One of the most eagerly anticipated shows on the classic motoring calendar, the NEC Classic Motor Show is a celebration of British car clubs and automotive heritage.
We love seeing the displays clubs put on. Showcasing members cars and all that’s good about our much-loved clubs. It’s also an opportunity for us to catch up with our partners and friends to find out what’s going on within their scene.
This year’s show theme was ‘BUILT TO LAST’ and it was great to see each club’s interpretation. The National Street Rod Association stand featured an original Fad-T Hot Rod built in 1971, and TIPEC had a very beautiful Porsche Chesil Speedster on their stand. Other clubs were celebrating special anniversaries, with Morris Minor, Porsche and Land Rover all turning 70 this year. As the show coincided with the centenary of the end of The Great War, special mention must go to those stands that celebrated vehicles in public service; including the FBHVC whose display incorporated a 1939 Scout Carrier tank. It was also great to see the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register featuring three of the Registers earliest cars, as well as photos of a trip undertaken by members to lay wreaths at the Menin Gate.
Each year we like to do something a bit different and have a bit of fun! This year, our themed photo cut-outs were roaming the show, moving around the various club stands. Plus, what better way to embrace the show theme, ‘Built to Last’, than with Lego! The ultimate building brick since 1932. We filled a fish tank full of Lego and, yes, we asked visitors to guess how many bricks were slotted in the tank. We also ran an exclusive club competition giving members the chance to win one of four free insurance policies. Thank you to all the car clubs and individuals that participated in the competitions – winners to be announced soon.
Elsewhere in the show, the Sporting Bears were doing their usual great job of providing ‘Dream Rides’ in exchange for donations, raising a staggering £31,000 for children’s charities during the three days of the show. On the live stage, the Practical Classic’s team took on the challenge to get a 1951 Riley RMA running for the first time in 40 years. The Meguiar’s club showcase featured 16 great cars including the 1934 Ford Pick-Up that won the ‘Best in Britain’ award at the National Hot Rod & Custom Show earlier this year – the winner was an outstanding Type 1 VW Beetle.
Over on the TVR Car Club stand, the Pub2Pub team set up camp…literally! Ben brought along all the kit that he took with him on his epic 27,000 mile round the world expedition. Although we wonder if Ben would have felt more at home sleeping in his tent in the Hall than in a comfy hotel…
The Triumph Sports Six Club showcased a 1959 Triumph Herald which was originally sold for £702.7s 6d straight out the factory! It was also great to see the Hillman Hunter Rally Replica that we featured earlier this year on display on the Historic Marathon Rally Group stand.
We did notice that there were a few more modified cars on display this year. Our top picks included the slammed Hillman Imp on the Rollhard stand, Elliott Morris’ red MK1 Zephyr on the Five Star Mark One Owners Club and a selection of retro VW Golfs on the MK1 Golf Owners Club stand.
There were on stage discussion panels taking part in the Festival of Social Science, with members of various car clubs discussing what goes on behind the scenes in clubs, how much work is involved and securing their future. If you are interested in finding out more about what goes on behind the scenes in car clubs, then check out our Spotlight On, car club of the month series.