New Year’s Day in deep and darkest Suffolk, UK, and the Vintage Sports Car Club are out in force driving their pre-war treasures though the country lanes to meet at the Queen’s Head Pub situated in the picturesque village of Hawkedon. While there is a regular monthly meet, January 1st is always a special occasion attracting 30 plus gems, weather permitting, as well as a host of post-war classic spectator vehicles.
This is not a concours, all the cars arrive “under their own steam” with, in most cases, their occupants suitable dressed to insulate them from England’s winter weather. By mid-morning the Queen’s Head car park, reserved for VSCC members, is full of Austins, Rollers, Bentleys and Astons, with this year an AC, Hispano-Suiza, Amilcar and a Bugatti thrown in for good measure. The grass verges and village green are by now filled with non-VSCC, post-war Jaguars, Citroens, MGs, Morris Minors, Triumphs, Rovers, so the list continues.
For the next few hours a sea of admirers and enthusiasts exchange information and stories while drinking the odd pint of, in winter, not so warm beer. Some lunch in the pub while others, hopefully the drivers, take advantage of the hot soup provided by the VSCC in Hawkendon’s village hall. All in all it’s a quintessentially English way of celebrating the New Year nowhere else in the world can combine all the elements necessary to stage such an event, dare I say particularly the selection of vehicles.
By 3:15 pm, the winter light is fading and it’s time for those with incandescent headlights—and that’s most of them—to start their journey home through the darkening lanes. A great day has been had by all; perhaps we’ll come along and do another report in the summer…when the beer will be warmer!