Held at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, at Birmingham’s NEC from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November, it will be up to the visitors to decide who will be crowned the winner on Sunday afternoon.
A 1998 BMW E36 M3 Evolution is the youngest finalist, belonging to Gerald McWhinnie. One of the greatest sport saloons of its day, Gerald’s rare model is finished in ‘TechViolet’ making it hard to miss!
Another eye-catching car is Ian Thompson’s 1968 Sunbeam Stiletto, an extremely rare car and this example even more so given the modifications former Imp racer Ian has made. Now it sports an Audi red paint finish and 15-inch wheels and the back seat has been displaced by a race-prepared Ford 2-Litre Zetec engine with an RS Turbo head.
The MGA is regarded around the world as one of the finest sports cars to wear the famous Octagon badge and Dominic Taylor-Lane’s 1959 1600 Mk1 is especially noteworthy as the body has been altered to resemble the famous works racers of the 1950s.
Also from 1959, John Georgiou’s Hillman Minx was being sold by a clearance company when he discovered it back in 2012. When he got it back to the garage he found the car had a rust problem that had been tackled with copious amounts of filler. A far cry from the car that will be on display at the show.
Simon McNamara became the second owner of his 1983 VW Golf GTI Mk. I some 17 years ago when he was just 21, and at that time his grandfather called the car ‘The Old Rust Bucket’! Today his prime example of the original ‘Hot Hatchback’ reflects a vast amount of dedication on the part of Simon and many others after a five-year-long restoration.
Any 1985 Toyota Corolla GTI is now a very rare sight and when brothers Mark and Paul Hart drive their immaculate example it causes heads to turn, a sign of how collectable such cars are becoming. The twin brothers bought the car home in 1987 when they were aged just 21 and now the car is part of the family.
An original Mini is almost guaranteed to attract attention and the Cherry Red 1989 Austin Mini model owned by Brenda Roberts is particularly exclusive. Brenda is the proud owner of a Thirty, the special version that celebrated three decades of this iconic car with only 3,000 produced.
Claire Lee’s has owned her last-of-the-line 1990 Fiat X1/9 ‘Gran Finale’ version since 2002 but she only started to take it to shows across Suffolk this year - often finding hers is the only X1/9 there – as they become increasingly rare. The only modification is to the stereo as the engine is so loud!
Also bringing a Fiat is Stefan Graichen who found his 1967 500F on eBay three years ago. The car had been off the road since about 1972 and basically needed ‘everything’ from new wings and bonnet, to doors while the engine needed replacing and the seats, windscreen and other details were missing. It’s now a stunner that is regularly used on the roads.
Another fresh restoration is Ronald Parry’s 1964 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Coupe. Ronald has a long-term interest in cars of the 1960s. “I was a panel beater after I left school and I was fascinated by the iconic vehicles from that era,” he explains. He came across his Jaguar three years ago when he was attending the Goodwood Revival. “It dated from 1964, just like I do, so it seemed pre-ordained that I should own it!” he adds. After two years of hard graft, the E-Type is now immaculate and ready for the final.
The Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership celebrates the passion of the owners, the history of the vehicle and the story that develops between the car and the owner over time. Previous winners include a family owned Metro City, a boat-tailed handmade Packard, and more recently, a Triumph Spitfire.