Festival of the Dead – The Car Show! Wow, what a great day! From Austin to Daimler and Bertone to Wolseley, the show featured an eclectic mix of historic marques and recent favourites such as Rover, Saab, and Bristol. With over 400 vehicles on display, let’s take a look at what vehicles were on display and who went home with one of this year’s unique Festival of the Dead – The Car Show trophies.
The concept of the show was to bring together classic car marques no longer in production, celebrating our motoring heritage and showing that these bygone marques are still here, living and breathing in the cars that we drive and cherish. So after months of planning, the day was finally here. Sunday, 2nd July 2023. Together with co-hosts and friends at MoreThanPolish.com, we arrived on site the evening before to begin setting up the show field. Marking out the parking areas for each specific marque and pitches for the club stands and traders.
The following morning it was an early start, but we were eager to welcome the 400 participants who had booked to attend this special gathering. As the cars arrived, they were directed to the area reserved for their specific marque – uniquely indicated with a Festival of the Dead tombstone signalling the marques’ final year of production.
What classic cars were on display at Festival of the Dead – The Car Show?
The first two rows of the show field were dedicated to all-British marques, and there was a great display of Austin Healey’s, Hillman’s, Humber’s, Jensen’s, Reliant’s, and Riley’s, to name just a few. Rarer marques mingled in including Vale, Simca, Jowett, and Lea Francis.
The next couple of rows featured non-British marques with some fantastic examples from the USA, Australia, and Europe. With American classics such as Pontiac, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, and Mercury, and European marques including Matford, Vanden Plas, Wartburg, Innocenti, and De Tomaso, this formed such a varied display. It was also great to see Australian marque, Holden, and the South Korean favourite, Daewoo, represented at the event.
The car club stands lined the perimeters of the show field. Starting with the Gordon Keeble Owners Club and working around with the Singer Owners Club, Stag Owners Club, Triumph Sports Six Club, Nene Valley TR’s, Wartburg Trabant IFA Club, Bristol Owners Drivers Association (BODA), TVR Car Club, and Lincolnshire Mustang Group. One whole area of the show field was dedicated to Saab vehicles, and it has to be one of the biggest gatherings of Saabs that we have ever seen! Thanks to Saabs United, UK Saabs, and Beds, Bucks and Herts Saab Owners Club for putting on such a great display. A huge thank you to all the car clubs who supported the event.
There was also an area dedicated to cars of interest. These were cars made by current manufacturers and for classic vehicle owners who share an appreciation for the marques of yesteryear.
Proudly supporting Mission Motorsport
The cars were of course the stars of the show. But the true hero is Mission Motorsport. As our chosen charity for this year’s event, every ticket bought for Festival of the Dead contributed to Mission Motorsport.
Mission Motorsport is a cause close to our hearts, and their incredible work supporting wounded, injured and sick serving and veteran soldiers is a lifeline for so many. Representatives joined us on the day and delighted in telling visitors about their Race Retrain Recover mission. The guys thoroughly enjoyed selecting the winner for the Best in Show trophy too!
The team from The Long Way Round 23 for Mission Motorsport also attended, bringing the chassis of the 1977 Triumph Spitfire they are recommissioning ahead of a charity road trip later this year. If you missed talking to The Long Way Round crew and the inspirational guys from Mission Motorsport, take a look at the Reel they recorded for us.
Festival of the Dead – The Car Show 2023 Trophy Winners
The show came to a close with the prize giving ceremony at 3pm, and we’re delighted to announce the following winners:
Best of British – sponsored by Rimmer Bros and presented by Nick Black
1964 Gordon Keeble GK1 Coupe owned by Timothy Arnold
Best American – sponsored by MoreThanPolish.com
1965 Mercury Comet owned by Dave Warden
Best Continental – sponsored by ClassicLine Insurance
1971 Saab Sonett owned by Paul Johnstone
Participants Drive Home Choice – sponsored and presented by Mission Motorsport
2009 Saab 93 Wagon owned by Emma Martin
Best in Show – sponsored by Quick Fit Safety Belts and presented by Mission Motorsport
1950 Lea Francis 2.5 Sports owned by Barry Dunkerley
Full features on all our winners will be coming soon!
A thank you from the organisers
For an inaugural show, we’re really pleased with its success. Of course there’s always tweaks to be made and we welcome feedback. With a low pressure vibe across the field, it was heartening to see everyone having a great day and enjoying their shared passion for classic cars.
So, from all of us at ClassicLine Insurance and MoreThanPolish.com, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended and supported the show.