By 2 November 2003 0 Comments Read More →

Events : NEC Classic Motor Show

This annual classic car show, held at the NEC in Birmingham, has become a huge success over the past few years; rising numbers of attendees proves that there is a burgeoning interest in old cars in the UK.

The most gratifying thing about the event, though, was the massive range of cars present; not just exotica (of which, there was a bundle), but more mundane “classics” including a wide variety of our own BMC>Rover cars…



This Jaguar XJS was particularly significant for being the very same car that was exhibited at the 1975 Earls Court Motor Show. As the car that replaced the E-Type, the XJS certainly did not possess the timeless beauty of the original, but at the same time, the XJS did enjoy exciting proportions and an imposing road presence. However, the onset of US passive safety regulations meant that it was required to wear oversized “impact absorbing” bumpers… Looks good in this photograph, though.


The delightful little ADO16 was well represented at the show; the BMC 1100 owners’ club doing the the car and its owners proud. Particularly interesting was the gorgeous, late 1300GT, which, on the day, looked good enough to eat!.


The Maxi club stand was particularly interesting for its “themed” approach… and as a result of the club’s hard work, it won the award for the best themed stand at the NEC.


The Vanden Plas club stand played host to Alex Sebbinger’s mint ‘n’ boxed Ambassador…


This Ital is remarkably original – it is nice to see that a nice example of the last-ever Morris passenger car has been preserved for posterity


In the absence of the Princess and Ambassador owners’ club, it was down to the Wolseley (and Vanden Plas) stands to uphold the “Wedge’s” honour at the NEC.


More Jaguars – this time, two variations on the XJ40 theme:

Above is this gorgeous factory produced prototype estate version. It seems to me, that when a Jaguar based estate conversion is carried out successfully, it can look exciting and graceful – this XJ40 is a perfect example. One only needs to look at the Lynx XJS Eventer to see another good example; and the Avon XJ6 Estate as an example of how not to do it…

Below is this interesting XJ40 CoupŽ, which evokes memories of the much-missed 1970s XJ-C. However, some of the original’s grace seems to have been lost in the 1990s interpretation.


And finally…

What have we here? Keith Adams' £500 Rover 800 Coupe sneaked in whilst no-one was looking, and hid itself amongst the exhibits on the Rover Sports Register stand. There was a good reason for this car to be here; mainly to attract new members to the club, who might be currently running Anglo-Japanese Rovers and feel - mistakenly - that the Register might not be for them... It seems to have been a success; as the future classic CoupŽ apears to have generated much interest.

What have we here? Keith Adams' £500 Rover 800 Coupe sneaked in whilst no-one was looking, and hid itself amongst the exhibits on the Rover Sports Register stand. There was a good reason for this car to be here; mainly to attract new members to the club, who might be currently running Anglo-Japanese Rovers and feel - mistakenly - that the Register might not be for them... It seems to have been a success; as the future classic Coupe apears to have generated much interest.


Thanks to Declan Berridge and Mark Pacey for the photographs

Posted in: Events
Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and watched it steadily grow into AROnline. Is the Editor of Classic Car Weekly, and has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, Classic Car Weekly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

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