Drive-It Day 2021
After Drive-It Day 2020 fell foul of Covid Lockdown 1, would Drive-it Day 2021 during Lockdown 3 be another ‘wash out’?
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) launched ‘Drive-It Day’ in 2005 as a way of showing Joe Public just how expansive, as well as endearing, the historic vehicle movement is in the UK. Their 2020 nationwide research showed that the historic vehicle movement is worth around £7.2bn to the UK economy as well as providing jobs, events, entertainment, etc. etc.
Of course, we at Petrolheads Welcome are instinctively supportive, as well as practically supportive, of the historic vehicle movement and so we just had to get out in our classic car on Drive-It Day, 25th April… albeit ‘staying local’, as per the government’s lockdown guidelines.
The day dawned perfectly for classic car driving: bright, dry, salt-free (roads) and cool. We set off from home close to the Mendip Hills mid-morning for a 25 mile round trip that took in Cheddar Gorge.
For the first 15 minutes I was surprised to see not one vehicle that could be described as anything like historic. We drove on feeling slightly disappointed, not least as previous Drive-It Day runs have come across cavalcades of classic metal with frantic waving and flashing of headlights to boot.
We tootled up the Gorge seemingly alone with our Drive-It Day sentiments when we rounded a bend to discover a row of shiny colourful modern supercars parked up. That was too good an opportunity to miss and so we parked amongst them, perhaps a little incongruously, but was welcomed regardless. After all, we’re all Petrolheads.
That said, we were less conspicuous than the blue van that arrived to spoil the photo opportunity whilst we were chatting… should have clicked the shutter sooner!
We stayed a while to see a few classic cars and bikes pass by… proper Petrolhead entertainment.
Continuing our journey along the terrific roads of this part of the world, we at last started to wave at and be waved at by classic cars of all shapes and sizes: Wolsey, Riley, MG, Cadillac, Triumph, etc.
For me, as a classic biker, one of the highlights of the day was a 1970s Suzuki GT750 ‘Kettle’ amongst a small group of classic bikes.
Further along our travels we spied through the trees a beautiful 1972 Karmann Ghia and so we just had to pull in to take a closer look. What a stunning car that’s apparently original. The lunching couple had owned the car for over 30 years and it was their pride and joy… quite rightly.
We all agreed that the cars bring us together and from such meetings are friendships born. Naturally, during our chat we found other things in common and events on the horizon where we will meet again. That’s the joy of classic motoring, whatever your brand of choice.
Perhaps inevitably on such a lovely day, the local tourist spot lake car park was full and so we drove in and out whilst snapping photos of ‘nice’ cars. We then drove to a lesser-known and more spacious lakeside spot for the well-deserved coffee, cake and inevitable chat with more classic owners. This time a brace of TRs (factory original TR7 Sprint and a TR8) and a young couple starting out in the classic cars world with their 1985 Mazda MX5.
The verdict on the day? Drive-It Day 2021 was anything but a wash-out, both physically and metaphorically!
This year, Drive-It Day supported the NSPCC’s Child Line service through the sale of rally plaques proudly worn by some of the cars we saw. We also know that some of the owners had donated regardless after the stock of plaques had expired. That’s the spirit!
No doubt Drive-It Day 2022 will develop its charitable theme and, we hope, not be restricted in its driving and charitable impact by a pandemic!