All the ac­tion from the Lan­caster In­sur­ance Clas­sic Mo­tor Show at the NEC.

Mini Magazine - - Contents - Words and Pho­tog­ra­phy Jeff Rug­gles

With 71,000 vis­i­tors, the 2016 Lan­caster In­sur­ance Clas­sic Mo­tor Show at Birm­ing­ham’s NEC was the most pop­u­lar in the event’s 32-year his­tory. And with 2500 clas­sic cars and mo­tor­cy­cles span­ning one mil­lion square feet, it wasn’t hard to see why. Squeez­ing it all into a sin­gle day is nigh-on im­pos­si­ble.

Our strat­egy was sim­ple – head for the Mini-cen­tric area in Hall 2, where some of the coun­try’s most prom­i­nent Mini clubs were out in force. Mak­ing its NEC de­but was the Cooper Sport 500/Mini 2000 Register, which in­cluded three of the Rover press and pub­lic­ity LOE­plated cars in its line-up. Two were gold Knights­bridge mod­els; Andy Mynott’s car is to Ja­panese spec, while Oli Neville-Payne’s was built to Euro­pean spec then switched to right-hand-drive.

Along­side, the im­pres­sive Bri­tish Mini Club stand played host to Paul Mo­ran’s Down­ton Cooper, Paul Smith’s Su­per, and - to com­plete a hat trick of Pauls - Paul Be­sant’s ex-po­lice MkII Cooper S. Brett Guest’s ‘Dirty Girty’ cus­tom Thirty was a crowd-pleaser, while Trevor and Janet Ri­p­ley’s ‘59 Mini was joined by their amaz­ing ice cream van/ Pick-up, re­cently part of The Mini Story dis­play in Mu­nich.

Also present were The Ital­ian Job, The Mini Moke Club and Mini Cooper Register. Five cars were in­cluded on the Register’s dis­play, in­clud­ing Si­mon Joslin’s replica of the ‘65 Monte win­ning car, Tanya Field’s 1275 GT and Pete Flana­gan’s Janspeed Unipower, cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of the Unipower GT.

Else­where, Andy Nash’s beau­ti­fully re­stored 1966 Mini Trav­eller came through to take the cov­eted Meguiar’s Club Show­case ti­tle for 2016, while close by, tick­ets were sell­ing well for our Mini in the Park Mini Equinox raf­fle car. There was also a de­but for Bri­tish Mo­tor Her­itage’s MkI shell (see our news pages for more).

And of course, there were the big names. On the Wheeler Deal­ers Live Stage, host Mike Brewer was joined by fel­low TV per­son­al­i­ties Edd China, Ant An­stead and Fuzz Town­shend. There were also ap­pear­ances by Bri­tish Rac­ing icon Sir Stir­ling Moss, En­gine Ad­dicts’ Jimmy De Ville, US re­al­ity star Jesse McClure, and Richard Noble OBE. Even rally leg­end Paddy Hop­kirk was present to join in with the fun at what is surely the best clas­sic car event in the UK – one in which the Mini plays a star­ring role.

Oli Neville-Payne’s rare Knights­bridge.

Paul Mo­ran with his Cooper, and Paul Smith with his Su­per. There’s a poem in there some­where...

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