Sizzling day at Stormont – sunshine and shiny cars a plenty!!

Sizzling day at Stormont – sunshine and shiny cars a plenty!!

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event the Dollingstown Classic Car Club returned to Stormont for a second year, hoping to dish up another serving of tasty motors in the grounds of the Stormont Estate.

Hopes were high for fine weather and a healthy turnout and we weren’t to be disappointed.  Northern Ireland Italian Motor Club members rendezvoused at Tesco Knocknagoney before travelling the short distance to the entrance of Stormont via the Massey Avenue gates. There was already a throng of drivers ahead of us and the air was filled with a variety of engine noises from 2 cylinders to 12 cylinders and plenty in between. I was behind Alastair’s Alfasud Sprint with its characterful 4 cylinder boxer engine which sounds brilliant when accelerating – I told Alastair it was off a cylinder to which he smiled and responded “as if you’d know!!”

As we entered the estate there was already an impressive line up  – clearly there were a number of early birds intent on getting a prime position in front of Parliament Buildings.  The proceeds from the show were going to Action Cancer and the Northern Ireland Pancreatic Cancer charity and it was pleasing to see more and more cars arriving on the estate  as well as plenty of visitors to admire the assembled machinery. As we parked up the cars just kept coming – individual classics and car clubs alike.

The NIIMC turnout was impressive – fortuitously we arrived at the same time as Frank and Chris Connolly and family who brought 2 Fiat 131’s  – a 4 door and a 2 door Sport, as well as an Alfa Spider and Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo LE. Fiat, Lancia, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maserati were all represented in our line up and we even had the opportunity to use our recently acquired pop up club flags to let others know which was the best club display!!

Pamela Ballentine was there to award prizes but evidently she did not walk too far down Prince of Wales Avenue (the mile) to see the Italian line up otherwise I am sure we would have been in contention for a prize. The overall display was very impressive and great to see supercars and not so super cars mixing together. I always smile when I hear someone say “my dad had one of those” and if I had a pound for every time I heard this on Saturday I would be a rich man. Everyone had a great time talking to others and exchanging motoring stories – I enjoyed talking to a man about his love for Austin Maxis and the number of British Leyland cars he had bought from Kane of Comber over the years.  It was also good to see former club members and those who have attended our All Italian Car Show in the past.

The scorching weather clearly helped but congratulations to the organisers for attracting such a huge turnout. Hopefully they will have secured the slot for next year so that this event becomes one of the “must go to” car shows in the local calendar. We now look forward to our next club outing to Montalto Estate for their classic car show on Saturday 15 July. It will provide another stunning setting for a car show and if the weather is kind hopefully the turnout will be strong.


Tim Logan

Club Chairman