The gates at the NEC opened for the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show from 9-11 November. The show was announced as the World’s biggest event for classic car clubs. AROnline drove to Birmingham to have a look…
Words and photography: Alexander Boucke
With one extra hall added and space for over 300 classic car club displays the bold announcement was not an empty one. Over the Saturday the floors were constantly filled with large crowds of spectators – more than 71,000 over the duration of the show. Compared to the previous year this is a slight increase.
On our visit we concentrated on the club stands covering more than a third of the available space. The motto for this year’s show was “Built to Last”, which many displays embraced in a different way. Showing unrestored vehicles and comparing older models with more modern (or even brand new) counterparts was a particularly popular theme.
The Historic Marathon Rally Group featured four original London-Sydney marthon BMC 1800s amongst competing cars to mark the 50th anniversary of this epic rally. Other notable anniversaries were the 70th of Morris Minor, 50th for Ford Escort, 40th of the Chrysler Horizon and the 30th for Vauxhall Cavalier Mk3 and VW Corrado.
The TR Drivers Club celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formation of British Leyland by handing a trophy to Harris Mann, the Designer responsible for BL’s new, bold design. Mr Mann was available on the club stand for many hours patiently answering questions about his creations and his time at BL.
Although still a mostly UK show, the event attracts a notable number of international visitors from all over Europe. On the Maestro & Montego Owners Club stand we met AROnline reader Ruben De Lauw from Belgium, who brought his very rare Rover GTI Estate (Montego) to the show, which he had recently acquired from northern Germany.
The event, as usual, also featured a large selection of cars for sale, trade stalls for tools, services and spares as well as a useful and well-stocked autojumble area.
A visit to the show is not cheap, though – for a family the sum from tickets and parking alone will be close to £100.
We think the exceptionally large area for the clubs as representatives of the classic car community make this show stand out compared to many similar-sized European events, where the commercial displays are clearly favoured.
All in all, the visit of the 2018 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show well worth the journey to Birmingham.