The thing about the Autosports International Show is not just the shiny metal, sticky rubber or hundreds of horsepowers, it has as much to do with catching up with faces old and new.
It comes at that time of year and ahead of the new season when folk are virtually unrecognisable in their Sunday best and scrubbed faces as opposed to sweaty ovies and grubby paws. Half an hour into the show and hands are already sore from multiple handshakes, thumps on the shoulder and that latest invention to strike fear into the manly sport of rallying, the man-hug!
And then it’s down to the real reason for being there, inspecting the cars, the bits and the tools, and thankfully there is lots to see, although I wonder if stands are smaller this year? Either they are better stocked, or just packing everything into smaller space because hiring a stand at this show is not for the financially faint hearted.
There appear to be more static exhibits this year filling up the space that bigger trade stands of time gone by are not taking. Everyone is cutting back and yet there is an encouraging buzz about the place and the sport.
It was nice to see Densport taking a stand there to show off three of their latest creations – two of which are coming to Scotland.
Tommy Morris has bought an ‘ultimate’ MkII Ford Escort and it has gone on show ahead of him taking delivery of the car, but John Marshall spotted the car in build at Densport and promptly ordered one for himself, so his is there too. And both are automotive sculptures of great beauty.
Roy Millington was on hand too, to talk about his latest 320 bhp version of his 2.5 litre engine which will rev reliably to 8800 rpm and generates 250 ft/lbs of torque.