The final six cars chosen by enthusiasts in the battle for the coveted accolade of Restorer of the Year have been revealed as voting reopens. The outright winner will be announced at the Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show, with Discovery, held at Birmingham’s NEC from 22-24 March.
Classic car enthusiasts were asked to choose from sixteen finalists, each of which had featured as ‘Reader Restorations’ in Practical Classics over the past 12 months. The votes produced a shortlist of the final six entries, which will be on display at the show, and from 11-21 March, enthusiasts are invited to vote again for the outright winner. All votes already received will be carried over..
Acting Show Director Lee Masters said: “All 16 entries would have been deserving winners and the close results of the voting show just what a tough decision it was, but we now have our final six. The owners have done an amazing job in restoring their cars and I can’t wait to see which one is going to be crowned this year’s Restorer of the Year.”
Of the six finalists, five are represented by British marques and each of the restorations have been the result of exceptional effort and dedication by their proud owners. From first-time restorers to unique cars, enthusiasts face the difficult task of choosing from some amazing stories.
The only non-British car in the final six is Paul Henly’s superb 1974 Datsun 240Z, a car he acquired back in September 1998. Having owned Datsuns in the 1980s he always fancied one of these impressive sports cars, and chose one as his first restoration. Family commitments meant that work didn’t start in earnest until 2013, but the results are nothing short of stunning.
Long-time Rootes Group fan, Will Goldsmith, bought his 1968 Sunbeam Alpine GT for just £150 and restored it to concours condition on a tight budget. A self-confessed perfectionist, he learnt plenty of new skills along the way, and admits to finding the whole project to be incredibly satisfying.
The 1990 MG Maestro Turbo, car number 436 of the 505 built, is owned by Peter Cooper who worked as a British Leyland engineer for 17 years. Buying the car in spring 2014, he wasn’t expecting a full restoration but the MG was in a poor state and bringing it back to perfect condition took around two and a half years.
It was Andy Barron’s wife, Danni, who fancied a summer runabout and they soon discovered that the seemingly-sound 1966 Triumph Spitfire they had bought was anything but. A full restoration was the only option, and with a huge amount of corrosion to deal with it would take 18 months of hard work before Danni could take to the road.
Steve and Dee Potter love their classic Triumphs and have restored two TR models in the past. Their 1968 Triumph TR250 was an ex-USA left-hand drive example and it took the dedicated couple just thirteen months to transform the rusty wreck into a car that any enthusiast would be proud of.
The final entry is Gerry Lloyd’s 2016 Rover 75 Coupe. Although a Coupe was unveiled as a concept in 2004 it never went into production, and Gerry liked it so much he decided to build his own. With the project taking around 2500 hours to complete, it is no surprise that the finished Rover receives so much interest.
The winner will be announced on the Restorer of the Year stand on the morning of Friday 22 March by Practical Classics editor Danny Hopkins and Wheeler Dealers’ Mike Brewer. For more information as well as the ticket prices and booking details, visit www.necrestorationshow.com