Vauxhalls 30 not out at Billing Ian Coomber, VBOA Chairman
Back in 1982 the recently formed F Victor Owners Club wanted to hold a National Rally for its members and Andy Hull from Kettering stepped forward and organized an event on 9th May in a corner of the Billing Aquadrome site now occupied by the petrol station. Billing Aquadrome was chosen because of the central UK location and the amenities available.
At that first event, 20 cars turned out, mostly F Victors plus some contemporary PA Crestas and even a couple of 50ís Fords. The event was voted a great success and the decision was taken the following year to invite all the other individual Vauxhall car Clubs and make it an annual event. It soon became the premier Vauxhall event in the calendar for Vauxhall owners to show their cars and source elusive parts. By 1997 the event organisation had become too big for any individual club to manage and the newly founded Vauxhall Bedford and Opel Association (VBOA) took over the running and event management. The event continued its growth to todayís 30 plus clubs and over 2000 vehicles on display, making it one of, if not the largest, one make car show in Europe.
Present on that day in 1982 was the newly acquired 1961 F model Victor of Neil Bonner. 333DNM was there courtesy of an MOT tester issuing a certificate on Neilís promise to buy a new rear light lens at Billing! Neil made lasting friendships then, and is still a key Club Official within The Victor Owners Club, coming to the VBOA National Rally at Billing ever since. Neil and 333DNM will be at Billing Aquadrome for the 30th anniversary event over the weekend of July 14th and 15th 2012. Hopefully other cars and owners from that first event will be there to celebrate the biggest Vauxhall Bedford and Opel meeting of the year.
This yearís event will follow the customary formula of a relaxed weekend plus the best Vauxhall autojumble in the world. On Sunday there will be club displays in the parade ring and the Chairman's Cup competition for the best car in show. This year a few special 30th anniversary surprises are promised by event organiser John Ankerman. 2012 will also mark Johnís retirement from running the show, a task he has shouldered virtually single handed for an unbelievable 15 years. John deserves a huge vote of thanks from all VBOA clubs.