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.
Until March 2018: British Motoring Treasures: the British Motor Car in Fifty Objects, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
This special exhibition at the British Motor Museum tells the story of Britain’s motor industry using 50 key objects. In turn each object will have its own story, whether it is of a ground-breaking invention or a piece of social history.
The aim is to celebrate the rich history of an industry that has dominated the economic and social history of the West Midlands region for more than a century.
One example on display will be an original sketch from 1944 by Alec Issigonis of the ‘Mosquito’, a car that would be the prototype for the Morris Minor. The Trust archive is home to a large collection of items relating to the life and work of Issigonis, who designed many famous cars including the Mini, but this is the first time an original sketch has been on show. Some his drawing tools and a slide rule will also be featured in the exhibition.
There will be three cars on display - a 1899 Wolseley Voiturette, the first four-wheel car that Herbert Austin designed, and a 1965 sectioned Austin Mini which was a revolution in terms of automotive packaging. The third car will be revealed when the exhibition opens.
The displays will also feature lesser known aspects of the story, especially the role of the people who designed, built and used the products of the British motor industry.
Full details at www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk
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.
May 28, 2017: Gaydon Festival of Transport, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
Now in its third year, the transport show will feature a range of classic motorised transport from cars to fire tenders and tanks - along with plenty of family entertainment.
Everything from sports cars to emergency service vehicles are expected to take part. The event will also include displays from the Standard Motor Club, Triumph TR Register and the local Military Vehicle Trust. There will be a fire demonstration showing how to put out a car fire and a driver extraction from a crashed car.
In addition there will be a gunnery display featuring everything from rifle shooting to tank firing.
As well as entry into the show, the admission fee also includes entry into the Museum and Collections Centre allowing access to an additional 250 cars from the reserve collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.
Tickets cost £10 in advance or £14 on the day for adults, £6/£9 for children, with a family ticket at £39 on the day.
Full details at the British Motor Museum website: www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk
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 4, 2017: National Mini and Metro Show, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
After a successful debut last year, the show returns with more than 500 cars on display - including the original Mini, the Metro that was intended to replace it, and the later BMW Mini.
Throughout the day there will be a number of competitive and fun competitions including a concours d'elegance and a "non-cours" to find the dirtiest car, the one with the most boring colour scheme, plus an award for the rustiest but road-legal car.
Other highlights will include a Car Gymkhana, where entrants have to match a pre-set time around a course as closely as possible, club stands and various display areas.
Tickets cost £10 in advance or £14 on the day for adults (£6/£9 for children), with a family ticket at £39. There is also camping on the Saturday evening CLICK HERE for our gallery of Mini campers.
Full details at www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk
June 10-11: The Dunsfold Collection Land Rover Show, Springbok Estate, Alfold, Surrey GU6 8EX
The Dunsfold Collection is without doubt the world’s most significant collection of Land Rover vehicles, including rare concepts. Its annual show started as an open weekend but such is the appeal of older Land Rovers and Range Rovers that it has become a full-blown show in its own right.
It contains the oldest surviving Range Rover in the world. Chassis number 100/6 is the sixth of the seven 'Velar' Engineering Prototypes built between 1967 and 1969. Chassis numbers 100/1 to 100/5 were scrapped in-period. This car is even more significant now that Land Rover has revived the Velar name for its new, entry-level Range Rover that created such a stir at the Geneva motor show in March and goes on sale this year.
As well as the 135 vehicles in the Collection, the organisers promise displays from the most important Land Rover clubs and a show within a show that is a car park brimming with Land Rovers of all ages and types.
The vent includes weekend camping, catering and hospitality, a licensed bar, trade village and an autojumble.
Dogs on leads are welcome - what would a land Rover show without dogs be like?
One-day tickets are £15 each (£18 on the gate), with a weekend ticket costing £25 (£30 on the day). Child tickets cost £6 (£8) and £10 (£12), with family tickets from £36.
Full details at www.dunsfoldcollection. co.uk/land-rover-show
June 10-11, 2017: Classic and Vintage Commercial Show, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
All of the 300-plus classic and vintage lorries and vans on display were built before 1997. Highlights include the Ford Transit's stranglehold on the UK's light commercial market, alongside the mighty eight-wheelers that until recently performed regular haulage duties, plus a couple of heavy haulage tractors as well.
Now in its tenth year, the event is one of the largest classic commercial shows in Europe. 2017 marks the 50-year anniversary of Volvo Trucks in the UK, while overseas visitors will include a large number of Leyland T45s.
For enthusiasts restoring vehicles there is a large commercial autojumble selling vehicle spares, photos, brochures, models and all manner of items associated with historic commercial vehicles.
There is also an indoor model show within the Museum, with over 160 tables of models on display. Whether they are kit or scratch built, these models add a different aspect to the show and highlight an array of different scaled models.
For those that want to make a weekend of it, camping is available enabling visitors to spend more time to look around the Museum and Collections Centre, home to the museums reserve collection and Jaguar Heritage Collection.
A one-day advance ticket costs £14 for adults, £9 for children and £12 for concessions. Tickets on the day are slightly more expensive; please see the website for full details. Camping pitches start from £25.
Full details at www.britishmotormuseum.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?
June 24-25: Flywheel Festival, Bicester Heritage, Bicester, Oxfordshire
Flywheel is a festival of historic motoring, aviation and military vehicles at Bicester Heritage, the incredible preserved 'time capsule' Cold War bomber base that's pretty much as it was in the Fifties.
As well as displays and live-action demonstrations, visitors can get really close to the rare historic racing cars in the open-access paddock, and to the aircraft and military machinery.
All things motoring include historic competition cars and motorcycles in action on the sprint track s well as displays of classic cars and motorcycles in the designated pre-1970 parking area. Some of this year's attractions include a 1907 Toledo Steam Carriage, a 1914 aero-engined Fafnir Hall-Scott Special, a trio of magnificent 1920s and 1930s Alfa Romeos, C-, D- and E-type Jaguar racers and a host of other rare two-, three- and four-wheeled competition machines from the golden years of motorsport.
The event is also big with fans of aviation. The confirmed 2017 air displays will include the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire (Saturday June 24) and Dakota (Sunday June 25), the Great War Display Team's superb 'dog fights' plus precision flying from the Tiger 9 team. There's always plenty to see on the ground for flying buffs as well. In addition to the BBMF Dakota air display, there will also be a Dakota on static display and visitors can climb aboard.
The military vehicles include tanks, armoured cars and Jeeps. Selected tanks are put through their paces in the live-action tank arena, while tank rides are also available.
In addition there's nostalgic music from both World Wars, while Brightwells, the official Bicester Heritage Auction Partner, will hold a classic vehicle sale at Fywheel 2017 on Saturday, June 24 from 12-4pm, with free viewing from 9am-7pm the day before.
Traditional funfair entertainment and a Vintage Trade Fair (with clothing, crafts and memorabilia) complete the package.
One-day tickets cost £23 (£28 on the day) with children at £7 (£8), with two-day tickets at £41 (£50 on the day) for adults and £12 (£14) for children. Family tickets cost from £52 (£62 on the day).
Full details at www.flywheelfestival. com
June 30-July 2: Muscle cars and more, Cofton, Devon
What's claimed to be the south-west’s largest classic American car show returns to Cofton near Starcross just outside Exeter, featuring hot-rods, muscle cars and American classics – including Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Jeeps and trucks.
Now in its fourth year, this annual celebration of V8s and cool Americana starts with an evening of rockabilly music. Then on July 1 a cavalcade of more than 100 classic American and Canadian cars will leave Cofton at midday, cruising through Dawlish and Teignmouth before a pit-stop at Dawlish Warren. That night, there's more music, followed by fireworks at 10pm.
On the Sunday over 200 of America’s best known classic cars and vehicles will be on display from 11am-5pm. Visitors can get up close and personal to learn more about the rich history of the cars from their dedicated owners.
The star attractions are set to include a Second World War Willys Jeep, a 1963 Pontiac Catalina Custom, a 2016 Dodge Hellcat Muscle Car, a Chevrolet Camaro Bumblebee (as seen in the blockbuster film Transformers), a 1968 Buick Le Sabre (as seen in the hit TV series Breaking Bad), and a 1975 Pontiac Trans Am.
Over 200 show cars are expected to compete for a series of prizes including the People’s Choice trophy, a huge cup imported all the way from the US.
In addition to great food and local beer in the main marquee, there will also be bouncy castles, street magicians, stilt walkers, trade stands selling Americana and much more besides.
Tickets to the Sunday show cost just £5 for adults and £2.50 for children on the gate. Those arriving in an American vehicle will get free entry for up to two people.
Show goers will have access to Cofton’s main facilities including the heated indoor and outdoor pool, restaurant and pub,along with miles of cycle paths and nature trails through woodland, parkland and mature meadows to Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve.
Full details at www.coftonholidays.co.uk or call 01626 890111.
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 2, 2017: Leighton Hall Classic Day Out, nr Carnforth, Lancashire
Classic cars and motorcycles are set in the backdrop of the Lakeland Fells as the show gears up for its 18th year.
The Lancashire historic hall will host more than 500 vintage vehicles. Alongside classic cars from Austin Sevens to Land Rovers, the event also showcases classic motorcycles, 4x4s, ex-military vehicles and beautifully restored commercial vehicles.
There's also an arena with club displays, an autojumble and plenty of trade stands, while the hall’s many attractions make it a fun-packed day out for the whole family - car show entrance includes admission to the gardens, parkland and woodland walks. There is also a children’s playground, caterpillar maze and tree trail.
The Leighton Hall Classic Car and Bike Show takes place between 10am and 4pm. Admission is £7 for adults and £2.50 for children. There is a small additional charge to enter the Hall.
Full details at www.markwoodwardclassicevents. com
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/
July 28-30, 2017: Billing Off Road Show, Billing, Northamptonshire
Fans of 4x4s in general and Land Rover products in particular should make a beeline for the Billing Off Road Show, where they can put their own cars to the test or watch experienced mud-pluggers demonstrate off-roading techniques.
The event features two challenging off-road courses: the original Riverside Course built over 25 years ago and open for the first time since the Land Rover Experience used it 10 years ago (open Friday) and the even more demanding Lakeside Course with its infamous "mud run" built five years later (open Saturday and Sunday).
In addition there will be the usual trade stands, an autojumble, Land Rover club area, beer tent with real ales, hot and cold food,live music, a children's play area plus on-site camping
The event used to be held at nearby Billing Aquadrome, but in 2016 it made the sudden decision not to host any further shows so Richard Arrowsmith, the off-road course designer, and his wife Sarah took on the challenge to organise the entire event on their land, enabling visitors to continue to test their 4x4s on these popular courses.
Full details at www. thebillingoffroadexperience. co.uk/book-now
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.
August 27, 2017: Syston Park Speed Trials, Syston, near Grantham, Lincolnshire
This charming event re-captures the spirit of the original Syston Park sprints, with only pre-1939 cars and motorcycles running up the original half-mile hillclimb set in beautiful parkland, which was first used in 1906.
Competition starts at 10am, featuring cars that raced there in period together with grand prix cars, works motorcycles and eccentric aero-engined Edwardian specials. There are still a few places left for competitors: go to http://systonparkspeedtrials. com/entries/ to register.
Arrival in any classic car is encouraged, with a dedicated area for all historic vehicles. There will also be a traditional catering tent serving lunch and refreshments throughout the day.
To preserve the intimate feel of the event, tickets (adults £20, under-16s free) are limited and must be pre-booked via http://www. systonparkspeedtrials.com/
Although racing started at Syston in 1906 with a hillclimb, in 1926 the venue became a full circuit. Along with Brooklands and Donington Park, it became one of the premier racing venues of its time, attracting crowds of 30,000 before racing ceased in 1939.
September 24th, 2017: Warren Classic and Supercar Show, Warren Golf & Country Club, nr Maldon, Essex
About 125 rare and desirable classic cars will be on display, each vying for the title of The Warren Concours ‘Best of Show’.
The 12 classes include ones dedicated to competition Ferraris and Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadsters, while an array of classic and modern supercars will also be on show.
The Warren Classic and Supercar Show started in 2013 and its relaxed yet stylish ambience has been the key to its growth. The undoubted highlight is the The Warren Concours d’Elegance, in which the finest classic cars are judged by an expert panel.
There will also be a Drive-In for classic cars brought to the event by their enthusiastic owners, plus a new classic car tour for 2017. These vehicles are then displayed alongside a mouth-watering array of supercars.
Cars already entered show the breadth of the concours competition, from a 197cc Tourette microcar – one of only 26 built in Croydon between 1958 and 1958 – to a Ferrari BB 512 with wild 1980s Koenig bodywork.
Other entrants are a freshly restored 1955 Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupe, plus a stunning Gurney Nutting-bodied Bentley 4 1/4 Derby, as well as a 1930s Lagonda LG45 Pillarless Saloon, a 1938 Delahaye 135C Competition roadster, a late 1950s Abarth 750 Monza Zagato, as well as the famous 1950 HWM Stovebolt Special.
A unique entry will be the Mirov 2, a one-off ‘Russian’ prototype, made specifically for a television advertisement to promote a British building society in the early 1990s.
Owners wishing to enter a suitable classic or supercar can do so by clicking here.
Full details and ticket prices at the Warren Classic and Supercar Show 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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