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Cars and Boats Provide Bank Holiday Weekend Fun in Eastbourne
Vintage motoring enthusiasts will be flocking to Eastbourne at the weekend to marvel at a range of over 450 classic and vintage vehicles, including a 105 year old car.
Vintage motoring enthusiasts will be flocking to Eastbourne at the weekend to marvel at a range of over 450 classic and vintage vehicles, including a 105 year old car.

New event, Magnificent Motors, on the seafront Western Lawns from 2 – 3 May will feature over a century of motoring history with a display of classic cars, vintage buses, motorbikes, fire engines and steam traction engines, and it’s all FREE!

The display of motoring throughout the ages begins with the Victoria Combination built by Societe Parisienne in Paris in 1899. The elegant two seater carriage with just ¼ horse power De Dion engine, is believed by many to be the first front wheel drive car to go into production in the world.

The Victoria will be joining a seafront cavalcade of over 100 vintage vehicles as they mark the start of the festival at 10am on Sunday, before displaying on the Western Lawns from 11am through to 6pm each day.

Among the attractions, visitors can meet Eastbourne’s very own ‘Uncle Albert’ lookalike, as he brings his Trotters Independent Traders replica yellow reliant three wheel van, complete with backfiring and smoke effects, as seen in the BBC TV programme Only Fools and Horses.

Fans of author Frederick Forsyth will also see his 1937 Morris 8 Tourer, originally bought by his father when travelling between Kent and Norfolk while working for the Kings Lynn Herald many years ago.

TV classic car advisor Ron Wanmer will be providing his own display of vehicles which have appeared on many TV programmes such as Bergerac, Lovejoy and Poirot. One of them being his 1927 Peerless ex-New York taxi which appeared in Jeeves & Wooster, a vehicle no longer to be found in the USA and the only example left in the UK. For younger visitors Ron will also be bringing his 1954 Triumph Thunderbird, which featured in the first Harry Potter film.

For water based fun, a classic bus will operate a service linking the seafront to the events happening on the water and on the quayside at Sovereign Harbour’s Fun Weekend. Events include the launch of Allchorn Pleasure Boats new recruit, the historic ex-lifeboat ‘The Robert’, which will be operating pleasure cruises to Beachy Head throughout the summer. Thrill seekers can also enjoy ‘Aquathrills’, the new high speed RIB pleasure boat trips from Trojan Marine, who will also be running dive charters throughout the year. The weekend ends with fireworks on Monday evening at Sovereign Harbour.

Magnificent Motors is organised by Eastbourne Borough Council, in association with Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club, East Sussex Omnibus Society and various historic transport groups. Visitors can look forward to an array of cars throughout the ages including Jaguars, MG’s, Triumphs, Morris’, Austins and Bentleys, through to rarities such as a 1952 Jowett Jupiter Sports and 1958 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 234 Convertible.

American classics will also be on show with a line up of Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Thunderbirds, and those interested in more stately forms of transport can visit the display of Rolls Royce’s from the 1920’s and 30’s.

For motorbike fans a 1926 James Twin and 1960 Matchless G12 650cc Twin are just two of the machines on display and commercial transport enthusiasts can step back in time on the 1939 Leyland Lion LT9, as well as several old fire engines.

Family members can look forward to plenty more attractions during the event with a vintage funfair, classic car cavalcade and a programme of live music on Sunday at the Bandstand including popular rockabilly trio, The River Boys. Instrumental guitar band Lost 4 Words will also be providing their special brand of 50’s and 60’s music ranging from The Shadows to Duane Eddy, ending in a fireworks spectacular at 10pm on Sunday evening.

Eastbourne Borough Council spokesman for Culture, Councillor Mike Thompson said "What a start to the holiday weekend. A superb collection of cars covering the early part of the last century, not to mention Del Boys Robin Reliant lookalike. If you don't fancy cars then there is lots going on at the marina. From the launch of Allchorns new leisure craft (a lifeboat in a previous life) to a high speed pleasure trip on a RIB. Better still, visit both events."

Magnificent Motors marks the start of a range of free transport events on the seafront during the summer, including Eastbourne Lions Classic Motorcycle Rally on Sunday 6 June, the csma (Civil Service Motoring Association) Wings and Wheels exhibition and Vintage Car Cavalcades at Airbourne from 12 – 15 August and finally the MG South Downs Run on Sunday 12 September.

For more information visit or contact the Tourist Information Centre on 01323 411400.
27 April, 2004

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