The Cars are the Stars at the Boulevard

The Cars are the Stars at the Boulevard

The start of September was unseasonably warm so NIIMC members needed little excuse but to get our Italian thoroughbreds out for another car show, this time at the Boulevard Shopping Mall in Banbridge.

One of the organisers of the show was none other than our fellow club member Johnny McCall. Johnny had decided to arrange a static car display to raise funds for Mourne Mountain Rescue Team (MMRT) who had come to his assistance in the Mournes  earlier in the year when he had taken a tumble and broken and dislocated his ankle when out hiking. MMRT is a voluntary organisation and their volunteers give selflessly of their time to provide much needed help to those who have got into difficulty when walking in the Mournes. Johnny owes a big debt of gratitude to MMRT and was hopeful off a good turnout of cars at the Boulevard so that the fundraising effort for MMRT would be a success.

Thankfully the good weather and pre-event posts on social media etc did the trick and a good range of cars arrived and parked up for everyone to admire. There were of course stand out cars such as a Ferrari 488, Johnny’s Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG and a couple of Audi R8s but it was also pleasing to see some other equally rare, if not quite as exotic, motors which brought back memories of days gone by. Cars such as a Ford Capri MK1, Volvo 265 Estate (complete with IKEA number plate which brought a smile to my face), Vauxhall Carlton, Fiat Uno and an immaculate orange Ford Escort van were all rare sights as well as some even older vehicles such as a Riley and a Frog Eye Sprite.

We had a good club presence with a dozen cars on show throughout the day and as usual the Italian style attracted many admiring comments from those who had come to see the cars on display. It was great that new club member Tomasso was able to join us for part of the day and he was delighted to see some rare vehicles from his native Italy such as Brian’s 1968 Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon and Alastair’s Alfasud Sprint being cherished by their owners in Northern Ireland. Brian Boyd could probably have sold his Lancia Delta Integrale ten times over if he had put a for sale sign on it, judging by the number of positive comments he received about it. It was also good to see an Alfa Romeo 155 at the show owned by Stephen Lavery  – these are becoming so rare now and are bound to increase in value as the last Alfa with racing pedigree and success in the Touring car championships.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the discounted breakfasts and meal deals in McDonald’s that Johnny had negotiated  – let’s just say some members arrived, parked their cars and quickly disappeared to take advantage of the offers. To be fair it is important to keep your strength up and to keep hydrated on a hot day so a wise move by everyone who paid a visit to the golden M.

It was good to see different cars arrive at different intervals to maintain interest levels and overall the show was a great success with the money raised on the day being in excess of £1900 (likely to top £2000 when other donations are counted). A great effort by Johnny and fellow organisers and NIIMC members were glad to show our  support.


Tim Logan

Club Chairman