This year I had the chance to go to the Practical Classics Restoration and Classic Car Show at the NEC Birmingham, an experience that did not disappoint.
After driving up from Cambridge to Birmingham, and a stop off at the press office for a cup of tea, we got stuck in to the event. It was huge, an extensive show. I had underestimated just how big the show was going to be and, of course, how stuffed with enthusiasts it would be.
The Silverstone Auctions
First up, we visited the gleaming specimens Silverstone Auctions. Despite the fact that the cars were classic, they were restored to such an amazing standard that they could have rolled right off the production line. Pretty amazing.
This pristine 1999 Lamborghini Diablo SV had a big impact on passers by. It was hard for me to take my eyes off it too.
The Barn Finds area was the surprise of the day for me. The cars weren’t exactly in the best of conditions it has to be said but given their humble origins, they looked pretty good. The organisers had clearly gone all out for the presentation of this section and everyone who attended the show was lapping it up. The whole atmosphere around the idea of the heritage and the challenge behind these Barn Find cars was great to experience.
This Volkswagen Camper was growing life of its own in the Barn Finds section.
PC Live Stage
The PC Live Stage was packed all day long, there was always something going on. There were many useful presentations being made including Q&A slots, celebrity interviews and Ask Our Experts just for starters.
The Dream Rides section I loved. It was ran by The Sporting Bears Motor Club who dedicate all money raised to a variety of children’s charities in the UK. The idea was that anyone at the show could pay a donation for a 10 mile ride in any of the cars involved in the section. It was certainly proving popular. I for one wouldn’t have said no to a ride in the Volkswagen Split Screen Camper.
The Dream Rides cars were filling the NEC up with engine noise and that incredible specific-to-classic-cars smell. It was great. Experiencing a classic car show with the cars being driven, revved and tinkered with created the perfect atmosphere in my opinion.
Stalls For Parts And Memorabilia
The stalls were a huge part of the show. Everything car related you could think of was included and it was great to see so many people getting involved and discussing their restoration projects. I managed (with a lot of self control) to keep from rummaging around too excessively; I could have stayed in this area for hours hoping to add to my little collection of car badges.
As with my surprised pleasure of finding the Dream Rides section, another great element of the Practical Classics show was seeing many legs sticking out from underneath cars, heads under bonnets and intense discussions going on over engines. The whole show was so hands on, I loved it. Seeing people’s passions at work is a real inspiration.
Overall, the Practical Classics Restoration and Classic Car Show was a wonderfully intense event, with every make, model, design and horsepower you could want. I can safely say that I’ll be going next year.
Author: Hannah Brookes