Yeah, that's right, I said it. It has the best atmosphere of all the shows the West have to offer. Never mind the bearded elderly of Shepton Mallet, or the bitter punters at Haynes, this show has a charity purpose and a friendly atmosphere that only the Cornish can achieve.
You know, I once went to "Rare Breeds" car show, a whilst there, talking to an elderly Morris enthusiast, i suddenly realised I was depressed! Well it's hard not to be after this bitter bloke stood there for five minutes complaining that a Pontiac Aztec, was not old enough to be a classic and so should not be allowed in. He was completely wrong. It shouldn't have been allowed in because it is a disastrously hideous car, not because its not a classic. And besides, it was a "rare breeds" show, not a classic show, and so he is allowed in. Well you don't get any of that resentment at Bude. The gates are easy there, so easy in fact that X reg Mondeo's were getting in, and why shouldn't they? If you've read my review of the Mondeo MK 3, you will know how much I bowed up the old Mondeo and so I have no quarrels with it, and neither does anyone else.
You get a friendly wave in from a man with a trustable mustache, and so you know you are in safe hands to start with. Set in the Rotary Clubs grounds, the field is filled with cars, trucks, vans, busses and tractors and all organised in lines. The hard core enthusiasts have the chance to go and park with the rest of the makes of their car, or you have the choice not to, with is also nice. On this occasion, we took the Ford Granada, and so were immediately shown to where the rest of the 80's Fords lay, but equally, we had the choice to park with the Subaru's, the VWs, or Merc's. All of that community feel is tied together with the fact that it is organised to support local charities, which makes you feel all warm and cuddly inside, just like the feeling you'll get later with the pasty from the shop, just across the road.
So what about the cars? Fords, Triumphs, Jags, Alfa's, Morris's, VW's. You name it, it was there. Apart from that ugly Pontiac Aztec, though. But seriously, the choice was immense and the star of the show, for me at least, was a Jenson Interceptor series 3, with its owner, a gentleman kind enough to reveal the pain he's felt with petrol money and congestion charges. Nether the less, that thing, with the bonnet that stretches out across Cornwall, was exceptional and the dark, metallic blue only made it more attractive. Any one will talk to you, about anything you want to talk about, and it was great to see some of the younger guys interacting with the older geezers, something that you just don't see a lot of, and something we can take from Bude.
Its really a family day out, as clecheic as that sounds. If your a car nut, you will want to spend the day in and amongst the metal, but if your a child, a wife, a anyone that's not so petrol passionate, you can go down to the beach, only a 5 min walk away, go to the shops, only a 2 min walk away, or use the play park, which is literally 30 seconds away as it is in the field next door. And that pasty is only a 3 min walk away, a real incentive for hauling down there. The journeys nice too. A little bumpy on entry to Fairy Cross on the North Devon Link Road, but you'll soon forget about that when snaking through those winding roads, passing pub after pub, and getting the odd glimpse of the sea. For all round making you feel good about being alive, its a must go to day.
Leave your car, you can even walk up to the car boot sale that seems to coincide with the show every year. At the end of the day, for atmosphere, for mates and for feeling like one big car club, like one big drive tribe, this day is the best on a Petrol Heads calendar.
All it needs is an Auto jumble and Powderham had better watch out, its coming for ya.