ROUGHLY 15,000 of you had to put up with my waffling over the weekend. This year’s Ormskirk MotorFest was a hit – but someone thought it was a good idea to let me into the commentary box!
That someone is Steve Berry, who still holds the record for the most northern person ever to present Top Gear. So for the bits of this year’s parades when you weren’t being deafened by BRISCA’s stock cars or applauding the bubble cars you were treated to me rambling on about classic cars while Steve flicked through the event notes, trying to work out who the Jensen Interceptors belonged to.
One thing we agreed on was how much West Lancashire’s day of petrolhead heaven has evolved since I first got the phone call from an Ormskirk councillor six long years ago, letting me know the powers-that-be were thinking of putting on a car show.
What’s resulted since is one of the busiest days on Ormskirk’s calendar – and persuading all those people and their cash into West Lancashire has got to be a good thing. Folk who aren’t necessarily car geeks like you and me. The free-for-all format and the town centre location meant a lot of the showgoers I saw were young families learning about the joys of cars.
Take the Jaguar Mk2 that won the car category of the MotorFest’s concours last weekend – it might not be a Ferrari or an F1 racing car, but the fact the owner’s transformed it in the eight year’s he’s owned it from a box of bits and a rolling shell into a shimmering slice of Sixties nostalgia is genuinely inspiring stuff. Same goes for the 1906 Franklin Model E Runabout – at 110 years old it’s easily the oldest car that’s ever taken part in the MotorFest, but it still did the same parade laps as all the Subaru Imprezas and the Ferrari 458 Italia.
There are things that would make the MotorFest even better still – there are still too many long pauses between the parades, and I’d love to see the organisers take advantage of scheduled changes to the law to allow the event to have a more competitive element – but having an event that puts F1 cars, Aston Martins and race bikes onto Ormskirk’s one-way system is a real achievement.
Even if it involves having to listen to that chap from Classic Car Weekly who does The Champion’s motoring column rambling on over the loudspeakers. Sorry about that.