The official UK modified car show season may well have come to a close just a week or so ago at Ultimate Stance, but there was one last event for 2021 that we simply couldn't miss out on, and that's the Classic Motor Show.
It has to be said that every year this collection of old skool motors and modern classics offers a display that's unlike anything else in the world, and it's not what you'd call small either, it actually fills Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre to the brim. And, what's more, the classic car community are far less "flat cap and tweed' nowadays than many think, too. But, how does it appeal to us as dyed-in-the-wool, hardcore modified car nuts? Pretty damn well actually.
You see, what's most ironic is that, although there are plenty of super-rare, and super-stock, works of automotive nostalgia to check out, many of the cars on the scene that come with a little more history under their belt seem to be even more modified than the majority of the modern examples out there. Here you'll find everything from intricate and tastefully tweaked restomod royalty, to full on classic race cars, retro supercars and everything else in between…
As they say though, it's all in the journey. And, for us, that means hitting the road with plenty of stock and - for this year at least - a limited projects fleet.
As you can imagine, what with so many traders and around 3000 display cars - not to mention one or two social distancing regulations to be adhered to - space can be a little on the limited side at this infinitely popular event. And, that seems to go double if you happen to have a huge Airstream pop-up-store to cram in there. But, we still managed to put on a hefty display, even extending part of our "shop' setup to include our Caddy V2 project… any excuse to get that out, eh?
But, even though there was a strict limit on the amount of cars we could take, the stand was no less busy over the course of the weekend, and that's hardly surprising with over 60,000 visitors through the door.
When it comes to the cars, we just love what's on offer here, naturally we spend many hours drooling over the coolest retro motors on a daily basis, that almost goes without saying. But, perhaps what we like even more, is that the vast majority of attendees are seriously into their detailing. In fact, we'd say that there's nothing that classic car owners love more than a polish and wax, and that means you'll see plenty of the cleanest cars that you'll find at any show, anywhere on the planet. Obviously, over the course of three days, too, these are constantly being primmed and preened to keep them looking even better than when they left their respective factories all those years ago. In fact, it's as if using the right products and detailing procedures can effectively make time stand still for decades… but then again, we've been saying that from the start, haven't we?
One thing that's always a little surprising is the cars that have most recently gained modern classic status, the sort of vehicles that are racking up more and more notoriety and, even though they wouldn't be particularly regarded as retro, or even rare, just a few years ago, are now absolutely soaring in price. It certainly makes you question what vehicles will be regarded as bona fide classics in the near future, right?
Speaking about rising prices, too, the Classic Motor Show also plays host to the famous blue carpet of Silverstone Auctions. This is where all sorts of vehicles go under the hammer and, once again, it can be full of surprises as cars that could be had for fair money just a few years ago now command the sort of prices that seem to need a mortgage to go with them. How about a 2001 Evo VI for £73,000? Or a 1987 Sierra Cosworth for £103,000? Then again with a spare £63,000 you could have a 2001 E46 M3, or a 1990 Audi Quattro for the princely sum of £59,000. How about a Mk1 Focus RS for just £77,000 to go with it? All jaw-dropping cars there's no doubt, but perhaps even more jaw-dropping on the price side.
It's not just the modern classics either, there was some serious exotica, too. This very 1995 Ferrari F512 M went for a whopping £202,000, and that's just for starters.
As for the rest of the cars on display? Well, variety is not only the spice of life, it's clearly a key theme of the Classic Motor Show. Not only is this epic gathering all about the community spirit, but it has to be said that there's plenty of the weird and wonderful stuff on offer. In fact, even those with more than a few years under their belt on the car scene, would have been hard pushed to recognise each and every make and model on display, such is the rarity of many of these motors. Add that to the race cars piloted by some of the world's biggest names in motorsport, and more than a couple of modified creations (a "shortie' Mk2 Golf and New Beetle immediately spring to mind here) and there's plenty to ponder. We'd love to bring you them all of course, but here's a few of our favourites - quite the variety of vehicles we think you'll agree.
As always thanks to everyone who popped along to our stand over the course of the event. We'll see you, and a load more stunning classics, at the same time next year.