Barleylands Classic Motor Show 2021

The first ever Big Barleylands Classic Motor Show & Family Fun Day was launched by Haddon Events on Sunday 12th September.

Barleylands is a 5 minute drive from my house, so I thought I’d pop along, expecting a small local car show. A couple of dozen cars and perhaps a small auto jumble, I was wrong it was a big event!

There was quite a large autojumble and lots of other stands selling different bits, there were plenty of food stands and plenty of rides and activities for the kids including a monster truck ride.

The actual car show section of the event was huge, there were well over a hundred cars on display.

The first cars to really catch my eye were this pair of Lotus Carltons. These began life as humble Vauxhall Carlton saloon cars that had been extensively modified by Lotus to give the car performance that pretty much matched the contemporary Ferrari 348.

The Daily Mail actually campaigned to have the car banned after one example with the registration 40 RA was used in a string of ram raids and the police had no way of safely pursuing and stopping it.

There were also a couple of examples of the regular Vauxhall Carlton.

There was a nice large variety of American cars and trucks on display.

Look at the beautiful detailing on the headlight covers of this Lincoln.

I’d first come into contact with traditional “kustom” cars at the London Concours. It was really nice to see a few examples here. I think it may be a larger culture in the UK than I realised!

Being a Essex based car show, there were of course plenty of locally manufactured Fords on display.

My personal favourite was this Mk1 Granada coupe. I think the Mk1 Granada has got to be one of Ford Europe’s greatest cars; they are ever so nice inside.

It wouldn’t be one of my write ups if there weren’t a few classic Mercedes!

There was a really nice turnout of pre-war cars. The baker’s van and the MG police car were my personal favourites.

There were quite a few Japanese cars in attendance. The MR2 Driver’s Club had a really nice display.

This Skyline was so, so cool! Probably my favourite car of the show.

Some of the 1980s/90s hatchbacks really caught my eye. I must admit I don’t normally cover this type of car in my write ups which is a shame. In standard guise they make for great entry level classic cars and still make for simple, reliable daily cars. I’ve also been following the ‘Max Power’ revival movement with some interest, and I think we’re going to start seeing some more period correct modified cars popping up at different events as more get dragged out of storage and saved.

There were a few military vehicles on display. I might have to attend a military show in 2022, just to cover something a bit different on here.

I’m going to leave you with a couple of my favourite odd ball vehicles from the show. First up is the Trabant 601. A front wheel dive, 594cc two stroke powered saloon car built in East Germany.

Finally we have this wonderful little Reliant Fox. I’ve never seen one of these before. It’s body is made of fibreglass and it houses a 848cc inline 4. They’re apparently very rare as not many were built, and not many of those survive to the present day. I think it’s brilliant! Great advertisement for a small business as I bet it gets lots of attention everywhere it goes.

To sum up, it was a nice day with a good variety of cars on display and plenty to do for young families. Hopefully they do another next year. I might even show the W202!

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By Richard Francis

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