Used as a season starter by many a European British car enthusiast, the British Cars & Lifestyle in Rosmalen right in the centre of the Netherlands makes a good day out.
Within the Dutch Austin-Morris-Riley-Wolseley register we started into a year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ADO16 range.
Words and photography: Alexander Boucke
A very British affair
With the onset of spring, there are many big European classic car shows – like the just visited huge Techno-Classica in Essen. They all reflect a cross section of cars in the country they’re based in – for those in need of a fix of British metal, this means either restricting themselves to the UK sports cars and Minis seen everywhere, travel to a show in the UK – or try to find one of the few British car events in continental Europe that are not one make club gatherings…
The British Cars & Lifestyle show is one of these, running for more than 20 years. It is now a substantial affair, with around 200 exhibitors and 14,000 visitors over a weekend. It is not one of the super-shows, such as Essen or Stuttgart, but this is no disadvantage. While visiting the larger shows you hardly dare to stop for a chat in fear of missing an exciting exhibit before the show closes – in a smaller event like this, the atmosphere is much more relaxed.
I’ve joined my friends from the Dutch Austin-Morris-Riley-Wolseley register for a few years now, be it as a visitor or putting a car on display and manning the stand. So this year, it was set to display 50 years of ADO16. This meant for me to pull out the Innocenti IM3 from a long slumber to join the other two early 1100s – an Austin and a MG – selected for the display. AROnline‘s ADO16-timeline completed the exhibition. The ADO16, with the Austin known as ‘Glider’, was quite a popular car in the Netherlands, so we got plenty of reactions on the Austin and MG – as expected really. The IM3 is different enough, so many were left scratching their head – before walking around the car to read the badges on the boot.
It was not the only Anglo-Italian car on the show: There was also a rare Triumph Italia 2000 to be seen. In between car clubs and traders a large variety of cars was shown, ranging from 1920s sports cars and Bentleys, to the just launched Morgan 3 Wheeler. The MG car club was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the MGB. The Jaguar MkX joined the party as well, also being launched 1962. There was a plethora of spares and automobilia for sale, mostly from traders from the Netherlands and UK.
I found the amount of dealer material available, like old VHS tapes introducing the various ARG models, very interesting, something not often to be found on shows around continental Europe.
I’m sure we’ll be there again next year…
British Cars & Lifestyle is held at the Autotron near Rosmalen in March every year, see www.britishbest.nl for details. Since 1991, Holland’s major trade fair for UK-specialists! Not only Holland’s major event for British car enthusiasts, but also most wife-friendly car-event.
Along with virtually all cars ever produced in UK, the show incorporates those products of British manufacture which make life pleasant for all visitors to the show: home and garden, decoration, antiques, furniture, clothing and bric-a-brac fascinating to the whole family.
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