Friday 15th November 2013 was a pleasant dry morning and Norman, Derek and I arrived at George Best Airport just before 8.00am and having already got our boarding passes on line we proceeded straight to security. Placing all metal objects, phones, belts, bags and coats into the trays we proceeded through the scanner and I was singled out despite no bleep from the machine.
On questioning the security person I was informed an ‘R’ on the display had appeared indicating the requirement of a random search. Well this guy missed nothing and methodically went through every part of my clothing and what was contained therein and the situation wasn’t helped by Derek and Norman who were looking on laughing and saying ‘wait until the marigolds come out!’
When the security person was satisfied he had felt everything on my person we headed up to the restaurant where Derek had a full fried breakfast as Norman and I looked on. The flight was on time leaving about 9.00am and arriving in Birmingham just before 10.00am.
With a short walk to the monorail and reminding me of Disney World we were on our way to the NEC buildings, on entering the complex for me as a first time visitor it was Disneyworld but not make believe, this was the real thing with classic cars as far as you could see, where do we start?
As Norman and Derek had been before I followed their suggested route through the first hall. With all types of classics and appreciating classics there was definitely something for everyone at the show with the numerous more common and obscure marques from the top end to the more affordable and their respective car clubs were well represented, hall after hall of classic cars.
There was an area for dream rides where you were taken out to the open road in an exotic classic of your choice, a cars for sale section, live stage with the wheeler dealers, an auction, autojumble, restoration theatre, trade and clothing stands, Meguiars, concours cars and numerous classic insurance companies, but unfortunately not all applying to Northern Ireland.
There was a good selection of tool and accessories stands with that hard to get part or rubber component for your classic, these are only some of the stands I have mentioned. If you stop for coffee breaks, lunch and went to the auction, it is not possible to visit every stand at the show in one day.
MG’s were well represented with the MG Owners and car club stands and displays together with regalia, etc., the cars on display ranged from A1 to well used and the MGs were not confined to the two clubs as there were many others on various stands ranging from restoration projects to fully restored top class cars with prices to match, and there was also a classic motorbike display area.
As a first time visitor I found the Classic Car Show very good but busy, and I have been informed that the Friday is the quietest of the three days, it was mostly male visitors on our day but this may not be the case on the other two weekend days. We left the show with our purchases at closing time 6.00pm and made our way back to the airport for a bite to eat before our 8.00pm flight home.
It was a great day with good company and many laughs and no cheque books were produced, the photograph taken at the show is of Derek discussing the merits of owning a very nice MG RV8 and what his wife Sandra would say if he arrived home with it.
I would also like to express our thanks to Norman’s wife Pam, who collected us from our parking area in the morning and chauffeured us the short distance to the airport and back again in the evening thus saving the parking charges.
The cost to enter the show was £25.00 concession, and the flights approximately £115.00 depending when booked. We definitely felt it was worth it and maybe it will be repeated next year.
Noel, MG Owners’ Club Northern Ireland