The Museum echoed to the snarl of roaring American V8 engines when the Swansea American Auto Club gathered a stunning array of cars, including the 1940’s Ford Custom that was constructed in the United States by George Barris, ‘king’ of the customising world in the USA.
An equally impressive golden orange metalflake Chevrolet Bel Air had misted faces whispering out of the deep paint ! The Chevvy was built for the Chief of Police of Sacramento in California , obvious a man with cars in his heart.
These machines epitomised the American ‘custom’ styling, Barris also responsible for the creation of the world famous Batman car from the movie of the same name.
The glittering feast for the eyes went on and on, with a Chevrolet Camaro B4C California Highway Patrol car wailing out its sirens, mid display, a gleaming black Pontiac GTA Trans Am looking the part for a prospective tyre smoking chase across the State !
Perhaps the biggest chrome bedecked creation from the USA was the massive Chevrolet Bel Air Estate, suitable complimented by Neath model Natasha Jenkins, looking ready for Route 66 from Chicago to California (above).
The standard of automobilia was impressive, a silver ZZ8 Camaro rescued from a three year abandonment, and looking as if it just rolled off the production line, as did the 1957 red and cream Chevrolet that is believed to be that once owned by Nancy Reagan, but now by Paul and Jessica Siudowski, a present to her on Valentines Day.
The ‘best in show’ award went – understandably – to a gleaming ‘muscle car’, the 1968 Mustang bought by Steve Jones of Pontypridd (right) and having an eight year complete restoration to its current deep blue with white racing striped glory.
These were but a fraction of the cars displayed and the show looks set to return to the Museum, bigger and better, as the new Museum continues to establish it’s identity and importantly to show the fantastic collection of rare and interesting buses that served so many Welsh generations.
One of the Museums ‘open topper’ Double Deckers whisked visitors on a ‘memory lane’ ride, to see other developing transport and motoring displays.
© Words and images Roger Gale