Ryton-on-Dunsmore’s Connexion Conference Centre throws its doors open for the Vauxhall-Bedford-Opel Association’s annual autojumble
Words: Dan Furr
The VBOA Spring Parts Day provides an opportunity for owners of older Griffins to sift through the surplus stock belonging to traders and fellow enthusiasts. Whether you’re after a replacement speedo for your Viva or a brand new bonnet for your Nova, there’s no denying that Ryton-on-Dunsmore is the place to be (and that’s not a phrase you hear every day!).
This year’s gathering was delayed by a month due to calendar clashes at the Connexion Centre, which goes some way to explaining the notably absent heaving masses. Nevertheless, eager bargain hunters were rewarded with an Aladdin’s Cave of aftermarket goodies and genuine old-stock Vauxhall, Bedford and Opel spares – 99% of which are no longer available via your local parts desk.
Club forums were buzzing in advance of the event, no doubt encouraged by the nation’s meteorologists who promised a day of soaring temperature and uninterrupted sunshine. This gave punters the perfect excuse to dust off their polishing cloths, and the car park was littered with an assortment of gleaming Mantas, vibrant Victors, and the occasional ex-Total Vauxhall feature car.
An example of the latter arrived in the form of Matt Smith’s Mk4 Astra Linea Rossa soft-top. Originally featured in the September 2011 issue of the magazine, the winning combination of 18in alloys, GSi front bumper and gleaming Flame Red paintwork drew more than its fair share of admirers. We’re going to reserve judgement, however, on how effective the car was at carting a Movano-load of old Vauxhall spares home!
The event provided many of the traders in attendance with one of the first retail opportunities since 2012’s ill-fated VBOA National Rally at Billing Aquadrome. Pete Portik, proprietor of Midland Classic Parts, found much of his stock waterlogged after the torrential downpour that forced the site to be evacuated last summer. Thankfully, the autojumble was positively arid in comparison, although the shaking teacup-laden hand of one hungover Corsa owner did threaten to shift the balance somewhat!
The early birds had flown by around midday, carrying their Ascona B handbrake cables and Cavalier Turbo bodykits with them, but we stayed long enough to ask both buyers and sellers what all the fuss was about... and we’ll see the rest of you back at the Connexion Centre in 2014!