NEC CLASSIC SHOW GOES STATESIDE
Europe’s biggest showcase of classic clubs heads to the US for the very first time
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.