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2018 Round Up

2018 was a bumper year for the Midas Owners Club. Events kicked off in March with our first visit to the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC. Whilst this is a smaller show than November’s Classic Motor Show, it proved to be a lively and popular event – we are already booked in and preparing to attend again in 2019. Our stand was located close to the live stage, which meant we were located in a busy spot. Among the visitors to the Midas Owners Club stand were several celebrities including Alex Reilly (The One Show, The Classic Car Show and the original Top Gear), Jon Bentley (The Gadget Show, Fifth Gear and the original Top Gear), Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead (Wheeler Dealers), Tim Shaw (Car SOS) and no less than three Fuzz Townsends…

The most striking thing about the show was that it attracted more attention online than any other event that the club has attended. Partly this was thanks to Mike Brewer posting his ‘I’ve got the #Midas touch’ photo on his Twitter account – https://twitter.com/mikebrewer/status/977231086563549185 – but also thanks to the many Midas enthusiasts who posted up their own photos of our stand and helped to spread the word.

After we had recovered from our efforts in March it was off to Stoneleigh at the start of May for the National Kit Car Show. Once again there was a large club turnout with some 17 cars present on Sunday for the concours and AGM.

The standard of cars turning up for the concours has improved over the years, despite many of these cars being in regular use. This year Brian and Julie Badcock took the top prize with their immaculate Mk2, scoring well in all three areas of presentation judged: external, internal and under-bonnet

The brilliant sunshine of Stoneleigh was only matched by our visit to Gaydon at the end of May for the National Metro and Mini Show. We have always received a warm welcome at Gaydon and enjoyed the opportunity to look around the museum collections and this year we had the added bonus of being invited into the arena to show off our cars.

With a Mk2 Bronze (Brian Badcock), a Mk3 Gold (Richard Streets), a Mk4 Cortez (Tony Moss) and a Mk4 Excelsior (Alistair Courtney) lined up the marque was well represented.

June saw us back down in Somerset at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, for the Bristol Classic Car Show. The weather was good, but fortunately not as hot as 2017 (when ice creams had to be devoured immediately, before they melted). The club had decided not to attend the November show in Shepton Mallet, due to its proximity to the NEC show, instead we concentrated our efforts on the summer event and managed a line up of five cars.

This is always a friendly and popular show and we plan to return in 2019.

July is a quiet month for large shows, so the club gathers at the Alternative Cars open day. This year the attendance of Midas Cars was slightly down with at least three regular visitors attending in non Midas cars due to various issues.

This did not dampen the enthusiasm and camaraderie. Once again we all tucked in to a barbecue and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss all things Midas.

This year the Stanford Mini Fair was cancelled due to bad weather (yes there was one day of bad weather in 2018) so our next event was at Castle Combe for the Mini Action Day. This year we had a spot in the extended paddock, but again we were down on cars due to various issues. With just 4 Midas cars present we were outnumbered by our friends in the Mini-Marcos club for the first time in many years. The member to cars ratio was 2:1 so the opportunity to double our presence in 2019 exists.

We finished off 2018 with a return to the NEC for the Classic Motor Show and with the event falling more, or less, 40 years after the Midas marque was launched the club pulled out all the stops to make sure that our stand was well presented. Not only had we tracked down and borrowed the very first Midas, the original prototype that debuted at the Performance Car Show at the end of 1978, but we had also arranged to borrow Gordon Murray’s Midas-Alfa, possibly the best known (if elusive) Midas of all.

MOC stand just before the show opened.

Flanked by Neil Franklin’s Excelsior and Richard Street’s Gold Convertible these two notable cars provided much interest throughout the show. That brought 2018 to an end, but with several notable Midas anniversaries to celebrate next year, 2019 looks to be even busier.

2017 Round Up

2017 was another successful year and the momentum looks to be carrying us into 2018 at full tilt.

The show season started with the National Kit Car Show, AKA “STONELEIGH, the biggest kit car show in the world”.

Once again the club hoisted up its marquee on Saturday afternoon and proceeded to fill the rest of the pitch on Sunday.  A busy AGM voted through a revised constitution allowing club ‘steering groups’ to hold online meetings, thus bringing the club into the 21st century. That was followed by the traditional MOC barbeque.

Monday is usually a quieter day, but this year we had almost as many cars turn up as we had on Sunday, thanks partly to two Dutch members, who came to collect the club’s “Furthest travelled” award.  This prompted some debate. Peter Camping had come from slightly further afield, but had taken a ferry from Hoek of Holland. Eddie Darwinkel, from just south of Rotterdam, had driven down through Belgium to Calais so took the prize for the most miles travelled in a Midas.

Stoneleigh was followed by four smaller events:

The Prescott Classic Weekend is a chance not just a chance to mingle with other classic cars and their owners, there is also the chance to drive your car up the famous hillclimb course. Those who attended in 2017 have vowed to return in 2018.

Two shows at Gaydon, on consecutive weekends at the end of May, was perhaps a bit too much to ask for our club members, with just four cars turning up for the British Classic Transport show and a slightly different four cars for the National Metro and Mini Show. In 2018 Gaydon has dropped the first event so hopefully we should see a better turn out for the more relevant Metro and Mini show.

Club member David Stephens organised a parking slot for the club at the Mini Cooper Register Rally, Beaulieu, in early June. This was the first time that the club had taken a slot and we were met by a warm reception. It also gave us the chance to catch up with our former treasurer, Michael Horsley, and award him the Founder’s Trophy in recognition of his many years of service to the club.

 

Our small club stand at the Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show received a warm reception in more ways than one. The show was held on one of the warmest weekends in June. The temperatures were such that we had to make individual visits to the ice cream van situated outside the other end of the hall, otherwise the ice cream would have melted before it had been brought back to the stand.

The Bristol Classic is now the biggest car event in the West Country and the club will be taking a stand again in 2018.

Castle Combe’s Summer Action Day, should have been called the ‘British Summer Day’, for we had the classic mixture of sunshine and rain. At one point three members were seen finishing off their ice creams, purchased when the sun was at its brightest, whilst stood under brollies. Those who ventured out on track were also treated to the full mix of weather, from perfectly dry to rivers running across the tarmac.  We actually had five cars in total, the photo being taken late in the day after two had left, plus a couple more members who arrived in non-Midas transport.

 

August was quiet as usual whilst September kicked off with two outdoor events – The Haynes Rare Breeds Show on the first Sunday of the month and the Stanford Hall Mini Fair, the following weekend.

That gave us a couple of weekends to get our breath back before returning to Castle Combe for the Mini Action Day. Unlike our previous visit, in July, the weather was fairly settled. Too settled perhaps as the sun only got a few rare chances to show through the clouds. This didn’t deter our enthusiasm and whilst our numbers were down on previous years we made up for it with variety, with nearly every model of Midas represented.

October was another quiet month, with the defunct Exeter Kit Car Show now just a distant memory.

November started with a return to the Royal Bath and West showground for the Classic Restoration show. As this event fell one weekend before our ‘big adventure’ it was relatively low key with just two cars on show.

The ‘big adventure’ being the club’s debut at the biggest classic car event in the UK, the LANCASTER INSURANCE CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW, POWERED BY DISCOVERY, to give it its full title, or the ‘NEC Classic’ as most people call it.

We squeezed five cars onto our stand, ranging from Neil Franklin’s “Chassis Zero” Mk1 to the Mk4 of, er, Neil Franklin again! In between we had Meredith Phillips’ superb white Mk2, Chris Nicholls’ very original black Mk3 Gold Coupe and Stephen Kennedy’s excellent British racing green Gold Convertible.

 

As well as the cars we had a good turn out of club members, all resplendent in pale blue Midas Owners Club sweatshirts.

We all pitched in helping out on the stand each day, making sure that any visitors were met with an enthusiastic reception and that any questions were answered in full.

Our efforts were rewarded by a feature in Classic Car Weekly and an invitation from the show’s organizers to return again next year.

With the Midas marque hitting 40 years old in November 2018, you can bet that we will be keen to hold a suitable birthday celebration in Birmingham.

 

Bristol Classic Car Show June 2016

A new event for the club and another important step into the classic car arena.  We shared a stand with our friends, the Mini Marcos Owners Club and greeted many interested visitors over the weekend.

Stand 1 Two years ago the club decided that it should put its efforts into promoting the Midas marque in the classic car scene. With the oldest cars approaching their 40th birthday (yes we will have to get a Midas Mk1 birthday cake made for that anniversary!) and the last Harold Dermott built cars already over 27 years of age, the Midas sits more naturally alongside other classic sports cars than it does among  today’s kit cars.  Stand 3

Last year we celebrated the club’s 30th anniversary and included a stand at the Classic Vehicle Restoration Show held at the Royal Bath and West Showground, near Shepton mallet, in November. Thanks to the success of our stand there, the organisers invited us to attend their much larger summer show, the Bristol Classic Car show.  With a stand located by a busy thoroughfare, we drew a lot of attention.

We had three coupes on show, a Mk2 Bronze, a Mk3 Gold and a Mk4 Cortez. The Mini Marcos Owners club took advantage of the opportunity to swap cars overnight, so on Saturday they had two Mini Marcoses, but on Sunday they had a Mini Jem and a Mini Marcos. We were only missing a Midas Mk1 coupe to complete the lineage.

Stoneleigh 2016

After the success of the club’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2015, we wondered whether 2016 might be a bit of a come down.  We were down by a couple of cars on Sunday with around 17 cars present, but on Monday we had 16 up by 4 on 2015.

 

We may not have had a Midas birthday cake to share around this year, but we still held our AGM, barbeque and concours.  The standard of presentation was even better this year, making  the judges job harder than ever and it was great to see that the cars are being used and loved.