Clubs attending this year’s Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show, with Discovery, from Friday, March 23 to Sunday, March 25, have set themselves the challenged of completing a restoration in three days.

Of the 150 clubs exhibiting at the NEC show – the most ever attending since the show started –more than half of the exhibitors will be showing off their ‘live working’ skills at the show; some will concentrate on body work, others on full interior refits and engine refurbishments.

One club tilting in the favour of the latter is the Triumph Dolomite Club. After rescuing an original 1972 Dolomite from the crusher after the original owner passed away last year, its members plan to restore the car and have it running by the end of the show.

They intend to recommission the car over the three day show, having completed any welding beforehand. Jobs to tackle include replacing the complete braking system and the fuel system, before refitting the engine and gearbox. A refurbished radiator will also need to be installed along with a new stainless steel exhaust system. The plan is to get the car finished before a pre-booked MoT on Monday March 26 – so it can enjoy the rest of the season back on the road.


The Gay Classic Car Group has set its members a massive challenge as they plan to work on not one car at the show, but eight cars – all very different A 1998 Mini Cooper and 1965 Humber Imperial are to receive some much needed attention other cars, such as its 1979 Datsun 120a F11 Coupe undergo a full stem to stern refurbishment.

Bodywork will be the main job on the club’s 1971 Lotus Europa, while brakes are the job in hand for its 1951 MG Y Series Saloon. A new front wing will be added to the 1980 Austin Allegro 1.3L but the 1991 Rover 416 GTI needs a fresh start. Finally, the 1968 Triumph Herald 13/60 Convertible will be getting a brand new interior.

The West Berks Classic Vehicle Club not only plans to restore a competitive hill-climb and sprint car, but also the trailer to tow it and the van to pull the trailer as race transport at the show.

The car concerned is a 1930s single seat Austin 7 racer, its van a 1972 Austin Morris J4. The club has quite some work to do finishing the rebuild of the period custom trailer and stripping the race car ready for some bodywork and brake upgrades.