A swagger of Rolls Royces, a clutch of Kawasakis, and a fanfare of Fords, Jeremy Clarkson would be drooling all over the Recinto Ferial in Santa Cruz if he could see the motors on show at Autoepoca. With the Spanish RAC celebrating it’s hundredth birthday, classic and antique collectors” clubs have loaned their pride and joy to this four day event in the heart of the Tenerife capital.
Blimey, someone’s been busy with the polish, that was my first thought as I entered the motor pool clutching my newly acquired three euro ticket. Spread out before me was a dazzling array of 200 cars and 50 motorbikes each with a story to tell of a bygone age of happy motoring. Not being an expert by any means, and with few of the exhibits identified by name or history, feel free to check the accuracy of my research as I introduce you to a few famous names.
Let’s start with something smooth and stylish, the Packard Eight 443 Sedan ((top pic), made in America in 1928, I felt guilty for just breathing by it. The eight cylinders purr under that creamy veneer, a real style icon but one of the most expensive of it’s day at 4,250 dollars. I promised you bikes, and what a cool sturdy number the Ducati 200 Elite (just above) is. Built in 1962, the 204 cc steel framed steed is surprisingly unthirsty at 70 miles to the gallon.
The motors on display also give an insight into their heydays. Take the Willys Overland Whippet Six (yes I know it sounds like a soul group). It was built in Toledo, Ohio in 1927 and its low price made it popular with students, hence the often used name, Collegiate Roadster (top pic above) . The car soon found keen owners abroad, this Model 93 A was originally owned by Fyffe’s LTD, the family that introduced bananas to the Canary Islands. Some cars were just beyond me, this burgundy beauty is a Brevette (just above), I may have failed to unlock its history but I was still very taken by its sheer neatness of design.
Time to wave the flag for old blighty, the 1928 Willys Overland Manchester (just below) came from the same U.S kennel as the Whippet but was shipped in kit form to Heaton Chapel, where it was assembled and took the local city name. Or how about the great Austin Healey 3000 Mark 3 (bottom below) a real bit of British team work. The 1963 bodywork was made by Jenson Motors in West Bromwich and later assembled at BMC in Abingdon, better known as the home of the MG.
That just gives you a taste of the treats on offer at Autoepoca, hurry though, you only have a few days. The show continues to Sunday 7 March, from 11am to 9pm daily, and all for a measly three euros entry. There’s plenty of parking, it’s easy to find on the coast road (Avenida de la Constitucion) into Santa Cruz, and they even have a café and bar.