NEC CLAS­SIC SHOW GOES STATE­SIDE

Europe’s big­gest show­case of clas­sic clubs heads to the US for the very first time

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Out & About -

An award-win­ning club dis­play of clas­sic Citroëns and a show­case of ve­hi­cles owned by car col­lec­tor Bruce Meyer – in­clud­ing the first pro­duc­tion AC Co­bra – helped to get this Amer­i­can cousin to the Lan­caster In­sur­ance Clas­sic Mo­tor Show off to a great start.

The in­au­gu­ral three-day event, held at Los An­ge­les’ Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, mir­rored the for­mat and feel of Bri­tain’s an­nual clas­sic bash at the NEC, right down to a celebrity live stage where show­go­ers could meet Wheeler

Dealers star, Mike Brewer (and five of his Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts).

But the fo­cus was firmly on The Grand Boule­vard – a chrono­log­i­cal dis­play of 50 his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant clas­sics– and the 50 clubs show­ing off their wares in the LA halls for the first time.

The 600-car to­tal is mod­est com­pared to the 2500 clas­sics and 256 clubs that were at last year’s NEC show, but the event’s suc­cess has per­suaded the show’s or­gan­is­ers to ex­pand it when the show re­turns on 2-4 March 2018.

‘The US event mir­rored the for­mat and feel of the NEC show’

Event or­gan­iser Dan Nwaokolo says that UK clubs reach­ing out to their US coun­ter­parts had helped to make the event a suc­cess. ‘ We started plan­ning to take the Clas­sic Mo­tor Show model across the pond back in 2015, so to see how US-based car clubs have em­braced the show to make the first out­ing such a huge suc­cess is re­ally over­whelm­ing.

‘ We worked re­ally hard to cre­ate a fun and im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence where mo­tor­ing en­thu­si­asts could meet up, see the cars they love, meet celebri­ties and shop for prod­ucts to help them care for their own cars.

‘ We achieved that and built a solid foun­da­tion to grow the event in 2018 and be­yond.’

This Austin Mini Cooper S was one of the cars brought along by the Los An­ge­les branch of the Mini Own­ers of Amer­ica club. Show­go­ers loved the Bri­tish clas­sics – Bill Hoyt’s 1956 AustinHealey 100 scooped the show’s Peo­ple’s Choice Award. One-off 1952 Fiat Vig­nale Coupé re­cently emerged from a seven-year restora­tion af­ter be­ing stored for 50 years. The club dis­plays in LA’s halls in­cluded this seven-strong dis­play of Ford Mus­tangs, al­though there were plenty of Bri­tish and Euro­pean clas­sics on show too.

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