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 NEC Classic Show

Classic Motor Show + MPH Show

Birmingham, 14 – 16 November 2008

Two shows for the price of one! Visitors to either the Classic Motor Show or the MPH Show, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, were able to access the other show at no additional cost. This bargain deal, especially in these difficult economic times, led to massive crowds at the venues over the weekend of 14 – 16 November. In fact, on Saturday the volume of people trying to move between the Classic Show and the MPH Show was so great, that they had to be redirected via the main exit and entry points, rather than using the link between the halls. The central location with not only a direct motorway link, but also a covered walkway to both the railway station and Birmingham International Airport, must be another factor in its popularity. These features mean that access is easy, not only for the home crowd, but also for international visitors, which, from conversations overheard, were numerous.

Big is Beautiful
- Over the years the Classic Motor Show has expanded enormously, and this year occupied 5 halls of the complex, together with the “Pavillion” area dedicated to the two wheel classic motoring community, with their own dedicated “bike jumble” area. Within the halls there were over 1000 vehicles of all descriptions, displayed on around 170 one-make club and numerous trade stands, with large autojumble and trade areas featuring around 300 traders selling virtually everything from nuts and bolts to original artwork. Other features included a live stage, a restoration theatre, and “Dream Rides”, where for a charitable donation visitors could enjoy a ten mile ride in a classic car.

Classic Clubs
- The pre-war era representation included a fine display on the Bugatti Owners’ Club stand, and on that of the Pre-War Austin 7 Club, together with another nice array in the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club display, which included dissected display engines and an “exploded” automatic gearbox. All the major marque clubs had some impressive displays between them, including the BMW Car Club, with a nice selection of M3 variants and a 2002 Turbo, the Ferrari Owners’ Club, with their concours winning 275 GTS, The Mercedes Benz Club GB, with 300 SLs in Roadster and Gullwing form, the Maserati Club UK and the MG Owners’Club, to name but a few.

Americana - The American car and car culture is popular in many parts of the world, and the United Kingdom is no exception, as witnessed by the large presence at the 2008 show. There was a wide range of “American Iron”, ranging from plastic in the form of the Chevrolet Corvette, of which there were a number of variants on display, through to hot rods and dragsters. Of course there were icons like the sixties Ford Mustang, along with a ’57 Chevy Bel Air in “drag”.

Sports & Racing
- The motor sport enthusiast wasn’t left out in the cold, as there were numerous competition vehicles dotted around the halls. Amongst the rally cars on display were an MG Metro 6R4, and from earlier generations Sunbeam Talbots and Rapiers, plus a Hillman Imp. There were two sixties Le Mans pit lane recreations, one featuring the Sunbeam Alpines that ran there, and another featuring a pair of AC Cobras, one being “refuelled”. Octane magazine’s stand featured another AC Cobra, together with a Maserati 250 F F1 car, chassis # 2501. The Meguiar’s display included a Ferrari 268 SP sports racing model, and the Skoda Club GB had an Octavia rally car and a early sports racing model on display. The Porsche Club of Great Britain had a wildly modified 911 racing variant together with a Porsche powered Arrows F1 car on display, whilst the Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club had both a TZ1 and TZ2 to delight enthusiasts of the marque, together with the new 8C model and a rare Alfa Romeo car transporter.

– Apart from the maybe better established cars on display there were a few more obscure offerings! There was a stand for the Classic Hearse Register, featuring some quite bizarre vehicles converted into hearses, including a Fiat estate car, with very ornamental lights decorating both the inside and outside, a VW “Caravanette” and a Land Rover! There were also stands for micro cars, the Period & Classic Caravan Club, the Police Vehicles Enthusiasts Club and the Ex-Military Range Rover Association. Then there were club stands for rarities like the Fairthorpe, Gordon Keeble, Monteverdi, Peerless, Rochdale and Warwick marques. So it can be seen that there were a wide variety of niche interest displays to make a break from the regular offerings.

– “The Prestige & Performance Motor Show” was held in hall 5 of the NEC alongside the Classic Motor Show. Apart from the displays of exotic and unusual cars, there was also the Land Rover Driving Experience and the famed TV motoring programme Top Gear’s Live Theatre, featuring the stars of the series Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and “The Stig”, carrying out a series of zany stunts, although separate tickets had to be purchased to experience the latter. Here one could also salivate over extreme machines like the Pagani Zonda, Gumpert Apollo, Gemballa Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Gallardo and Murcielago Roadster to name but a few. There were also numerous tuning/customising stands, with wild variations on more everyday cars like the Peugeot 306, together with specialist British car manufacturers like Aeriel, Invicta, Keating and Salica. Autoglym had their Celebrity Concours display area, which featured the amazing polished aluminium Napier Railton from the Brooklands Museum, amongst the fine selection of cars on display. Thus the “Two for the Price of One” shows provided a truly diverse selection of both classic and modern motoring for the enthusiast attendees.

David O’Neill

Ferrari Models on Display

Ferrari Owners’ Club


Colour Chassis #

250 GT Lusso

Red/Black 5031GT

250 LM Rec’

Red/Blue 5149

275 GTS

Grey Met’/Red 07681

365 GTC/4

Bronze Met’/Beige 15543

365 GTB/4

Yellow/Black 15967

348 ts

Red/Cream 89973


Red/Red 91193

F355 Berlinetta F1

Red/Cream 113277

Tom Hartley

F430 Spyder F1

Grey Met’/Red 147539

P1 Supercar Club

F430 Spyder

Red/Beige 157875

Driving Experience Direct

360 Modena F1

Red-Yellow/Beige 133528


360 Spyder

Black Met’/Beige-Black 133885


246 GTS

Grey Met’/Red 06716

550 Maranello

Grey Met’/Black 110103


365 GTB/4

Red/Beige-Black 15381


268 SP Red/Blue 0798

Keith Bluemel

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