The 2018 Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show was in top gear on Saturday 24th March, with a packed three-day events programme promising an eclectic mix of vehicles that could entertain even the most intellectual petrolhead for hours on end.
A record 28,151 motoring enthusiasts, an increase of over 3,000 attendees, visited Birmingham’s NEC to give over 1000 classics their own personal inspection.
A fairly uneventful 3.5 hour drive down from the North gave us an early start, and hopefully the nod over our competitive footfall. Not a chance! Hall 5 was buzzing, even at 9.15.
Unperturbed by the initial set-back we ventured directly into the bustling classic den, which of the available 3a, 4 & 5 halls, the latter seemed the most accessible and interesting.
Iconic cars including MG, Austin, Ford, Porsche, Lancia and Ferrari were just a small selection of the classic goodies being showcased on this extremely enjoyable trip down motoring memory lane.
Practical Classics Stand Out Stands
Like every born again critic we tend to hunt down and locate those ‘stand out stands’. You know the ones we mean? They always seem to attract more photo-bombers, who ‘unknowingly’ saunter into your ready to shoot viewfinder, rendering it virtually impossible to capture any decent shots.
Very difficult to choose stand out stands at the Practical Classics Restoration Show, as they’re all of such high quality and content. Nonetheless some do light up your classic travels more than others, such as the Jaguar Enthusiasts, MG, Ford Enthusiasts, Austin A30 / A35 Owners Club, Austin Maxi Owners Club, Wolseley and Morris Register.
If it’s learning, crafting, autojumble or Barn Finds you’re after, then look no further than the short walk upstairs into hall 4.
The autojumble on display was enough to satisfy any petrolheads healthy appetite for tools, models, hood ornaments, bright work, spares and even interiors.
Another great place we visited was the Carole Nash stand, unearthing some extraordinary barn, garden or garage finds. Each one evenly camouflaged in that obligatory four decades worth of dust and apparently lying dormant for more years than my grandad, god rest his soul.
Show Director Lee Masters said: “Over the past five years, the growth of this event has been phenomenal, not just in terms of the numbers but in the way the car clubs are pushing the boundaries with live working and demonstrations. They spur each other on and give fresh ideas on how to showcase the wealth of knowledge within the club as well enticing new members. There is no other show in the classic motoring community like it anywhere in the world!”
From entrance to exit, Birmingham NEC is a venue that lends itself to this well organised and quality assured classic event. Parking is secure and relatively inexpensive for the day (£12.00). Access is straight forward, whether able or disabled and refreshments are frequently placed with a great menu range.
Essentially the experience is in the hands and eyes of the classic beholder. Embrace the event with open arms and the enjoyment will follow without question.
Did you attend, and if so what was your experience?
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The event is now officially the UK’s fastest growing classic car event, which could see it expanding into the same floor-space as it’s big brother, the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show.
2018 Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show Gallery