Peter Simpson reports on the incredible variety of interesting classics that were spotted on last year’s Sprat & Winkle Run.
Pics: Terry Blackman, Kevin Boorman, Nigel Hogben and Sharon Winter
Sprat & Winkle Run: Nicholas Bullock’s 1940 AEC Matador ‘Edith’ won the Mayor’s Choice – chosen by the Mayor of Hastings, Councillor James Bacon. Demobbed from the army in 1980, Edith was bought by Nicholas in 2017 and described as a ‘rolling restoration, but mainly all original.’
It’s hard to believe, but the HCVS’s ‘second’ run from London-ish to the South Coast is now 13 years old, having been started by the late Andy Garner. Now a hugely popular event that is generally over-subscribed, the run is still basically what it’s always been; a pleasant trundle down through some of the quieter roads of Kent and East Sussex, finishing up in the heart of the historic Hastings Old Town.
Gary Pritchard’s superbly-restored 1937 Fordson Fire appliance; winner of multiple awards since restoration was completed! New to RA Lister as the factory fire appliance, it was subsequently displayed on Birnbeck Pier, at Weston-Super-Mare.
Here, there’s no need for the organisers to lay on or arrange any catering or, indeed, anything for participants to do – there are literally dozens of (excellent) fish and chips and other food outlets, and lots of other things there already!
Guy Maylam’s ultra-rare Talbot half-tonner, as featured in CVC last month! New to a Lincolnshire farmer but little-used, the van passed to Guy in 2005, still with only 22,000 miles on the clock. Once saved, it went into dry-storage before being restored.
A miniature railway skirts the rally site, the steepest funicular railway in Britain is three minutes away, and five- or ten-minutes’ walk takes you to some of the best antique and collectables shops for miles. What’s more, Hastings prices don’t generally have the unofficial ‘tourist tax’ charged in some south coast resorts! For some though, the chance to stand and natter is all the entertainment that’s needed.
The Exall family’s 1979 Ford D Series restoration was featured in our September 2022 issue. This lorry was bought by the family business new and worked for eight years before being sold. They subsequently found it in a scrapyard, bought it back and then spent 12 years restoring it.
Anyway, this year’s event started, as always, from Vestry Road in Sevenoaks, and attracted a wide range of vehicle types and sizes – the only vehicles that can’t be included are artic tractors with trailers, due to limited parking. One new feature this year was the presentation of the Mick Clark Memorial Trophy, named in honour of the late Mick Clark who was one of the run’s biggest supporters.
Another ex-military AEC, and one of two Militants owned by Rob Smith. His most recent restoration of a tanker in original form featured in our June issue. This timber tractor, though, was his first Militant restoration – and it, too, has been a CVC cover feature.
The event is organised by the HCVS London & South East Area, and Secretary Diane Taylor has asked us to pass on her thanks to all the marshals and others who helped at the start and finish, and to the event sponsors Channel Commercials, GS Mountfort Commercials, Rushlake Green Motors and Clark MoT & Service Centre.
Prize-winning duo; Keith Laming’s 1954 Commer Superpoise, which won the best in show here in 2021 – and was featured in our April 2022 issue. Behind it is Anthony Kemp’s 1966 Atkinson Silver Knight, winner of the Mick Clark Memorial Trophy.
Wayne Blake’s 1985 Volvo F10, as featured in our May 2021 issue. Bought by Wayne in 2018 in good overall condition, the Volvo has since been much-improved. Work undertaken included a full engine- and gearbox-out mechanical overhaul, plus returning the cab trim to original.
This 1980 Ford D-Series LWB flat in the livery of Swanley-based W Clark & Son has been in preservation for some years. It’s often seen at events around the south-east, and is always very well turned out.
Unlike the London to Brighton Run which currently starts within the London ULEZ zone and is, therefore, ‘difficult’ for lorries under 40 years old, the Sprat & Winkle event starts at Sevenoaks. Accordingly, it attracts plenty of younger old vehicles, including this working-classic 1996 Iveco Ford recovery.
Michael Green’s 1928 Austin H12 truck is something of a regular here. Those born in the past 40 years probably have little idea just how important coal – and the businesses that sold it – were when it was not only the primary source of domestic heat but also what the majority of Britain’s gas and electricity was produced from.
This 1978 Karrier Bantam was, we think, here for the first time. After working in a quarry, it was owned by new-age travellers ‘Paul’ and ‘Anna’ before passing into preservation in 2005. We suspect the doors have been changed since – unless someone’s done a really good patina-recreation job!
An ex-Post Office Telephones Minor van, but in post-Post-Office form! This is exactly how we remember so many of them in the 1970s and ’80s, when ex-Post Office Minors were very popular buys for tradesmen and small businesses. Yellow vans were generally considered better buys than red ex-mail vans, due to them generally being allocated to a particular driver rather than used as pool vehicles.
William Shaw’s 1937 Albion SM540 with two Gardner engines – one under the bonnet, the other on the back. This vehicle is another Sprat & Winkle regular, and is always well-presented.
A 1967 Land-Rover 2B 110in Forward Control. Like many others, this example was used on forestry work prior to being bought for preservation/restoration. Extensive work was required, including a complete new chassis, full engine rebuild extensive subframe repairs and a replacement bulkhead from a standard IIA which required repair and modification.
Entente Cordiale! This 1963 Citroen AZU 2CV Fourgonette in foreground was imported into the UK in 1996. Behind we have the Mills brother’s 1974 Austin-Morris J4 Postal Van. Until recently, this was one of just two known ex-Post Office J4s left, but another has recently been reimported from Malta.
David West’s 1955 Foden OG 4/6 dropside has been in preservation since the 1980s. It was new to Shipstones Brewery in Nottingham, and subsequently returned to the Foden factory where it was used as a factory runabout until 1980. In present ownership since 2010.
Chris Simmond’s 1974 ERF LV showman’s lorry has been preserved in its showland condition, which is highly appropriate given how popular lorries like this were with fairground operators; history and preservation isn’t just about where a particular vehicle started its life…
Some might consider a 1992 VW too new for preservation, while others might wonder what a Toyota Hilux is doing carrying a VW badge, anyway? The VW Taro was, indeed, a rebadged Hilux, and coming together suited both sides – VW didn’t have a one-tonne pick-up in its range, and Toyota wanted a bigger share of the European one-tonne market. The joint venture was not, however, a success, and ran only from 1989 to 1996. Despite looking like an original, low-mileage example, this vehicle is actually the result of an extremely thorough and top-quality restoration.
This report comes from the latest issue of Classic & Vintage Commercials, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE