Going to a big car show and not seeing any of the now ‘regular’ Ferraris, Porsche 911s or Lamborghinis from the past 50 years or so is surprisingly refreshing! Nearly every avid FOTU visitor I spoke to agreed that they would be much more likely to see a neat Renault 5, Citroen GS or FSO Polonez than a ‘boring’ 911, which you can now see in abundance anywhere, anytime on pretty much any other. car event .
Of the 50 entries to the Concours d’Ordinaire at the FOTU 2022, a handful of cars were potentially a bit at exceptional to achieve the FOTU first honor, albeit still very rare. There was a delightful 1972 Simca 1501 Break, including its ingenious standard built-in metal picnic table (tres Francais), a sporty second-generation Alfa Romeo Giulietta from 1984 and a 1978 Peugeot 504 saloon. visitors (under 16), or a typical ‘rep-mobile’ from the 70s-90s, such as an 80s Ford Cortina, Vauxhall Cavalier, etc. Nissan Primera wins this audience category.
Special mention deserves the lovely old ladies who bought many of this year’s FOTU entries when they were brand new (many were from Somerset, it seemed!) lovingly restored cars, some very unlikely candidates for extensive and probably expensive rebuilds, as the years 90 base Renault Clios and Rover 200s. A young fellow carefully revived a basic (and beige, of course) 1981 Austin Metro, which had been stored in a locked garage that overflowed, then the subway was swept into a neighboring canal, where it was rescued and plucked from the water. (against the wishes of the insurance company). A funky 1985 Toyota Sprinter Caribe (better known as a Tercel 4WD closer to home), fared even better, having recovered from the infamous 2002 tsunami.