40th Wrotham Steam & Transport Rally

Kent & East Sussex
30 June 2019

The closest I have ever been to this event is passing the site whenever AROCKES visits Brands Hatch. There are often other events there and early in the year I have often cursed the sound of mud beating against my inner wheel arches as we pass the entrance. The Wrotham show is renowned for bad weather due to the elevation, even when there is clear sunshine in the rest of the valley. This year, however, we were treated to a blast of warm weather from the continent and even Wrotham gave show-goers a suntan. Bit of a shame really, as National Alfa Day at Bicester claimed most of our regular club goers. Personally, I had to be up for work at 4.30 am on Monday so this show was perfect against a 200 mile trip to Bicester Heritage and it was a bit of a treat!

Myself and Giovanni D’Avanzo were the AROCKES representatives and we were joined by his friends Dominique & Celia Sidonio. Giovanni of course with his vehicle that now does not need an introduction, although it was bearing a bit of a garage parking wound on the front offside wheel arch and I am sure that will get sorted very quickly.

Now Giovanni is famous for producing a complete restaurant from the back of his car and today was no exception. I was offered every Italian treat under the sun and what a glorious lunch it was.  I am sure that the straw in Celia’s drink was just for her fruit juice so I don’t know where the rest of the wine went?

This show had quite a lot of diversity to it and included classic vehicles, steam engines, military vehicles and some good static displays as well as a vast array of auto jumble and food stalls, including a mobile Thai restaurant. I, however, did make sure I got a bacon butty and a coffee early on.

There was even a tank! But I rather think it was an armoured artillery piece as opposed to a main battle tank.

My personal favourite on this stand was a Daimler Ferret Scout car that did 9 MPG from a Rolls Royce B60 4.26 litre straight 6 engine rated at 129 BHP and was made in Coventry in 1956. Important to get out of trouble as fast as you get into it I feel!

Then we had numerous agricultural vehicles and this Ferguson TEA 20 built in 1949 was rather nicely restored.

Then we had steam … don’t ask me what it was but this car was steam powered.

There was a couple of miniature scaled down steam engines.

As well as a real beast of a steam tractor being driven by a mother and daughter team. This steam engine had spent most of its life in Australia and only arrived in the U.K in 2004 before undergoing a complete restoration.

The static displays were good and one in particular was from www.hartleyowls.com with one that really stood out, namely a European Eagle Owl – and it was huge.

Then we had the cars and a few really stood out. Firstly a Reliant Schimitar GTE with a 3 litre V6 engine from 1972.

As well as an Austin A40 Somerset that was used as a police vehicle in the 1950’s and was still displaying an original tax disk.

There was an ongoing project Citroen DS missing its rear seats.

As well as a bonnet emblem from a 1949 Triumph Roadster that really stood out.

One vehicle that I have never seen before was a red Volvo 1800 ES. I think that probably meant estate car and it had been very comprehensively restored.

The show itself was huge with about 400-500 vehicles attending, with myself and Giovanni being the only attending Alfas.

There was the added bonus of a heavy commemorative plaque but let’s hope that next year the weather is just as good and the event does not clash with National Alfa day. Who knows?

The next event is the Dover Transport Museum Classic Car Show on Sunday the 7th of July 2019 another show that I have never attended before so I am looking forward to a bit of a historic wheel fest.

Till next time , have a safe week and see you all soon.

Share this article