Words: Keith Adams
Photography: Richard Kilpatrick, with additional images by James Tibbs, Jason Maycock, Callum Collie, Paul Whitehead, Martyn Kelham and Keith Adams
The Classic Motor Show has been running now for 30 years, and just as the classic car scene is booming in popularity, it seems that the UK’s largest indoor show is going from strength to strength. Around 65,000 visitors made it to the NEC, and speaking to regular show goers, the National Exhibition Centre was busier in 2013 than it’s been before – with Saturday, particularly, rammed by people clamouring to get a glimpse of the UK’s best selection of classic cars.
And so it should – the classic car industry is now estimated to be worth £7bn per year in the UK alone. In 2013, there were 11 halls to choose from, with supercars, Youngtimers, classics and vintage/veteran cars fully represented. The Silverstone Auction grew to a two-day event, and sold 85 of its cars, for a total of £2.8 million, doubling last year’s inaugural sale total of £1.3 million.
Winner of Meguiar’s Club Showcase final was the Jaguar XK150, owned by William Baldwin. William’s car won the grand prize, beating 16 other finalists that included an MGB, a Golf Cabriolet, a Lamborghini Miura, a Ford Escort RS1800. The culmination of over 50 events across the country and the cars represented the very finest from across the British classic car landscape and the quality of William’s car was second-to-none. And Jason Field won the Classic Car of The Year during the event.
Special guests at the show included Sir Stirling Moss, Theo Paphitis, Edd China, Mike Brewer, Quentin Willson, Steve Berry, Norman Dewis, David Soul and Jon Bentley.
Once again, the show proved exceptionally strong, highlighting some of the problems with the venue – more people mumbled about the cost of tickets and parking, and security for the exhibitors was well below par, with at least one of the important businesses losing a trailer during the weekend. The cuisine continued to spark debate, and despite there being plenty of access onto the site, the queues of cars entering the NEC snaked back on to the M6 at at least one point during the weekend.
But let’s not get bogged down with that – and instead, remember that the show is all about the cars. And we hope that this gallery will persuade anyone who’s yet to make the visit to make the trek in 2014. Enjoy the gallery of the best of British below.
Best of British at the NEC Classic Motor Show