Fifty unexceptional cars graced the lawns of Claydon House for the sixth annual Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional. Highlights of once-common-but-now-rare family cars included a 1987 Rover 820E, thought to be the very last model of its type remaining on UK roads, a 1989 Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0i CD and a 1980 Ford Cortina 2.0L.
But the winning car was the superb 1977 Morris Marina 1.3 Deluxe Estate owned by Michael ‘Trigger’ Carpenter. The Best in Show-winning Marina Estate was a typical example of what makes this event so special – it’s a base specification, mint condition 1970s family car, which if it weren’t for the love and passion of its owner, wouldn’t be with us today. The previous owner had part-restored the car (losing three fingers in the process) before storing it for 15 years in little more than a shed.
When uncovered, by Trigger, it was covered in a thick layer of dirt that seemed to protect the car as, when cleaned, it revealed the shiny, original paint seen today. A truly honest and well-preserved example of the much-loved Marina.
Notable runner up was a beautiful 1978 Vauxhall Chevette E saloon, once again built in absolute base specification. Current owner Philip Hunt has known the car from new and saved it from being scrapped by the original owner. The Chevette was rescued from the crusher and has been well-loved, and used, ever since.
Commenting on the sixth Festival of the Unexceptional, Marcus Atkinson of Hagerty International, said: ‘What a delight it is to present cars that evoke so many memories to so many people, and to reward the enthusiasts who spend precious time and money on keeping the more ordinary classics on the road. As you walk around the lawns you overhear guests saying, ‘my Dad had one of those’ or ‘we went on our Summer holiday in that’ and that’s why we do what we do. Great cars and great memories, a meeting of like-minded people who appreciate that unexceptional is a term of endearment and not derogatory.’
The 2019 Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional Results
• Best in Show: 1977 Morris Marina 1.3 Deluxe Estate owned by Michael Carpenter
• Runner Up: 1978 Chevette E owned by Philip Hunt
• People’s Choice: 1982 Peugeot 305 SR Estate owned by Simon Gaisford
• Junior Judges Choice: 1989 Citroen BX 19 DTR owned by Dan Goff
• Anniversary Class: 1982 Vauxhall Astra GL 1300 owned by David Loasby
• Feast of the Unexceptional/Best Picnic: Mike and Judith Burkett and their 1979 Colt Sigma GLX