Car clubs are not just for the summer show season.
Meeting up with your car club family throughout the winter is just as important as during the summer season. As the nights draw in, the regular meets and breakfast runs keep you going all through the winter months, giving you somewhere to cruise to in your classic car, and keeps you in touch with the friends you spend all summer with.
Let us introduce you to Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club
The Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club meet every Wednesday night at Mansfield Town Football Club – there is no closed season for this club!
We caught up with Ian ‘Clippo’ Clipson, club founder, to find out more…
Tell us a bit about the club?
I started the Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club on the 1st June 2013 at the Little John Inn in Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire. Originally a Mini orientated meet, I was asked to start a club open to all cars and motorcycles. So, the name came about because I was a member of the Robin Hood Mini Club, and with an emblem designed by one of the original members’ mum, the club was formed.
Starting with just 14 members, the club has built up to 228 members. The club charges a one-off membership fee of £10 which has helped to purchase club banners, flags and event marquee. There is a Facebook Page with club information, and we make use of a text messaging service for communication and photo sharing.
How many people are there in the team who run the club?
There is a core team that is at the heart of the club, carrying out essential tasks that enable all members to enjoy the club’s attendance at shows. This includes, admin, membership, accounts, texts, social media, transport and logistics – the How, Where, What team!
There is also a catering and hospitality role which includes shopping for food and drink and cooking at the larger events.
Members are also willing to help each other out with problems that may arise with their vehicles at events or at other times.
For those that might not know, tell us a bit about the vehicles that are covered by the club?
All classics are welcome, from vintage cars to modern vehicles. The club has a variety of vehicles including cars, vans, motorcycles and campers. There are also a number of quirky or rare vehicles such as a Messerschmitt, a scooter car, and in the past a Tuk Tuk and a Peterbilt truck. These are great discussion starters!
How about you Clippo, how long have you been involved?
I have been around the car scene since I was in my teens, 40+ years ago… Although my interest in classic cars started about 12 years ago with a Mini Cooper and a Rover Tomcat. There are not many Tomcats left and my Mini is one of the last of the carb versions in black and white, which again is rare colour. I drive a VW Caddy van for work which doubles up as a club support van when we go to shows!
Money no object?
My dream machine would be an Aston Martin DBS V8 Vantage, in blue, with cream leather and blue piping interior. CL: A great choice!
Do members receive benefits for being part of the club?
Some members run motor businesses and offer a 10% to fellow club members.
I have also communicated with various companies and local businesses for discounts over the past few years. So far, we have 25 supporting businesses on our list. Services range from bodywork, plumbing, electrics, roofing, joinery, plastering, MoT and garage work to name a few. Plus, 15% discount with ClassicLine Insurance. There are a great variety membership benefits and we are always looking for more.
Tell us about your club meets…
The club meets every Wednesday evening from 6pm onwards at Sandys Bar at the Mansfield Town Football Club. The staff there have made us very welcome. The food is great at affordable prices.
Occasionally we have a Wednesday night run out – the favourite being for fish and chips in Matlock!
What’s your biggest club get together of the year?
Our biggest shows are the Notts Classic Car & Motorbike Show at Thoresby Park in May and August, as well as the Byron Festival at Newstead Abbey.
We support local smaller events including Acacia Radio Lazy Sunday Wax & Wheels, the classic car show at Newark Sconce Park and the Doncaster Rotary Club classic car show. At our main shows we can have upwards of 90 cars on display! It’s a great atmosphere, like a family day out!
Do you attend other shows as a club?
Our events team organise runs out to various destinations including motor museums and the National Memorial Arboretum. There are Sunday morning runs too out to cafes and pubs around the Notts area. We also enjoy attending events that are set up for good causes.
Any moments that stand out for you over the years?
Lots! On our first Anniversary, the club went to Bruntingthorpe Airfield for a photo shoot with the Lightening jets – a fabulous day!
On route to Doncaster one year in convoy, the front wheel of my Mini shot off into a wooded area – funny but scary at the same time – that’s one I will not live down!
Some special moments come from memories of great members and friends that have sadly passed away but their laughter and generosity rings just as loud now.
One club occasion that was very special took place in August 2019 at the Thoresby Park show. A visiting member, Chris Taylor, from New Zealand turned up on his Suzuki DR650 Adventure Bike. Chris amazed us all by arriving at the show having set off 11 weeks earlier from his home in New Zealand! His lone journey took him across the Sea of Japan, into Russia and then across land all the way to England!
The tour took him 1,000 kilometres north from Vladivostok to pass China, then 14,000 kilometres west across much of Siberia, north of China, past Mongolia, and Kazakhstan around Lake Baikal. At over 300 miles long and more than 50 miles wide, Lake Baikal contains more water than the North American Great Lakes combined!
Passing through towns such as Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk and Perm, staying with Russian families on the way. Then it was past Moscow and into Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Holland, Belgium and France, eventually reaching England via Calais. Chris crossed a total of 11 time zones over the 11 weeks, on his Suzuki! CL: Wow, that is an epic road trip!
Initially visiting relatives in Sherwood Forest, Chris then came on to meet up with us at the show! With tales of endless roads through thick forests (home to tigers, bears and wolves…), the most frightening confrontations were with truck and car drivers!
Chris was kind enough to invite us on a road trip to visit him when he gets back home. He told us he can provide a map, but not to use Mini’s as some of the potholes would swallow one in Russia!
What makes you proud to be a member of Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club?
I am proud of the quantity and quality of members and their vehicles who turn up to support us week on week. Most members drive their cars everywhere!
Many individual members have won awards at shows and as a club we have won numerous best club stand awards. The awards are a good confidence builder, and it makes you feel proud to be part of an award-winning club.
What tips would you give to young enthusiasts?
I feel the UK classic car scene is getting stronger and younger members to listen to advice from senior members. They have a mutual respect for each other’s vehicles too. Facebook is a great way to inform all generations.
Does Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club support any charities?
Our latest donation was to a breast cancer care charity. Over the past few years, we have funded three music therapy sessions for young dementia sufferers, collected for Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance and donated to families of members that are going through difficult medical treatments.
What are Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club looking forward to in the future?
On the 9th October we have an evening run out to see the lights and have fish & chips in Matlock. We will be arranging a breakfast meet in November and have our club Christmas meal on the 4th December.
We enjoy visits to out of season meets on the first Sunday of the month at Ruddington Heritage Centre from November until March. The Heritage Centre is a charity run by volunteer enthusiasts who look after the many heritage trains, buses, as well as a miniature steam and model railways. We are also looking forward to our meets at the Mansfield Town Football Ground every Wednesday night – no closed season for us!
Anything else you would like to add Ian?
Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club is a family club – we welcome all members’ partners and children. It’s great to see everyone mixing at our social evenings, and if cars are cosied up for winter members still turn up.
We are very proud to be part of one of the best clubs around – well done to all our members without you we would not be what we have become, so thank you.
So, these are the people behind one of our favourite clubs. Working hard behind the scenes and trying to create a club that’s is like one big family. Little John Classic Car & Motorcycle Club, thank you for being our club of the month.
ClassicLine Insurance offer a range of car club insurance schemes that can provide revenue for your club as well as benefits and discounts for your members. To find out more about this and our specialist club liability insurance, visit our car clubs page.