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A grand day out

Thanks to a heads-up from Deltacoops on the Evocorner forum, me and many others contacted

Ruben Pracas, the production assistant on the Car SOS TV programme.

Ruben wanted some Lancia Deltas at Whitmore hall in Staffordshire, to support a reveal of a Car SOS

rejuvenated yellow Evo2. This event took place on a Sunday, so that many of us Delta owners were able to attend,

as long as you didn't come in a yellow car that is! The yellow restored Evo needed to stand out.

We formed a line up of about 30 Deltas, of all shapes and non-yellow colours, to serenade the yellow Evo2's arrival. The two TV presenters posed for selfies etc.

Eventually the SOS car arrived, very slowly down the muddy track, we all clapped as the car passed. The actual reveal took some organising, and was filmed by about 4 cameras, it took a few takes to complete. 2 hours later the activity was finished and the yellow Evo was driven away by the family, but after filming had to reverse back again because the track was a dead end.


The lucky owners of the yellow car then drove away in the family Vauxhall. 

The Sunday dawned wet and cool, though good for the intercooler, me and Mrs.B dressed warm. We set off early down the still quiet M6 to junction 15, the gantry warning signs said the M6 was closed between junc 14 and 15, so we expected a queue, but when we got down there all was clear.

We swung on to the wet and slippy A road to Whitmore hall, we passed a modern Fiat that had just spun into the roadside hedge, the 2 lads walking in the rain further down the road. Arriving at the gate house we were directed to the hall, and joined the end of a healthy line up of Deltas. There were other classic cars on the site too,

but they had been directed into a horrible muddy field,

all must have needed towing out of there later.

                                                               It was really great to see so                                                                                many Integrales in one place.

                                                               We went in our Lord blue Evo2,

                                                               and talked to the owner of the

only other dark blue car in attendance, his car was beautifully presented,

with lovely paintwork and a pristine interior, the wheels and tyres in showroom condition. The JDM winkers had been replaced with round Euro spec items, and rather put our little car to shame!

Two Martini replicas were there, the more awesomely modified car had arrived on a trailer.

Many red Deltas were were in attendance, in all kinds of condition! It was fun to see the gleaming and perfect vehicles contrasting with the 'as-is' cars, showing the variety and endurance of our favourite car. We talked to Tim in his Burgundy 16v, most of it is Burgundy anyway! Tim looks after his car very well, but he uses the Delta to commute every day from high in the Derbyshire countryside, so the little car has a hard life. Tim is also building a Lancia Stratos replica, so his 16v has to fend for itself out in all weathers.

Excuse me lads, let me see the Perlato and the Lord blue Evos please!

Back at the TV studio, the editors will have to cut down many hours of video to make the prog

Our car was parked next to a fine looking Evo, stripped out for racing, this is a well known Delta, in its pale green Fiat colour paintwork. The car looks really good, and is used for sprints and hill climbs, with its full roll cage, firm riding suspension and engine mods, it must be an awesome competition car.

We met Barry, his wife, and his lovely metallic black Delta. This car is beautifully presented with gleaming paintwork and many improvements. Barry has recently stripped the interior, repaired and strengthened the front seat mounts, and lined and insulated the floor. This car's interior is perfect! The lovely leather looks very inviting, and smells like a Rolls Royce.

We talked with Coxeey about his red Evo1, he knows every inch of the car, having singlehandedly rebuilt it from scratch. The car has a certain 'lived in' look, which makes you love it even more! We opened the bonnet to admire the internals before the event had quite finished, the TV director shouted at us 'Shut that bonnet, you've ruined the shot', oo-er! we closed it!

As luck had it, after the presentation had finished, Fuzz Townshend was inside the yellow Evo, and couldn't remember where the bonnet catch handle was, I was right there, so my arm shot inside and popped the hood.

I talked with Fuzz about the SOS car's renovation, he confirmed what I been told earlier, that the interior had been a mess! They kept it original, but it needed a lot of cleaning, but it now looks excellent. Fuzz was leaning on the bonnet, but couldn't let it go because there was no prop, they were unable to find one in time.

The engine had been rebuilt by an outside contractor, and looked like new, too new maybe! Fuzz told me the builders had reversed the engine's cam wheels, and the SOS team couldn't get the car started until the fault was spotted. The car's wing securing nuts were unpainted, the small Evo wing vents weren't obtained in time to fit, and a few other nit-picking points were noticed. All forced on Fuzz's team by the very short completion deadline.

However, a gripe of mine was the paintwork, it was base coat yellow with clear lacquer finish, Fuzz said the car had several coats of clear. The paint finish was flawless, but the flooding of clear lacquer rounds off the Delta's crisp swage lines, dulling the car's sharpness. But this car had been a bit of a basket case, and Fuzz with his team had done a fantastic job to complete the Delta on schedule.

Fuzz said the TV cameramen go home at 5 o'clock, so we don't see what goes on in the workshop late into the night, when most of the work gets done.

We all had a great day out, good fun, and very friendly, there wasn't

enough time to speak to many people, nor long enough to look at every car. 

I had a really interesting talk with Fuzz, who was modest about his achievement with the Delta, and he admitted the Lancia was a challenging car to fix, but he said he learned a lot while doing it.

I'm looking forward to watching the programme!

The M6 was quite clear on the journey home, so we opened our Evo up, and let it do what it does best, go fast!

We got home safely, as I hope everyone else did, although our car started to miss a beat going over bad bumps! 

I went straight down to the garage and washed the Staffordshire mud off the car!

Thanks to Ruben, and all the SOS team,

we were made very welcome.

It was a very sad reason for a car show,

and I never knew the Evo2's owner,

but I hope he was looking down

on his car,

and at all of us celebrating his

Evo's rebirth.  

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