The 2018 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show closed on Sunday (11 November) after three days of wonderful displays, fascinating vehicles and beautifully judged WW1 tributes at the NEC in Birmingham.
With the final day of the UK’s biggest classic car show falling on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, many clubs marked the occasion by decking out their stands with poppies and, in some cases, full First World War presentations.
Chief among them was The Veteran Car Club of Great Britain (above), which duly took home the Best Large Club Stand trophy at the Classic & Sports Car Club Awards for its fantastic – and highly appropriate – commemoration of the Great War.
A two-minute silence at 11am on Sunday was impeccably observed across the NEC’s seven halls, with a Highland piper on the Discovery Live Stage breaking the silence at the end.
Acting Show Director Lee Masters said, “This was a landmark year for the show in so many ways; the biggest in size, the most ever cars, and reaching 300 clubs to make it the world’s biggest gathering of classic motoring clubs.
“But also as it took place on Armistice Day and it was an honour to see so many clubs pay tribute. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the two-minute silence was broken by the sound of a Highland piper on the Discovery Live Stage.
“Thanks to everyone who came and supported the show. Now to start planning how to celebrate next year’s 35th anniversary of the show!”
In excess of 71,000 people attended the show, trekking around the more than 1m square feet of dealer displays, club stands, live stages and food halls. Some 3000 vehicles were present, and 300 clubs – which meant attendees were never far from a stunning vehicle or well-thought out presentation.
The theme of the show was ‘Built to last’, and the Austin Counties Car Club caught our eye with its brilliant celebration of the A40’s longevity, for which we gave it the Best Themed Club Stand award. Our Best Medium Club Stand award went to the Wolseley Register, while the Fiat 500 Enthusiasts’ Club took Best Small Club Stand.
The latter spent the weekend assembling a Fiat 500 from scratch, starting on Friday morning with a bare shell and finishing late on Sunday afternoon with a completed car. A charity raffle was then held, with the winner being granted a spin in the vehicle courtesy of the Sporting Bears’ Dream Rides initiative.
The Sporting Bears team was present throughout the weekend, raising £31,600 by offering around 1000 rides in some rather special cars, in exchange for a donation to children’s charities.
Even more money was spent at Silverstone Auctions’ sale, which saw £4.2million worth of vehicles change hands. The top lot was an Aston Martin DB6, which made £214,313, while other notable classics to go under the hammer included a Rolls-Royce Corniche once owned by Frank Sinatra, a Willys Jeep previously in the collection of Steve McQueen and eight cars offered by musician Jay Kay.
Stunning cars were everywhere, and we duly awarded our Car of the Show honour to an incredible 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Vanvooren Cabriolet, courtesy of the Bugatti Owners’ Club – though we could quite easily have given the honour to any car on that stand, and many others dotted across the show.
We also named a 1968 Ford Cortina GT, from the Historic Marathon Rally Group, the recipient of our coveted Classic & Sports Car Special Award, while the Historic Lotus Register took away the Most Interesting Selection of Cars prize.
Of course we weren’t the only ones handing out awards at the Classic Motor Show. The Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership display showcased 20 shortlisted cars out of 100 initially nominated, with visitors to the show voting for their favourite over the weekend.
The eventual winner, announced by host Ant Anstead, was a 1969 Ford Cortina Savage Mk2 owned by Rob Sargent, ahead of the second-placed 1961 Maserati 3500GT of Keith Hudson, with David Selfridge’s 1938 Citroën Traction Avant in third – but frankly all 20 were worthy finalists.
Andrew Evanson, Senior Operations Manager at Lancaster Insurance, said, “This show highlights everything that is so special about our community; enthusiasm, dedication and a whole heap of passion and I felt a huge sense of pride as headline sponsor seeing the joy it gives people.
“It’s been fantastic seeing the array of classics on display including Rob Sargent’s Pride of Ownership-winning 1969 Ford Cortina Savage Mk2. A huge well done to everyone involved in creating some amazing stands and a weekend that has truly made memories that are ‘Built to Last’.”
Another award handed out on the final day of the show was in the Meguiar’s Club Showcase – in which Lyndon Creamer’s 1964 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle took the honours.
Other notable displays included that of Porsche GB, which presented 20 stunning never-before-seen restorations, several fantastic collections of classic police cars, some very orange offerings from The Bug Club, a wonderful assembly of J-Type vans, complete with period livery, and much, much more.
Scroll down for yet more images from the show, or check out our Martin Buckley’s 15 favourite vehicles from the weekend.
So that’s it for another year – but fortunately, the 2019 edition has already been confirmed, and will take place at the NEC from 8-10 November 2019. Click here for more details – and we will see you there.
Images: James Mann, Marc McLaren