Nice cake; well-earned

When he built a burgundy Speedster replica as the centrepiece for his stand at the 1992 National Kit Car Motor show at Stoneleigh, little did Chesil Motor Company’s boss, Peter Bailey realise what he was about to unleash.

Originally destined to be his show car for the whole season, he was more than reluctant to sell it to a couple who were determined to become customers – but only if they could buy that car.

The battle of persuasion continued over several weeks and, eventually, Peter gave in… providing he could borrow the car whenever it was needed for a show. A deal was struck and ownership changed hands. I have to confess that the new owners were me and my wife, Yvonne.

We weren’t completely satisfied though – as we felt that such a car should be backed by a club and were astonished to find that one didn’t exist. Surely Peter was missing a trick here?  Keen not to lose a second battle, Peter quickly suggested that if a club was formed it should cover all brands of replica rather than simply Chesil – even enthusiasts of genuine originals!  Which, cunningly, got him off the hook.

Later in the season, at the Castle Combe Action Day, an informal gathering of Speedster owners wholeheartedly endorsed the idea and it was decided to hold a launch party on the Chesil stand during the sixth running of the South West Kit & Sports Car Show, to be held at Bristol’s dockside Exhibition Centre over the weekend of November. 14/15.

A quarter of a century later, what is now known as ‘Speedsters & Spyders – the Club!’ held its twenty fifth Birthday Party during the Footman James Classic Restoration Show in November this year, just twenty miles along the A37 from its birthplace and only days away from the actual date!

A six-car stand in the Mendip Hall saw corks popping and large slices of cake handed around (will mine arrive by post? – Ed) as members and well-wishers toasted the Club’s future success.

It hadn’t taken long for Spyder owners to contact the new club, suggesting that it was a perfect fit to bring enthusiasts of the two iconic sporting shapes from Porsche’s late ‘fifties range together…those shapes had provided the inspiration for the replicas and so combining owners would inspire further club growth.  Perhaps more surprising is that some owners of the rare 911 Speedster model have joined the Club over the years!

Speedster club co-founder, Vernon Mortimer gets to grips with the celebratory bottle of bubbly

The Club’s membership base includes the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, many parts of mainland Europe including Sweden and Slovenia and virtually every county of the British Isles. Naturally not every member is able to attend Club-supported events, all held in the UK, but every member can see and read about them in the Club’s glossy, quarterly magazine called, perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘The Speedster’ – which celebrated its one-hundredth edition in October.

For more information contact:, or visit the Club’s website: ENDS.