Saturday, November 15, 2008

NEC Classic Car Show

I’ve just got back from the Classic Car Show at the NEC. This is one of the biggest shows in the calendar and this was the first time I’d ever been. Initially I was pretty apprehensive about going. For a start it was going to be expensive for two of us (£17 each plus £8 parking) and, with Top Gear on as well, the traffic was going to be terrible. After spending a little bit too long queuing on the M42, parking and walking to the exhibition halls we started looking around.

First thing that hit me was the sheer size of this show! This is a huge show. There were four halls worth of cars, traders, tools and general stuff! I thought the best place to start would be the first hall so I headed down there and took a look around. There were plenty of nice cars and plenty of Triumphs! All the Triumph clubs were in the first hall and there were plenty of fine examples on their stands. Club Triumph, the TSSC, the TR Register, Stag Owners Club and the Dolomite Club were all in attendance. The CT stand had a particularly polished example of a Spitfire 1500 on show along with a Spit 6 with Emerald EFI, a saloon and a Herald estate. There was a very interesting exhibit on the TR Register stand. They had a shell in ‘pre restored’ condition. It was held together by mole grips!

This (above) was a particularly interesting Peugeot special. The name of it loosely translated as 'hold on'! It was built along the lines of British specials with a sports body dropped on top of saloon running gear. It was very cool!

There were plenty of interesting cars from other marques too. The Meguiars stand was particularly good. There were also plenty of nice Mercedes. One I noticed had an original Becker Mexico radio which is probably worth a good proportion of what my entire car’s worth! I’m a big fan of American muscle cars and drag racing cars and there were plenty in the form of Chevy Camaros and Ford Mustangs along with various other hot rods, gassers and other drag racing stuff. I'm also a huge fan of vintage cars and Austin 7's in particular. My grandad built a special in the 60's and there were an interesting couple of specials on the Midland Austin 7 Club stand.

The ticket also got us into the MPH show hall next door. This had loads of modern cars and the Autoglym concours. There was a Napier Railton (picture below), a Ford Mustang belonging to Richard Hammond and a stunning AC Cobra entered in the concours along with a Fiat 500! The rest of the hall had the usual Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porches. There was even a Gemballa tuned Porsche Cayenne that was finished in satin black.
There were also various cars that had been in the Gumball 3000 this year. Each were stickered up with a numerically challenged decal announcing ‘1999 to 2008 - Ten Years of the Gumball Rally’! Another car that caught my eye was the KTM Crossbow. This is a very different looking in reality compared to the pictures I’ve seen in magazines. It’s absolutely wild!

These are the pictures my mum took. I took my brothers camera and unfortunately don't have the data cable until he comes home next week so stay tuned for more pictures at a later date...

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