Events : Report – British Cars & Lifestyle Show 2013

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

In theory it is spring outside and classic car owners all across central Europe prepare their cars for the upcoming season. The – seemingly – ever continuing winter weather may keep more cars than usual within their garages, but the early spring shows seem to be well attended nevertheless.

Since 1991 the British Cars & Lifestyle show in Rosmalen in the centre of the Netherlands is such a kick-off event to finally end hibernation.

Words and photography: Alexander Boucke


Rule Britannia

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Friends of cool Britannia would probably question our continental view of British lifestyle when seeing the seamless extension of the traditional wood and leather style of the displayed cars into the lifestyle section of the show – this is definitely more Country living than Norman Foster.

But as a package it works well, creating a cosy atmosphere around the pub located in the centre of the single hall unknown to other car shows. According to the organizers this creates the most wife-friendly car show around… Well, blessed with a wife who is more than happy to come along onto any regular car show, we can’t comment. But given that this little show is run very successfully for more than 20 years, the recipe seems to be right. But we’re here for the cars, aren’t we?

If you expect hall after hall stockpiled with rows of classic cars as seen at the NEC in autumn or at the Techno-Classica in Essen in spring, you would be disappointed. And unless you want to see endless rows of MGBs and E-types this would also not work for an all British show on the continent. Being relatively small and featuring a wide variation of cars between clubs and dealers is certainly a strong point of the event, allowing the visitors to really digest what they are seeing.

The club displays really offered a wide variety from the exclusive Armstrong-Siddeley Hurricane and Jensen C-V8, more common but alway popular MG and Triumph sports cars to the humble, but equally exclusive Allegro 1100. The showing of an unrestored Austin A90 Atlantic certainly stood out.

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The offerings of the car dealers were naturally a little more conservative, but also including a few gems. From the selection of Minis an Italian Innocenti Cooper 1300 and an Applejack Green Mini 1000 stood out, both in excellent condition trying to sway punters into spending money. From the more expensive cars the above pictured Lynx Eventer (above) caught my eye – one made from a late, facelifted XJ-S and LHD too.

A chat with the vendor revealed that this is indeed a rare beast: Only 67 facelifted Eventers have been made – and three of them with left hand drive. The price of the conversion may have played a significant part, being roughly the same as the brand new XJ-S V12 it was based on. Half way through the weekend this car was most likely sold already. Going by the number of sold notices on rather expensive cars, it seems the trend of strong sales of exclusive classics continues.

But in the end the show in Rosmalen is too small to conclude this.

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As I managed to stay clear of the car model and brochure stalls, the largest expenditure when we left the building was – a large paper bag full of assorted fudge… That was impossible to ignore!



British Cars & Lifestyle is held at the Autotron near Rosmalen in March every year, see www.britishbest.nl for details.

Alexander Boucke

Based in Aachen, Germany, Alexander has had BMC>ARG cars around him since birth - in fact his earliest childhood memories are from buying a new Landcrab with his family at the age of two. The new cars have aged to classic cars and a few more have joined the family fleet - most of them by now proper classics and many with Hydrolastic or Hydragas suspension. Alexander joined the AROnline team back in 2002 when helping out to get some facts right on the Austin 3 Litre.

14 Comments

  1. In any situation, when I see the word “Lifestyle” I immediately switch off and turn the other way.

    Although I always thought those Lynx Eventers looked good; much better than the standard XJS.

  2. A nice selection of cars indeed. I remember the MINI in that bright lime green and also the Jensen C-V8 (as shown in the TV series “The Baron”) I assume the blonde in the Union Jack dress was British?

  3. I reckon that would be worth taking the the night ferry to Holland for a weekend break you know, its nice to see an alternative report – cheers Alexander!

  4. @6, Sandie,

    Me too. Although by then Riley had become a ‘badge engineered’ marque their badges still adorned some very nice cars.

    Nice write up, Mr Bucket.

    I’d love a Lynx Eventer. So much more attractive than the butressed standard XJS. Although one look under the bonnet of one would probably put most people off- that V12 is about the size of a cathedral church organ!

  5. Nice report! Next year it promises to be even bigger and better with more room for clubs and an extra hall for new cars still being made in Britain. Another very popular event is the annually British Autojumble at Waalwijk, which attracks up to 1.500 to 2.000 cars and anything from a prewar Aston Martin to the Austin Allegro.

  6. Nice report. I must someday own a series 2/3 XJ cool car
    I go over to the Netherlands to a couple of shows. However i guess im on semi friendly ground as i’m showing a German car 🙂

  7. That wonderful Daimler was actually in a colour about half way through from lime-green to harvest gold – hard to describe, but very striking! Sadly the light inside the hall is very challenging for photography: It is a mixture of halogen and neon lights with some natural sunshine mixed in. Leaving a slightly yellow tint in from the incendescent lights gets the best results, otherwise the colours can look completly off…

  8. #9 : if it’s the Riley Pathfinder you are referring to , it is a little unkind to describe it as badge engineered . I agree it had the Gerald Palmer designed bodyshell which it shared with the Wolseley 6/90 , but the engine was the last manifestation of the wonderful Riley twin camshaft engine . I’d have to agree however that the Riley 2.6 which followed it was a case of badge swapping

  9. And #11 : I think you might have a nasty shock if you think that German cars are treated in a “semi-friendly” fashion in Holland

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