Wednesday, 18 November 2015

You love the NEC Classic Motor Show - here are some other great classic car shows you won't want to miss

LAST weekend I joined 68,000 of you in getting up at the crack of dawn so they can join a traffic jam just outside Birmingham. It was worth it – the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show is one of those automotive pilgrimages everyone should do at least once.

Even petrolheads I know who think anything south of Crewe is ‘a bit far’ will happily head down the M6 to see 3000 classic cars – whether it’s an Austin Maestro van or an Aston Martin Vanquish that floats your boat, chances are you’ll have found it in Birmingham’s halls of automotive dreams.

It’s also the place where you can see Mike Brewer and Edd China finish a three-day resto miraculously close to kicking-out time on the final day and where just about every spare part imaginable will be at the bottom of a box on an autojumble stand.

It’s great fun – but it’s also where most petrolheads’ idea of a weekend outing stops.

The NEC show is great despite having to visit Birmingham on a dreary weekend. Auto Retro, on the other hand, is an excuse to persuade the other half to catch some winter sun in Barcelona – and it’s only a budget flight away from Liverpool or Manchester. If you’re staying overnight Barcelona’s hotels cost roughly the same as Birmingham’s – and whichever way you cut it, you’re more likely to persuade your other half with Gaudi’s basilica than the Bullring shopping centre.

It’s the same story with Germany. I love the Silverstone Classic, but book your plane tickets now on the cheap and you could just easily go to the Nürburgring in the height of summer for the AVD Oldtimer Grand Prix. Forget the language barrier – it’s worth going just to see all those BMW M1s and Porsche 911s going to war on the world’s scariest race track.

Then there’s the Irish National Classic Car Show in Dublin next March – a whole day of motoring fun and an evening of knocking back pints of Guiness, less than an hour from John Lennon airport – or the AutoMotoRetro show in the shadow of the old Fiat factory in Turin. Then there’s the behemoth that is the Essen show next April – if you think your feet get a bit tired after a day after tramping around the NEC then you’ll have no idea just how enormous Europe’s biggest classic car show is. You could spend weeks wandering around in there!

The NEC is great and as a show it belongs to 'us' - the classic car nuts. But just remember there are so many other shows just waiting to be discovered, and they’re only a cheap flight away.

Adios, amigo. See you in Barcelona!

Read more about the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show in today's issue of Classic Car Weekly

1 comment:

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