The Classic Motor Show returned to the NEC Birmingham on November 10–12 with a huge turnout and countless exciting cars on display
The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show attracted 71,290 visitors over the weekend of November 10–13 – a 3% rise on last year’s figure and a great sign that enthusiasm for classic cars remains strong.
A total of 319 car clubs formed the enthusiast-centric backbone of the show, bolstered by the usual vast array of exhibitors and traders throughout the expansive halls of the NEC in Birmingham.
Famous faces and industry experts were on hand to discuss the industry and dispense advice on the Meet the Experts Theatre stage, while the returning Pride of Ownership and Meguiars Club Showcase stands saw huge interest and interaction from the visiting public.
Iconic Auctioneers – formerly known as Silverstone Auctions – returned to its pride-of-place spot in Hall 2, with a dizzying array of classics going under the hammer on Saturday with a strong sale rate. Passenger rides in various exciting classics and supercars came courtesy of the Sporting Bears Motor Club, with all proceeds going to children’s charities.
The next Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show will be held at Birmingham’s NEC from November 8-10, 2024. Check the website www.necclassicmotorshow.com or sign up for the newsletter for the latest updates at www.necclassicmotorshow.com/newsletter
Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership
As per Classic Motor Show tradition, the finalists of the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership contest gathered on a large stand in Hall 3 to wow the crowds and gain enough public votes for overall victory.
The list of entrants included Phillip Healey’s 1989 Saab 900 Turbo, Anthony Evans’ 1974 Jaguar E-type, Chris James’ 1991 Nissan Primera, Steve Bartlett’s 1971 Porsche 911 and James William’s delightfully modified 1976 Hillman Imp – plus many more incredibly well-cared-for classics spanning decades of automotive history
After the votes were counted, it was Tahmid Haque who took the spoils with his 1993 BMW 850CSi, resplendent in Aqua Metallic and dripping in BMW Individual special-order options specified by its former professional tennis player owner – including a leather-lined ashtray.
Meguiars Club Showcase
The shiniest and most pampered classics were found on the Meguiar’s Club Showcase stand in Hall 1, with an eclectic mix of models on show vying for Best in Show honours having accrued awards from club-organised events throughout the year.
Finalists included Craig Rumbelow’s MG Maestro Turbo, Scott Turner’s Mini Cooper S, Mark Stewart’s Subaru Impreza WRX 555 and Matthew Birtwistle’s Jaguar XK120 OTS.
The latter eventually emerged as the winner, with Wheeler Dealers’ Mike Brewer presenting Matthew with his prize on Sunday.
Iconic Auctioneers – formerly known as Silverstone Auctions – returned to host its headline sale from a dedicated enclosure in Hall 2, with viewing on Friday followed by a car auction on Saturday and motorcycle sale on Sunday.
The mix of cars spanned pre-war to modern, with plenty of curios and exciting thoroughbred racers thrown in for good measure. Headline results included Queen Elizabeth II’s 2004 Range Rover L322, which sold for £132,750, and an ex-works 1962 Sunbeam Alpine Le Mans racer that returned a strong £165,300 result. The market’s fondness for the Lancia Delta Integrale was confirmed by a £55,667 result for a 1995 Evolution II example with 44,500 miles.
Other highlights included a 1987 Ford Escort Cosworth with just 12,530 miles on the clock (£137,250), a 1000-miles-from-new 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 (£67,500), plus a 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution rally car in rare right-hand-drive and in as-new condition, an exceptional example that achieved a remarkable £486,000.
It wasn’t all headline-grabbing big-ticket lots, however, with many relative bargains secured by buyers on the day. A 1987 ex-press Jaguar XJ-S V12 formerly featured on Top Gear sold for £17,437, while £36,000 seemed an absolute steal for a 2005 Ultima GTR powered by a fearsome 600bhp 383ci Chevrolet V8. At the opposite end of the horsepower scale, a timewarp-condition 1991 Suzuki SJ, resplendent in white, made £7,875.
Sporting Bears Dream Rides
While the bulk of the show was static, the Sporting Bears provided action to the masses – all while raising money for good causes. A large parking area was reserved for the club’s vast fleet, which offered a Dream Ride for enthusiasts of all ages along the predetermined ten-mile road route.
In all, the Sporting Bears raised £37,145 for children’s charities over the course of the weekend.
Those wishing to take to the wheel themselves could pay for a drive in a car from HERO-ERA’s arrive-and-drive fleet on a four-mile route around the NEC.
Celebrating its 10th year as headline sponsor, Lancaster Insurance once again pulled together an incredible display in Hall 1 to show how it is the perfect partner for any classic enthusiast. Embracing the theme of the show, Lancaster focused on the connections between iconic cars and the culture that embraced them.
Vehicles on display will included a 1940 Austin Atlantic, 1955 Citroën Traction Avant, 1967 Jaguar E-Type, 1978 Rover SD1, 1989 Ford Sapphire Cosworth, 1993 Ford Fiesta and a 2004 MG SVR.
Meet the Experts Theatre
The classic car world has its own cast of celebrities and experts, many of whom were in attendance at the show to engage in conversation and share wisdom in the Meet the Experts Theatre. Names to take the stage included Mike Brewer, 12-time World Trial Bike champion Dougie Lampkin, ‘Auto Alex’ Kersten, HubNut’s Ian Seabrook and Shahzad Sheikh aka Brown Car Guy.
Industry experts included the Heritage Skills Academy’s John Pitchforth, engineer Ralph Hosier, industry campaigner Dominic Taylor Lane, plus a number of car club spokespeople and journalists.
Classics World at the Classic Motor Show 2023
Our base for the weekend was the bigger and better Classics World stand in Hall 2, which as well offering sales of our various sister-title magazines and bookazines was home to our winning dream two-car garage, as voted by you.
Chosen by Jaguar World editor Paul Wager, the Range Rover Classic and XK120 on our stand were both kindly supplied by Jaguar Land Rover Classic for display, with each currently offered for sale through its Works Legends programme. Paul’s selection offers the perfect combination of practicality and true classic open-top fun – and those we spoke to at the show seemed to agree.
The Range Rover Classic really looked the part in its original Aegean Blue paintwork, untouched since production in 1993. Unrestored and with just 41,449 miles on the clock, the car boasts a detailed history file and an honest condition that wouldn’t stop it entering everyday service. It’s currently for sale for £59,950 with a full 12 month warranty.
The 1950 Jaguar XK120 was fully restored around 15 years ago and was campaigned in the Dubai Mille Miglia as part of Jaguar Land Rover Classic’s own collection. Fully certified by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and with just 2,000 miles covered since its restoration, the seriously desirable machine – which attracted plenty of admiration at the show – is available now for £249,950.