A short while acgo I bought an Austin Seven from a chap who claimed that it was in such good condition that it would win awards wherever I took it. It was covered in shiny paint and had lots of chromium stuff all over it. Anyway, I bought it for a princely sum and took it home and for the next few months my wife and I spent an enormous amount of time polishing it. A jolly difficult task I can tell you! It' s not easy polishing the complete inside of an exhaust system. At one point my wife broke a nail which was quite depressing but I really must get to the point, which I know you will be happy about.

   The other day we pushed the car out of our under‑floor heated, wall to wall carpeted storage facility and with great care loaded it onto my friendís trailer. We all laughed when Dickey (my friend) said the next time he would wear sunglasses because of the reflections glistening off the shiny bits. We drove quite some way to a classic vehicle show and when we got there, there were lots of other people with Austin's. Some of them were quite strange though. In some cases they arrived actually driving their cars and allowed them to drip oil all over the grass.  One chap I spoke to had driven his car over 50 miles to show his Austin. He had bought his car as a wreck and had spent ages making it look like new. He seemed a bit miffed when he saw my shiny car on the trailer but I put that down to the little green monster.

   Anyway, Dicky and I pushed the car into the line of Austins between an oily 1923 Chummy and an Ulcer, at least thatís what I think the owner called it, and spent the rest of the day sitting in Dickyís 4x4 enjoying the atmosphere. During the day some of the drivers drove their cars around a roped off area and told the public all about their cars. All that dust!  It was great fun to watch but Evelyn ( good lady wife) did get a little bored.

   Whilst this was going on, the general public were busy filling out their voting forms to see who had the best vehicles. I did notice that lots of people stopped to look at mine. Evelyn popped out to waft the dust off it one or twice but apart from that we were quite happy to relax in the 4x4.

   It was  later in the day when the public address system chap announced that I had won best car at the show. I felt really pleased and happy that all our hard work had been rewarded. The only problem was when the fellow who won second prize drove his car up to the prize-giving table and the Mayor nearly presented him with my first prize. I can tell you I had to run quite fast to ensure that the right person got the right prize. When I jokingly said to him that if his box saloon had been a bit shinier he might have won first prize, he seemed to get quite agitated.

   After a lovely day we loaded the car onto the trailer and with our well earned prize drove off whilst the other chaps were getting all sweaty trying to start their cars.

   We have decided that it was such good fun we are going to another show very soon and hope to meet you all there. Next year we will be going to the Bewl rally and to Beaulieu - as long as the weather is dry and sunny of course!

Alistair Pratt