The NEC show in November was very successful, possibly more so than any of us might have thought. Andrew Macadam, Hillman Owners Club events organiser and I assembled four Aeros of different body styles as well as my rolling chassis which made an impressive display. The four cars were: The Cresta Saloon from the Coventry Museum collection. A Two Seater Streamlined belonging to Dr George Bailey of Surrey, the car currently on display at the Brooklands museum. My Four Seater Tourer, which came up a treat with a bit of elbow grease and good lighting! My rolling chassis, which turned out to be a real hit as it was interesting for visitors to see what the cars look like with their clothes off, so to speak. Dave Hanks’ Streamlined Saloon which turned out to be the star of the show.
The Friday kicked off with lots of visitors from the old car press, asking questions and taking pictures. One group in particular took special interest in Dave’s car and later in the morning a chap came back to tell us that we should be prepared for a nice surprise later in the day and not to be in too much of a hurry to leave at the end of the show. Sure enough, late in the afternoon another chap came across to tell us that the show judges – the team from Classic and Sportscar Magazine – had awarded the Streamliner a special prize, ‘The Car That Stole The Judges Hearts’ We were invited to an evening reception at a nearby Hotel where Dave was presented with a very neat little silver salver and the prize of a professional photo shoot in the magazine’s own studio! Dave was really quite surprised as although he is very fond of the car he had never really considered it to be particularly special. He bought the car when he was seventeen, suffice it to say some decades ago, It was all he could afford at the time and he needed a car! A very worthy winner indeed and a great boost to the Aero Minx’s 80th anniversary year.
The show also threw up a new and exciting quandary for me. Over the course of the show there was so much discussion about Dave’s Saloon and it’s beauty and rarity that attention from time to time wandered to my chassis and questions about what it would eventually become. The car was originally a tourer and that is what I have always intended that it should be but the majority of Aeros are tourers and I already have one. Not only this but my own tourer is not as perfect as she might be, bless her and it could be that if I were to concentrate my efforts on getting her just right, I could perhaps do something else with the chassis. Yes, a Streamlined Saloon!
So far I have been canvassing the opinions of various coachbuilders to find out what they think the bodywork might cost and also working on plans to build the ash frame myself. I can’t say too much more right now as I don’t wish to tempt fate and have to eat humble pie further down the road, so let’s just say, we’ll see !
We are aiming to attend more shows in 2013 including the Bristol show on 20th and 21st April and hopefully the Goodwood Revival in September if all falls into place. I will post notices on this site as and when I get confirmation of each of them.