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The NEC Motor Show: Celebrating the Classics

As the NEC Classic Motor Show draws near and petrol-heads around the country hunt out their chamois leathers, we’re getting rather nostalgic about the motors we’ve loved and lost from previous years. So, in celebration of our Classic Motor Show competition (that’s right, we’ve got two weekend tickets to give to you good people!), we’re celebrating our absolute favourites from previous years.

From British classics to the world’s most famous super cars, you may vehemently think our top picks are unfounded, but each of these beauties has a story and a personality worth sharing.

Ferrari 250 LM, Showcased 2009

Regularly cited as one of the most beautiful and expensive cars in the world, if you’re stinking rich enough to get your hands on this then prepare to mould your buttocks into the same supple leather as great men before you, because one thing’s for sure, this car is first and foremost a magnet to the rich and passionate. It’s almost illegal in its potency.

It’s practically worth touching it, just so you can sever your finger and sell it on eBay. It’s that special… OK lusting over, aside from the obvious gorgeousness of the 250 LM and the fact it’s revered by collectors from around the world, what makes the failed GT model such a God amongst automobiles?

The 250 Le Manns was first unveiled in Paris in 1963 and battled with diminished sales when the FIA refused to homologate it as a GT car due to the small production numbers available (32 were built in 1964 and 1965). The 250 Le Manns was therefore relegated to prototype status. In 1965, the North American racing team took the 250 LM to victory in the 24 hour Le Manns before it was homologated for the 1966 season as a group 4 sports car.

Despite a less than straightforward debut, the 250 LM looks just as stunning as today’s supercars, the mark of a true classic.

 Jaguar XK 150 Roadster (1958, 3.4 litre), Showcased 2011

A true British classic, the Jaguar XK 150 practically came back to its Coventry roots for the 2011 Classic Motor Show. Produced between 1957 and 1960, with engine size increasing from 3.4 to 3.8 in 1959, the XK exhibited significant differences from its predecessors, the XK 120 and XK 140. The body work was significantly altered, with the classic sweeping wing line reduced at the door and the split windscreen being replaced by full glass.

Classic Ford (Multiple years and models)

Now it’s all very well focusing on super cars and luxury models, but if truth be told, fans flock to the classic motor show for nothing more than a little nostalgia. The Jaguar E types and the classic Astons might look pretty, but seeing a car your dad had when you were a kid? Now that brings back memories! Whether it was your first maroon Mini or your 17 teen year old self’s pride and joy, the vastly manufactured vehicles of yesteryear are always nice to see. It even gives that a little hope that our modern day wheels might make it to the classic list!

We just had to include this classic Ford from previous years, pretty, tough and universal enough to fondly remember. Lovely.

 The VW Beetle (1970) Showcased 2010

We’re completely accepting of today’s Beetle. Who doesn’t need a flower vase on the dash and incredibly plastic looking features adorning the whole car? We apologise if we’ve offended any hardcore modern day beetle fans, but nothing can compare to the gleaming chrome of previous generations. It looks crafted, it looks majestic and those paint hues can only be described as glorious. Despite thinking that something fundamental has been omitted from modern-day Beetles (class, maybe?), there’s something special about cars that have stood the test of time, even if they have been transformed into bubblegum pink convertibles.

Production stopped in 2003, but given that the Beetle has been kicking around since 1938 we’d say that’s pretty good going, especially for a car which effectively Hitler helped design. That’s right, Herr Hitler wanted a cheap car for the new German road networks and Porsche were cordially commissioned to bring the vision to life. If any Top Gear fans chuckle at Jeremy continually goading Richard about his Porsche ‘Beetle’, now you know why.

 The Peel P50, (1962 – 1965, revived in 2010)

Small, but mighty, it will come as no surprise that the tiny Peel P50 (54 inches long and 41 inches wide) is officially the smallest car in the world. But despite its obvious ‘cuteness’ and the fact we all has a good chuckle at Jeremy Clarkson driving around the BBC HQ with his knees around his ears, the 49cc Peel certainly isn’t all style over substance. With a surprisingly efficient engine (over 100mpg and 118mpg for newer versions), the Peel significantly outperforms the majority of modern cars. It does only reach 28 mph however and doesn’t have a reverse gear, but its light enough for the owner to simply pick it up and move it! Not ideal for parking in notorious areas then…

So that’s our line-up, what do you think? Have we missed an absolute gem? Let us know on Facebook and get entering our competition to win your weekend tickets on us!

Don’t forget to take a look at our novelty show plates and vintage style plates too, perfect if you’re showing a classic car.