Events : Report – Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2014

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Craig Cheetham and Mike Humble

imageAnd… it’s over for another year. One of the finest events on the classic calendar, even if it is a little on the pricey side to get in, has packed away its bags for another 12 months – and what a year it was this year for fan’s of BMC/BL/ARG/MG Rover…

With exhibits ranging from early pushbikes through to the last of the line 75s and ZTs, the Rover Village that took over Hall 17 (dangerously close to the Autojumble) celebrated over 100 years of the Viking-badged brand, while in the other halls there were many rare treats and surprises.

For me, the highlight of the show (although it wasn’t my Car of the Show – more of that later) was seeing the Zagato-bodied Rover TCZ. The fully road-legal prototype made its debut at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show and was also exhibited at the Earls Court and Turin events of the same year. Although rumours persist that the car was being considered for the return of the Alvis name, most Rover insiders from the day say it was never destined for production despite being based on standard P6 running gear. Looksclosely, and you’ll see it even has the standard grille…

Rover TCZ - the P6-based Zagato styling study, was the star of the Rover Village
Rover TCZ – the P6-based Zagato styling study, was the star of the Rover Village

Both AROnline’s Editor, Craig Cheetham, and Contributing Editor, Mike Humble picked their Cars of the Show. For me (Craig), I confess that it wasn’t even a BLARG car this year, but, quite frankly, if the solid white base-spec Talbot Tagora on steel wheels had been up for sale on the day, you’d have needed to strap me down to the bonnet of my 800 Vitesse to stop me emptying the joint account or remortgaging the house.

AROnline's editor 'had a moment' when he clapped eyes on this Tagora - Not BLARG, but you would, wouldn't you?
AROnline’s editor ‘had a moment’ when he clapped eyes on this Tagora – Not BLARG, but you would, wouldn’t you?

Mr Humble was a little more restrained in his excitement, but even so, I can fully see the allure of his car of the show – the SD1 3500 Vanden Plas, featured below.

Mike's Car of the Show - a late Sd1 3500 Vanden Plas - and a thoroughly lovely one at that. Anyone we know?
Mike’s Car of the Show – a late SD1 3500 Vanden Plas – and a thoroughly lovely one at that. Anyone we know?

Feel free to nominate your own car of the show (with or without pictures) in the comments box, below.

Otherwise, as ever with show reports, we’ll let the pictures tell the story…

This is almost identical to the editor's P6, right down to being buried in a wall. 2015 resolution - extract the P6 from the chicken shed in time for its 50th...
This is almost identical to the Editor’s P6, right down to being buried in a wall. 2015 resolution – extract the P6 from the chicken shed in time for its 50th…

 

Former Rover development engineer John Willmer talks to Danny Hopkins and Sam Glover of Practical Classics as the launch of the P6 is recreated
Former Rover development engineer John Willmer talks to Danny Hopkins and Sam Glover of Practical Classics as the launch of the P6 is recreated
Mint 216 GSi on the 200/400 Club stand caught the editor's eye. It's not too dissimilar to his new acquisition...
Mint 216 GSi on the 200/400 Club stand caught the Editor’s eye. It’s not too dissimilar to his new acquisition…
The famous computer game Tetris turns 30 this year, as does the Austin Montego. That's Tanya Field's excuse, and she's sticking to it...
The famous computer game Tetris turns 30 this year, as does the Austin Montego. That’s Tanya Field’s excuse, and she’s sticking to it…
Our man Mike talks S series with Jon Corbett on the Montego stand.
Our man Mike explains his “secret” oil leak cure on S-Series engines to John Corbett… owner of the oldest known 1.6 Montego to survive.
Apparently, there are only two known surviving Allegros in this weird purpley-white hue known as Mirage... Here they both are, together for the first time
Apparently, there are only two known surviving Allegros in this weird purpley-white hue known as Mirage… Here they both are, together for the first time
This stunning Marina pick-up was restored by father and son team Nobby and Peter Hall
This stunning Marina pick-up was restored by father and son team Nobby and Peter Hall
As previously featured on AROnline, the 200 BRM register put on a display of 'Wombles' - the original S---WOM press and engineering cars
As previously featured on AROnline, the 200 BRM Register put on a display of ‘Wombles’ – the original S—WOM press and engineering cars
Good to see MG Rover's last models well represented in the Rover Village, despite being merely a decade old.
Good to see MG Rover’s last models well represented in the Rover Village, despite being merely a decade old.
A fine display of Mk 1s from the Rover 800 Club
A fine display of Mk 1s from the Rover 800 Club
MG Rover's former head of Press and PR, Denis Chick, back at the wheel of an SD3 Vitesse for the first time in 25 years...
MG Rover’s former head of Press and PR, Denis Chick, back at the wheel of an SD3 Vitesse for the first time in 25 years…

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

10 Comments

  1. Some great photos of what was a great event – it was also nice to briefly run into Mike in the press office on Saturday afternoon and discuss the electric window ‘box’ on the ‘SD3’ Rover 200 Series as the press office staff were frantically trying to find a ‘ghostly’ mouse!

    The Rover Village was definitely the highlight of the show for me and it was great to see the one-off Rover TCZ. I believe the idea of using P6-based running gear model and platform for a new Alvis was actually attributed to the one-off Alvis GTS model designed by David Bache and built by Radford Coachbuilders, not the TCZ. I believe the Alvis GTS is still owned by Mr Bache’s family.

    This year I did not have a favourite car as there were so many fighting for that accolade’ for there to be just one winner!

    As always there were the usual problems of the NEC’s trademark orange lighting doing no favours to the immense efforts of owners with their display cars, and also finding that you need to spend more than one day at this event in order to see and enjoy everything.

  2. Another great show. Difficult to juggle being on the stand for three days and getting to see all the show

    Oh, the silver SD1 on the club’s stand is a 2600 Vanden Plas, making it even more special than described above. Registration plate caused endless amusement!

  3. It was a great show, and if that tagora was up for sale then we would be fighting over it, my favourite of the show,not only for its rarity but its barge like size a 2.2 L engine and absolutely no creature comforts, almost like a poverty spec trabant.
    Many other cars caught my eye but its refreshing that more and more cars from the past 30 years are starting to be appreciated, including the 75.

    • In,I think, 76/77 that car was for sale at abbey garages on the high street in Pershore.I put an offer in but, the insurance broker put me off as it was an one off. Sadly, I trusted him. Hey ho!

  4. Agree, another fab show. Re: ticket prices, it’s worth remembering that there are various club discount codes. A couple of minutes on Google can help you find one.

  5. Just a note to point out that the P6 TCZ was on the ROVER SPORTS REGISTER stand, which got the runner-up mention in the Classic & Sports Car magazine awards for the interesting selection of transportational devices – well, it started off with two Rover bicycles and a 1905 Rover 6hp single cylinder, and even included a 3000-mile Rover 623. All Rover life is here…

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