LOVE was in the air this past St Valentine’s weekend when thousands of enthusiasts travelled to Somerset’s Royal Bath & West to indulge their passion for classic cars at one of the UK’s leading motoring auctions.

The two day Footman James Great Western Autojumble featured a sale by auctioneers Charterhouse which saw a rare 1934 Derby Bentley 3.5 litre Eddie Hall TT replica special sell for £59,000 – nearly £20,000 more than its lower estimate. The vintage machine has had just six owners in its 81 years and has been carefully preserved for the past decade in a family garage.

The head of Charterhouse’s classic car department Matthew Whitney said: “There had been an awful lot of pre-sale interest in this car, and we expected it do very well. It’s a rare and stunning example and a good honest vehicle I myself would like to own.”

Along with the Sunday auction, the weekend was marked by a series of excellent exhibitions from UK car groups, with the Norton Radstock Classic Vehicle Club taking home the Best Club Stand Award for its innovative zebra crossing display which was a play on the Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album cover.

The multi-marque organisation chose to showcase a collection of Rovers celebrating 111 years since the first Rover was produced and marking 10 years since the company ceased trading in 2005.

There was success also for Richard Hallet of the Rover P6 Club as he collected the Best in Show award for his 1969 Rover 3500S USA Export.

Hundreds of visitor-driven classic vehicles were displayed in the designated classic car park to complement the indoor exhibits, and the show saw a vast array of trade and autojumble stands pack the venue’s halls with a varied selection of tools, parts, spares and accessories for every marque, model and era.

Rock ‘n’ roll music got the crowds grooving too as four-piece band Brew embraced the Mods and Rockers theme and brought the 1960s to life for the weekend.

Nick Mowbray, exhibition manager for organiser Mortons Media Group, said: “This was our first running of the Great Western event since taking over the trio of Bristol Classic Car Show exhibitions and we are all delighted with its success.

“As owners and organisers of the motorcycle show which took place just a week previously at the same venue, we know first hand the sort of friendly atmosphere that the Bath & West provides and it was evident here too.

“We can’t wait to return in June for the premier classic car event of the year – the Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show which takes place on June 13-14”.