Best in show at the NEC Classic Motorshow
My pick of the best of the classic prestige of the motoring world. So, what did I like the most?
With over 3,000 cars in attendance, this took a lot of time and cups of tea to work out which ones I liked the most. In the end, I made a short list of 5 best-in-show classics - sadly some of the 'classic' cars aren't that old, some being only a few months old or just hitting the 20-year mark - still, not old enough.
1. MG TC...
This lovely little MG roadster has a nice slice of history behind it. This car was once owned by Lieutenant-Colonel A. T. 'Goldie' Gardner, if you know your British racing history, that name will ring some bells. Goldie Gardner was a highly awarded English racing car driver and was the first man to exceed 200MPH in a car.
Goldie Gardner was a highly awarded English racing car driver and was the first man to exceed 200MPH in a car. In his Motorsport career, he set well over 100 international land speed records, in the short space of 11 years. Sadly in 1952, due to a cerebral haemorrhage, his Motorsport career was over and retired. He died in 1958, after a long and amazing motoring career and serving in both World Wars. His MG TC is now owned by one of the UK MG Car Club.
2. 1932 Bentley Blower racer...
Yes, it's huge and yes, that is a supercharger on the front. At a whopping 4.5 meters long, the Bentley Blower can't be missed and nor should it. The straight four engine produced 130Bhp with that very supercharger, those horses are doing a lot of work, moving all that metal around!
With only 55 Blowers ever made, they were entered into the Le Mans 24 hours race from 1928 to 1930 - seeing the normal Bentley 4.4 Litre was incredibly reliable. Sadly, the Blower wasn't like its sister car. Even with getting either first, second or third place during those 3 years of racing, the Blower couldn't keep up with the likes of Bugatti. The legacy still continues though, if you are an Ian Fleming fan - in 3 of the Bond books, James drives a battleship grey Convertible Coupé Blower. Imagine seeing this in the movies?
3. Ford Mustang Mach 1...
I didn't use that photo of me, laying down in front of it again, I want you to focus on the car, not me. The Mach 1 Mustang is a thing of beauty, I love how the bonnet finished with a slight sharp point on the front, made even sharper with that wide stripe. Now, do I want a GT 390 or this now? OH GOD!
The Ford Mustang is one of the best and longest running American Muscle cars of all time. Ask anyone what they think when they hear the words 'American muscle' and they draw the logo of the pony. Classic and eternally cool, just be careful how you look when you are filling it up at a gas station...
4. Ford Anglia Hot Rod...
Can't see the Weasleys in this now can you? Maybe if they were less magical and more redneck. It is ghastly to behold but it is too interesting to pass up. It's not many days you get to see something as weird as this now, is it?
The 1963 Anglia was bought as a total wreck, so they thought 'why not?' and made it into something new. The engine and gearbox are from a BMW E30i, a supercharger and new engine management system slapped on for good measure. This Frankenstein's monster of a car doesn't stop there - more parts are taken from Fords and Hillman Imps for springs and axles. It is still a work-in-progress, what else will they do next?!
5. De Tomaso Pantera GT5-S...
Guilty Pleasure? Maybe but I like it. This is typical for a 1970s Italian sports car - angled windows, wide back-end and vents on the sides. It doesn't look that far from a Lamborghini Countach, maybe a cheaper kit car copy but still, it's very cool indeed.
Designed by Ghia's Tom Tjaard, The Pantera had plenty of faults - a lot. The seats had to be replaced as they were so uncomfortable, the foot pedals were offset and you had to be short than 6 foot to get into it. Although, it was very well equipped for a car of its time - electric windows, air con and a door that 'buzzed' when it was opened... No, I don't get that last one either. This properly explains why De Tomaso is no longer in production, a lot of ideas and passion but fighting against the big boys in Italy - it just wasn't to be.
So there you have it, 5 of my favourite cars from the NEC Classic Motorshow. Sadly, I don't think a list of 30 cars would be smart, it would send everyone to sleep.
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