30th Classic Motor Show is the UK spectacular's biggest ever

| 18 Nov 2013

Early figures suggest the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC, Birmingham was the biggest in the event's 30-year history with some 65,000 visitors over the three days.

The shows theme of 'Classics reunited' was embraced by both the title sponsor, which had a wonderful stand showing classics through the eras, and C&SC which repeated its reunion of the Fab Four Beatles cars – John's Iso, Paul's DB6, George's Dino 2465GTS and Ringo's Facel Vega.

Plenty of clubs also came up with some highly creative interpretations of the theme.

Visitors commented that it took more than one day to take in the whole event, which has grown from 77 car clubs and 17,000sq m of space to 82,000sq m of halls, hosting 240 classic car clubs, dealers, parts suppliers, artists, live stage, restoration theatre, autojumble and much more.

On the Saturday night, C&SC held its annual Club Awards in association with Lancaster Insurance at the nearby Hilton Metropole and more than 300 club reps turned out for the ceremony. 

Click here for a full report and complete list of winners, but highlights included the Car of Show, Julian Bowen's Barker-bodied Rolls-Royce 20/25 and the Jowett Car Club being declared Club of the Year.

Inside the show halls there was much to impress, including a wealth of barnfinds both on club stands and in dealer areas, our favourite being a Somerset on the Austin Counties Car Club stand.

There were eye-catching displays all over the halls including an especially impressive turn-out of Peugeot 205s, from standard car to fearsome T16, to mark the 30th anniversary of the model.

A similarly mouthwatering selection of cars graced the Renault Owners' Club stand – including a very rare 5 Gordini – while the Allard Owners' Club showing, including a Palm Beach post-restoration unveiling and J2X, was winning plaudits from visitors all weekend.

The Vanden Plas stand had a good range of eras – from lovely 4 Litre R via Allegro to Montego, another model celebrating its 30th anniversary –  and it was great to see the Ogle Aston on the Aston Martin Owners' Club display.

One of the best things about the NEC is the fact that a club's size or wealth does not automatically mean it will have one of the best showings, a point proven by the great selection of rarities offered by the small Register of Automobiles with Coachbuilt Bodies by 'Abbots of Farnham'. 

There is always a wealth of variety beyond the classic cars, with commercials, military vehicles, woodies and more. The clear C&SC favourites from these categories were the ex-'Silverstone Syd' XJ40 fire tender in the Jaguar Heritage display and the Austin Champ Firefly.

Dealers reported brisk trade and full asking prices being met over and again, while Mike Brewer and Edd China were a big draw in the live stage and Leeds College of Technology's restoration workshop was teaching even a few old dogs some new tricks.

Winner of Meguiar’s Club Show Case was William Baldwin and his 1960 Jaguar XK150 S Roadster.

For a full report on the C&SC Club Awards click here. 

Click here for a review of the Silverstone Auctions two-day sale that grossed nearly £3million.