I recently attended Saffron Walden Crank Up, a little car show not of the norm. Especially after coming from the Tesla-hosting, Infiniti-showing, Lamborghini-toting London Motor Show a couple of days before, there couldn’t have been a starker contrast.
As it was a little show, I didn’t really know what to expect. As soon as I walked through the gates though, it all became clear.
Traction Engines Galore
As soon as you walked into the field I had a feeling of being at some sort of old-fashioned carnival, how I would imagine it to be. Old organ music blaring, mad colours everywhere and steam engines with that amazingly distinctive smell at every turn.
Traction engines were never my forte in terms of knowledge and I don’t pretend to know acres about them now. But after visiting Crank Up and doing a bit of digging for information about the vehicles they displayed there, the amount of history they had under their belts was incredible. How they forged the path for load bearing vehicles everywhere and how today’s lorries and agricultural equipment have moved onwards and upwards from these impressive, monolithic ancestors.
There was a wide-ranging display of portable, agricultural, steam roller and ploughing engines around the site, everything you could think of by old machinery and work-purposed vehicles. There were also road locomotives just tootling around, each with a grinning, grease-spattered enthusiast clinging to the back yelling ‘excuse me!’
Of course, considering their age it comes as no surprise they have this long historical significance. Though, now knowing how much of a part they played in the development of vehicles and in industry as a whole, it gave me a new level of respect for them as I was walking around their gleamingly restored selves.
Not Only Traction Engines
As much as I loved learning about the old traction engines, I was excited to see my kind of classic cars there too: A Hillman Super Minx that needed some love, Volkswagen Golf GTi, a beautifully detailed split screen Volkswagen camper van and a cheeky MG Midget. All wonderfully nostalgic pieces for me. There were some oddities too, see if you can spot them in the gallery.
A Classic Camera for a Classic Show
I’ve been experimenting with an old film Nikon SLR recently, most notably on a Honda Civic Type-R. When planning to go to Crank Up, I thought what a perfect setting for trying it out again. The close ups in particular came out well with this camera I think. Here are some of the results below.
This show had a more chilled out vibe than any I have been to so far. Complete with cider tents and live music when the sun started to drop, I’d say it was definitely not a bad way to spend a warm, lazy Sunday afternoon.