The NEC once again plays host to the season-ending Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show – with 2500 cars hosted by more than 200 clubs, there’s something for everyone. However, as Alexander Boucke and Keith Adams report, it does come at a cost…
Let’s start by talking numbers. The tortuously-named Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery is still the UK’s largest undercover classic car event by some margin. As well as the 2500-plus classic cars to look at, delivered by 240 classic car clubs, there are 650 specialist exhibitors and traders in an autojumble area that rivals some of the biggest open-air sales…
Is it a patch on the Techno-Classica Essen, which takes place in Germany every spring, and claims to be Europe’s largest indoor classic car event? For UK fans the answer is yes, if only in as much as it’s easier (and costs less) to get to. Essen dwarfs Birmingham in terms of scale, but for those who love the sort of cars that AROnline covers in detail, it’s true that the NEC is still the place to go to.
As always, the best cars take some finding, but the effort is worth it. The best cars from the NEC are in the galleries below, but we couldn’t help but highlight the remarkable Chrysler 180 which took pride of place on the Simca stand – a true survivor, and one we thoroughly approve of. Star of the show? Perhaps… There are many more like this to enjoy below.
NEC advantages and disadvantages
In 2017, there have been numerous improvements to the show. For one, the dismal 1970s-standard yellow/orange lighting in the halls has finally gone, meaning that you’re getting a much truer representation of the cars’ colours. It’s also so much brighter, which means you don’t emerge from the halls with a 1970s-style sense of doom and gloom. That makes all the difference.
‘The overall cost of attending the event is hugely expensive: £26.50 per adult, and £12.00 for a day’s parking. Food for thought…’
As for the show, we’ll leave the pictures to do the talking but, in true NEC style, there was a great selection of cars, and more importantly, some brilliant people with great stories behind them.
The halls seemed as crowded as ever (we’ll get attendance figures on Monday), the catering was as costly and unrewarding as ever, and – most importantly – the overall price of attending the event was hugely expensive: £26.50 per adult, and £12.00 for a day’s parking (unless you leave after 6.00pm when all the parking booths empty out).
If there’s a few of you going, that adds up to one expensive day out. Four mates, one car, and you’re looking at £116 before drinks, lunch and goodies at the autojumble. Food for thought, perhaps…
Keith Adams’ show highlights
- Concepts and prototypes : The Wolseley 3 Litre prototype (1969-1970) - 5 July 2020
- Events : Report – 27th InterClassics Maastricht 2020 - 28 January 2020
- Events : Report – 31st Techno Classica Essen - 21 April 2019