Motoring enthusiasts flocked to the NEC, Birmingham at the weekend for the UK’s biggest indoor classic motoring celebration, setting a new record as around 71,000 people attended this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show.
With 2,500 classic cars and motorcycles spanning one million square feet, there was plenty to see, ranging from a 1869 Tasker B2 ‘Little Giant’ engine to the enormous BLOODHOUND SSC show car that welcomed visitors to the premium hall. From Penny Farthings to a Jet-powered boat, the line-up of vehicles was the most diverse ever as the 273 exhibiting clubs celebrated the show’s Heroes and Heroines theme.
Event Director Daniel Nwaokolo said: “Another amazing year. The clubs continue to astound us with their valued dedication to creating the best displays year after year. Our new features proved extremely popular, especially the Drive a Classic Car Experience, and we have early reports of excellent sales from our traders and dealers. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and support, and the visitors for making this year’s show the best season finale ever."
The Meguiar’s Club Showcase gathered 16 stunning cars from club events held across the UK for its grand finale. With an amazing mixture of marques displayed, it was Andy Nash from Dover in the beautifully restored 1966 Mini Traveller who took the coveted title for 2016.
On the Wheeler Dealers Live Stage with Discovery Channel, host Mike Brewer was joined by Edd China, Ant Anstead, and Fuzz Townshend. There were also appearances by British Racing icon Sir Stirling Moss, Engine Addicts’ Jimmy De Ville, US reality star Jesse McClure, and Richard Noble OBE.
The Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership saw 20 finalists battle it out in a public vote. The eventual winner was James Cribb from Winsford in the 1989 Austin Metro City; second place went Stuart Turp from Barnsley in the 1969 Ford Capri Mk1, whilst Mark McClelland from Kilmarnock, Scotland, in the 1984 Vauxhall Astra GTE took third.
Richard Morley, Divisional Head for Lancaster Insurance, said: “This year's show has once again blown us away and shows the dedication, pride and passion of our industry. There have been so many highlights this weekend, from having an amazing and eclectic array of British classics on our stand, seeing James and his '89 Austin Metro City 'Gerty' take the top honour in the Pride of Ownership competition and of course Margo finding a new home through Silverstone Auctions. We’re so proud and delighted to have raised awareness of prostate cancer within the community, as well an incredible amount for Prostate Cancer UK, what a way to end the year!”
Silverstone Auctions’ two-day sale delivered an 80% sale rate and total sales of £5.8million which is its best ever NEC sale if not best ever sale. The biggest seller of the auction was a 1957 Porsche 365A T1 Speedster sold for £306,563. The 1958 Lotus Elise restored by Ant Anstead for a ‘For the Love of Cars’ special to be aired on Sunday 20th November sold for £121,500, while Lancaster Insurance’s restored Mini called 'Margo’ sold for £12,938, with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK.
There were big reveals with Vauxhall presenting a stunning Viva GT that has been a two-year labour of love for the restoration team, whilst Corgi UK unveiled a new model of a Sunbeam Alpine for 2017. Both the Porsche Cars UK and Jaguar Land Rover Classic stands were brimming with breath-taking restorations to delight car fans.
Sporting Bears raised £45,000, which is set to rise once they have counted all the coins. Additional to the ‘Dream Rides’, they also raffled a ride in a £2million Pagani Huayra on Saturday and Sunday. US TV star Jesse McClure also auctioned Dream Rides in his TransAm called Lilly raising £500 towards the Sporting Bears total.
Comet Classic Pride of Ownership was won by Alan Stopford with the 1959 Triumph Bonneville, with second place to Dale Hart in the 1986 RD350 and third place to John Cook for the Hudson Autocycle.
The Classic American Car of the Year was won by John Hayes from Thetford, Norfolk, with the 1966 Chevrolet Corvette.
The 2017 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show will take place from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November.