Nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, the beautiful seaside town of Newcastle played host to the annual Peak Performance Motor Club annual show. The open gate policy of the Club saw a huge range of cars invade the Donard Park, taking advantage of the beautiful, early May sunshine.
The ubiquitous Ford Escort was present in at least four different variants: the model that started it all, the evergreen Mark 1, right up to the raucous rude boy Mark 4 Escort RS Turbo. Classic Fords are a stalwart of the Northern Ireland show scene. Fiestas, Sierras and even a P100 pick-up parked up pitch-side.
The classic Mini owners of Northern Ireland also descended on the County Down coast in their numbers. Clubmans, Coopers and Travellers all featured. But there’s just something about a well turned out Mini van that catches the eye. Especially when it carries some beautifully executed, period style signwriting.
There’s nothing we like more at RMS Motoring than an automotive oddity and this Clan fits that bill! The original run of Clans built in were incredibly low volume cars, built in the North East of England in the early Seventies. Somehow, the tooling for the cars found its way to Newtownards in the mid-Eighties and the Clan was reborn. After four years and a hundred or so cars later, the marque folded for the second time and Northern Ireland’s car industry hit the skids again.
The original Renault 19 wasn’t a cool car. It was a dull eurobox delivering an equally boring, lifeless driving experience with asthmatic engines. That is until Renault realised the model needed a good kick up the behind and introduced the rather cooking 19 16v. At a stroke, the 19 was a forced to be reckoned with – the high revving, punchy engine; pin sharp handling; deep chin spoiler, side skirts and a rather obvious bonnet vent showed this 19 meant business.
The Peak Performance show is typical of many events in Northern Ireland. You just don’t know what’s going to turn up. Owners of exotica swap stories with drivers of much humble machinery, united by the enjoyment of all things automotive.
Thanks to Stephen Graham (Pumesta) for the Photos.