Chryslers at Brooklands

Brooklands, Surrey. May 30th

Here in his own words Derek Carter describes this year’s Mopars at Brooklands, an event he’s be organising for the last 17 years!…

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Photography: Derek Carter, Mark Blanchard & Robert Lan

This time last year we were in the thick of the first lockdown, my wife Liz and I were shielding, so hadn’t been out the door since last March, so I had plenty of time to tinker with the Charger in the garage and on the Sunday last year that was supposed to be Brooklands, I kept the garage door firmly shut. Fast forward a year and a small amount of normality returned and I was in touch with Brooklands about the possibility of running the show this year.

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Darren, from Darren Graham Photography, kindly designed a flyer for the show – just in case it did. After a few discussions, Brooklands confirmed that the show could go ahead, but with restrictions and some differences compared the last 17years. Although there were no shows to go to physically in advance and hand leaflets out, we did promote it on social media and go word out. 

            The differences and restrictions Brooklands stipulated were that numbers of vehicles were to be capped, along with numbers of members of the public. Also, there would be no parking in and around the paddock or outside the hangers. Instead, we were to park along the side and up to the famous banking and what’s left of the racetrack. Also, this year, I wouldn’t have to rope in family and friends to marshal, as Brookland’s staff were doing it this year. Really, the main difference was that this year – as with most shows – was that it was a pre-booking event only, so the numbers could be controlled and social distancing maintained.

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            Driving along the A3 that Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but feel nervous, as well as excited. I was really looking forward to the day, but as we had only just had restrictions lifted, would people want to come out and mingle for the day? I needn’t have worried, tickets had virtually sold out! Arriving on site and meeting up with Brooklands staff, we chatted about the day to come – We were all determined to have a good and safe day. Soon there was a queue forming, the gates were opened and in rolled good friends and MMA members all in an array of different cars.

            Brooklands had made a makeshift small arena, which myself in my Charger and others, did a few laps, while Adam Ford chatted over the PA about the cars. A few of Brooklands staff did the same in their fantastic pre-War cars. After this and in keeping with tradition it was prize-giving time, this year we gave the judging over to our two newest committee members, brothers Robert and Stuart Lane. They had walked around the cars and picked their five ‘Judges Choice’ cars and  the respective owners were given trophies – There was also a gift voucher donated from Rock Auto.

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            It was a great day, catching up with people we hadn’t seen in over a year, sitting in the sun and swapping lockdown tales. However, I couldn’t help thinking of our dear friend Tony Oksien, who helped me get the show off the ground all those years ago and who always came to support the event each year and who passed away recently – It’s going to be strange without him and his presence was dearly missed. 

            Although very different from previous years, with some of Brooklands’ attractions and hangers not being fully open, there was still plenty to do and see around the Museum. Many took advantage of the quieter day and everyone seemed relaxed and happy. The Chryslers at Brooklands is a show organised on behalf of the Mopar Muscle Association; however, it isn’t a Mopar only show – It is, and always will be, open to all American vehicles and hot rods.

            I’ve had some good feedback about the day and I’m grateful to everyone who came and supported the show. Apologies to all who didn’t realise it was a pre-book show this year. There was some confusion as it wasn’t written on the flyer (as stated, this had been designed beforehand,) although each time it was advertised on social media, it was mentioned. Let’s hope that next year we will be back to normal, with no booking or capped numbers! Thank you to everyone who came along – without you guys, there wouldn’t be a show to organise. Keep a beady eye out for the Brighton Run (another driving event that cruises from London to Brighton,) on these pages!

Prize Winners

Blue. 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, Rock Auto gift voucher.

Kev Martin 1971 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus.

Grant Shaw, 1970 Plymouth Duster.

Mark Blanchard, 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Mick Smith, 1970 Buick GS convertible.

Phil Perry Model A pick up

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