Rain puts brakes on 40th rally

WIND and rain yesterday marred one of the most eagerly-anticipated annual events in Suffolk’s calendar.

The Ipswich-Felixstowe Historic Vehicle Run usually attracts 20,000 visitors to enjoy an afternoon at the seaside, but crowds were well down with temperatures only reaching 6C (43F) and huge waves buffeting the seafront.

Amusement owners didn’t even bother to open up, the market was virtually empty of stalls and it was more like mid-winter than spring.

For those who did brave the rain and venture on to the prom, there was still a fine range of vintage and veteran vehicles on display – highly-polished and lovingly cared for.

Organisers had been expecting more than 500 to take part, but the line-up was much shorter than usual with about 350 lorries, buses, cars, vans, military vehicles and motorbikes, with many owners deciding to stay home.

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The rally – the 40th annual – began in the morning in Christchurch Park, in Ipswich, with the cavalcade setting off for the coast, travelling through the town and along the old A45, through the Trimley villages, Walton and to Felixstowe.

The run, sponsored by Carters Coach Services and supported by The Lavenham Press, is for vehicles pre-1980 and there was a big selection of cars from the 1930s to 1960s, and a number of “newer” ones, prompting many memories for those walking along the prom.

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The oldest entry was a 1904 Stanley Motoring Company steam car, with other attractions including a steam lorry, three-wheelers such as a Messerschmitt and a Trojan 200 bubble car, Rolls Royces, Morris and Triumph models, as well as more modern cars including a Ferrari and Lotus Europa.

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