Recently, and as discussed in News Show 145, I toddled along to the NEC to spend a wet, windy November Saturday admiring the eclectic, if not downright random at times, selection of veteran, vintage, classic and newtimers on display.
The, to give it its full and proper name, "Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery" is an annual event and for 2017 brought together over 2,500 cars and motorcycles in one warm, dry place. There are so many cars, almost all of interest in one way or another, that keeping to a rigid "follow all the aisles without deviation" pattern without getting distracted by some obscure gem was almost impossible. Indeed, I returned home to find that I'd accidentally missed about a quarter of Hall 5!
As ever, some of the British motor industry's finest works were on display as well as some examples of the darker days. My particular favourite from the latter category was the Allegro Equipe displayed in front of a contemporary advertisement extolling that "It looks like it moves and moves like its looks." Quite.
My overall favourite of the day, oddities apart, had to be the Porsche 924 Carrera GT that came sixth at Le Mans in 1980 - one of my favourites from the pair of "50 Years of Porsche" posters that hung above my bed as I grew up.
One of the things I've noticed in the past few years is the number of cars from my childhood that are starting to be displayed. In some ways that's depressing, but I'm finally understanding why my father got so enthused by the "less dynamic" vehicles that were on display when we visited together a few years ago. Now I find myself getting gooey over small and medium-sized BMW and Mercedes from the 1980s and early 1990s. That's one fo the great things about this show - it's truly multi-generational and can spark all sorts of story telling and reminiscing. Whether that's a good thing or not is, I guess, entirely down to your family!
One of the challenges of the show is that there's simply so much to see. I didn't, for example, get a chance to see the chaps from Wheeler Dealers or other Discovery shows on their live stage and neither did I see any of Practical Classics' demonstrations. One could easily spend half a day watching each of those.
In summary, the Classic Motor Show has more diverse and interesting vehicles, covering a larger area than you can reasonably see in one day and somethng that should be looked on as part of the closedown of the annual car show season.
Next year's show will be held from 9th to 11th November 2018, again at the NEC. More information on times, tickets and what will be happening on their website.