THE BLACK COUNTRY SHOWS OFF AT THE NEC’S 2008 CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW
Not wishing to miss out on all the action up the road in Birmingham, the Black Country is making its presence felt at this year’s premiere classic car show – the 2008 Classic Motor Show, held at the NEC between the 14th and 16th November.
Amid all the polished international exotica, the Black Country’s finest will be making their presence felt too. The Black Country Classic Car Club will be celebrating its fifth birthday by exhibiting to classic performance greats – the mighty Ford Capri 3-litre and the landmark MkI Golf GTI. Effectively, this will be a show of ‘cause and effect’; the first hot-hatch, the model which made cars like affordable large-engined coupés a thing of the past.
Going further back in time and Steve Hill from Wolverhampton will be showing off his star turn on the Ford Cortina MkII & 1600E Owners’ Club stand. Freshly rebuilt and, presented to an incredibly high standard, Steve’s massively rare MkII Lotus Cortina Crayford will be taking pride of place. MkII Cortina Crayford survivors are extremely unusual models due to the low number of models built. Expect to experience duelling elbows in the crowd which will undoubtedly be drawn to this stunning car, because for many this will be the first Lotus MkII Crayford they will have seen.
“They only build 20 of them and of those only four are known to survive,” says Steve. “It was rebuilt 15 years ago, but the car’s paintwork was suffering with microblister and I wasn’t happy about that. So it’s been stripped to a bare shell and completely repainted, the engine has been rebuilt, a completely new interior fitted – including a new dashboard – and it’s even got all new glass. It’s stuff which is really hard to get hold of and I’ve been talking to people with these rare odd bits and pieces stashed away in sort of unlikely places – like wardrobes!”
What does it mean for Steve to have his labour of love on show at the classic event of the year? “I’ve been a member of the Club for 23 years and this is the ultimate – it’s prestigious, a real honour,” says Steve.
On hand to remind the world that the Black Country used to build some beautiful cars is the Jensen Owners’ Club, which will be showing off the work of West Bromwich’s most famous automotive sons. David Newby, the club’s chairman explains:
“The ‘theme’ for this year’s Show is launches. Jensen launched so many different and innovative features over the years, that we found it impossible to mount a display which did justice to them all.” says Newby.
“Therefore, we are featuring a colourful display of four cars. Visitors to our stand in previous years often comment ‘I remember the Jensen Interceptor from when I was a kid’ and so we are featuring three different Interceptors, a very nice MkI, a superbly restored FF MkII and a very original, striking MkIII. In addition, we will also have a beautiful Jensen-Healey.”
Newby continues: “The Jensen Owners’ Club regards the Classic Motor Show as one of the premier events of the year, as it allows us to show off our cars to a huge audience, both from the classic motoring fraternity and to the general public.
“Being in the NEC, we get a lot of visitors from the West Midlands, the home of Jensen, and frequently meet people who actually worked in the factory or associated businesses. Talking to these people often proves fascinating and gives new insights into the factory and the people involved with the marque. We have made a lot of new friends over the years by attending the Classic Motor Show. We wouldn’t miss it for the world!”
Meanwhile, planning to get a cheeky headstart on the Mini’s 50th anniversary year, is the Birmingham Mini Owners’ Club – but don’t let the name fool you because many of its members herald from the Black Country. Visit their stand to get more information on their huge plans for next year’s landmark celebrations.
But that’s not all! In addition to the clubs, there will also be a flood of other great activities to experience as well as the vast array of fantastic classic cars, services, parts and products.
The Restoration Theatre is a live seminar held by a team of restoration experts from the Leeds College of Technology. The team isn’t just there to demonstrate a wide range of techniques – but they can actually physically show you what’s involved and how best to tackle a project.
Dream Rides will be an opportunity for visitors to go for a ten-mile ride in a classic exotic – so if you’re really lucky perhaps your dream car might be on hand to give you a rare taste of the real thing. All you have to do is make a donation to charity.
Meanwhile TV motoring presenter Mike Brewer, along with his trusty mechanic Edd China, will be hosting Wheeler Dealer Live on the Live Stage, providing visitors with professional hands-on demonstrations, advice, famous faces and plenty of entertainment.
Still want more? Well, this year’s show also has an exciting first, Classic Bikes at the Classic Motor Show, an area solely dedicated to classic machinery of the two-wheeled variety. Adjoining the main display halls, the Pavilion is a 5,000 square metre shrine to motorcycles and scooters which will be predominantly occupied by club displays. You name it and you’ll probably see it – from the humble Vespa to the mighty Vincent HRD.
The Classic Motor Show is open from 10am until 6.30pm on Friday, 9.30am until 6.30pm on Saturday, and 9.30am until 5.30pm on Sunday. Ticket prices range from £15 when purchased in advance. For the latest updates or to book tickets, visit necclassicmotorshow.com or tel: 0870 060 3776.