Classic Motor Show attracts tens of thousands at Birmingham NEC on Remembrance weekend
More than 71,000 visitors attended the Classic Motor Show at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre on November 8-11.
The 34th show featured a staggering 3000 vehicles, and it was one of the world’s biggest meetings of car clubs – more than 300 were present.
Silverstone Auctions also held a sale that took £4 million, including Frank Sinatra’s 1984 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible – a present to Sinatra from Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr – that sold for £140,625.
Steve McQueen’s 1945 Willys Jeep was also on offer, fetching £84,375, and – contrasting wildly with the Jeep – a 2015 Volkswagen XL1 took more than £100,000. The XL1 is the most aerodynamic production car to date, one of 200 built, and hasn’t even run 100 miles. Its power unit produces just 75hp for a top speed of 62mph…
But the biggest price tag was attached to the 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Automatic Sports Saloon: £214,313.
Sunday was Remembrance Day, and a poignant two-minute silence was broken by the sound of a lone bagpiper on the Live Stage.
“[The show] took place on Armistice Day and it was an honour to see so many clubs pay tribute,” said show director Lee Masters. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house…”
The Live Stage also played host to Tony Jardine, TV presenters Vicki Butler-Henderson and Quentin Wilson, Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead.
On the show floor, Lyndon Creamer won the Club Showcase with his 1964 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle while it was the 1969 Ford Cortina Savage Mk2 that won the Pride of Ownership competition.
As for motorcycles, the 1950 Norton Jowa took the honours in the two-wheeler Pride of Ownership concours. The Pride of Ownership competitions were judged by visitors themselves, with more than 100 entries to choose from.
With the show’s central theme being ‘built to last’, highlighting the evolution of motoring and motor sport from the early pioneers to modern supercars, it also became clear that the Classic Motor Show – approaching its 35th show in 2019 – has its own impressive staying power.