Events : Report – NEC Classic Motor Show 11-13 November 2022

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, is the UK’s largest indoor classic event – a true replacement for the British Motor Show which was held here until 2004.

The show 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.


NEC 2022: Modern classics take centre stage

Rover 827 Si
Chris Pollit’s ‘hedge find’ Rover 827 Si looking resplendent in BRG after a thorough polishing session

The NEC Classic has always been a showcase for the more run-of-the-mill classics that mere mortals can afford to aspire to – as well as run – and never has this been more truer than in 2022. Although we didn’t count the cars, it did feel that post-1980s cars were more numerous in Brum than ever before…

It’s been a year of AROnline-friendly anniversaries such as the Citroën BX and Ford Sierra, with several of our favourite cars taking starring roles at Birmingham’s gloriously retro National Exhibition Centre. The good news is that it’s running all weekend, so if you enjoy these images and are at a loose end, it’s well worth a trip down the M42.

Despite the growing dealer and auction areas as well as the ongoing live stage action, the clubs continue to be the backbone of the event with a great showing across the board. The big boys such as the MG Owners’ Club and the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club impressed with some very professional displays, while there were some quirky stands which really drew the eye.

Matra Rancho

Kudos to the Matra Ranchos (above) for getting into the spirit of the show with a lifestyle-themed display, while the record-breaking Rover Tomcat, which recently stretched its legs at Millbrook made a star appearance.

If you are thinking of going this weekend, bear in mind it’s an expensive do these days – £40 on Friday and £35 on Saturday and Sunday, while parking will set you back £16.50 for the day. Want food and that’s going to seriously dent your finances. Not a good look in these inflationary times – and there’s a real danger that the event is pricing itself off families’ social calendars during a cost-of-living crisis.

For more information including when tickets go on sale, visit www.necclassicmotorshow.com.

Enjoy the pictures below:

NEC Classic Motor Show Gallery

BMC, Leyland and Rover

Keith Adams’ Austin 1300 has been moved on. It’s being sold by Lancaster Insurance all in good cause…
Austin Allegros were in legion and looking grand at the show

What have we here? An MG6 Magnette? Looks like it…
It’s always good to see a Mumford Marina strutting its stuff

Some wonderful Fords

We love the sheer number and variety of Fords, but it was difficult finding any that didn’t have their bonnets up…

Vauxhalls galore in Brum

Rootes beauties and other Brits

And last, but not least, les étrangers

Keith Adams

11 Comments

  1. Thanks Keith for the report and piccies. I was offered a while back a 10% discount on tickets, but with parking it’s just too much dosh. It a shame as the Caravan and Campervan show at the NEC tickets are about 25 quid with parking included, so makes you wonder why thos is so pricey.

    And now for my fave picture – the banana yellow Volvo V70 R. Yes I know its loud, not old and foreign but once driven forever smitten!

  2. Love the Show – Hate the prices! – (£8 for a Baked potato??!!!!) – Miser Tip: Don’t want to pay £6 for a Latte and £4 for a piece of cake? – get your hand stamped and pop into one of the ‘Londis’ convenience stores in all the atriums : Coffee Machine Latte:£1.95, Cake bars 90p!!!

  3. All events have a captive audience, so charge what they like, such as Cheltenham races charging £ 8 for a pint of warm lager.
    However, back to the cars, nice to see a Talbot Alpine and Solara on display; my parents had two Alpines and a Solara, so these cars hold many memories for me, such as our trip to the Cheltenham festival in 1982 in a Chrysler Alpine and a visit to the Earls Court Motor Show the following year in our second Alpine. Amazing to find two of these still running as rust and apathy killed most of them off by the mid nineties. Even more amazing to see a Fiat 132 as well, a now almost forgotten Granada rival that rusted even faster than an Alpine.

    • It does seem horribly expensive, add in £50 for half a tank of Diesel to get there and back and it’s even less attractive considering that it’s a static display.

      The classic car action days at somewhere like Castle Combe are a lot cheaper to get into, and you have the added benefit of actually seeing the cars being driven
      , or taking your car out on the track for a thrash round.

      • @ Mowog, any exhibition centre or major sports event will charge through the nose for second rate food and drink as they know customers have no choice. It’s probably better to take a load of sandwiches and drinks to eat in your car before going into the venue, then only spending the bare minimum on a cup of coffee inside, and then driving off to find a supermarket cafe for a cheap meal afterwards. Yet these venues always know there will be someone who is desperate to eat and drink and will pay £10 for a poor sandwich and a cup of tea.

  4. We flew down from Glasgow for the day on Friday. Its expensive, but I feel its worth it. Given how busy it was, I wasn’t the only one. A very cheap Easyjet flight booked 6 months ago helped. We had a refillable water bottle that helped during the day too. Looking forward to going next year, all being well.

  5. A nice array of classics that take me back to the days. My favourites are, Rover 200 SD3, yellow Capri MK1, Cortina 80, Manta, Cav Sportshatch, Viva HC Estate, FE VX490, Talbot Alpine & Solara, Hunter, Alfasud coupe (my boss had one). Having said that, it’s good to see all these cars so well looked after and available for us to admire.

  6. The Fiat 132 must be a real labour of love for whoever owns it as spares will be difficult to find and there will be a constant battle to stop rust. Last one I saw was in Coventry in 1990 when someone was selling a 1981 example for spares as the body was devastated by rust.

  7. I went on Saturday.
    I left home in my Jaguar XJ8 at about 7.20 am, picking up my friend, who goes by the name Wingnut and his mate Julian in Norwich at about 8 am. The journey there featured the usual suspects in their German cars behaving like jerks, and living up to the stereotypes. We got to the NEC at about 10-50 am but then had to queue in traffic for a further 45 minutes. This was because as well as the Lancaster Classic Car show, the NEC was also hosting Comic Con, more of which later.
    Eventually we parked up in car park N12 which we figured was the fag end of available space.
    As we walked towards the bus stop we notice lots of people in strange costumes, and at the bus stop itself we stood behind a short bearded man dressed in a ‘Ghostbusters’ outfit. He proudly boasted that he had built his backpack all by himself! These weirdly clad people were all visiting the Comic Con show. Don’t ask me what characters they represented, I haven’t even seen ‘Ghostbusters’, does that make me socially deprived?
    Good job us Mini owners aren’t obsessed with a film…….
    Once in the foyer or is it atrium of the NEC, we witnessed a life sized R2D2 moving around under radio control. I believe it was in some flick called ‘Star Wars.’
    I was glad to get into the Classic Car show to meet what I consider relatively normal people.
    I can’t say I was fully focussed on the event, my 93 year old father having died only five days previously, but it was a good show, but with clubs increasingly giving up more space to the commercial exhibitors.
    My main focus was to join the Rover SD1 Club in place of my father, and my target for 2023 is to put his 1984 Vitesse auto back on the road as a memorial to him, albeit with some upgrades.
    They only had 4 cars on their stand, and one of those was an ex-Tony Pond/Rob Arthur TWR rally car. Such was the space allocated to people like Silverstone auctions.
    The Mini Cooper Register had a Twini-Mini and a rally car owned by JLR engineer Alistair Vines.
    I think my favourite car was a replica of a works Mini Clubman entered for the 1970 World Cup Rally. Something simple.
    I entered competitions to win Keith’s 1973 Austin 1300, a 1980’s Mini from the Atwell Wilson museum and an Oselli rocker cover.
    We left at about 5.30 pm, mingling with more strange people in weird costumes, paying homage to characters that mean nothing to me and got back to Norwich at around 8 pm, some 12 hours after departure.
    Because of personal circumstances, I can’t say I fully embraced the day, but it lightened the mood.

  8. Parking is free at Hampton-in-Arden station. The train ride of 2 stops is about £3, and is probably quicker than a shuttle bus from the car park! Think intermodal… so long as they aren’t on strike.

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