It’s not hard to see why the Classic Motor Show at the NEC is described as the biggest and most popular classic car exhibition in the UK. With over 1700 brilliant cars from all eras, showcasing a myriad of marques and models, this really is an overwhelming show covering all bases.
As we first walked through the door of the NEC Classic Car show this thing stole our attention. This is a genuine Porsche 917 from the Spa museum in Belgium right at home infront of its iconic Steve McQueen movie Le Mans backdrop. This vehicle is chassis 917 013/034 and actually took part in the filming of the iconic 1970 movie when it was driven by McQueen himself. Its wins include the Daytona 24 Hours and Monza 1000km. Not too mention this amazing car has been driven by such legendary names as Derek Bell, Pedro Rodrîguez, Jo Siffert, Richard Attwood, Gijs van Lennep and Jackie Oliver.
This year’s show celebrated The Big Screen with a selection of car models that have benefitted from some ‘silver screen’ time. Such as this Lotus Esprit.
And this TVR from the film Swordfish.
With financial backing from Renault, Alpine prototype racers recorded many class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the mid 1960s. The Alpine 220 featured a V8, good for around 350 bhp in a tubular spaceframe chassis. The first A220 made its debut early in the 1968 season, but proved underpowered and unreliable.
Its a striking looking car from any angle.
Toyota raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours race from 1985, and in order to win the championship title in 1989, they developed the 88C-V racer. Powering the machine was an R32V 3.2-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine which pumped out a mighty 800hp. The 88C-V debuted at Round 4 Fuji 500 Miles in the All Japan Sports Prototype Car Championships in 1988, qualifying 7th. During the final, it demonstrated excellent potential with its high speed but was forced to retire as a result of engine issues.
This 328 GTB Ferrari has been a successful contender in the Formula Classic series in recent years.
Ferrari 275 GTB/2 (short nose) more of a pure sports car rather than grand tourer. Built between 1964-1968 with its sublime V12 its the first Ferrari road car to feature twin overhead camshafts.
This rare BMW 2002 Baur Conversion has seen a 4 year restoration.
1957 Lagonda 3 litre sports has a body design based on the racing Lagonda V12’s and Aston Martin DB3S.
This DB5 has been competed raced, sprinted and hill climbed since 1974.
Even still to this present day the car is one of the most actively campaigned DB5’s in existence, and has taken part in over 70 AMOC completion events.
Seeing this Zagato AR1 Roaster was a real surprise. Released in 2003 it’s based on the DB7 V12 Vantage. After the success of the coupe, Zagato released a convertible as seen below. Practicality did not come in to the equation with this car, as there was no hood, no tonneau cover and space for just two people. It’s powered by the Aston’s 6.0 litre V12 giving maximum power of 435bhp. The is one of only three AR1’s registered in the UK and one of 99 produced.
Maserati celebrated its centenary in style with 21 cars on display. This beautiful 200s is one of only 28 made. The 200s won the San Marino Grand Prix and Targa Florio in 1955, while Stirling Moss piloted a 200s to victory in the 1956 Trofeo Supercortemaggiore.
The 200s’ successor the 300s would also see great success, winning at the Nurburgring in 1956.
This 250F is owned by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason.
This particular example (one of 26) suffered since it was used in F1, leaving Europe for South America. Where unbelievably the 2.5 litre straight six Maserati A6 engine was replaced by a Chevrolet unit.
Fortunately, after a full restoration the car has now been returned to its original engine specifications. For more on the 250F check out our Goodwood Revival coverage here.
The 3500GT is one of the most recognised Maserati. This was the car that elevated the marque to iconic status.
The Morgan SP1 comical looks drew quite a crowd. The styling of this unique Morgan was inspired by Morgan’s 2009 LifeCar concept, itself a spin off of the Aero 8. At the SP1’s heart is the 3.7-litre Ford V6 from the Morgan Roadster; there it produces 280bhp, but the SP1’s new engine management system and custom exhaust may have boosted this a little.
Hosting a 400m2 stand, Jaguar Heritage were out in force with their heritage collection of cars, servicing, restoration and lifestyle products.
The beautifully presented 1957 ‘Shortnose’ D Type, chassis no 561 became the Ecurie Ecosse team’s third and last car.
60 years on and the D-Type is still a work of art.
But the real standout at the Jaguar was this car.
It was an amazing sight to see “Car Zero”, the prototype for the six brand new lightweight E types. The new cars will complement the 12 original cars that left the Browns Lane factory in 1963, bringing the total amount of genuine lightweight E-Types to 18, the number that was originally intended.
The six cars will continue to be made and will carry the original series chassis numbers of the ‘missing’ vehicles. The attention to detail on the prototype was second to none.
Each new E-Type will be powered by a recreated version of the formidable XK-based straight-six engine, with an aluminium block, a ‘wide angle’ aluminium cylinder head, and a dry sump lubrication system. Owners can specify either of two fuel injection options will be offered. Three Weber carburettors will be fitted as standard, but a Lucas fuel injection system will be available as a cost option.
It was a great sight to see three Works Austin Healey 3000 Rally cars.
Car 300 is the only works Austin Healey to be both rallied and raced internationally, ARX 91B remains remarkably original. Paddy Hopkirk/Henry Liddon used it to win the 1964 Austrian Alpine an dit also ran at two Targo Florios.
Sir Stirling Moss was there on stage talking about his amazing stories, with many anecdotes about the late Jack Brabham.
1982 Renault 5 Turbo 1.
I can’t say I have seen a Scirocco convertible before.
A very well prepared Talbot Sunbeam Lotus.
We were really drawn to this retro detailing.
This 1979 Porsche 911 (Type 930) Turbo Martini Edition was limited model inspired by the racing success of Porsche at Le Mans in the 1970’s.
Arguably one of the greatest Ferrari’s ever produced…the Daytona.
Currently in 1980 Triplex livery, this Rover 3500 SD1 Group 1 race car was originally built for Tim Harvey to race in 1986 production saloon championships and Willhire 24hour.
In 1980, following the launch of the MKIII Escort, Ford plans were started to produce a rear wheel drive Escort to replace the MK II Works rally cars, the RS1700T, with a full programme expected in 1983. The Escort 1700T was unofficially the first true silhouette of a Group B rally car. The RS 1700T Program was cancelled which gave rise to one of Ford greatest cars the RS 200. Most of the 18 RS 1700T examples were crushed, but a few like this one remain.
This Honda S800 was wonderfully detailed. Introduced at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, the S800 would replace the successful Honda S600 as the company’s image car and would compete with the Austin-Healey Sprite, MG Midget, Triumph Spitfire and Fiat 850 Spider.
With the size of this event, there were always some surprises. Upon leaving we came across this impressive collection of Gulf liveried GT40 replicas.
Along with #25 Gulf Porsche 917 leading this epic group.
We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of the Classic Motor Show.
DRIVEN TO PERFORM