Retro and classic favourites at the NEC Classic Motor Show

NEC Classic Motor ShowIt’s day one of the NEC Classic Motor Show and we’re out in force as we celebrate the launch of our new retro-themed website. Join us as we take you through our favourite cars from the opening day of the show.

BMW M5NEC Classic Motor Show

We begin with one of our stars of the show: an E28 generation BMW M5. There at the birth of the super-saloon, the original M5 laid the foundations for all future BMW M products, offering an almost unrivalled blend of performance, practicality and discreet styling. Come Sunday evening, this is the car we’d like to drive home from Birmingham. Via the backroads, of course.


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Austin MetroNEC Classic Motor Show

That said, we suspect Retro MR’s editor, Andrew Brady, might have something to say about that. His love of the Metro is probably the one thing he has in common with the late Princess Diana, who would fall royally head over in heels in love with this 1989 Austin Metro 1.3 GS. We’re saying nothing about the bonnet being up.

Porsche 928 S4NEC Classic Motor Show

The Porsche 928 is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017, so we had to include this 1989 928 S4. The 928 had a troubled birth, initially failing to rise to the challenge of replacing the iconic 911. But by the time the S4 arrived in 1987, it had successfully matured into a grand tourer, complete with 320hp 5.0-litre engine.

Mercedes-Benz 280 SENEC Classic Motor Show

Remember when Mercedes built classy and elegant cars? If not, this 280 SE is a useful reminder…

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLNEC Classic Motor Show

The same can be said about this 1956 Mercedes 300 SL, which remains a rare sight in the UK, as the vast majority of the 1,400 SL gullwings built were sold in the US. There’s one available in the forthcoming RM Sotheby’s New York Icons sale, which is expected to fetch around £1m. This example won’t be driving home from the NEC, as it is without an MOT.

Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL AMGNEC Classic Motor Show

My Sweet Lord, this is a tremendous Mercedes 500 SEL AMG. The owner must be living on Cloud Nine to be the proud custodian of a car formerly owned by George Harrison.

BMW M535iNEC Classic Motor Show

The M535i is the only official BMW Motorsport-developed version of the E12, although it wasn’t a true M5. That said, power is sourced from the 3.5-litre straight-six found in the 735i and 635CSi, with BMW Motorsport working on the chassis and cosmetics. Who doesn’t love tri-colour BMW Motorsport graphics and a rubber rear spoiler?

Triumph Italia 2000NEC Classic Motor Show

The oft-forgotten Triumph Italia 2000 was designed by Giovanni Michelotti, built by Vignale under contract to Ruffino S.p.A, and based on the chassis of a TR3A. “Italian bodywork at its best, British tradition in sports car engineering at its finest,” read the sales literature, with Ruffino positioning the Italia as a grand tourer. Around 300 were built, but very few survive.

Rover Mini Cooper Sport 500NEC Classic Motor Show

“This Mini is one of the last 500 built to the original Sir Alec Issigonis design,” reads the plaque on the dashboard which, in hindsight, looks like a thinly-veiled dig at the BMW MINI. The Cooper Sport 500 was the final chapter in the MINI’s 41-year history.

Ford Escort XR3i CabrioletNEC Classic Motor Show

Few things in life are guaranteed – witness the American election, Brexit and last week’s Strictly Come Dancing – but investing in a Ford of the 80s and 90s is probably a safe bet. By the end of the weekend, we expect this Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet to be worth the equivalent of a parking space in St Ives.

Alfa Romeo 4CNEC Classic Motor Show

A modern classic or simply modern? You decide.

DeTomaso Pantera GT5NEC Classic Motor Show

Cool number plate, even cooler car. The DeTomaso Pantera was a product of the 1970s, but, much like the Lamborghini Countach, it evolved into something more in-tune with the 1980s, as demonstrated by this GT5.

Ford GTNEC Classic Motor Show

Not to be confused with the new, invitation-only Ford GT, this is the first generation model, built as a homage to the GT40 of the 1960s. It’s powered by a 5.4-litre supercharged V8 engine and is capable of reaching a top speed of 205mph.

Lamborghini MiuraNEC Classic Motor Show

The most beautiful car at the NEC Classic Motor Show? That’s one to discuss on the journey home, but we can all agree that the Miura is a rare example of a car with an ability to rock the headlight eyelashes look.

TVR T350NEC Classic Motor Show

The new TVR Griffith is on display at the NEC, but we prefer our TreVoRs to be a little more retro. This T350 is powered by a 3.6-litre straight-six engine and is capable of reaching a top speed of 190mph, hitting 100mph in around 10 seconds.

TVR CerberaNEC Classic Motor Show

There are many cars for sale at the NEC, some of which are – how can we put this – optimistically priced. But we think £21,000 is just about on-the-money for a 1998 Cerbera. Fittingly, its last MOT was carried out in Blackpool.

Lotus Esprit GT3NEC Classic Motor Show

“Beneath this tasty orange paintjob is the best Esprit ever. It’s the low weight, high-excitement GT3 and it’s the supercar bargain of the year.” said Richard Bremner in Car magazine, 1997. That’s a rather fitting number plate for a car famous for its James Bond connection.

Daimler SP250NEC Classic Motor Show

Here is a Daimler SP250, commonly referred to as the Dart. The cosmetically-challenged sports car was launched under the Dart name, but the threat of legal action by Chrysler resulted in Daimler returning to the original codename.

Jaguar XJ220NEC Classic Motor Show

You have to stand alongside the Jaguar XJ220 to appreciate just how big it is. Needless to say, it is attracting quite a crowd at the NEC. Oh, and that number plate is genuine.

Chevrolet Corvette StingrayNEC Classic Motor Show

There’s no shortage of American exotics on show at the NEC, like this 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Nissan Skyline GT-RNEC Classic Motor Show

Meanwhile, this awesome Nissan Skyline GT-R is flying the flag for Japan.

Porsche 911ENEC Classic Motor Show

Assuming you haven’t spent a mortgage payment on parking and coffee, this 1973 Porsche 911E is available for a cool £150,000. Sold new in Germany, the car has been treated to an engine overhaul and a fresh coat of Light Yellow paint.

TWR Rover SD1NEC Classic Motor Show

This former British Saloon Car Championship car was discovered in a barn in the Netherlands and restored to former glory by Ken Clarke, the man known as ‘Mr Rover SD1’.

Click through our gallery below to see more pictures from the 2017 NEC Classic Motor Show

In pictures: 2017 NEC Classic Motor Show

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>NEXT: Are these Britain’s best retro cars?

By | 2017-11-14T14:01:15+00:00 November 10th, 2017|6 Comments

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6 Comments

  1. Tony Welch November 12, 2017 at 12:46 am - Reply

    What, not one picture of a classic SAAB? Given that they were innovative and pioneered various safety features we now take for granted, an omission?

    • Andrew Brady November 13, 2017 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Hi Tony. Unfortunately we couldn’t photograph everything at the NEC Classic Motor Show – it’s a huge event! And Saabs didn’t have a massive presence, unfortunately. If it’s Saab content you’re after, though, keep an eye on Retro MR – we’ll have something right up your street in the near future!

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