A RESTORED and truly unexceptional 1977 Chrysler Alpine – one of just 13 such cars remaining in the UK – took the ‘Best in Show’ prize at the fifth Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional (FOTU), in July.
A 1981 Datsun Bluebird, 1982 Fiat Strada and 1979 Vauxhall Cavalier were also deserved prize winners at this popular event, attended by a record crowd to see Europe’s largest gathering of uncelebrated, mundane vehicles set within the magnificent grounds of Stowe House, Buckingham.
A number of car makers got into the spirit of the event. Mitsubishi displayed a 1974 Colt 2-door press car; Toyota stumped up a 1967 Corona; Audi showed off its 1971 80 Estate; Vauxhall had a 1971 Viscount PC.
Hagerty International created the FOTU five years ago for some of the most popular and best loved vehicles of our recent motoring past. Now the event is a focal point for the core enthusiasts who take pride in their rare and long-forgotten everyday family cars from 1968-1989.
Unexceptional models vying for title of Best in Show included an original 1979 Citroen GS X3, a 1975 Volvo 66 GL saloon, an as-new 1971 Fiat 125, a 1982-built Ford Sierra 1.6L and a very beige 1975 Austin Allegro 1100 with sticky PVC brown interior trim.
After a session of deliberation, the six judges emerged and the winners were announced to a large, expectant and sun-tanned crowd, with the 2018 Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional winners being as follows:
• Best in Show: 1977 Chrysler Alpine
• Second Place: 1981 Datsun Bluebird GL
• People’s Choice: 1982 Fiat Strada 65CL
• Junior Judges Choice: 1979 Vauxhall Cavalier L 2-door saloon
The winning 1977 Chrysler Alpine was an exceptional example of the truly unexceptional car, that was a sales flop against the Ford Cortina, Vauxhall Cavalier and Morris Marina.
The second-placed Datsun Bluebird was unremarkable in every way, with entrant Kev Curtis and a couple of mates getting into the spirit of the event by dressing-up as dodgy used car dealers.
Angus Forsyth, Managing Director, Hagerty International Limited, said, “We wanted to create the ultimate automotive nostalgia trip and elevate the standing of these unexceptional and long-forgotten vehicles that used to form an important part of every British high street but have all but now disappeared. continue.”
Spotted this month
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There was so much to love at the Ford Flathead Festival at Scoresby, Vic, but the one I kept coming back to was this lovely 1939 coupe. The flames were so well done, adding a bit of pizzazz without killing it.
ROB HENRY -ELTHAM, VIC
Down south for a visit spotted this HG in the shop carpark. Better than it looked at first glance. Original plates and turquoise roof. Was that colour original? It worked and gave the oldie a bit of a lift.
ANGELO PAPPAS -MACKAY, QLD
This was a first for me, a Lada Niva on a club permit. It made me wonder whether Peter Brock did some Niva specials as well as the Samaras. But alas no sign of the magic PB signature on this old Rusky.
OTTO MILLER -RICHMOND, VIC
These days the Jeep brand is just another SUV and 4x4 maker. Easy to forget its humble military 4x4 origins, let alone a proper tough truck model like this one. I've never clapped eyes on one until now.
ROD DEMARCO -BATHURST, NSW