Second Classic Car Boot Sale rocks
▲ That's Hiroko and her Triumph Speed Twin. You might have seen her on Sump before. You might have seen her at the Ace Cafe and Kempton Park and elsewhere. She gets around. If ever your event needs some colour, call Hiroko.
We missed this event the first time round, but we weren't going to make that mistake twice. So when the organisers reorganised it, we nailed the dates to our petrol tanks and waited in the garage with a coffee flask and sandwiches.
The date, by the way, was actually two dates this time; the 15th & 16th March 2014. The location was the Thames South Bank right under the London Eye. The whole world turned up to see what was going on. And we've just come back with the pictures.
The Sump verdict is that this is a great morning or afternoon out. The organisers made all the right moves and pulled some quantum physical trick by squeezing more objects and people into space that couldn't possibly accommodate them all.
We saw a brace of Cadillacs. A Citroen Traction or two. A Routemaster bus-cum-bar-cum-DJ-platform. A handful of hot rods. A Fordson van. A Humber saloon. A Jensen CV8. An early Corvette Stingray. A squadron of vintage bicycles. A flight of chopper bicycles. Enough food wagons to feed Ethiopia. And dozens of bric-a-brac stalls, fashion stalls, antique stalls, and some other stalls that were just plain weird. And a Thompson sub-machine gun table lamp (left)
This isn't a biker event, however. We expected some motorcycles, and we weren't disappointed. But this event is really about 1940s, 50s, and 60s style and accessories. So okay, other eras were represented. But the main colour palette was spivvy browns, ration book greens, Glen Miller reds, whites and blues, and the usual post war shades of maroon and cream.
No doubt this event could become more biker themed if enough two-wheelers decide to hijack it. But what would be the point? British bikers have enough events of their own scattered around the country. This event needs a broader brush and more ... well, style.
That said, if you're into the more offbeat examples of motorcycle exotica (Ariel Leaders, Ariel Arrows, Dayton scooters, Velocette Vogues, etc), you'll find appreciative eyes here. The emphasis is, after all, on colour and flamboyance.
If you want some hard numbers, try these from the organisers:
70 Vintage traders
105 classic cars
19 street food traders selling from 19 classic vans
40 mods on scooters
1 Routemaster double decker bus
20 chopper bicycles
12 vintage bicycles
2 Peel cars
1000s of frocks and records
6 walkabout performers
£4 per ticket
1000s of visitors
And a handful of classic motorcycles
Overall, this event reminds us that London, England is definitely the place to be at the moment. New York is always happening. Tokyo, we're told, is still steaming into an ever brighter neon and digital future. Los Angeles is still dangerous fun. Paris is still chic. Berlin is...Berlin. But nowhere rocks like London.
If 1940s and 1950s fashion, 60s psychedelia, 70s sub-culture, and 80s excess is your thing, then you might want to rummage through your wardrobe, loft and garage, load up your Citroen Shark or Royal Enfield combination, and book some space for the next Classic Car Boot Sale event.
It's another example of why the past is still the future.
▲ Jake (the guy with all the badges) is an old friend of ours. That's why we forgot his surname. But we never forget a badge. That's the London Eye right behind, incidentally. If this event was any more central in London, it would be held on College Green outside the Houses of Parliament. Hey, we've just had an idea ...
▲ A Routemaster bus with a DJ upstairs and a bar downstairs. We used to go to school on a Routemaster,
▲ There were some bikes at this event. A few Triumphs, a BSA, an AJS and some other stuff. But it's not a biker event. Then again, if you ride something chic and fashionable, you'll fit right in.
▲ Left to right, top to bottom: Chevrolet, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Cadillac, Mercury, Jensen. You can hire some of these: www.classiccarclub.co.uk
▲ Is this guy cool, or what? So okay, it ain't our style. But some people can carry it off, and some can't.
And he can. That's a Triumph Spitfire convertible he's standing behind, and that's pretty cool too.
▲ A 1955 Chevy pickup, a woman who's just stepped out of a time machine, and a bunch of Rockabilly Rebels. At this event, you strut your own stuff any way you want to strut it. This is London calling...
▲ That's a Peel Trident. It's in production, has an electric motor and is small enough to make a Smart car look doubly stupid. Peel first made cars in the 60s. Went bust in the 70s. Now they're back. Peel Cars
▲ You're looking at about one quarter of the boot sale site. Maybe less. It was heaving with people, but the atmosphere was good natured and relaxed. The organisers evidently know what they're doing. If your event isn't doing so good, maybe you should call in the experts...
▲ A Humber Hawk or Snipe. We ain't sure. Think of it as an English Chevy. But even cooler. The valve radio on the bonnet (hood) was on offer at around £55. Or £85. The rest of the stuff was movie magazines, rock and blues records, and record players. Sounds like the beginning of a great weekend.
▲ Taco Truck. We bought a couple of tacos here. Girl Happy said hers was okay, but mine tasted like mud.
Worse still, they were served on paper plates with plastic forks. Now how uncool us that? Get a grip Taco Truck people. You can't serve class snacks on bits of circular cardboard. And leave out the mud next time. Yuk.
▲ At first we thought the guy in the hat was Suggs. Maybe it was. He had all the right moves. Looks like grannie's china on the table, but that's what people are looking for these days. When your gran croaks, never mind asking how much money she left. Just find out what she did with the china.
▲ The VW van is a lobster wagon. Didn't see much trade going on there, so maybe lobsters are out of season. Some nice looking girls, though. Rarrrgh! We blurred the faces of the diners so they can eat in privacy, so stop looking at 'em, will ya?
▲ This BSA twin put more oil in the ground than the dinosaurs. Made a lovely racket though when the owner kicked it into life.
▲ The Automobile Association's patrolmen used to salute motorists. Now they get kids to do it. Progress, they call it. We call it child exploitation. That's a 600cc BSA M21 in case anyone's taking notes. This would be the mount that came to your grandad's rescue when he broke down in the 1950s and 1960s.
▲ We bought a handful of Commando war comics at the boot sale. We read these to death when we were kids. In fact, these comics taught us how to speak German with phrases like "donner und kebab", und "achtongue!", and "snell, snell you swinehound, Englander pig!" There's nothing like learning a foreign language to broaden your outlook on the world, huh?
▲ Here's where it happened, right where Ray Davies saw his Waterloo Sunset, just across the Thames from Big Ben. Next year it might be somewhere else, but we hope not. You can get addicted to this stuff.
If you're an overseas Sumpster, come to London, spend your money. Buy British, etc. But if you're an atom bomb dropper, ignore this map please. We'll supply details of more appropriate places...
Copyright Sump Publishing 2014