Being an apparently seasoned blogger with a commitment to supplying the latest gossip and up to the minute updates I suppose it was expected of me to put something together with regard to my visit to the Practical Classics Renovation show at the NEC which occurred over the weekend. And so it was that I received my ticket in good time only to discover the day before that the ticket had gone missing and with batteries for the camera fully charged I managed to arrive at the NEC sans memory cards. Not to worry I could always phone home except I had also managed to leave my phone at home too. Oh well, you will just have to take my word for it when stating how fabulous it was to visit the show.
The show was held in two on the many Halls at the NEC which indicates it probably wasn’t a massive event. A quarter of one of the halls was turned over to an auction for “barn find” cars. It surprises me just how many barns are left undiscovered in a country equipped with more surveillance cameras per capita than any other in the civilised world, let alone the numerous Aston Martins and Rolls Royces’ left to fester in them. In fact, part of my manifesto for leader of the world will make claiming barn find vehicles punishable by death. Parking a knackered Nova in a garage for two years whilst enthusiastically contemplating making it road worthy does not qualify as making a barn find when you come to move it after being evicted by the council.
The majority of the first hall was turned over to autojumble stalls with the odd exception of a few well known retailers. I had a whale of a time browsing through their offerings although I had a very strict shopping list required for the midge project their was no harm in having a look. It was at this point when I happened across Chris Barrie cutting a slightly strange figure dressed in a tweed suit, I decided not to engage him in conversation as he reminded me too much of a Tory for me to feel comfortable in his company. Hopefully it was an act. Other notable celebrities on show were Edd China, Mike Brewer and Fuzz Townsend. None of which were wearing Tweed but similarly I avoided talking to them as I am clearly not worthy. Mike Brewer came across as a genuinely nice guy, Edd came across as a bigger celebrity than I thought he would and Fuzz had a great hat.
I can’t help feeling a number of companies that should have been there and weren’t have missed a trick. There is certainly more than a passing interest in car renovation, classic vehicles and getting your hands dirty but the industry innovators were largely missing and that is a shame as Britain is a nation of tinkerers looking for something to make their own and this show was an ideal platform to give them direction.
In my next blog I hope I will have put some of my purchases to good use as I expect to get the chassis painted and the brake and fuel lines replaced. Well there’s hoping.