We have had confirmation that CCC Insurance Limited will continue as event sponsor for Billing for a sixth year and that Total Vauxhall magazine will continue as media sponsor for a second year. Therefore our Billing event, which will take place over the weekend of July 12th & 13th, will continue to be known as the VBOA National Rally in association with CCC Insurance.
We are currently discussing with Vauxhall how we can mount an appropriate tribute to celebrate the centenary of General Motors, owners of Vauxhall Motors Limited and Adam Opel AG since 1925 and 1929 respectively. Our present thinking is to piggy back on the work we did last year on the aborted 100 years of car production at Luton project and try to assemble a “the GM Years” display on the Sunday only. The objective would be to display an example of every production car model (for example, one of PA, FC, Astra mark 3 etc, not every variant!) marketed in the UK since 1927 (the first GM influenced Vauxhall design). Unlike last year’s plan this would obviously include Ellesmere Port and non-UK built Vauxhalls. To keep numbers to a vaguely manageable figure, we would have to be fairly ruthless in combining models like H and I types, Carlton and Viceroy, Senator/Monza and Royale etc., exclude North American cars and eligible Opel models would be those sold by GM Limited prior to the Vauxhall-Opel merger in 1982, except Manta. Even with this fairly arbitrary approach, the display would comprise nearly 60 cars! Anyone know of a good Sintra, Monterey….?
Pitch reservations have started to arrive for the March 9th running of the VBOA Spring Parts Day and Autojumble. The good news is that we are already receiving reservations from autojumblers who have not attended before and those returning are taking more space. The first clubs off the mark were the Viva Owners Club and the Vauxhall-Opel Drivers Club. We visited the venue last Saturday and measured up the second hall. It’s at least as big as the one we used last year (and will again this year) and has a large purpose built food and drinks bar with plenty of seating. Because of this additional resource we are promised a vastly improved food service. Bernie Bowden of Novatech has also confirmed that he will be bringing the popular mobile rolling road dyno.
On a much sadder note, the funeral took place today of Denis Johnson, the South Island VBOA representative of the Vauxhall Owners Club of New Zealand. Denis represented his club on the Vauxhall Centenary 1000 Mile Trial in 2003 and visited Billing last year before joining several VOC members on the Yorkshire Experience. He will be sadly missed by his many friends in the Vauxhall world.