One winner and two runners up were chosen by the public today at Lancaster Insurance’s Pride of Ownership contest at the NEC Classic Motor Show in Birmingham

The Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership competition was brought to its conclusion at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham this weekend. After over 80 entries for the competition were received, 20 had been selected by judges for their history, diversity and, at least in some cases, rarity. These finalists went on display as a centrepiece of the show in Hall 3, with the winner announced just before 3pm today, November 13.

The prestigious first-place prize went to Ian Croft and his spectacular Lotus Elan Plus 2 (below). Ian bought the car in ‘terrible condition’ in November 2016 after being drawn in by a famous name on its logbook: two-time F1 champion Graham Hill. Hill was originally given the car for personal use by Team Lotus in 1968 following his fourth victory at the Monaco Grand Prix. The car was later returned to Lotus in 1970 and sold into private ownership.

Ian’s car hadn’t been used for some 37 years when it took custody and was in a sorry state. Ian was a rookie restorer but nonetheless embarked on a two-year project. The car still sports its original engine and transmission, as well as most of its interior and glass.

The car returned to active service in Feburary 2019 thanks to Ian’s efforts; today, Ian’s remarkable achievement was officially recognised by show-goers in the vote to decide the Pride of Ownership contest’s winner.

Second place went to Bill Flay’s immaculate Ford Escort RS2000, while third place was secured by fellow Blue Oval contestant Stephen Cheape’s 1981 Ford Fiesta Poplar, resplendent in one-year-only colour Dove Grey.

Ian, Bill and Stephen each received trophies and a year’s free insurance, plus the chance to display their car at the next event held by the organisers.

This year’s competition featured a wide spread of entrants. The oldest was Paddy Doherty’s 1938 Austin 10 Cambridge, with the newest a Bentley Turbo R from 1998, owned by Aaron Patel. Other finalists included Adrian Liepins’ 1960 TVR Grantura, plus a 1972 Aston Martin DBS V8 owned by Adiran Howells.

More highlights included a 1976 William Clyclo and 1985 Honda Acty at the rarer end of the spectrum, owned by Louise Barrett and Philip Egan respectively, while and David Roberts’ restored 1985 Nissan Sunny stood as rare surviving examples of once-common everyday cars.

Mick Jones’ 1983 BMW 316 Baur Convertible, Jamie Eglinton’s 1992 Rover Mini, Andrew Ray’s 1993 Vauxhall Nova GSi and Lez Dix’s 1995 Ginetta G33 RV8 also featured, bridging the 80s into the 90s as a reflection of the ever-broadening classic car scene.