On Sunday 14th October 2018 a little bit of history was made for the UK Crossfires Club when it celebrated the 15th anniversary of the first cars registered in October 2003.
In what can only be described as awful weather conditions, 76 cars made the trip to Claydon House in Buckinghamshire to line up for a truly unique event in, not only the Club’s history, but also in that this was the largest gathering of the iconic car anywhere in Europe. Initially it was thought that this may have been the largest gathering anywhere in the world but on the 29th October our hopes were dashed as we were told that 84 cars assembled for the Tail of the Dragon drive in the USA in 2010. However, we know that if the weather had been better a further 10 cars would have been present, so a moral victory in our eyes. Particularly when you consider that the UK only registered c.4,500 cars out of the 76,000 totally produced, with the majority being registered in the USA.
So, to the day. Well wet, very wet for all but 20 minutes. The location was a National Trust property set in private grounds with a wonderful courtyard which plays host to many small artesian businesses. The most popular part visited…the café. The members were formally welcomed to the day by the Chairman who also presented Geoff Hooker with the winning award for Ride of the Month in September. A group photograph was taken by Karl Sparrow, with many other photographers contributing to mark this special occasion. On display were 5 cars with a special significance. Two of the first known registered cars owned by Simon Phillips and Colin Mitchell, the last known registered car, 2008, owned by Ray Newell and the two Startech cars used by Chrysler in 2004 to formally launch the model and used in many publicity photographs, both owned by Mike Darby.
Setting up the marquee and flags was a wet and challenging job and would not have been possible without the wonderful support and assistance by many members. A special thanks must go to Dave & Lynne Cross, Karl & Leanne Sparrow who braved the elements to direct the cars to the event at the entrance gate and to Anne Roberts and Geoff Hooker in handing out the rally plates and packs, with Barry Doswell and Simon Phillips helping to take the register of the cars attending.
But a huge thanks to everyone who helped make this the success it was. It has been said before, but this time with a real sense of admiration, it is the members that make the UK Crossfires Club the success it is with a growing membership year on year.
And so, to the future. 2019 will see some changes in the way the Club promotes events with the plan to increase the number of regional meets. Plans are still being formulated with an announcement early next year. And, of course, thoughts for 2023, the 20th anniversary.
And to end, a few photos of the day.
Thanks to all the members and committee for the enthusiasm and support in making this a special day.
Mike Darby - Chairman