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17.02.2013, 13:06:07 cet

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Birmingham, England, 10 November 2002

Biggest Yet!
The 2001 edition had been the largest show up to then, but demand for space for the 2002 running was so strong that the organisers used a larger third hall this year. This was linked to the two main halls by an enclosed walkway, to provide a total of over 50000 square metres of exhibition space. Within the three halls were around 1000 vehicles of all descriptions, displayed on around 170 one-make club and numerous trade stands, with the extensive autojumble area featuring around 300 traders selling virtually everything from oil filters to fine art. The ”big” didn’t stop at the show itself, as it also had its biggest ever exhibit in the form of a WW II Sherman tank as part of a specialist military display. The statistics of this leviathan are impressive, as it weighs some 30 tons, has a 76mm main gun, a 9 cylinder Continental C4 radial engine of 16 litre capacity which consumes fuel at the rate of 2 gallons per mile, only its maximum speed lets the statistics down – a leisurely 20-25mph!

Classic British
As befits a show in what was the virtual heart of the motor industry that the United Kingdom once had, there was a fine selection of representatives of the ”home grown” product. The pre-war era was well represented with some rare models on display, like the Triumph Dolomite with it’s marvellously sculpted chrome radiator grille, a supremely elegant 1937 Charlesworth bodied Alvis Speed 25 convertible and the unique 1935 Jensen Ford station wagon built on a Ford type 48 chassis. Apart from the everyday cars of the late forties and fifties there were some fine examples of the elite British cars produced during that period like the Daimler Conquest from 1948, whilst the Post Vintage Humber Club had a superb display that included a Super Snipe and an Imperial with a Landaulette body by Thrupp & Maberly. There was the Ford Anglia, recently brought into prominence through its use in the hugely successful ”Harry Potter” movie, together with one of its main competitors in the early sixties, the ubiquitous Mini in a variety of forms, including a custom stretched limo example. There were also a number of commercial vehicles of all shapes and sizes, like the diminutive Austin Seven van, a 1958 Morris J2 breakdown truck, an ex-Royal Mail Morris JB van, a Ford 100E AA van, and an ex-army 1944 Hillman Utility van.

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 2001 show. This year the American car clubs and trade stands had been given their own area, entitled ”Americana”. This new theme attracted a wide range of ”American Iron”, and plastic in the form of Corvette and Viper including a rare GTS/R variant of the latter. The culture was represented in the form of a fifties diner layout, all chrome and plastic with the obligatory Wurlitzer juke box! There was a special celebration of 150 Years of Studebaker that included the only complete 1950 Champion Starlight Coupe in the UK, this wonderful bullet fronted Raymond Loewy designed creation is art-deco personified. Other cars in the Americana arena included (unsurprisingly) a Ford Mustang, a customised 1965 Chevrolet El Camino, a 1967 Dodge Coronet dragster and a Chrysler PT Cruiser in drag, or I should say in dragster configuration, featuring a 500 cubic inch (whatever that is in metric, it’s big!) Chrysler Wedge V8 engine.

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 an earlier generation the Volvo PV 544 together with a Ford Escort RS 1600 on the Minilite Wheels stand. The expansive Jaguar Daimler Heritage display included examples of Jaguar ”C” and ”D” Types, the 1966 XJ13 project car, together with the ”heavily armed” Jaguar XKR as featured in the latest James Bond movie. On the Ferrari Owners’ Club stand there was a 360 Challenge car sandwiched between a Testarossa and a Dino 246 GT. There was one of the two prototype Triumph TR2s on the TR Register stand along with a number of other TR variants, whilst elsewhere there were examples of the Anglo-American hybrid Sunbeam Tiger, a ”Macau” Triumph Spitfire commissioned by Walter Sulke, the Hong Kong main dealer, to use in the Macau Grand Prix in 1965, a BRM P159 F1 car and a Ford GT40 to name but a few.

Porsche Presence
The Porsche Club of Great Britain excelled themselves with a marvellous display of the company’s heritage. The line up of 911 models with a rare 914/6 was quite impressive, but apart from this there was a superb 550 Spider at the main entrance to the stand, alongside which mechanics from Autofarm were rebuilding an engine, but it wasn’t until you had passed through the central canopied boutique/hospitality area that the real ”stars” were evident! Not just one ex-Le Mans winner, but a trio of them in the form of a Martini 936/77, a Rothmans 956 and a Mobil 911 GT1, quite a breathtaking and colourful display, and one that certainly attracted the crowds in droves.

And Ferrari!
Unfortunately the majority of ”Ferrari only” enthusiasts would have left for home disappointed, as there was nothing of great rarity on show, although it is not every day that one sees an F40 or 360 Challenge car in the local supermarket car park. However, if there wasn’t a wide enough selection of real ones, then there were plenty of scale models available to fill yet another display cabinet, or box in the loft, at home.

Ferrari Models On Display
Ferrari Owners’ Club Stand

Model

Colour Chassis # Reg’ #

Dino 246 GT

Silver/Black 06952 246 EBK

308 GTB QV

Pale Blue Met’/Magnolia 56729 B7 JBD

Testarossa

Red/Black 77389 F725 MPB

Mondial 3.2 Coupe

Red/Magnolia 79348 F861 DOM

360 Challenge

Red/Red 123116 -


Autoglym Concours Display

Dino 246 GTS

Grey Met’/Red 06716 POB 222M

F40

Red/Red 83705 G914 BFC

348 ts

Red/Magnolia 86489 RAY 348



Keith Bluemel

Jaguar XK 120 “Little & large”
Ferrari 360 Challenge s/n 123116
936/77, 956 and 911 GT1
Pre-series Triumph TR2
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