Neil Fletcher Racing
AVO Day 2003
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Another year has come and it's time for another AVO Club National Day at Stanford Hall. The following are some of the photographs which I took at AVO Day on Sunday 15th June 2003.
Click on any of the images below for a larger photo.
This year AVO Day was going to be extra special for some of us. I have been going over every year for over 10 years now but I have never had an AVO car at the show.
All that was about to change this year, after spending over 3 years working on "The Rally Car", the rebuild was almost finished. So even though there were quite a few small bits to finish off, I had decided to take my Mexico over with me. I must say that because of this and the fact that my girls were with me, I found this year to be the most enjoyable yet.
My girls all send a very big "Thank You" to all those who organized all the fun activities for the kids, they thought it was a really brill day.
|The journey to AVO Day started on Friday morning, after the Freelander was loaded up it was time to hook on the trailer and load up the Mexico. Needless to say she was really well tied down for the boat trip and the 400mile drive to Stanford Hall.|
|The girls have decided that the new mudguards that Daddy made for the trailer make a really good picnic table when we stopped for a cuppa outside Dumfries.|
|Friday night was spent at a B&B outside Carlisle and we arrived at the Stanford Hall campsite late on the Saturday afternoon.|
|There were quite a few other campers there and it was a really good nights craic to meet all the others and stand around half the night telling each other big yarns.|
|Bright and early on Sunday morning we headed for the main field. Steve Furness directed me to the special interest section. For quite a while there was only my car parked or abandoned, as some-one said about my less than straight parking, in this section and my wife asked was this where they put the really rough and battered cars. Eventually Ken Shipley joined us with his Alan Mann racer and later on we were joined by an RS16 with a pinto fitted. This car had a For Sale sign and I think the asking price was around £4700, I don’t know if there were any takers.|
|Another car that was there bright and early was this recently restored Twin Cam owner by Dave Sweetland. Dave told me that it was an ex-rally car that he had found parked outside on a farm. When he found it, it was in serious need of lots of TLC. Dave had certainly done a great job with it.|
|The engine bay featured an all steel, dry sumped, full house Vegantune Twin Cam. Definitely plenty of go there.|
|As always there was a very good turn out of Mexicos. These ranged from the totally standard to the highly modified, and from completely originally to recently finish restoration jobs.|
|The number of RS2000’s seems to grow every year. Like the Mexicos, you get a real cross section of types here including ones that are still driven on a regular basis.|
|One of my favourites was this one belonging to Pete Mathews, it ended up 3rd in the RS2000 class.|
|And the engine bay of the RS2000 above.|
|Over this past three years there has been a real resurgence in the number of Twin Cams turning up at the show. Given the very small number of the se cars that still exist, as a complete car ;-) it was great to see so many out, I counted seven but there may have been more.|
|For me one of the most interesting Twin Cams is ULT 230 F, belonging to Howard Cressey. It is a fairly early example being a June 68 car. It has some parts which were unique to those early Twinks, i.e. any that were built in the first six months or so of production. The reason for my interest being I also own a very early Twin Cam, mine being a January 68 car.|
|Here is the fairly standard engine bay of Harold’s Twin Cam, one of the few mods being the fitting of Roller Top Mounts. There are some of those unique items about the engine bay, the most obvious is detailed below.|
|This is the front Anti-roll bar mount. Ordinary Escorts at this time used compression struts but the Twin Cams were the first of the Escorts to use an Anti-roll bar. This was mounted to the shell using fabricated mounts which were brazed to the insides of the chassis rails and then the anti roll bar was bolted up from below. When all Escorts adopted these bars they made a bracket which bolted to the chassis rails. Even then the AVO type differed slightly from the standard ones – see Mex anti roll bar. Does anyone else have a car with this type of arrangement, if so I’d love to hear from you.|
|As in previous years there was only two RS31’s in attendance, but this year it was two sister cars. Both in Modena green with consecutive registration numbers RPU 654 M and furthest from the camera RPU 655 M.|
|There was a good attendance of “Superspeed” cars this year, being three in total. They had all slightly differing paint schemes.|
|All three were V6 conversion jobs, and believe you me there was very little spare room in the engine bay.|
|Notice the nice Super Speed badge along the top of the polished rocker cover.|
|Another interesting car was the Minilight RS16. This is being built up by Don Simmonds for use in the Safari. There is still quite a lot of work to do to it.|
|Special Guest this year was Bob Howe ex of Ford Product Planning etc. He was the head man at the Aveley AVO plant in the early 70’s and had some very interesting stories to tell.|
|As far as Rebecca was concerned an even more special guest was Mark, the magician. Daddy came back into the tent just in time to get this photo of her starring moment. Needless to say she loved being the centre of attention. Just like her dad then – someone said.|
|Finally here are some of the prize winning cars. From the left we have FXD188J - Gary Carnaby's 2nd placed Twin Cam, FYA67K- Andrew Wildblood's winning Twin Cam and XJO390K - Andy Stapley's 2nd placed RS1600.|
|From the left again we have HWD897L- Mick Mathews winning RS1600, GHD2N - Pete Mathew's 3rd placed RS2000 and YFX748M - Charlie Chisolm's 2nd placed RS2000.|
|And RPU654M - Phil Stokes 2nd placed RS3100, RPU655M - Dave Hurst's winning RS3100 and SEP123N - Alan Blomely's class winning RS2000,this car also won "Car of the Day".|
|And HAC552K - Paul Cooper's 2nd placed Mexico, TUB600M - Mick Lloyd-Jacob's 3rd placed Mexico, HJH920L - C. Haley's 4th placed Mexico and GJU72L - Nigel Green's winning Mexico.|
|And finally yours truely with JIJ9975 - Runner Up in the Roger Clark Memorial Period Competition History. Rebecca wanted to know how I had won a prize when I didn’t have a mirror under my car. Laura said that we should bring one next year. Carmel, my wife told the girls that daddy got the runner up prize because there were only two in his class, whereupon the girls wanted to know if there were only two in my class when I won all my rally trophies ;-)|
Once again a big “Thank You” to all those who put so much effort into making AVO Day such a good show for everyone. I look forward to seeing you all next year and I have promised that if the car is still in one piece then I shall bring her again.
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