So it’s that time of year already, the Classic Motor Show is back at the NEC in Birmingham. Once again it was spread over a massive 11 halls, with over 1500 classic cars making an appearance.
This year marked the shows 30th anniversary, its very strange thinking the show started back in 1984; the same year Peugeot launched the fabled 205 GTi, and Ferrari unveiled the stunning Testarossa. Back then the show took up just two halls with a concours display outside!
We were up bright an early on the Sunday to get there for doors opening at 9am. Entering hall 9 we instantly spied a stunning, lime green Lamborghini Miura S sitting pretty in the Meguiars concourse section. Its frog eye lights pointing upward, surrounding grille slots looking like fake eyelashes – it was a pretty sight!
It had won best overall car 2013, and in the 15 minutes I stood dribbling at it from every conceivable angle, I can personally agree with that title. It looked as fresh as the day it left the factory, perfect unblemished paintwork gleaned under the NEC’s lights, its black plastic trim untarnished and badges looking wrapper fresh.
Moving on past a bright orange Ford Capri, purple Porsche 993 Carerra 4S and a rather tasty Ferrari 208 GTB – all in OCD pristine condition – we came to the Ferrari Owners Club stand. Now where else can you see the F40, F50, Enzo lineage lined up next to each other?
Within spitting distance we caught a glimpse of a black and orange Grand Sport Vitesse, surrounded by more classic bugs from a bygone era. Look left and you can see a Mercedes 300SL gullwing, your admiration is torn, there’s too much to look at, too many directional decisions to be made….and we are only in the first hall of 11!
Eventually we made it through to the next hall, where Sporting Bears were providing their dream ride service once again. Cars on offer today included a very nice Ferrari California, the ever popular Nissan GTR, a brand new Range Rover Sport and an Escort RS Cosworth…oooh that tickled our fancy – but we resisted this time!
Moving through the rest of the halls we passed such wonders as the Piper P2, a Ford F-5 pickup, and a wonderfully cute Fiat 600 Multipla these are just a handful of the new vehicles we have never before heard of, let alone set eyes upon. Attending the Classic Car Show is a real educational experience!
Jenson Interceptors pepper the displays, and upon finding the live restoration stand we found an example of the aforementioned undergoing a severe rebuild. Just the shell was being worked on, but to see it develop and watch the techniques used in front of your eyes was rather mesmerising.
But it’s not all about classic cars, amongst the cherished beasts were such new rarities as Jaguars stunning CX-75 concept, the spiritual successor to the XJ220 that will never make production. In the flesh this big cat is gorgeous, small in stature but looking as though it’s devoured an F-Type. Its one of 5 prototype cars, a rare sight indeed.
Also on display in the American section was Chevrolets latest ‘vette. In bright yellow pierced with black trim it certainly gathered a crowd.
We were at the show for around 5 hours, walking through the halls twice we soon found out that somehow we missed areas on our first pass. Crowds seemed denser than last year after around 12 o’clock, so it’s best to get there early if you want clear, unhindered photo opportunities.
The vehicles on display were different from last year which was great, so was seeing manufactures displaying their latest toys.
At 30 years old the Classic Motor Show continues to grow, we saw and learnt new things over last year’s event, and will definitely be back in 2014!
For more information on Sporting Bears and to find out where they will be next click here: http://www.sportingbears.co.uk/
Follow them on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Sportingbears
For info on next year’s Classic Car Show, keep your eyes peeled here: http://www.necclassicmotorshow.com/
Follow NEC Classic on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/ClassicMotorNEC
Some more pictures from the day: