You searched for... A Celebration
If you were reading the 11th October edition of Autocar in 1957, you might have noticed an advertisement headlined ‘For the Discerning Motorist’. Naturally, you read on, as this clearly referred to a driver such as yourself, one who appreciated ‘Sober elegance of line, outstanding performance, admirable road holding and first-class craftsmanship’.
Once again motoring enthusiasts flocked to Birmingham’s NEC in their thousands to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery. Over 71,000 attendees joined the three-day celebration and grand finale to the classic motoring show season.
The clocks have changed, and there is a certain crispness in the air – in short, it is that time of the year when many classic sports car enthusiasts start considering a coupe rather than a convertible. However, the Sunbeam Alpine GT, with its detachable roof and soignée lines, really was the best of both worlds – assuming you only required two seats.
By any standards, the 164 is a very special motor-car. It was the last of the “Tipo 4/Type 4” family, predated by the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and the Saab 9000. It was also the last Alfa Romeo developed before the Fiat takeover of 1986 and one of its generation’s finest sports saloons.
One of the many stars of the 1959 London Motor Show was found on Stand 145. Here was a coupe primed to compete with the Aston Martin DB4 and the Jensen 541R, one built by ‘dedicated craftsmen who jealously guard the hand-made reputation that has made AC the choice of the discerning motorist during the past 50 years’.
Of the many cars celebrating their 50th birthday this year, it would be very wrong to overlook the Alfa Romeo Alfetta. In the 1970s, it was the vehicle of choice for the sort of middle-class driver who might have also considered the Triumph Dolomite, Lancia Beta or the BMW 2002.
One car I have long craved is the A70 Hampshire. Firstly, there is my abiding fascination with the immediate post-war era, as the Austin made its bow in October 1948 into a world of smog, Woodbines and black and white films starring Nigel Patrick.
As 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, the organisers have chosen to theme Hall 8 as ‘From 1984 - The 35th Anniversary Hall’. Held at Birmingham’s NEC from 8-10 November, this part of the show is dedicated to marques, models and clubs that have appeared since 1984.