It’s time to reveal winners of the Classic & Sports Car Club Awards 2022, in association with Lancaster Insurance.
It has been a record-breaking year in which we received 240 nominations, more than ever before. So in our biggest year yet, the competition was tougher than ever, each contender having to work harder to earn a place on our shortlist and vie for the evening’s silverware.
Tonight’s ceremony (Friday 11 November) at the Hilton hotel, after day one of the Classic Motor Show 2022, was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the brilliant British classic car club community.
Here are our 2022 winners.
Digital Media Award
Websites, social media channels, videos, podcasts and more were eligible for this category, the judges looking for innovation and community engagement, a high-quality offering that has the power to make a real difference to the club it serves.
The first shortlisted club is the Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club UK, our 2020 Club of the Year, for its new e-newsletter, Notiziario. This slick, digital offering lands in members’ inboxes every other month, alternating with the paper magazine, helping fuel the passion all year long.
Also shortlisted is the Porsche 924 Owners’ Club website’s ‘how to’ section. This rich, encyclopaedic resource is packed with expert advice to help members keep their cars on the road.
But our winner is a pocket-sized offering that will empower owners to use their classics and support specialist businesses, too: it’s the TR Register’s breakdown app. This free-to-download app, available for both iOS and Android, helps users find their nearest garage if they breakdown in the UK or Europe – each garage has been tried, tested and rated.
Best Club Magazine
This is always a hotly contested category and 2022 was no different with a huge number of entries.
The Stag Owners’ Club magazine impressed not just for its fresh, vibrant approach to documenting club life, but because this year it has increased in size to A4, to better serve members with poor eyesight and to showcase the club’s photos.
The Messerschmitt Owners’ Club might be, appropriately, small, but Editor Alison Armfield aims to make Kabinews an inclusive, international offering to make all the 500-plus members feel welcome, which is quite some undertaking. It’s a charming, informative and varied read.
But our winner is Soft Top Hardtop, the magazine of the MX-5 Owners’ Club. Refreshed since 2021, and taking on board readers’ wishes to have more technical features, it’s a great-looking title, available in paper or a digital format, with a lot of variety considering this is a one-model club (albeit across four generations).
Best Club Event (Static)
With events back in full flow in 2022, the UK’s car clubs have been busy – and with a bumper crop of anniversaries, there’s been much to celebrate.
Our first shortlisted static event is the Jaguar Drivers’ Club’s Swallow SS Jaguar Centenary event in May. On the Saturday, £9500 was raised for charity in a visit to the Robert Lewis Collection, and after a gala dinner that night with star guest speakers, around 1000 Jaguars headed to Brooklands on the Sunday, showcasing the marque’s entire story.
Roverfest also impressed the judges. Organised by the Rover Sports Register, the Rover P4 Drivers’ Guild, the Rover P5 Club, the Rover P6 Club, the Rover SD1 Club, the Rover 200 & 400 Owners’ Club, the Rover Coupé Owners’ Club, the Rover 800 Club and the Rover 75 & MG ZT Owners’ Club, the three-day event was a great example of so many groups working together, and culminated on Sunday with a display that attracted 500 vehicles from a 1906 Rover 6hp to a 2005 Rover 75.
However the Austin Seven Clubs’ Association’s week-long celebration of the model’s centenary is our winner, not just because of its size, but thanks to the diversity and imagination of the event. It featured the displays, trade stands and technical demonstrations you’d usually expect, but there was also a pop-up museum, a picnic with period dress, a drawing masterclass, a hillclimb and more. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Best Club Event (Action)
This was another very well-supported category. The Club Awards judges were charmed by the nomination from the Minor Million Register for its 60th-anniversary celebration. Of the 350 built, just 70 remain, half of which aren’t on the road, so to gather 16 from the UK plus two from Europe was impressive – and these included the millionth car and the person who won it back in 1961.
Also shortlisted is another birthday, this time The Mercedes-Benz Club’s 70th. It was a mammoth task to have a series of 24 rallies held across the UK and Ireland, a commemorative baton passed from one as it finished to another as it started, as a symbol of the club’s unity.
It took a special event to beat those two. This year’s award goes to the Tomcat Affair @ 30, a joint effort by the Rover 200 & 400 Owners’ Club and the Rover Coupé Owners’ Club. Held at Millbrook Proving Ground on 28 August, it was a celebration of the breaking of 37 UK Land Speed Records by a team of volunteers from Rover Group in a pair of special Rover 200 Coupés – 36 of these records still stand today. In all, 30 Rover 200 Coupés were in attendance, as well as one of the original record-breaking cars.
Best Contribution to Charity
Fundraising is a big part of the life of many clubs and the generous spirit of this community always shines through in this category.
The first contender for 2022 is the Bexhill 100 Motoring Club in East Sussex. Each August, its Classic & Custom Car Show supports local charities and this year an incredible £20,000 was raised – taking the total since 2005 to £135,000. Amazing work.
Also shortlisted are the Zed Register, the MGF Register, the MG635 Register, the V8 Register, the SUV Register, the Front Wheel Drive Register and the Young Members Register of the MG Car Club. MG40, in July at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway Station, was the club’s first joint show for post-Abingdon registers and raised £3500 for charity.
However, the winning nomination in this category didn’t just make a lot of money for great causes, it did so with an imaginative, fun-filled weekend. It is the TVR Car Club and its four-day Isle of Wight Summer Camp. Members raised £20,000, competing in disciplines including assault course tractor driving, JCB crazy golf, a school sports day, a driving treasure hunt and much more. Ability Dogs 4 Young People is one of the charities that benefits and it brought Trevor, the first dog the club has funded, and Tasmin, the second, to demonstrate the amazing work they do.
Next we move on to the categories judged today, at the NEC Classic Motor Show.
Best Large Club Stand
Both the Bugatti Owners’ Club and the Fiat Motor Club had clearly pulled out the stops this year.
Best Small Club Stand
There were some excellent offerings at the NEC Classic Motor Show this year.
However, our winners come from two adjacent clubs, together presenting one fantastic display: The Vauxhall Viva Owners’ Club and Viva Drivers’ Club.
Best Themed Club Stand
The theme of the 2022 NEC Classic Motor Show was ‘Part of the family’, which many clubs imaginatively jumped upon.
The Railton Owners’ Club’s presentation of the marque’s family history and the colourful family gathering displayed by the Capri Club International were both highly commended in this category.
But the Austin Counties Car Club’s stand capturing the whole A40 family, J40s included, stole our hearts.
With so many amazing classics gathered in one place, picking our favourites wasn’t at all easy.
The Plymouth Sport Satellite on the Mopar Muscle Association’s stand and the excellent Citroën XM ‘Roving Eye’ recreation on the Citroën Car Club’s stand both received many votes from our team.
But the painstaking work that’s gone into the fabulous Ford Consul Classic Capri ‘Lotus’, displayed on the Ford Classic & Capri Owners’ Club stand, means it is this year’s deserving winner.
Most Interesting Selection of Cars
Many clubs showcased a brilliantly diverse collection of classics, so this caused quite some debate between the team.
The Gay Classic Car Group once more pulled out all the stops with a large and varied display, while the judges were also impressed by the work of the Škoda Owners’ Club GB.
However, featuring cars including a Hustler, an Ogle SX100 and a Minus Maxi, the wonderfully varied Minikits stand takes this award in 2022.
Car of the Show
As we are sure you can imagine, there was a lot of deliberation about this.
The two cars we’ve ranked as highly commended are the ex-Tony Pond Rover SD1 rally car located on the Rover SD1 Club’s stand, and Michael Grenfell’s ex-John Surtees 1957 BMW 503 Cabriolet, part of the BMW Historic Motor Club United Kingdom’s showcase.
In the end, the winner was an unanimous choice: the Lancia Stratos Zero on Lancia Motor Club’s stand.
Now it’s back to the awards judged before the NEC Classic Motor Show for our final three categories.
Star of the Future
This award celebrates newcomers to the car-club community that are already making their mark.
First, we’re shining the spotlight on BMW Car Club GB’s Greg Lyons, who’s been a member for two years and has already planned car shows, established relationships with dealers and contributed to the club magazine, and he’s the chair of the X Series Register.
Becca Treston who runs the Morris Minor Owners’ Club’s Young Members Register has also been shortlisted for this accolade. Described as a ‘beacon for the future of car clubs’ and owner of Peggy, a Minor, she’s been praised for bringing fresh ideas to the club and challenging the status quo – and she was recently elected to sit on the club’s committee.
Our winner comes from the Porsche 924 Owners’ Club. Thea Blurton arrived at the club’s Peak District run last year in her first car, a 924 – she’d taken it on a 300-mile round trip as her first outing! Since then, the 20-year-old has become a tireless supporter of the club, inspiring a new community of younger members and developing the club’s social media presence to support this. In the words of the nomination, she is ‘becoming a catalyst for an ever-growing group of younger members’.
It is always special to recognise a member’s lifetime of service to his or her car club, and the first of 2022’s shortlisted nominations is for John Williams of the Vintage Sports-Car Club. John has been marshalling at events for more than 50 years, one of the unsung heroes of club motorsport. After many years as the VSCC’s Chief Marshal he’s now passing the baton on, but his wisdom and expertise will forever be appreciated.
Also in the running is the TVR Car Club’s Mervyn Larner, who’s been involved with the club for 30 years and who has grown the membership five-fold, while his work on the club’s model database has been invaluable.
Our winner is Mark Rolph, who’s held the role of chairman of the East Anglia Lotus Club for 40 years – that is, as long as the club has existed. Despite recent ill health, he’s still rebuilding his Elan and contributing to club life by running stands and helping at events, all with his usual patience and skill. He’s a true club stalwart who’s invested many thousands of hours in his club.
Club of the Year
Finally, the big one, Club of the Year.
Our first shortlisted club is the UK S2000 Owners’ Club. While the judges consider quality over quantity, the number of nominations for this club speak of the affection felt for it, its friendly, all-inclusive atmosphere, packed calendar, charity fundraising and warm welcome offered to everyone.
Another contender is the Frazer Nash Car Club. As one nomination said, at a race in 2022 at Mondello Park, the club mustered 50 cars and two full grids for four races: it ‘must be the highest ratio of cars still competing and being used of any manufacturer’. The club also organised a fantastic fortnight of events in August to celebrate its centenary.
We’re delighted to say that our Club of the Year 2022 is TR Youth, the division of the TR Register, devoted to younger members. It’s a club about a passion for classics, not the car you own, nurturing the enthusiasm in the next generation. As well as many local meets, it’s held three national events this year, and has established a vibrant and enthusiastic community on Instagram. The nomination said this is the club that proves you don’t need lots of money to have fun, adding that TR Youth is ‘proving that classic cars will remain on the roads for many years to come’.
Thank you everyone who has supported the Classic & Sports Car Club Awards 2022, in association with Lancaster Insurance – and congratulations to our fantastic winners.