Harworth man Mark Stewart and his 1935 Austin 7 van have made the final of the 10th Meguiar’s Club Showcase; a nationwide competition to find the UK’s most perfect classic cars.
Mark is one of fourteen finalists whose cars will be shown at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at Birmingham’s NEC from November 13-15 November where the overall winner will be announced by Mike Brewer of Discovery Channel’s Wheeler Dealers on Sunday afternoon.
“It was in a sorry state when I bought it, having stood in a barn for decades,” explains Mark. “I had to think very seriously. I wanted to jump straight in but I have health issues caused by a car accident, and I had to question whether I was up to it. I had been an engineer before the accident – I have the skills but I didn’t know if my body would let me use them.”
Mark’s fully restored his Austin Seven van, from metalwork and interior retrimming to a whole new ash frame. “It wasn’t until I saw it that I realised how much work it needed, but at least it was complete with all the hard to find bits still intact. All I could see missing was a rear door hinge, which I managed to make, using one of the others as a pattern. I was absolutely amazed how clean, solid and straight it was, especially for an 80-year-old vehicle.
“It’s as original a spec as I could get it, and as there was evidence of the original signwriting when I got it I asked a highly regarded sign writer to recreate it. It’s full of tools and parts not in case of breakdown, but as part of the period display. It used to belong to an Austin garage in Edinburgh, so it’s appropriate.
“We’re now two years on since I started, it was very hard work. I’m glad I did it but I’m also glad it’s finished! To even be in the final of the Club Showcase is an honour. I can’t even think about the possibility of winning.”
The 2015 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show will be held from November 13-15 at Birmingham’s NEC with tickets available in advance or at the box office.
For more information on the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show or Classic Motorbike Show as well as all the ticket prices and booking details, visit Classic otor Show