The classic car calendar is packed with events large and small, with something for everyone whether you're a marque aficionado or general enthusiast. Here are a few throughout the UK that are deserving of your attention, whether you're away on holiday or simply fancy a destination for a day out.
May 1-5: St Mawes Classic Car Festival, St Mawes, Cornwall
The seventh annual St Mawes classic car gathering is at the start of May, as usual celebrating the best in Cornish cuisine and hospitality as well as wonderful historic cars, which will be on display at the venues detailed below.
It starts with a drinks reception and dinner at The Hotel Tresanton on Monday, May 1st. On the 2nd the best times to see the cars are at the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum from 11am and at Ben Tunnicliffe’s restaurant at Sennen Cove from 2pm. The cars will also be taking part in a tour of the north coast, from which they return to St Mawes.
On the Wednesday there's a hillclimb, after which the cars will be at the Eden Project from midday to 4pm.
They will also be at Caerhays Castle on the Thursday from about 10.30am to midday. Then they will take part in the traditional concours d'elegance on the quayside at St Mawes, between 3pm and 6pm. At 6pm the classic cars take a ceremonial tour around the picturesque fishing village.
Previous attendees have included the likes of Sir Stirling Moss, Damon Hill, David Richards and Nick Mason.
May 6: Royal Windsor Jaguar Festival, Windsor, Berkshire
More than 500 Jaguars of all types and ages have already been confirmed for the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club show, of which 250 will parade through Windsor in the presence of a member of the Royal Family. Not forgetting, of course, Daimlers and the original, SS-badged cars produced before the company was renamed Jaguar.
The display will feature a complete timeline of Jaguar cars from the 1930s, including the Mark 1 used in the TV series of Endeavor (the spin-off from Inspector Morse series).
Already confirmed are the unique Jaguar XJ13, as well as the C-Type and D-Type racers that put Jaguar on the map thanks to their success in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Op to 1,000 Jaguars are expected to line the Long Walk alongside food stalls, entertainment and trade stands, while in the evening Windsor Racecourse is the venue for more music, food and entertainment.
Booking to park your Jaguar on the Long Walk or join the evening Festival at the Racecourse is now open at www.jec.org.uk/royal-windsor-jaguar-festival-2017
Full details at the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club website.
May 6-7: Classic Land Rover Show, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
The hugely popular Classic Land Rover Show returns for its third running at the British Motor Museum.
The 2017 show will take a look back into the history of Land Rover development and feature some of the rival vehicles that were also in development at the time, featuring vehicles from the Austin Champ and Austin Gipsy clubs.
Visitors to the show will also be able to visit the Museum and Collections centre which is home to a wide range of Land Rovers, including the first production Land Rover.
Tom Caren, show manager at the British Motor Museum, said: “The Classic Land Rover Show is an absolute must for all Land Rover fans. Along with fabulous displays, live music, heritage parades and club celebrations, the atmosphere at the show is second to none. Clubs wishing to enter vehicles into the show can do so on our website and for those wanting to make a weekend of it, camping is available.”
Full details at the British Motor Museum website.
May 14, 2017: Gaydon Spring Classic, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
Owners of any car more than 20 years old are being encouraged to display their cars at the event.
Those arriving in a qualifying vehicle will be able to get into the Museum at the special discounted rate of £9 per person (usually £14). This special rate will also include entry into the new Collections Centre, where more than 250 reserve collection cars are stored, and entry to the UK Slot Car Festival taking place at the Museum on the same day.
Classics can arrive from 9:30am. The Museum will be open from 10am and the Collections Centre opens an hour later.
Full details at the British Motor Museum website.
May 21, 2017: Chiltern Hills Rally, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
The 23rd edition of the Chiltern Hills Rally has been announced. The annual event, traditionally held on the third Sunday in May, features more than 1,000 vehicles of all ages and types on display.
There's also an autojumble, along with events for children, food and refreshments and even a dog show.
It takes place at Weedon Park, Weedon, Aylesbury HP22 4NN.
Many participants take part in a road run to the event, meeting for a hearty breakfast before driving in convoy to Weedon Park.
Entry costs £7 for adults, with under-14s admitted free. Car parking is also free.
Those who like to organise well ahead should note that the following year's Chiltern Hills Rally is scheduled for May 20 2018 and again on May 19 2019.
May 21, 2017: Porsches on the Prom, Llandudno, North Wales
Hundreds of Porsches will descend on Llandudno for Porsches on the Prom, an annual event organised by the Porsche Club GB.
The North Wales Region of the club aims to have more than 400 Porsche cars of all types and ages on display. They will be lined up, Le Mans-style, along Llandudno Promenade from 10am.
It is free to attend, and also free for Porsche Club enthusiasts to display their cars. The event will conclude with a drive in convoy around the Great Orme headland.
The previous day, more than 60 Porsches will also be participating in a trackday at the picturesque Anglesey circuit. Guests are welcome to watch the action.
Full details at https://www.porscheclubgb.com
May 27-28: La Vie En Bleu/La Vita Rossa, Prescott Hillclimb, Gotherington, Gloucestershire
The 11th annual pageant of French motoring excellence, La Vie en Bleu, will feature the new, 261mph Bugatti Chiron, which will be carrying out demonstration runs at the historic Prescott hillclimb over the weekend.
The car named in honour of racer Louis Chiron, whose wins include the 1931 Monaco Grand Prix at the wheel of a Bugatti Type 51, can accelerate from 0 to 186mph in only 13.6 seconds so it's sure to be spectacular. It will be joined on the hill by an array of vintage Bugattis, along with the more recent Veyron Supersport and its 1990s predecessor, the EB110.
Prescott is the home of the Bugatti Owners' Club, which has a new display dedicated to the life and racing career of Louis Chiron, who was one of Ettore Bugatti’s most famous works drivers. The exhibition will include original Grand Prix cars from the 1920s and 1930s, photographs of seminal moments of his career and historic racing memorabilia.
Last year the event expanded to include La Vita Rossa, celebrating all things Italian. The organisers promise even more French and Italian cars on the hill, including a round of the Ferrari Hillclimb Championship on the Saturday.
Look out for the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta chassis #2735, which was raced by Sir Stirling Moss, Graham Hill and Innes Ireland and a 1969 Lamborghini Miura S, which at the time of its launch was the fastest production car in the world. The Miura S on display was originally delivered to the 1960s supermodel Twiggy.
The event also welcomes the return of the incredible ‘Beast of Turin’, a Fiat S76 land speed record contender built in 1910 and featuring a massive 28.5-litre engine. Its owner Duncan Pittaway is renowned for his spectacular displays, so its appearance is not to be missed.
Fans of British racers will savour the special class for ERA voiturettes. Six are already confirmed to be competing, including the iconic ex-Raymond Mays R4D – the most celebrated chassis in the ERA's history and one of the most successful pre-war competition cars.
Advance tickets cost £15 per day or £25 for the weekend – on-the-gate prices are £20 and £35 respectively. Full details at the official Prescott Hillclimb website.
June 3-4, 2017: Coventry Motofest, Coventry, West Midlands
The Coventry Motofest has already proven the appeal of fast demonstrations on the city's inner ring road, but this year's event can now also feature real racing after the Motor Sport Association’s (MSA) campaign to bring closed road events to mainland Britain was given the green light on April 10.
It means that the Coventry ring road could soon be home to a range of competitive motorsports with the Motofest organiser looking at sprints, time trials and specialist road rally stages as options.
Coventry’s Motofest 2017 is a two-day festival dedicated to the city’s motoring heritage on two and four wheels. There will be a wealth of automotive activities taking place, from pop-up and demonstration events to static displays and fringe events.
The Motofest organisers have also partnered with the Coventry Business Improvement District (BID) to deliver a new classic car show during the festival, featuring more than 1,000 cars and motorcycles.
It’s all part of an expanded classic vehicle programme at Motofest 2017, in which a high-profile line-up of classic cars and bikes will be put through their paces on both days. The action on the circuit will take place alongside the expanded classic vehicles displays across the city.
At the end of each day thee will be a cavalcade of classic vehicles around the Motofest circuit.
Cars, bikes and scooters more than 20 years old can be displayed free of charge - book online at https://coventrymotofest.com/get-involved - or owners can simply turn up on the day, although places are subject to availability.
James Noble, Coventry Motofest festival director, said: “We have made no secret of our desire to host competitive motorsport on the Coventry Ring Road. If this is not in time for this year’s event, we still have our unique blend of high-octane motorsport demonstrations on both two and four wheels, classic car and bike displays that makes Coventry Motofest 2017 the largest free urban motorsport festival in the UK.”
Full details of all the planned events at the Coventry Motofest website.
June 3-4, 2017: Wilton Classic & Supercar, Wilton House, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Lord Pembroke's annual supercar extravaganza has been revamped to better reflect the burgeoning interest in classic cars.
It is designed for petrolheads and families alike, not only allowing them to see and hear some of the greatest high- performance cars of all time, but also to learn about the craftspeople that made - and still make - true automotive works of art via a display of the latest supercars and a superb selection of classic cars.
The concept of WCS was born out of founder Lord Pembroke’s fascination with speed and all things automotive. “I have held relatively low-key supercar events here for several years, mostly as fundraisers, and supercars remain central to my vision, but the all- new WCS 2017 will be something very different. We will have around 700 cars on display in a host of different features and will be telling their stories in completely new ways. This will be a show like nothing staged before,” says Pembroke.
Rather than simply showcasing these stunning machines as works of art or high performance, Pembroke wants to provide insights and details on how and why they came to be.
Full details at: wiltonclassicsupercar.co.uk
June 18, 2017: Raby Castle Classic Car and Bike Event, Staindrop, Darlington, Co. Durham
This year's gathering of hundreds of classic cars, bikes, trucks, vans and tractors in the beautiful Deer Park at Raby Castle falls on Father's Day.
Admission is £7 in advance for adults and £2.50 for children, with the event running from 10am to 4pm. This includes entry to the parks, grounds, tea room, gift shop and horse carriage museum. Admission to the castle (below) is extra.
June 23-25, 2017: Old Skool Ford Tour of the Moor, Ashburton, Devon
The Tour of the Moor is taking place from the 23rd to the 25th of June. Tickets to the event cost £70 per car and include a tour of Dartmoor National Park on the Saturday, and the 'Show and Shine' at the River Dart Country Park on Sunday. The organisers point out that the River Dart Country Park is "a proper campsite with toilets, showering and laundry facilities". What more could you want?
July 2, 2017: The Donkey Sanctuary Car Show, Sidmouth, Devon
It puts a spring in our step when details of this annual show arrive. What could be better than classic cars on display at a donkey sanctuary?
The 2017 running will feature more than 400 beautiful vintage and modern cars, from humble Austins to exotic Lamborghinis. Now in its third year, the show is promised to be bigger and better than ever, with more cars, sponsors, trade stands and entertainment for all the family, including live music from local musicians. There will also be a children’s area with go-karts and bouncy castles.
Admission costs £3 for adults and £1 for children under 16 (those under six are admitted free).
Each exhibitor or club will automatically be entered into a competition to win a host of awards, including ‘Show & Shine’ and ‘Best in Show’.
Chris Phillips of The Donkey Sanctuary said: “After receiving an overwhelming level of support at our previous car shows, we are thrilled to be welcoming back car enthusiasts and their families for the third year in a row to this exciting and fun-filled show.”
This year's show takes place on Sunday July 2, from 10am to 3pm, at The Donkey Sanctuary, Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU - full details at The Donkey Sanctuary website.
July 7-9, 2017: Heveningham Hall Concours d'Elegance, Heveningham, Suffolk
The Heveningham Estate's second concours takes place from Friday July 7 to Sunday July 9, featuring 50 of the world’s most spectacular cars displayed on the dramatic grass terraces behind the Grade I-listed mansion set within 5,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland.
The concours takes place at the same time as the annual Country Fair, which attracts around 20,000 visitors. All proceeds from the events go to charity.
New for 2017, there will be a separate aviation concours plus a Suffolk Border Tour on the Friday, a 50-mile tour over the country boundary taking in a clay shoot and barbecue before returning to Heveningham Hall for a black tie dinner. There is also judging and a party on the Saturday night.
The ethos is very unstuffy and aims to attract a younger audience while raising money for good causes.
Also new for this year is the launch of the Heveninghall Hall Concours RCA Automotive Design Scholarship, in which a British student will be awarded a scholarship to cover fees and living expenses to attend the 15-month MA Automotive Design course at the Royal College of Art.
Full details at http://heveninghamconcours.com/
August 20th, 2017: Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
The Tewkesbury School, close to Junction 9 of the M5 motorway, will host more than 700 cars and 200 motorcycles during the town's Classic Vehicle Festival.
What's more, there will also be an autojumble, along with 150 market stalls, two live bands and an appearance from the Midlands Air Ambulance helicopter.
The flyer promises tea, cake, BBQ and bar, as well as stalls selling everything from jewellery to jam, so it comes as no surprise that they're expecting 4,000 visitors.
Entry costs only £5 per person (under-12s admitted free).
The day before the Classic Vehicle Festival, on August 19th, there's a drive-in movie experience at the school, featuring hot dogs and hamburgers along with a showing of the 1978 sing-along classic Grease. Gates open 6pm, with the film scheduled to start at 8pm. Entry costs £10 per person.
Full details of both events at the www.tewkesburycvf.org website.
Cloverlands Model Museum, Montgomery, Powys
This charming museum has a display of about 2,000 model cars, some of them up to three feet in length.
Well worth a visit if you're in or near mid-Wales - and the area also has some of the finest driving roads in the UK.
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