A superb collection of ‘rust and rarities’ brought in a record number of classic motoring enthusiasts in the Birmingham’s NEC for the fourth outing of the Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show, which for the first time opened for three days.
With 132 classic motoring clubs displaying a mixture of stunning cars and live working on project cars, 25,128 attendees enjoyed the interactive show which had over 1,000 cars on display across six halls, totalling 42,000 square metres.
Acting Show Director Lee Masters: “This show just goes from strength to strength. In just four years, its already grown to half the size of its ‘big sister’, the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, and has earned tremendous support from the classic community.
“We had more clubs than ever before, with even more doing live working on their stands. Some clubs were even working right down to the announcement that the show had closed and the horns started blasting signalling a great weekend was had by all!”
A highlight of the event as always was the UK’s biggest Barn Find display with the 1972 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow stealing the show from the other 24 discoveries. Found by Chris Pearson from Bolton, the Rolls was covered in moss on the outside and housed a colony of spiders under the bonnet from the amount of webs featured.
At the other end of the motoring extreme, the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership saw 20 finalists battle it out for the visitors votes. Its was Keith Edmund’s 1972 Triumph Spitfire that proved to be the crowd favourite, with Ian Mill’s 1969 Ford Cortina 1600E coming second and Michael Hawkins’ 1972 Ford Escort RS2000 taking third place.
The debut of Classic Car Auctions (CCA) and its biggest ever sale featuring over 200 cars was a huge success with 75 per cent of cars going to new homes. Total sales of £2.4million made it CCA’s highest priced sale since the auction house was founded.
There was much excitement over on the Practical Classics Live Stage with Discovery, because as well as working on two classic restoration projects over the weekend, there was also the debut of the new Wheeler Dealers line up.
Show stalwart Mike Brewer was joined by his new co-host and mechanic Ant Anstead on the PC Live Stage with Discovery for a very frank interview in front of a packed crowd about the future of Wheeler Dealers and the departure of Edd China.
The duo then got their hands dirty helping Mike Coman and the Leeds City College team in the Workshop sponsored by Skill Shack with one of the many demos, which ranged from panel beating to lead loading.
The Right Honorable Sir Greg Knight also took to the stage offering words of support to the classic motoring community and advising them to be vocal about their wants and needs to keep Britain’s motoring heritage at the forefront of parliamentary discussion.
The Sporting Bears’ Dream Rides raised over £12,000 from offering ten mile passenger rides in cars from the Dream Rides Garage, which was £5,000 up on last year. Since it was formed, the Sporting Bears Motoring Club has raised £1.8million for children’s charities around the UK.
Visitors also had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a classic car with HERO by choosing one of their ‘Arrive and Drive’ fleet. Many enthusiasts enjoyed drives around the outskirts of the NEC in the likes of Porsches, Jaguars and the like.
Around 350 specialist traders were involved with the show including leading dealers, parts and spares suppliers. The show also hosts the spring’s biggest indoor Autojumble.
The next Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show will be held from 23-25 March 2018.