A TOUCH of class was driven into the shadows of Lydiard House as Swindon Council’s Kat Dixon hosted Vintage Vehicles.
More than 25 classic cars, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, and one modern supercar in the shape of an Aston Martin were on show for sun seekers at Lydiard Park.
Among the cars at Saturday’s event were a Morris Eight Sliding Head Saloon, an Austin 7 Chummy, a Triumph Spitfire, a Jaguar E-type and a Studebaker Golden Hawk.
Kat, an events and hospitality assistant at the council, has owned her own vintage car since the age of 11 and wanted to reunite Lydiard House with the glamorous motors it must once have been home to in decades past.
“This is just the first year of what we hope will become a regular event at Lydiard Park,” she said. “We might try to add some stalls with antiques next year, as well as vintage clothing and possibly make it a vintage fete.
“It will be here again next year. We wanted to do an event which had some links with the house and park, so we thought of classic cars.
“These kinds of cars are the sort the past owners of this house would have been driving back in the day.
“As soon as horses went out of use, you can imagine the stables were used for these cars.”
People of all ages spent their afternoons poring over the cars on show, with some valued at over £100,000 according to owners.
Many of those holding keys to the classics from around the local area did not get wind of the show until the week leading up to it, with help from publicity in the Adver.
Kat utilised the contacts at Royal Wootton Bassett Classic Car Club to track down the owners she wanted at Lydiard on the day.
One of those who recently joined the club and only spotted an advertisement in the week leading up to the display was Derek Austin, the owner of a Mercedes-Benz 190SL.
“I enjoy watching people looking at my car, that’s what gives me the thrill,” said the Bourton resident.
“It’s nice when people come up and ask you about it.
“Most enjoyment comes from watching people look at it and when they take photographs of it.
“One kid actually asked if it was brand new because of the shine on it.”
Derek bought the car in 1980 and used it as a Sunday car for five years, winding through the country lanes of Wiltshire, until he and his wife move to their current home in Bourton.
“In 1985 we moved house out to Bourton and I’m afraid, with the cost of the work on the house, the car sat for the next 22 years in my barn,” he said.
“A few years ago my son was getting married and his wife loves classic cars, so we had to drag out the Mercedes at her request.
“It had really suffered after 22 years in a cold, damp barn, and it took plenty of time and money to restore it.”
Derek bought the German-built car for £650 back in 1980 and then had to spend £70,000 restoring it for his son’s wedding. He said 190SLs fetch upwards of £120,000 in the USA when sold.