There can be no better way to enjoy a large delicious slice of the UK classic car industry on a cold winter’s day than attending the 2013 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC.
With so much to see perhaps not too surprising that on the supposedly less busy Friday it was still packed with queues on the motorway forming as early as 9:00am. If you’ve never been the main attraction of the show, apart from being held indoors, is how it covers every single aspect from classic car sales, through to restoration, painting, finishing, trimming and parts supply. No matter what your specific interest in classic cars the 2013 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC has it covered.
Take for instance the Jaguar E-Type. In the market to buy a car then Cleevewood garage from Bristol had a rather lovely V12 roadster up for sale in striking grey metallic and Silverstone Auctions a ‘65 late Series 1 fixed head 4.2 Coupe. Already own an E-Type and say want to replace the carpets because they are wearing thin, no problem; fix a torn leather seat again the 2013 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC had a stand for that. Want to go further and dip the shell to strip literally all the paint revealing exactly what work needs doing, there was someone present who could do that. The 2013 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC even provided a live restoration demonstration involving a Jensen Interceptor to show you how to put it all back together again afterwards whilst making improvements along the way.
In fact whether you wanted to store your classic, read more about its history, buy a retro metal sign to put on the garage wall where you keep it, tools to fix it, a jack to lift it or even find an obscure piece of exterior trim to finish it there was somewhere to meet your every need. It doesn’t stop there either, car sorted time then to find other like-minded people to share your passion with by visiting one of the many marque specific owners clubs present. Wandering through the three large halls revealed more obscure groups as well, for instance who knew there were Maestro, Princess and Allegro owners clubs all with a band of dedicated followers keen to keep their particular flame burning bright.
What I particularly like about this classic motor show is how replicas are also welcomed. Sticking with our Jaguar E-Type theme the Challenger E-Type offers an almost exact copy of the original for far less cash and with all the advantages that a separate tubular steel chassis and glass fibre body brings. The cars on the Challenger Owners Club stand also came complete with Jaguar 6 cylinder engines for added authenticity. Perhaps we should find out for sure and take a borrowed Jaguar E-Type to meet a Challenger E-Type and see how they compare.
Alternatively there was a stunning 60s sports racer lookalike designed to use Mazda MX5 mechanicals for around the £5,000 mark. Great value indeed and well worth serious consideration especially if you like the concept of classic styling and contemporary running gear combos. If considering sprinting or hill climbing adding a supercharger to the bomb proof 1600cc or 1800cc twin cam engine would ensure blistering performance in what would be a stylish and potentially highly competitive package.
Silverstone Auctions is always very welcoming and £10 bought you the catalogue plus entrance for two. We previously highlighted the rare 1972 Maserati Indy America that bizarrely on the eve of the marque’s half century next year didn’t sell. Also up for auction on the Friday was a Lister Jaguar Le Mans, the muscular 7.0litre beefed up version of the normally silky smooth XJS that nearly doubled its estimate with the hammer going down at an incredible £57,500. Fangio’s IKA Torino 380S, provenance indeed, made £28,175 and a 80s Carrera re-styled to look like a 70s 2.7RS in viper green went for just £14,720. I know it’s all about originality with 911s but with such attention to detail it does make you think a bit doesn’t it? Someone got a whole lot of car for their money.
Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer was on fine form and did a great job introducing cars and their generous owners who were offering 30min passenger rides for around the £20 mark with all proceeds going to charity. The area where the cars assembled looked like someone’s rather obscure large private collection including a 356 Speedster replica and just back from the Arctic Circle factory Morgan 3 Wheeler (M3W). Not quite the same as a classic run or rally the passenger rides did at least give people the opportunity to experience cars out on the open road for not a lot of cash providing the 2013 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC with an extra dimension.
Slice of classic car cake consumed it was time for us to depart after 6 hours of making our way around the show visiting stands and chatting to a wide range of fellow enthusiasts. There really isn’t anything else you need to know or find out after a day spent here, the fact it is held inside helps everything except maybe the photography and your legs certainly get a good work out walking round. If you haven’t been then we recommend making every effort to attend next year, you will not be disappointed, unless of course like us in 2013, you leave without that Porsche.
How does this event make you feel?
In one word: Reassured.
As a favourite meal: Tuna and spring onion on ciabatta, I can only assume the NEC has changed caterers because it was lush.
Anything Else: This show leaves no stone unturned whatever your specific interest or needs.
Key Ingredients: Indoor event makes it completely weather proof. Three large halls filled with dedicated professionals, enthusiastic owners, ingenious tools and restoration techniques and some incredible cars to look at or, if in the market yourself, then to buy. Doh!
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