The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show returns to the NEC in Birmingham on November 10–12. Here’s what to expect
The wait is over! The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show gets underway at Birmingham’s NEC on Friday. Once again it promises to be a cracking event, with over 3000 classic cars on display, plus 350 exhibitors and traders, the UK’s biggest indoor autojumble and over 300 car clubs. We bring you some of the highlights to look out for during this three-day spectacular.
Our stand will be located in Hall 2, and to match the show’s ‘Perfect Partners’ theme, will feature the winning choices from our recent dream two-car classic garage feature. Come along and meet some of the editorial team – you’ll also be able to bag a bargain offer on any of our magazines or bookazines.
Meet the celebrities
This year’s show will offer visitors more motoring knowledge than ever before with the new ‘Meet the Experts’ Theatre, hosted by Wheeler Dealers’ Mike Brewer and car journalist and YouTuber ‘Auto Alex’ Kersten.
They will be joined by other well-known faces from TV and YouTube as well as motoring journalists and industry campaigners. These include Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars co-presenter Paul Cowland, highly respected engineer Ralph Hosier, Vintage Voltage TV show star and founder of Electric Classic Cars, Richard Morgan (a.k.a. Moggy), and journalist and YouTuber Shahzad Sheikh (a.k.a. BrownCarGuy).
As well as the panels, there will also be interviews with Dougie Lampkin and the stars of the new movie ‘Classic’ – actress Katherine Kelly and multi award-winning writer and actor, Tony Pitts.
There will also be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Wheeler Dealers, with Mike sharing his stories from behind the scenes.
Other celebs set to be present at the show include Alex Riley and fellow TV personality Sarah Crabtree.
Clubs are the heart of the Classic Motor Show, and 2023 will be no exception. A whopping 318 clubs are set to exhibit – the biggest gathering of car clubs in the world!
The highlights are almost too numerous. In Hall 4, the Women Driver’s Social Club will be celebrating the huge achievements of its first year. Cars on display will include a 1961 Mercury Comet (one of only five in the UK), a 1960 MGA in rare Alamo Beige, a 1990 VW Scirocco and a Mexican VW Beetle.
Expect some real rarities, too. For example, the XJS Club in Hall 2 will be exhibiting the one-one prototype Daimler XJS, while the Daimler SP250 Owners’ Club will showcase one of Robin Read’s famed 2000bhp dragsters. Adding a royal slant will be the Middlebridge Enthusiasts Scimitar Set, which will display the car that until recently was owned by Princess Anne.
As ever, plenty of anniversaries will also be celebrated. In Hall 5, the Classic Corvette Club UK will be showing an example of each of the eight generations to mark the model line’s 70th birthday while the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Registry will pay tribute to 70 years of the Alpine with a display that includes the Works rally cars of Sir Stirling Moss and Shelia Van Damms. Meanwhile, the Singer Motor Club will have an example of the SM 1500, first revealed 75 years ago, and the J-Type Register will mark the 75th anniversary of the popular Morris J-Type commercial.
Over in Hall 2 Club Lotus will celebrate 75 years of the marque with a packed display. And in Hall 3, the Morris Register will be showing the very first Morris car produced, a 1913 Bullnose that’s now 110 years old. Looking to the future in Hall 8 will be the Capri280 Group, which will mark 55 years of the Capri in 2024 and plan to kickstart the celebrations at the NEC.
Elsewhere, The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs’ Federation Village is set to be another unmissable highlight. Located in the entrance to Hall 5, it will see the FBHVC joined by its scanning partner, Genus, which will be demonstrating how clubs can digitise their archive material. The stand will also include a great display of historic vehicles, including a curious 1974 Zagato Zele!
The Sporting Bears
The Sporting Bears will be organising Dream Rides at the NEC. In return for a minimum donation to UK children’s charities, Sporting Bears will take you out for a 10-mile/20-minute passenger ride on the open roads surrounding the venue in the car of your dreams.
Since Dream Rides began in 1989, the Sporting Bears have raised over £2.5m in donations. With 1500 members in the club, The Dream Rides Garage will certainly have a car for everyone whether you love British classics, hot hatches or thrilling supercars.
HERO-ERA Arrive & Drive
Ever dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a classic icon? Well, now you can courtesy of HERO-ERA’s Arrive & Drive Classic Car Experience. Throughout the show, the HERO-ERA fleet will be available for four-mile drives and passenger rides on the roads around the NEC.
Option 1 cars are priced at £55 for drivers and from £30 for passengers, and include a Triumph TR4, a Mk1 VW Golf GTI and a MGB roadster, while option 2 cars include a Martini-liveried Lancia Delta Intergrale and a Mk1 Mini Cooper S, priced at £75 for drivers and from £30 for passengers. Book via www.necclassicmotorshow.com
Celebrating its 10th year as headline sponsor, Lancaster Insurance has once again pulled together an incredible display in Hall 1 to show how it is the perfect partner for any classic enthusiast.
Embracing the theme, Lancaster will take you on a journey through time, focusing on the connections between iconic cars and the culture that embraced them. Vehicles on display will include a 1940 Austin Atlantic, a 1955 Citroën Traction Avant, a 1967 Jaguar E-Type, a 1978 Rover SD1, a 1989 Ford Sapphire Cosworth, a 1993 Ford Fiesta and a 2004 MG SVR.
It’s also your last chance to win the beautifully restored 1970 Austin-Healey Sprite. The free competition closes at midnight on November 12, 2023, and the lucky winner will receive their car before Christmas! Ts and Cs apply.
The Lancaster team will also be on hand all weekend to talk to enthusiasts about the benefits of partnering with Lancaster for their classic car insurance. If you don’t manage to speak to a member over the weekend, call 01480 400 858 to see how they can help you and become the perfect match.
Dress to drive
Dress to drive is about embracing your favourite classic period and celebrating automotive fashion.
Showcase your best attire, then visit the Lancaster Insurance stand in Hall 1 for a themed photo opportunity and a chance to enter the competition. You could win prizes, feature in the show’s social post, and secure a ticket for next year’s show!
Meguiar’s Club Showcase
The Meguiar’s Club Showcase is always a massive NEC highlight, featuring a fantastic line-up of cars that have been winners at club events during the year. The 2023 ‘best of the best’ will include Lee Irving’s 1954 VW Beetle, Matthew Birtwistle’s 1950 Jaguar XK120, Philip Wheatley’s 1994 Mercedes-Benz E220 Coupe, Scott Turner’s Mini Cooper, Craig Rumbelow’s MG Maestro Turbo and Rob Evans’ 1972 VW Camper Type 2.
Completing the line-up will be Pete Godley’s 2003 BMW E46 M3, David Fleming’s 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS, Walter Petchey’s Triumph TR5, Mark Barrett’s 1937 Chevrolet Pick-Up, Mark Stewart’s 1995 Subaru Impreza, Mark Tossell’s MG EX182 and Dan Ball’s Ford Capri Mk3 2.0S, plus the 1977 Jaguar XJ-C of Neil Lakin and Michael Mohan.
Wheeler Dealers’ Mike Brewer will reveal the winner at 12pm on Sunday.
Pride of Ownership
Just as in previous years, 20 finalists will be vying for the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership award at this year’s Classic Motor Show. Brian Kent’s original 1956 Vauxhall Cresta is the oldest car in the final, with the 1999 Toyota MR2 of Darren Letts the newest. In between you’ll find a wide range of classics, including several Fords, a classic Mini restored by 16-year-old twin brothers, a bike-engine Hillman Imp and a VW Golf putting out 525bhp!
The winner will be decided by the show visitors, who will be invited to vote for their favourite, and announced by Mike Brewer on the Sunday.
The final Iconic (formerly Silverstone Auctions) auction of 2023 is set to take place at the show, and is set to be another massive highlight. The Collectors’ Car Sale will take place on the Saturday, with an Automobilia and Motorcycle Sale scheduled for the following day. Amongst the 164 car lots, which can be viewed in Hall 2 (admission to the auction stand is by catalogue only), are some of the most desirable classics to ever grace the NEC. These include a Ford RS200 that has covered an unprecedented 12 miles from new and carries a guide price of £500,000-£700,000, together with a 2004 Range Rover formerly enjoyed by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which is estimated at £50,000-£60,000.
Of course, there’s plenty more to tickle the fancy of any classic car enthusiast, with entries to suit a wide range of budgets. You can view the full catalogue at iconicauctioneers.com.
- Rest your feet by checking out the Meet the Experts Theatre and Restoration Workshop.
- Plan your day by looking at the timetable in the programme, there’s a lot to see.
- Wear decent shoes as you’ll have a lot of ground to cover!
- Arrive at the autojumble early to bag the bits you need. There will be over 350 trade stands!
- Looking to purchase your first classic car or add to your existing collection? The dealers at the show have cars to suit all needs and pockets.
- Book parking in advance. See www.necclassicmotorshow.com/plan-your-visit for details on how you can save £5 a day. You also save a few pounds by parking in the train station car park if you arrive early enough.
Get to the show
The event takes place at Birmingham’s NEC (B40 1NT) from November 10-12
Friday, November 10: 10.00am – 6.00pm
Saturday, November 11: 9.00am – 6.00pm
Sunday, November 12: 9.00am – 5.00pm
You can purchase advance tickets online before midnight on Thursday November 9, 2023. See www.necclassicmotorshow.com