There seems to be an ever-growing number of live events catering to the obsessions of car enthusiasts. The nature of cars means, of course, that rallies, shows and the like are predominantly outdoor events, which has been a blessing as many of them have been able to go ahead during a time when indoor get-togethers have been a non-starter.
Our friends at the legendary Tom Hartley supercar dealership in Derbyshire host one of the top events in the supercar calendar. Originally intended as a one-off, the Tom Hartley Summer BBQ has become an annual event. It would be hard to envisage a better setting for the barbecue than Tom's amazing new showroom and its grounds, which we featured in the landmark 50th issue of our magazine, The World of Personal Number Plates, when we interviewed Tom's son and business partner, Carl Hartley.
On 4th July, the Regtransfers team made their eager way to the Hartley HQ in a Mercedes SL 63 AMG bearing the registration H 1: appropriately enough, a car that Regtransfers MD Tony Brown purchased from Tom Hartley about 10 years ago. It was lucky that we'd been invited as the demand for tickets was staggering.
Every supercar brand we can think of was represented by at least one enviable example: Ferrari, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Range Rover, Porsche, McLaren, Aston Martin and more. We honestly struggle to think of another venue that could offer the chance to see a Pagani Huayra. The model is rare enough already but Carl Hartley's Huayra is one of an extremely small handful produced in right-hand drive. While it's unlikely that Carl would ever get his car mixed up with someone else's, he has labeled it with his splendid C4 RLS number plate, just to be on the safe side!
It's a phenomenal event and a particular favourite among members of Supercar Driver, an exclusive club for owners of the most coveted vehicles around. SCD members account for a large proportion of the participants so, effectively, the day is a kind of hybrid Tom Hartley Cars Motor Show and SCD club meet.
Reminiscing in his autobiography, The Dealmaker, Tom Sr estimated the value of the cars in attendance at a previous event at around £100 million. We would not be remotely surprised if the 2021 event achieved an even higher total. We gave up counting.
Tom Hartley Cars is more than just a dealership: it is the de facto home of supercars in the UK and Regtransfers is proud of our relationship with the business. That sentiment clearly runs both ways and, in his book, Tom Hartley said "We have a great working relationship with Regtransfers, the biggest personalised plate firm in the UK; its founder, Tony Brown, is also a customer of ours. I have a lot of time and respect for the way he operates his business; he has similar values to me." We have supplied many great registrations as a result of this relationship. Take a look at our own showroom of themed registration plates to find your perfect match.
We're already looking forward to next summer!
Check out our report from the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
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