Hagerty, the classic car insurers, will host the inaugural Festival of the Unexceptional, a tribute to cars from ‘an utterly undistinguished era’ – the 1970s to mid-1980s – on 26 July at Whittlebury Park Golf Club in Towcester. The aim is to create a true festival vibe for the less-celebrated, but equally well-loved, classics that your parents used to drive, and it’s right up our street…
It’s a fond retrospective of the family cars that we all know and love and will be the country’s first ever ‘Concours de l’Ordináire‘, a unique car show concept in the UK that showcases the best examples of some of the most routine cars ever built, promising to be the antidote to top-end concours events, stuffed with cars that only the super-rich can afford to own. The Festival of the Unexceptional will be will run concurrently to an altogether more conventional car festival, the Silverstone Classic.
Participation is open to unexceptional classics from 1968-1985 and their exceptional owners. We’ll bring together the 50 best examples of a wide range of models to be judged by Hagerty’s handpicked group of unexceptional ‘experts’, including our own Keith Adams. An award of dubious value will go to the overall winner. Petty bribes for the judges are strictly encouraged, as is period dress. Registration is free, but space is limited to 50 cars.
The organisers aim to attract a gathering of family cars and are actively encouraging owners of classics such as the Austin Allegro, Morris Marina and Triumph Dolomite to make the trek to Towcester and show the classic car world that there’s as much love for the average cars of yesterday, as there is for the more conventional exotica that usually gravitates towards such motoring festivals. There will be a prize for the Car of the Day, and Keith Adams will be one of the judges.
Hagerty is looking for cherished examples of day-to-day classics, such as the Ford Cortina, Morris Marina, Vauxhall Cavalier and Talbot Solara for example – but anything you’d see in your typical street scene of the 1970s and 1980s will be eligible and Hagerty is promising that the prizes will be in keeping with the Festival’s everyman theme!
Angus Forsyth, Managing Director Hagerty International, said: ‘There are no shortage of car shows and Concours d’Elégance that showcase the glorious examples of some of the best cars ever made. We love the traditional concours as much as the next classic car enthusiast, but we wanted to put a twist on the quintessential car show and celebrate the cars that are rarely celebrated.
‘The Festival of the Unexceptional is meant to humorously highlight the serious attrition rate of cars produced in the 1970s-1980s. The paltry number of these cars either licensed or on Statutory Off-Road Notice is truly frightening. Remarkably, there are more Porsche 911s in daily use in the UK than there are Ford Sierras. The Unexceptional Era runs from roughly 1973-1985 when you could have your car in any colour as long as it was beige, mustard or brown, when plaid seats, vinyl tops and bogus Rostyle wheels ruled.’
More at the Hagerty website.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.