STAR90: Gone but not forgotten
One would have thought that a car manufacturer, which closed down almost 30 years ago would be long forgotten by now, let alone another famous name that has not featured upon a British made vehicle for almost half a century. Yet, classic car fans could not get enough of the relics, as they flocked to STAR90 (Standard-Triumph Anniversary Rally), which was held last weekend, between the 17 and 19th May.
Organised by a group of clubs, which come together under the banner of the Standard-Triumph Forum, the three days-long celebration was to commemorate not only 90 years since the debut of the first Triumph car but also 110 years of the Standard Motor Company. Both Coventry-based businesses were separate, until troubled Triumph was bought out by Standard.
The problem with such an event is that it has to encompass so many varied tastes, for car buffs aged 18 to 80 and vehicles that span eight decades. Yet, I thought that the organisers did a brilliant job. The threat of rain might have moved the welcoming barbeque indoors on the Friday evening but the warm sunshine that persisted throughout the weekend was more than compensation.
Rather than participate in either a planned leisurely driving route around historic Coventry or a visit to the City’s excellent transport museum on the Saturday, the speed-obsessed Mrs M was keen to sign us up for the Prodrive experience, which involved venturing onto a race track and skid-pan circuit in a 30 years-old Dolomite. For anybody who has never taken part in such an activity, I recommend the experience, purely so you can test your driving limits within a safe and controlled environment.
Sunday witnessed one of the largest and most diverse gatherings of Standard-Triumph cars, when over 800 of them assembled at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire. If you, or a petrol head within your household, have never visited the museum before, take a day off work and go – it really is a treat that visitors of all ages can enjoy.
STAR90 was great fun, with options to do as little or as much as you wanted. The cars were great to see but, for me, the event was the real star, because it proved the strength and passion that exists within just a small part of the country’s historic car movement.