Events : Report – NEC Classic Motor Show 8-10 November 2019

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, is the not-to-be-missed event for every classic car owner, collector, enthusiast, car club member or anyone with a passion for classic cars. This is the big one.

The show, now in its 35th year, ran from 8-10 November and brought together the world’s largest gathering of 300 car and motorcycle clubs with more than 3000 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles on display across seven halls at Birmingham’s NEC.

Photography: Sue Long, Michael Hayward, Keith Adams

NEC 2019: Rovers rule the roost

Arguably, the successful Rover 200 (R8) was Rover’s high watermark in recent years. It’s 30 years old in 2019 and the club celebrated in style.
Arguably, the successful Rover 200 (R8) was Rover’s high watermark in recent years. It’s 30 years old in 2019 and the club celebrated in style

It’s been a year of AROnline-friendly anniversaries, with several of our favourite cars taking starring roles at Birmingham’s gloriously retro, and now well-lit National Exhibition Centre. At the 35th Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, the major classic car clubs put on some great spreads to celebrate some significant landmarks. No wonder more than 71,000 attended the traditional final show in the classic car calendar.

The Rover 200/400 Owners Club (above) managed to attract world famous stunt driver Russ Swift and ex-Rover PR guru Denis Chick, while the 1100 Club’s built to last theme was brilliant, but let’s not forget the Allegro Club International’s star turn of the Innocenti Regent 1300, which regular readers might remember being flagged up for sale by us. Well, it’s now in the UK in the hands of the Vicar of Longbridge and ACI Chairman, Colin Corke. We could go on, especially with more than 300 car clubs making it to Brum this year.

This Innocenti Regent now resides in the UK in the hands of Colin Corke

In other news, the Bit cars did well in the competitive elements of the show. Of the 16 cars on the Meguiar’s Club Showcase, it was Dave Rippard’s 1959 Morris Mini Minor which came out on top in a furiously competitive concours, while in the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership competition Ted Brooke’s 1961 Morris Minor Million came out on top in a field of 20 competitors. This was a true people’s choice, as it was held as the result of a vote by the show’s visitors.

And it’ll all take place again next year when the 2020 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, rolls into Brum on 13-15 November. For more information including when tickets go on sale, visit

Enjoy the pictures below – there are more to follow:

NEC Classic Motor Show Gallery


Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

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.
Keith Adams


  1. It’s also the 35th Anniversary of the launch of the Rover 213/216.

    A 213 SE , along with 4 R8s – ‘No. 1’, the section show-car, a 220GSi 3 door and a 420 GSi Tourer – will be on the Rover 200&400 Owners Club stand 8-260 in Hall 8

  2. I enjoyed the show as always, but some of us are beginning to feel that priority is being given to the auctioneers in terms of space. Some of the club’s had as little as 3 cars, and it is the club’s and their exhibits we want to see.

  3. We went this year but I am not sure we will bother in future. I much preferred the now cancelled show in Manchester. Much better value for money, less crowded and almost as many cars when you factored in the reduced number of traders.

    The problem with the NEC is the cost and the sheer number of people. My parents attended with me and they struggled with the claustrophobic atmosphere created by the crowds. I am younger and fitter than them and I flagged on occasions. The show needs more seating and chill out areas, especially when you take into account the average age of the visitors.

    It isn’t helped by the NEC being a massive ripoff, I dread to think how much exhibitors are charged, when you look at how much visitors pay. £16 for parking is a joke, especially when many of the NEC staff are downright rude to visitors. The catering is equally priced at ripoff levels.

    The car clubs themselves put on a good show and those on the stand were helpful and willing to chat about their cars. The trade stands are a bit of a waste of space. Most are online anyway and too many were selling the sort of generic tools and equipment you could pick up at a half decent motor factors, for less money.

    So I am afraid I really couldn’t recommend it. I would much rather the NEC show had bit the dust and we could have kept the far superior show in Manchester.

  4. I enjoyed the show but I have to take issue with the costs. £31.00 entry is a lot of dosh, especially when added to the extortionate cost of parking and the food (£6.00 for a hotdog). The organizers won’t care as the show was still really busy, but I spent less in the show as it cost so much for entry.
    Personally, I’m looking forward to the Resto Show in March.

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