverpool, aimed at the British market in the early 1980’s. Graham Lomas’s very sleek and pristine 1968 Vitesse Mk 2 picked up a Tatton Show award for its stunning condition.

When Phil Womack’s 1946 Standard 8 HP developed severe misfiring on the way down to the show it was traced back to the distributor cap, where it was found the spring-loaded carbon brush had been destroyed. Amazingly the high voltage spark had been jumping the distance without the aid of the brush! A make-do repair was made at the roadside, but curiously this remained a persistent problem. At the showground further investigation was made, and the fault was eventually traced back to hairline crack in the distributor casing, that made the whole unit when under operation a touch ‘wobbly’! Fellow Merseyside SMC member George Curley came to the rescue at the show when he found a complete replacement distributor within his emergency spares, and that’s what good club members are for.

It’s a curious thing about the early post war models like the Standard 8 HP introduced onto the market in the early 1940’s. Where major motor manufacturers so engrossed in the war effort then subsequently found the cost of immediate retooling as prohibitive. This model began as the Flying Eight launched around 1938, and then immediately post war it was reintroduced very rapidly without the Flying name in 1945 with the only major update a 4-speed gearbox. This practice of recycling pre-war designs went on for many Ford, Morris, and Austin models etc. I noticed our visitors struggled to identify the age and model of the cars for this very reason, for it is difficult when style and technology from one decade drags into another. What fooled many admirers of an attractive 1958 Panther 100 motorcycle on show was that it looked so typical of the 1930’s, with its fishtail exhaust and ‘rigid’ frame having no rear suspension. However Phelon & Moore at Cleckheaton in Yorkshire actually continued to build some models with rigid frames right up to the late 1950’s - and perhaps as this bike was nicely fitted to a Watsonian sidecar it was desirable to eliminate in the ride any unwanted bounce and ‘wobble’?

Thanks to all that came along, and the next classic Tatton show is on the 18th and 19th of August 2012.

Andrew Davis

Manchester Standard Triumph Group

June 2012