Sunday, March 31, 2024

Practical Classics Resto show 2024

Mini based kit car

I normally frequent the November NEC classic car show, but despite being a Practial Classics reader for many years, I've never been to the March restoration show. Until now. 

It's a smaller event than the November one, but over a tenner cheaper to get in. I even paid for my parking in advance to save another fiver. 

Once inside, at 9am, the hall seemed quiet, but picked up during the day. I'm not sure we'd have minded giving the exhibitors an hours lie-in for a 10am start really. I left at 4:30 (show closed at 5) and had covered it twice, and watched some of the stuff on stage. 

This is a very practical show, with many cars being worked on during the weekend. PC assembled a Mini in their excellent stand I mean it's got a shed with a kettle in it. I'm thinking ahead to the BRM stand at the NEC later this year. Can we have a shed?

Practical Classics stand

Like all classic car show, the emphasis was on walking around admiring the vehicles. Those there are far from exotic. OK, there's big money stuff in the auction, but even prices there didn't seem outrageous. 

Most of the space is given over to clubs, and if you can find one that covers your car, this ought to be good news. Sadly there was nothing for Beetles, other than a general VW club. Maybe they are still seem as "trendy" rather than "classic". People wanting to boast about engine capacity and how much they spent to get everything done, then discuss the merits of the greasy bits underneath, and how you can make them work better. 

If I have a slight moan, it that the trade is a bit heavy on replica sign tat. Although signed as Autojumble, there were precious few piles of ruty bits to dig through. I suspect the cost is a bit high for that, so those stands will stay in car show fields. I wasn't parted with much money!

Will I go again? Yes. I enjoyed it a lot, and now I have a better idea what to expect, will get even more out of it next time. It's worth checking the on stage features as I learned a lot about applying filler, and found a bit of inspiration on the PC stage. 

One thing - talking to the team behind the mag, I suddenly find myself in the opposite position to my normal role at toy train shows. There, I'm the face the punters know, and sometimes are a little nervous to approach. I did get over myself you'll be pleased to know, and have a chat with the editor about a certain orange car in my garage...

You'll be wanting the photos over on Flickr.

1 comment:

James Finister said...

The shed at the AGM is growing on me as an idea for one year.

In some garden centres I've seen "display" sheds, effectively half a shed, reminiscent of the studio set used by Jak Hargreaves for his country programmes.