The OMC Classic car tour first run in 1999 was an instant hit with club members and friends With a growing number of `classics` coming into club members hands, the event, the idea of two club members, Anton Bird & Mark Barnes was introduced in May 1999. This very popular event has now taken place every May from its inception, each year a new route has been chosen with varied places of interest to visit along the way.
Over the years the tour has visited many locations and different routes in various areas, Derbyshire, Shrophire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire have been well covered, and the occasional visit to the Cotswolds. Stop over locations have included, Critch tramway museum, Many National Trust Properties, National Heritage sites, Cosford Aerospace Museum, The Patrick Collection, Jaguar Cars Museum, Halls, Manors, Gardens, the history is impressive.
Each year the route and tulip road book has been put together by Anton Bird with help from a few, it’s difficult to drive and write a tulip road book at the same time. Pre selected roads – not too narrow & not too rough are the norm, morning run usually 50-60 fast and flowing miles if possible, lunch at pre booked venue, afternoon run 30 -35 miles with a stop at something interesting and finally finish at a suitable public hostelry for a well earned pint, evening meal and talk over the day.
A tried and tested format which has been extremely popular with our membership and their invited friends, OMC open up this event in this way as it is seen as the premier social event of the year, it also helps attract a very varied entry, not just classics but interesting moderns are also welcome.
After eleven years and nine different routes, for the 2010 run, Geoff Smith took over the reins assisted by Brian Austin, as Anton had major commitments with another OMC event “The AGBO Stages Rally”.
Geoff has many contacts in the “Classic Car World” and the 2010 event starting from Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire attracted a fantastic 45 car entry which even included Steam Cars. A good route through the Worcestershire country side followed, with interesting visits and a superb lunch time halt “The Fleece Inn” a 1300 centaury Public House.
In 2015 club members Martin Parkes and Roger Tristram took over organisational duties for the Classic section and have taken it forward in great strides. A superb classic news letter nearly every month, a classic data base set up and many visits to shows have been organised. They have also revamped the famous OMC Classic Car tour, now re named “The Tony Matthews Classic Tour” in honour of our late chairman. This event now being even more popular than it was a number of years ago. The NEC tradition is also continued with the team taking us into our 17th consecutive appearance in 2017 at this prestigious show.
Owen Classic Tours
1999 – Bulls Head Shenstone – Calke Abbey
2000 – Bulls Head Shenstone – Amerton Farm, Hixon – Mill Meece pumping station Stafford.
2001 – Bulls Head Meriden – Jaguar Motor Museum Coventry – Hatton Country World.
2002 & 03 – No Run
2004 – Weston Park – Hodnet Hall – Cosford Aerospace Museum.
2005 – Berkley Park – Illam Hall – Critch Tramway Museum.
2006 – Halfpenny Green Vineyard – Burford House – Blists Hill Museum
2007 – The Patrick Collection Birmingham – Hidcote Manor Cotswolds – The Green Dragon Sambourne.
2008 – Swinfen Hall – Bosworth Field
2009 – Weston Park – Severn Valley Railway – Cosford Aerospace Museum
2010 – Hanbury Hall – Bidford Gliding Club – Fleece Inn at Bretforton – Middle Littleton Tithe Barn.
2011 – Middleton Hall – Shackerstone Railway
2012 – Start Droitwich – Worcestershire – River Cruise.
2013 – No Run
2014 Start Catton Hall, finish at Curborough at lunch time for the OMC sprint in the afternoon.
2015 Sunday 27th September, Start at Bass Brewery Museum In Burton on Trent, finish at Critch Tramway Museum.
2016 September 25th. Start, Jinny Ring near Bromsgrove and finished at the British Motor Museum Gaydon.
2017 September 24th. Start Weston Park, Finish Cosford Aerospace Museum.
2018 September 23rd. Start Byrkley Garden Centre near Barton-under-Needwood. Finish Papplewick Pumping Station, Nottingham.
2019 September 15th. Start Salop Leisure, Shrewsbury. Finish Ludlow Food Centre.