Southern Classics Society is a friendly and informal, all-marque club for classic vehicle enthusiasts in the south of England

Social & Drive It Day Reports 2023

In addition to our formal shows we hold various social events and Drive It Days. Below are reports of these events from 2023, we hope you will see how much more belonging to Southern Classics Society means.

Carat's Cafe, Southwick, Breakfast Meet - 5th November 2023

Carats Cafe Breakfast Meet November 2023 - by Roger Pennington, Webmaster

After a long period of bad weather, the morning of 5th November dawned surprisingly clear and bright, with blue sky and sunshine. The car park was scattered with pebbles from the recent storms, but that didn't deter a good turnout of members and guests who came for breakfast and chat with like-minded petrolheads.

The cars encompassed a wide range of ages. The car which was undoubtedly the most senior was Tony's Ford Model T, which as a 1912 car, is now 110 years old. Next in order of age would probably be John's well-known ex-RAF Series One Land Rover. Most of the cars came from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, and as usual there was strong representation from the Triumph and MG camps.

The Triumphs consisted of a pair of Stags, a pair of Vitesses, a Spitfire, and a TR6. There were three variations on an MGB theme - twoMB GTs and one MGB GT V8 which notably wasn't a standard V8, but was a Costello one. These were made by Ken Costello before BL were making a V8 version, and were a bit of a wake-up call to BL. They are now quite rare.

As well as Tony's Ford Model T, there were two later models from Ford - the 1954 Ford Popular, and from 1967 the gleaming Ford Anglia.

As always, we extend our thanks to the staff of Carats Cafe for allowing us to use their facilities, and for providing a delicious breakfast and hot drinks, which made for a pleasant morning. Also, of course, we thank all those owners who supported the event by bringing their cars!

Click here for more breakfast photos.

Shoreham Airport, Shoreham, Autumn Breakfast Meet - 8th October 2023

A full report of the event and it's attendees will be appearing soon here, Please watch this space! In the meantime, the full set of photographs can be seen in the Photo Gallery page on the following link:

Click here for more Breakfast Meet photos.

Old Barn Garden Centre, Dial Post, Breakfast Meet - 17th September 2023

A full report of the event and it's attendees will be appearing soon here, Please watch this space! In the meantime, the full set of photographs can be seen in the Photo Gallery page on the following link:

Click here for more Breakfast Meet photos.

SCS Summer Barbeque - The Fox Inn, Patching - 23rd July 2023

Report - SCS BBQ - The Fox - by Martin Burnaby-Davies, Regailia Secretary

Due to a failure to properly read instructions, Pauline and I didn't set off from home until about the time that we should have arrived at the Fox. No matter - a quick blast along the A27 in the trusty, old Rover SD1 (The Great White Whale) saw us parked up in the field behind the pub before any food had appeared, despite the usual snarl up getting passed Worthing.

The weather was cloudy and dull, with a forecast of possible showers, which I'm guessing may have put some people off, however, a dozen or so classics including two Scimitars were lined up, and it never rained. The pub has a spacious marquee, anyway, which can be used if necessary.

Having the dogs with us (Podencos, if anyone is interested, rescued from Spain), we chose a table on our own, but next to another table with three other members including Roger (SCS IT guru), with whom we teamed up for the quiz, of which more later.

Shortly after our arrival, the BBQ food was ready and we dived in - personally, I thought it was excellent, tasty, well-cooked and plentiful, although I have to admit that I did go back for seconds when everyone had been up first time round. What a surprise…it seems Pods appreciate a bit of BBQ sausage!

Anyway, John Leaney's head-scratching quiz followed the food, and without trying to sound too boastful I have to announce that after struggling with some of the categories, our little team triumphed, by just one point I believe. Nice prizes, too.

The cars - apart from my own, obviously, there were two stand-out vehicles for me, at this particular event, one was the blue, Daimler 2½ litre V8, which I don't actually remember having seen before. I believe I overheard someone saying that it had been the subject of a recent restoration, and it looked and sounded perfect. The other was the much newer Robin Hood 7, which I believe belongs to the pub because it had a FOX plate. It looked immaculate, and fast!

Thanks to all concerned for organising and laying on an enjoyable afternoon.

Martin B-D - Regalia

(Your webmaster's thanks go to Martin who has kindly provided this report).

Click here for more BBQ photos.

Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park, Breakfast Meet - 9th July 2023

Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park Station, Breakfast Meet - by Martin Burnaby-Davies, Regailia Secretary

Deciding to leave the dogs behind on this occasion, Pauline and I set off in the freshly cleaned and polished Rover SD1 VDP EFi and headed north up the C7 (yes, really), passed to the west of Lewes and motored on towards Chailey and then Sheffield Park - about a 15-minute drive from where we live, on the far eastern edge of the SCS patch.

We arrived at the Bluebell Railway shortly after half-past-eight, and continued up the driveway, passed the main car-park, to the small car-park close to the station building. Most of the visiting members were already parked up with all spaces taken, however, judicious repositioning of a parking cone soon provided a suitable spot.

As expected, with roughly 40 cars all arriving more or less at once, the queue for breakfast in the station's restaurant was lengthy, but the staff coped well and we were soon sitting down to a tasty sausage baguette and a full-English.

Outside again, back in the car-park, I was able to hand out a couple of pre-ordered items of regalia, and during this period it started to rain - by the time I'd fetched my SD1 Club umbrella from the back of the car it had almost stopped, and didn't rain again. I guessed I might have to wipe some off, but by the time we got home the car was bone dry.

I never actually did a proper walk-about, but had several conversations with different owners in the car-park, which is always part of the enjoyment of breakfast-meets, especially when accompanied by the background sounds of nearby steam engines and the occasional steam-whistle.

The first train departed at 1030 hrs, and we headed home at about 11 o'clock, but not before being accosted by a group of visitors to the Bluebell Railway who, having spotted our cars, came over for a chat. I was quite surprised at how enthusiastic, and complimentary, they were about the Rover, but it does make ownership of our cars that much more enjoyable, knowing that members of the general public are often pleased to see what amounts to 'a blast from the past'.

Anyway, altogether a good meeting, and well attended - personally I always appreciate heritage railways, having grown up during a time that steam was very much the main source of tractive power. I like diesels, but they're not quite the same.

This report has been totally self-centred, I know, but this was the meeting as I saw it, so 'well done' to everyone who came along. Also our thanks to the Bluebell Railway team for looking after us so well and we look forward to returning in the future.

(Your webmaster's thanks go to Martin who has kindly provided this report).

Click here for more breakfast photos.

Rushfields Plant Centre, Poynings, Breakfast Meet - 11th June 2023

Rushfields Plant Centre Breakfast Meet - by Roger Pennington, Webmaster

After quite a long spell of wet and cool weather, summer seemed to have arrived with a bang and the day was warm and sunny. Ideal for enjoying a breakfast and banter with friends, surrounded by a great selection of classic cars.

The attendees certainly didn't dissappoint, with a realy wide range of cars, of a great variety of marques and ages.

As usual, we mainly occupied the northern end of the car park, though enough cars arrived that we expanded beyond that. There were just over 40 cars on display altogether, which made an impressive line up in the sunshine.

Where to start first? Well the curvaceous Armstrong Siddeley Saphire stood out with its two-tone green paintwork and luxurious wood and leather interior. Also from the 1950s was the cream Healey drophead, which is a rare sight these days - interesting to note that the dashboard included a Healey-branded LW/MW radio. Moving ahead to the next decade, the sixties, a car that was guaranteed to catch the eye was the bright red Sries 1 E-Type Jaguar roadster. Immaculate wherever you looked at it, and from whichever angle, it's a shape which has perhaps stood the test of time better than any other. However, competing strongly for admiring glances was the equally immaculate Triumph Vitesse, which has had a total rebuild, incorporating many features chosen by the owner to make the car a better, more usable, one, more suited to his needs.

There were two TVRs, one a wedge-styled Tasmin 3.5, and one a more rounded Chimaera 5.0. Sharing a fibreglass body construction with the TVRs, but giving away a little bit in the engine department, was John's well known Citroen Bijou. There was also a Citroen 2CV in it's more normal configuration as well. It was nice to see the Reliant Rebel, in this case fitted with a 1600 engine; an interesting "might have been" had Reliant actually produced it themselves. Finally, I'll mention the Audi Quattro, in fine unmolested condition, which was nice to see. In a report of this length I can only cover some of the cars, all the cars were worth seeing, and I'd recommend that you take a look at the Photogallery on the link below to see photographs of all the cars.

Our thanks to the Rushfields team, in particular those in the restaurant, for looking after us so well and we look forward to returning in the future.

Click here for more breakfast photos.

Shoreham Airport, Shoreham, Breakfast Meet - 7th May 2023

Shoreham Airport Breakfast Meet - by Robert Spence, Treasurer

Following the extremely wet weather the day before for the coronation, it was with some concern as to how well supported our 7th May breakfast meet would be. Fortunately, it stayed dry, if a little chilly.

Fellow member, Ian Pratt in his XK8 and me in my Alfa arrived at around 8.15 parking up in a very empty airport car park. However, we were pleased to see that we were not the first to arrive as a 1939 Morris 8 was already parked up and on show.

With parking tickets purchased; it was straight into the Hummingbird restaurant for breakfast. Michael, the venue manager, and his ream were all ready for us. Other members started to trickle into the restaurant and were we joined by fellow member Steve Smith and our events secretary, Phil Webb for hearty breakfasts. Soon the restaurant was full of club members and visitors, and it was clear that waiting outside for us would be an excellent selection of vehicles to admire and chat about.

Around 30 three and four wheeled vehicles came and went throughout the morning. Numbers were down on our last visit to the airport as some members and visitors had taken the previous day's weather as an indication as to how Sunday's might be. Our webmaster, Roger Pennington, was on photographic duty and you can view his excellent pictures of the cars on show on the club's website.

As you would expect, from one of our gatherings, there was the usual eclectic mix of vehicles, ranging in makes, models, ages, styles, and colours. Aside from committee member Tony Snow's wonderful Model T Ford, the oldest car in attendance was the previously mentioned Morris 8. Its full title is, 1939 Morris 8 Series E Sliding Head. The sliding head referring to the car's metal opening roof. Another interesting feature is that the Morris' 918cc engine drive a 4-speed gearbox. The owner explained that most Morris 8s of the time only had 3-speed 'boxes. Other cars that particularly caught my eye were a bright yellow Lomax and a red Rochdale Olympic. However, my "take home car" would have been the very lovely two-tone Wolsey 16/60 parked up near the airport memorial.

Our thanks to Michael and his team for looking after us so well and we look forward to being back at Shoreham airport on Sunday 8th October for our penultimate breakfast meet.

(Your webmaster's thanks go to Robert who has kindly provided this report).

Click here for more breakfast photos.

National Drive-It Day - Run to Leonardslee Gardens, Horsham - 23rd April 2023

Drive-it-day 2023 to Leonardslee Gardens, Lower Beeding, Horsham - Report by Tony Snow (General Committee Member)

The annual drive-it-day is always a good event but the weather this year was not looking good a few days beforehand. It was arranged with Leonardslee Gardens to display the cars within the grounds on one of their grassed areas, but by Thursday the ground was so wet, with more rain expected, they told us, as agreed, that we would have to park in the car park instead. The bad weather continued and by Saturday evening Phil suggested we would possibly need to postpone the event. An email would be sent out but we agreed a few of us would meet at the starting point to inform anyone that may not get the message.

However, by that evening and next morning the weather system had moved slightly so the event could go ahead. We were hoping to take the Model T but the weather was too bad and we went to the meeting point at the Chalet café north of Henfield in the Caravelle, arriving about 8.30am. There were about 40 cars pre-booked and as we enjoyed our lovely breakfast, more and more cars turned up and half-filled the car park. A really good turnout as it was still raining.

After a chat in the car park we set off in small groups for the first part of the run, thankfully with no unexpected detours. An excellent route through lots of countryside and lanes we had not seen before. The rain continued and there were many large puddles and potholes to negotiate before we arrived at the Notcutts Garden Centre in Cranleigh - yet another place we had not visited before. We will certainly go back to explore the town as there looked to be a lot of interesting shops. We all went into the garden centre café and enjoyed a cup of tea, coffee and cake.

After leaving the garden centre, most made their way on to Leonardslee Gardens, parking in a pre-arranged area in the car park and the Southern Classics banner was put up. A lot of people had shown an interest on the Leonardslee website but, as you've guessed, it was still raining so not many visitors were about. About 19 cars arrived at Leonardslee and after a chat about the run, most went into the gardens. Leonardslee had given us a very good discount, £9.00 per car including all passengers instead of £14.50 per person.

Many people said they enjoyed the gardens with all their amenities, including wallabies, lakes, the Dolls' House (including 1:12 scale models of the estate and surrounding villages) and cafes - some said they would visit there again.

Unfortunately one car suffered a puncture and a possibly damaged wheel but, given the weather, hopefully everyone enjoyed the day. I know some people in the classic car world have suggested moving the drive-it-day to later in the year, but hopefully the weather will be better next year and for the other events organised this year.

Thank you Phil and June for an excellent day and route organised, we know they checked the route several times.

(Your webmaster's thanks go to Tony who has kindly provided this report).

Click here for more Drive-It Run photos.

Old Barn Garden Centre, Dial Post, Breakfast Meet - 16th April 2023

The report on this event will be available soon. In the meantime, the Photogallery can be viewed on the link below:

Click here for more breakfast photos.

Hillbarn Golf Club, Worthing, Breakfast Meet - 26th March 2023

Hillbarn Golf Club Breakfast Meet - Report by Roger Pennington (Webmaster)

Well, after a sunny start to the year at Shoreham, our second Breakfast Meet of the year was at Hillbarn Golf Club, and sadly the weather could not have been more different. There had been heavy overnight rain, which continued into the morning, and the roads had plentiful standing water.

Nevertheless, a good number of hardy stalwarts came out in their classics to enjoy the hospitality and breakfast cuisine of the golf club. Perhaps the ideal cars for the conditions were the Series One Land Rovers of Dave and John, representing the Fire Service and the RAF respectively.

Probably many people's highlight of the day was the Ford Anglia 105E Sportsman. A rare special edition version of the Anglia, manufactured by Ford of Belgium, based on the Anglia deluxe and fitted with various extras like the whitewall tyres and the "continental kit" spare wheel, to give more boot space for those long journeys. It is in immaculate condition and it's red and white two-tone paintwork really brightened-up the day!

It was excellent to see a good turnout from the Triumph ranks, with Spitfire, Stag (x2) and 2000 Saloon all represented. The Alvis also looked great as always. A Sunbeam Rapier, Gilbern GT, and Bond Equipe also added to the list of rarities

As always, we extend our thanks to the staff of Hillbarn Golf Club for allowing us to use their facilities, and for providing a delicious breakfast and essential hot drinks, which made for a pleasant morning. Also, of course, we thank all of those owners who supported the event by bringing their cars!

Click here for more breakfast photos.

Carat's Cafe, Southwick, Breakfast Meet - 19th February 2023

Carats Cafe Breakfast Meet February 2023 - by Robert Spence, Treasurer

For many in the club February is a good month as it heralds the start of our events programme, with the first breakfast meet of the year. Holding any sort of outdoor event during the last winter month is a bit of a gamble, but once again the "good weather god" was on our side and Sunday 19th February could not have been any better for this event.

Looking back through old newsletters, it is hard to believe that we have been using Carats Café for breakfast meets for nearly 9 years. Our first visit, and final event of 2015 being held there in late September. My 2015 report included.

"Richard (Long, Events Secretary at the time) was aiming for a seaside venue in East Sussex, but Carats was the closest venue we could come up with that ticked all the boxes, i.e. good parking, good Cafe that opened early and the beach a few steps away!

So, on a beautiful late September day and with the opportunity to visit another new venue, our 4th this year, and our last static event of 2015 was attended by around forty members and friends in some twenty six cars, and not all with four wheels!

Lots of very shiny and desirable metal spanning some six decades, was also attracting a lot of appreciative comments from fellow members and general visitors to the Cafe including examples from; Bristol, Mercedes, Ford, Triumph, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, MG, Oldsmobile, Riley, Sunbeam, Austin, Toyota and Rover. A wonderful collection of cars to enjoy and catching up with members is a very pleasant way to spend a few hours on a sunny Sunday morning.

At first glance Carats Cafe would have seemed to have been a strange place to hold a Breakfasts Car Meet, given its location at the western end of the Shoreham Harbour southern arm and the six speed bumps to get there. But feedback from those attending was very positive. An unusual location with a good size tarmac carpark right next to the beach, a very pleasant Cafe, with a good choice of food at reasonable prices and having plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. There is also good access for disabled members as the car park and café are on the same level.

It's reassuring to see that in the changing and turbulent times we live in, our 2023 February visit to the Shoreham Harbour eatery was not much different to the 2015 get-together. There were even a few cars present both years! This year you could add, Lotus, Roll Royce, replica Cobra, Lomax 3-wheeler, Volkswagen, Bond Mazda, 4 Harley Davidson bikes (purely by chance) and possibly a few other makes missed by me. For a full photographic catalogue of the vehicles on show, please do have a look at the website. One car I would like to flag up as my personal "car of the meet" was the 1932 Riley 9 Plus Ultra Open Tourer belonging to Joss Martin, Area Organiser of the Riley Register. A wonderful 1100cc car that was used pretty much as a daily driver and had the novel feature of hand operated windscreen wipers!

Thank you to all those that supported the event, and we will be back at Carats café on Sunday 5th November. In the meantime, look out for upcoming breakfast meets at; The Old Barn Garden Centre, Shoreham Airport, Rushfields Garden Centre and the Bluebell Railway, The club is always aiming to spread our events between East and West Sussex and if you know of a venue that you think would be a good location for a Breakfast Meet or formal show, then please send Phil Web an email or text, his details are on page 2.

(Your webmaster's thanks go to Robert who has kindly provided this report).

Click here for more breakfast photos.