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All roads lead to amusement as car fans do a double take at Cowley Car Show
Buy this photo » Gerry Lloyd with his Rover 150 - the front ends of two Rover 75s welded together
COLOURFUL and unusual classic motors filled Oxfordshire’s roads as drivers made their way to the Cowley Classic Car Show.
The county’s rich car-making history was celebrated at Court Place Farm, Marston, yesterday, 100 years after William Morris started car production in Cowley.
About 500 people admired Cowley-made Morris Minors, Abingdon-made MGs, American supercars and a bizarre, self-made one-off.
Drivers may have thought they were seeing double when Gerry Lloyd travelled 200 miles from Wales to Oxford for the event.
The 65-year-old, who lived in Cumnor Hill for 50 years before moving to Wales 12 years ago, merged the front ends of two Rover 75s together to create what he has called a Rover 150.
He said: “I don’t know what people think when I’m on the roads but it really screws up their minds.
“I’m always stopped by the police but they see the funny side of it.
“It is the gospel truth that the idea came from one too many bottles of wine and a bet – which I won.”
Mr Lloyd said he was at the Bear and Ragged Staff pub in Cumnor when a member of the car show’s organising committee asked him to bring the car along to the event.
He added: “I’m really amazed at the number of cars and people here. And with it being 100 years of car-making in Oxford, I am helping by bringing the cars that were made here back.”
Mr Lloyd’s Rovers were built at Cowley’s sister plant in Longbridge.
Richard Pratt, a mechanic from Dorchester-on-Thames, displayed his gold Cowley-made 1958 Wolseley 1500 Mk1.
He said: “Any car related to Cowley should be here. I don’t know what the American cars are doing here – this used to be just for Cowley cars.”
Six-year-old Heidi Venables, from Brackley, near Bicester, was exploring the cars with her parents and grandparents.
She said: “I like all the different colours. The gold one is my favourite.”
Another car which stuck out from the crowds was made by 57-year-old Mick Golding.
He spent three months building a speedboat car in his shed in Blewbury, near Didcot, 14 years ago. Mr Golding said: “It was a labour of love. There are lots of boats in the river but not many on the roads.
“Just coming here I had about six cars drive up beside me to take a photo.”
The show, organised by the Rotary Club of Oxford Isis, raises money for the club’s chosen charity. This year’s proceeds will go to Rosy, Respite nursing for Oxfordshire’s Sick Youngsters.
Last year’s event saw 175 cars on show, while this year there were more than 250 – around 85 per cent of which were built in Oxfordshire.
Club spokesman Malcolm Fearn said: “We have got everything from little bubble cars to great American station wagons, fire engines, and Bentleys and Rolls Royces, and, of course, a lot of Morris Minors as you might expect.”
There have been several events this year to mark 100 years of car manufacture at the Cowley car factory where the BMW Mini is now made.