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Weekend At Beaulieu: You Name It, We Got It.

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“How much for the one, badly corroded and horrifically, brutally deformed Lotus Eclat alloy?”
“That’s £110, mate”
“Hmm, that’s a bit rich, considering the condition. I was thinking more like £60”
“You’re having a laugh, mate. I can’t let that go for less than a ton”
“Look I’ll take it now for £70”

….and so it goes on for the next ten minutes. This conversation was occurring literally everywhere you walked. It’s an inevitable phenomenon at this kind of an event; the prices marked on items is arbitrary at best and haggling is the norm. But before the skilful negotiation can break out, you have to have the kind of stuff laid out on your stall that everybody wants. And to be completely honest, walking past hundreds of identical stalls covered in rusty obsolete parts I had a hard time telling the trash from the treasure.

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Weekend At Beaulieu:- SM on DS Action

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Whatever the unit of measurement is for Awesomeness Per Square Foot, the assembly of Gallic motoring eccentricity photographed above must register quite a high reading. If the Citroen SM is my favourite French car of all time (and I’ve just decided it is), and the DS is my second favourite, then what we see here is akin my favourite meal (haddock and chips) perched upon my second (rare steak).

One question begs to be asked, though. Was posing the bewilderingly complex SM with its hood open on a flatbed a choice made tongue-in-cheek, or was no irony intended whatsoever?

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Hooniverse Drives over 8 San Francisco Bay Area Bridges in One Day

Jim Yu September 22, 2014 Hooniverse Goes To..., Road Trip

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As someone who likes to cross items off of lists, I have always wanted to drive over all eight San Francisco Bay Area bridges in one go. This “accomplishment” is relatively easy to do, but no one has ever gotten in their car to properly document the experience. This is where I come in. Make the jump to see how I spent one weekend morning. … Continue Reading

Weekend at Beaulieu:- 4 Sale:- T’Bird? Word.

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£23,750. It all comes down to context, really. In my world, where my daily driver is worth probably a hundredth of that, that’s a whole hill of cash. In vehicular retail terms, though, twenty-four grand doesn’t yet see you out of KIA territory. You’re talking real low-end BMW and Mercedes fare for that kind of figure. For out-and-out look-at-me new-car credibility, £23,750 doesn’t earn you a whole bunch of bragging rights.

So why not spend your 24 kiloquid on this? Parked amid the “for sale” area at the World Famous International Autojumble at Beaulieu this year, to say that this ’63 Thunderbird stood out is an understatement akin to the 1986 mutterings of Chenobyl safety officers that “we might be in a spot of bother here.”

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Weekend at Beaulieu: 4 Sale – The Barn Finds

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“Barn Find” has become a real pain-in-the arse phrase. Stick it in eBay as a search term and you’ll be presented with a list of cars which have never been near a barn in their lives, nor been forgotten about for decades. Typically a Barn Find on eBay will involve a seventeen year old Nissan Micra being “found” in gran’s garage and then sold for whatever it’ll reach because she’s hung up her mink driving gloves for the last time.

Of course, there’s a big difference between eBay; purveyors of hopeless crocks to the poor and indiscriminating, and Bonhams, purveyors of… well, hopeless crocks to the Rich and optimistic. Bonhams, the renown auction house, took charge of sales of high class hulks which might just have genuinely have been found in somebody’s barn. But which will you choose?

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Weekend at Beaulieu: The Museum Pt3 – The Record Breakers

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Part of me absolutely hates museums. Line after line of immaculately presented mechanical corpses sit there, mute, waiting without hope of ever seeing action like they did in the days before they were embalmed and roped off with velvet.

You need to visit Goodwood, Duxford, or dozens of the other gatherings around the world to see vintage aircraft and race cars being given a proper work-out. At Goodwood this year, on the same day that a Mercedes W196 Racer was being thrapped up the hillclimb, a Hawker Hunter and English Electric Canberra were dancing an intricate, noisy routine in the skies above. Of course, there are certain awesome artefacts from time that can never be demonstrated in public, though, which is a shame. There is unlikely, for instance, to ever be a Saturn V rocket display.

Which brings me to where I’m stood right now. Inches from machines which have been the fastest wheel-driven vehicles of their time. Absolute power, silenced.

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Weekend at Beaulieu:- The Museum. Pt 2:- Bikes

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A visit to England’s National Motoring Museum is something that, until last weekend, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never got around to doing. So when I visited the annual International Autojumble hosted there, I made sure I devoted the entire weekend to taking the place in properly.

On Thursday you joined me for a whistle-stop photo-tour of some of the more comment-worthy cars to be found among this immense collection. Today we bring the wheel-count down a notch or two and explore some of Beaulieu’s beautiful bikes.

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Weekend at Beaulieu – 4 Sale: Matra-Simca Bagheera

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The massed ranks of visitors to the annual International Autojumble at Beaulieu Motor Museum includes folk from every possible different background, and this point is not lost on the exhibitors. Among the crowds there may well be somebody tentatively looking for their next project, so you’ll find motivated sellers of all kinds of decaying machinery vying to part the next willing optimist with their money.

The way I see it, the world is made up of two groups. Those who want to own a Matra Simca Bagheera, and those who already have one. Step this way if you’re a member of Group A.

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Weekend at Beaulieu:- The Museum. Part 1- Cars.

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I’ve just spent the past weekend in the company of a great many bearded men from all over Europe (and beyond) who had flocked to Southern England for a world-famous motoring event. It’s called the Beaulieu Autojumble, and you may have heard of it. It’s a mecca for those vintage car enthusiasts who have been searching in vain for Darracq doors or a Delahaye differential.

Let’s start by introducing the home of this annual pilgrimage; Great Britain’s foremost car museum. Welcome to Beaulieu.

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Hagerty’s Festival of the Unexceptional

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If you have turned on your computer in the last two weeks, you have surely seen coverage of the Concours d’LeMons, which is a growing car show that celebrates “the oddball, mundane, and truly awful of the automotive world. Another show, which you may not have heard about, is the Festival of the Unexceptional – a Concours de l’Ordinaire. These two festivals exist an ocean apart, but have the same misfiring heartbeat.

Click through for some truly ordinary stuff.

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