Thursday May 18, 2017
Nearly all enthusiasts have their own collecting hobby and my weakness is for motoring magazines of the past. You can buy such titles on eBay of course, but then you would deprive yourself of the thrill of the chase and the sheer satisfaction of finding a Motor Road Test Annual 1975, with an Allegro Estate on the front cover. Others may accumulate parts for their latest restoration project, be it the transmission for an Austin Maestro City, a rear bumper for a Series 2 Daimler Sovereign 4.2 or a bell for a Morris LD30 ‘Wandsworth’ ambulance there are few better occasions for the discovery of such treasures than the Beaulieu Spring Autojumble at the National Motor Museum.
The event is now in its 24th year with some 16,390 showgoers spending the 3rd and 4th of May in search of bargains but the various stands were only part of the attraction. The Morris Minor is a prime example of a car that was a classic even when it was in production and the Spring Autojumble paid a fitting tribute to a genuine design icon with Moggyfest and Friends. A Panda Car and Traveller in the livery of the Army’s bomb disposal vehicles were an important reminder of how the Minor served the community and the replica 1960s Morris showroom was a delight.
The Minor was famously the first British car to sell more than one million and one of the stars of the display was Ted Brooke’s special edition Morris Minor 1,000,000, with ivory leather seats and a lilac paint finish. And if this were not sufficient uber-nostalgia, there was the parade from the Retro Caravan Club, with such delights as a 1968 Safari, and the many attractions of the Automart. A Ford Escort 1300E - ‘a head turner on the road’ to quote Dagenham’s PR department back in 1973 – was sold for £16,800 and a 1965 Husky was a reminder of the times when so many jobbing builders and gardeners used such Hillmans.
The sheer variety of the vehicles at Beaulieu was further demonstrated by the eye-catching selection from the Classic Hearse Register (including a Ford Consul Cortina Mk. I) the delightful Bedford K lorry from Ringwood Brewery, a mighty Wolseley 6/110 Mk. II and – a mark of how long ago the 1990s now seem – an Escort Mk. IV. Meanwhile, choosing a winner of the Best Stand Trophy was always going to be a near Mission Impossible and it was Andy Jennings of MG Spares - http://www.mg-cars.org.uk/andyjennings/index.htm - who was awarded a hamper by Danny Hopkins, the editor of the show’s sponsor, Practical Classics. The magazine’s featured a Minor Traveller and a downright handsome Citroen DS owned by the deputy editor Mr. James Walshe.
And so, to the stalls, where a model of a policeman brandishing a “Stop” sign, a vintage advert and an Austin Junior 40 pedal car could all be yours. But, whether you sought decorations for your garage or living room – after all, what lounge would not be improved with at least one 1960s BP petrol pump – a brochure for the Rover 2000 or the 1958 Motor Show edition of Autocar, the Spring Autojumble was the perfect venue. Roll on the International Autojumble in September - https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/events/international-autojumble