One of the homes of the original British Motorshow, the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham was host to many classic vehicles at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motorshow. Held in 5 halls, over 2500 classic vehicles were on display and 240 car and bike clubs were present. There really was something for everyone from grass root classics to million pound supercars and almost every type of automobilia and parts this side of a Beaulieu Autojumble.
Show Director Lee Masters said: “Our thanks go to all of the classic motoring clubs who not only support the event but pull out all of the stops year after year to bring the most amazing vehicles to the show.”
The clubs embraced the theme of ‘Family Ties’ for this year’s show with displays of cars from the same manufacturing family to cars made by one family name. Many including the Morris Minor Owners Club and Capri Club International celebrated family occasions such as weddings, holidays, prom night and even funerals.
Manufacturers including Porsche GB and Vauxhall supported the event with their own displays and newly launched modern cars were showcased alongside the heritage marques such as the new TVR Griffith and the Mazda MX-5 RF.
Enthusiasts could, for a donation go for a ride in a choice of desirable cars through the Sporting Bears’ Dream Rides. This proved to be very popular and helped raise £35,000 through offering around 1,000 rides in exchange for a donation to children’s charities.
Silverstone Auctions saw £3.6million change hands as 67% of the lots were sold. The price of classic Ford RS models have been rocketing recently but nobody expected a showroom fresh 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort RS2000 to sell for a record £97,875. Then another auction record fell when a 1996 Ford Escort Cosworth Lux, with an incredibly low odometer reading of just 837 miles, sold for £91,125.
In amongst the polished metal were 'Barn Find' cars, some more genuine than others.
One of the cars I really wanted to see was the Roll Hard Triple Rotary Powered Jaguar E-Type. Rotary powered cars outside of Mazda are quite rare and not usually used for engine swaps, and E-Type Jags are fetching big money. So to see this motor was definitely on my list of show must do's and it did not disappoint. See the photos for yourself.
Classic commercials and service vans make a rare sight nowadays and were very welcomed at this event.
Stunning Hot Rods in all different shapes and sizes were exciting show goers, the standard was very high.
The show is very diverse and covers many types of classic machinery. From very shiny concours to barn finds and everything inbetween. I'm very glad I made the pilgrimage from Kent to Birmingham, I even took the train as it worked out cheaper than taking the car saving me £12 parking charge and fuel. I did have to get up at some ungodly hour to get cheap tickets but it meant I had the full day there and could relax on the train reading magazines and brochures from the show. Make sure you go next year.
Facts and Figures:
Show founded: 1984 – 33rd outing of the show
Attendees: 70,896 (2016: just under 71,000)
Floor space: 92,903 square metres
Halls: Hall 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4 and 5
Number of vehicles: 2,500
Number of Clubs: 257
Number of exhibitors (specialist traders and exhibitors): 650
2018 Dates: 9-11 November 2018
£3.6million, 67% sale rate
Meguiar’s Club Showcase:
Won by Ian Matthews from Sutton Coldfield in the 1959 Morris Mini.
Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership:
1st: Simon McNamara's 1983 VW Golf GTI Mk1
2nd: Craig Marsden's 1970 Dodge Charger
3rd: Gerald McWhinnie's 1998 BMW E36 M3 Evolution
Comet Classic Pride of Ownership:
1st: Steve Taylor with the 1922 JD Harley Davidson
2nd: Alan Stopford with the 1958 Triumph Bonneville
3rd: Trevor Bostock with the 1939 Calthorpe.
Classic American Car of the Year
Won by Laura and Ross Meeks from Nottingham, with the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback
Sporting Bears Dream Rides:
Raised £35,000 with around 1,000 rides.
Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead, Car SOS’ Fuzz Townshend and Tim Shaw, Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars’ Drew Pritchard and Paul Cowland, Goblin Works Garage hosts Jimmy De Ville, Helen Stanley and Ant Partridge, US reality star Jesse McClure, Steve Coogan, Quentin Wilson, Car Designer Frank Stephenson, Judge Rob Rinder, F1 Pundit Tony Jardine.