Ultimate Guide to UK Car Shows Near You

Ultimate Guide to UK Car Shows Near You
Photo by Gian Gomez / Unsplash

The UK has many car shows, perfect whether you're a fan or just starting out. You'll find classic car displays full of old-time charm and modern shows with new car trends. This guide will help you plan ahead and know what to expect, making your visit a great one. Join in the love for classic cars and have an amazing time at the UK's top car shows.

Key Takeaways

  • Affordable classic cars are aplenty in the UK, with many available for under £10,000.
  • Classic car events offer opportunities to learn from industry experts about the history and maintenance of vintage vehicles.
  • Plan and prepare adequately before attending to ensure an enjoyable experience.
  • Respecting show etiquette is crucial for making a good impression and maintaining the atmosphere of the event.
  • Dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and bring essentials like sunscreen and snacks to have a comfortable day at the show.

An Overview of Classic Car Shows in the UK

In the UK, the classic car scene is really vibrant. You can see everything from vintage cars lovingly restored to modern classics. If you're a fan, these shows have something for you. They welcome lovers of supercars and those who adore vintage cars alike. You'll find many classic car shows and exhibitions across the UK. They all offer a unique experience.

Types of Classic Car Shows

Classic car shows in the UK vary in size and type. From small meet-ups to big outdoor events, there's plenty to visit. Race Retro in Coventry on February 23rd to 25th, 2024, stands out. It's a heaven for fans of rally cars. Practical Classics: Classic Car Show at NEC, Birmingham (March 22nd - 24th, 2024), is famous for its many classic cars and restoration projects.

The Festival of Speed at Goodwood Motor Circuit is a spectacular event. Held from July 11th to 14th, 2024, it's a highlight for fans of fast cars. Over 150,000 visitors enjoy it each year. The Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional on July 27th, 2024 at Grimsthorpe Castle is special. It showcases everyday classic cars that used to be seen everywhere.

Why Attend Classic Car Shows

Classic car shows are fun days out that let you explore your love for vintage cars. They also teach you about these amazing vehicles. Salon Privé at Blenheim Palace (August 28th to 31st, 2024) is famous for its top-quality classic cars. It's a chance to meet experts and learn about these treasured rides.

There's something for everyone at these events. Whether you enjoy huge shows like Silverstone Classic Car Show or more family-focused ones. For example, the Fathers Day Motorfest Weekender in Essex on June 15th and 16th, 2024. They bring classic car lovers together. It's where you can share your love for these incredible machines.

Here’s a quick guide to ticket prices for some key upcoming events:

Event Date Location Adult Ticket Kids Ticket
Race Retro 23 - 25 Feb 2024 Stoneleigh Park, Coventry From £27 From £12
Practical Classics: Classic Car Show 22 - 24 Mar 2024 NEC, Birmingham From £25 From £20
Festival of Power 29 - 31 Mar 2024 Santa Pod Raceway From £33 From £5
Supercar Fest: The Runware 18 - 19 May 2024 Sywell Aerodrome, Northampton From £35 From £5
Fathers Day Motorfest Weekender 15 - 16 Jun 2024 Chelmsford, Essex From £18.99 From £7.99
Festival of Speed 11 - 14 Jul 2024 Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester From £54 From £27
Hagerty Festival of the Unexc-eptional 27 Jul 2024 Grimsthorpe Castle £35 per car £35 per car
Gravity Show 24 - 25 Aug 2024 NEC, Birmingham From £35 From £18
Salon Privé 28 - 31 Aug 2024 Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire From £50 From £22.50

Upcoming Car Shows in 2023

In 2023, the UK is gearing up for many thrilling car shows. You can enjoy everything from big motor shows to small car meets. There are plenty of chances for car fans to have a great time this year.

Premier Events

The big motoring events in 2023 offer something special. For instance, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a highlight. It will be held from the 13th to the 16th of July. The tickets start at £54 for adults and £27 for kids.

Another exciting event is the Festival of Speed at Santa Pod Raceway from the 29th to the 31st of March. Tickets are cheaper starting at £33 for adults and £5 for kids. Also, don't miss the NEC Classic Motor Show from the 10th to the 12th of November. It showcases a wide variety of classic cars.

Lesser-Known Gems

There are also smaller and fascinating car shows in 2023. Look out for Race Retro, which takes place from the 23rd to the 25th of February. It's in Coventry and adult tickets are £27, with children's tickets at £12. The Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional on the 27th of July at Grimsthorpe Castle is unique. It costs £35 per car to enter, giving car lovers an affordable day out.

Regional Highlights

The UK has car events all over. The Practical Classics: Classic Car Show will happen in NEC, Birmingham, from the 22nd to the 24th of March. Tickets start at £25 for adults and £20 for kids. Down south, the Fathers Day Motorfest Weekender in Chelmsford, Essex, is on from the 15th to the 16th of June. You can go for as little as £18.99 for adults and £7.99 for kids.

Here's a quick preview of some 2023 car shows:

Event Name Date Location Adult Ticket Price Child Ticket Price
Goodwood Festival of Speed 13th-16th July Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester £54 £27
Festival of Power 29th-31st March Santa Pod Raceway £33 £5
Race Retro 23rd-25th February Stoneleigh Park, Coventry £27 £12
Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional 27th July Grimsthorpe Castle, Grimsthorpe £35 per car N/A

With so many car shows lined up, 2023 is shaping up to be a thrilling year. Whether you love big shows or small gatherings, you're sure to find something fun. Be sure to save the dates and book your tickets early for these events!

Tips for Attending Your First Car Show

Going to your first car show is thrilling but can also feel a bit too much. Making sure you're ready is key to having a great time. Below are some top tips to get the most out of your day.

What to Wear

Choosing what to wear at a car show is all about being comfy yet stylish. Pick clothes that fit the show's vibe but are also easy to move in. Since you might stand a lot, pick shoes that won't hurt your feet. Also, don't forget to look at the weather report and dress for it. Having a light jacket or umbrella for rain is smart.

Planning Your Day

It's good to know when the show starts and what's happening when. Keep up by checking the event's online updates. Also, sort out how you're getting there. Whether it's by car or bus, know your route and where to park. Bringing a map helps find places easily.

Must-Have Gear

Having the right stuff can really better your car show trip. Here's what you should not forget:

  • Use sunscreen to shield your skin from too much sun.
  • A foldable chair can be a big help for rest times.
  • Grab snacks and drinks that are good for you to stay active.
  • If you're showing your car, bring along some cleaning products for a quick polish.
Event Name Location Highlights
Carlisle Chrysler Nationals Pennsylvania, USA Largest Chrysler-focused show
Woodward Dream Cruise Detroit, Michigan, USA Annual classic car event
SEMA Show Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Latest automotive products and trends
Mopar Nationals Hebron, Ohio, USA Celebration of Mopar vehicles

By following these tips and dressing right, your car show experience will be smooth and fun. Good planning cuts stress and lets you really enjoy the cars and culture on show.

The Best Car Shows for Families

Finding the best family car shows can make an outing memorable. The UK offers many events that are fun and educational. You can visit the Classic and Performance Car Spectacular at Tatton Park or the #VanLifeFest at Scampston Hall. There's always something for every family to enjoy in the UK. Let’s look at activities and safety tips for the best experience.

Family-Friendly Activities

Child-friendly car shows have loads of fun things for kids to do. The Retro CarFest (23 – 25 August 2024) and The British Motor Show (15 – 18 August 2024) have interactive exhibits and live entertainment. The Classic and Performance Car Spectacular at Tatton Park shows off 2000 classic cars. This is a real treat for car lovers of all ages. These activities make the family car shows both fun and enriching.

Safety Tips for Kids

Safety is key when you take your children to car shows. Make sure they drink plenty of water, especially when it's warm. It can get crowded at events like the British Grand Prix at Silverstone or the Festival of Speed at Goodwood Estate. So, keep a close eye on your little ones. Don’t forget protection from the sun. Bring hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Following these tips will help keep your family safe and make the event more fun.

Event Dates Activities
Retro CarFest 23 – 25 August 2024 Interactive exhibits, live entertainment
The British Motor Show 15 – 18 August 2024 Kid-friendly zones, automotive displays
Classic and Performance Car Spectacular 27 May – 8 June 2024 Over 2000 classic cars, family activities

Car Enthusiast Clubs in the UK

The UK is home to many exciting car clubs that are a joy to be part of. They offer loads of perks from regular meets to special events. Joining these groups makes being into cars even more fun.

Benefits of Joining

Joining a car club has lots of pluses. You get to meet people who love cars as much as you do. The Car Barn Drivers Club is one example. It was created in 2022. Every Thursday at 5:30 pm, they meet to show off their over 200 cars. It's a great chance to hang out and learn from others about car care and upgrades.

Notable Clubs

The Car Barn Drivers Club is known for being easy to join and having plenty of events. It's free to sign up, which is perfect for anyone new. They have big events like "The Grand Return" in April and the "Red Row Summer Festival" in July. There are other clubs too, especially for owners of BMW and Porsche cars, plus groups for people who like car types or brands.

How to Join

It's easy to become a member of a club. Most have a website or are on social media, so signing up is straightforward. You can also get in by going to car events. This way, you can talk to current members face to face. No matter if you love sporty, old, or fast cars, there's a spot for you in these clubs.

Event Month Time Details
The Grand Return April Thursday, 5:30 pm Annual gathering to kick-off the automotive season
Red Row Summer Festival July Thursday, 5:30 pm Summer celebration with modified and performance vehicles
The Car Barn Trophy 2024 August Thursday, 5:30 pm Competitive event featuring the best of classic cars

Preparing Your Car for a Show

Getting your car ready for a show is crucial. About 90% of show-goers make sure their cars look perfect beforehand. So, it's wise to start planning early to make your car dazzle from every angle.

To begin, give your car a thorough wash. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam is great for this. Then, use Meguiar’s Car Wash Plus+ and a Meguiar’s Microfiber Car Wash Mitt to clean it well. Finish off by drying it completely to prevent water marks. You can use the Gyeon Q²M Silk Dryer XL or the Vertool Airdry 180 Car Dryer for this.

After that, remove impurities with the Bilt Hamber Auto Clay Bar. Then, polish and correct the paint with Tripple All-in-One Polish and Ultra Glaze Paint Glaze. This process will clear away fine marks, making your car look even better. Lastly, apply Collinite No. 845 Insulator Wax to add shine and protect the paint.

Don't forget the wheels and glass. Clean your wheels with Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner and shield them with Mint Wheels Wheel Wax. For windows, use Vision Glass Polish to keep them clear without streaks.

Think about the practical side of showing your car too. Most car owners (70%) have detailed info about their car to share. And many (85%) bring cash and 60% have contact details for networking. Making your own space comfortable is clever, as shown by the 75% who bring seats and tables, and some who play music.

Here’s a list of top tools for preparing cars for shows:

Product Purpose Recommended Brand
Snow Foam Pre-wash car cleaning Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
Wheel Cleaner Wheel maintenance Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner
Car Shampoo General washing Meguiar’s Car Wash Plus+
Car Wash Mitt Gentle washing aid Meguiar’s Microfiber Car Wash Mitt
Drying Towel Post-wash drying Gyeon Q²M Silk Dryer XL
Car Dryer Detailed drying Vertool Airdry 180 Car Dryer
Clay Bar Decontamination Bilt Hamber Auto Clay Bar
Wax Paint protection Collinite No. 845 Insulator Wax

By following these tips and using the recommended products, your car will be show-ready. It will attract eyes and impress everyone, including the judges.

Etiquette at Car Shows

It's vital to be well-mannered at car shows for a good experience. By showing respect, you make the visit better for everyone. You also help create a positive atmosphere among fellow car fans.

Do’s and Don’ts

Knowing the right and wrong things to do at a car show is key. It’s important not to touch cars without asking and to avoid making loud noises. Remember to tidy up after yourself to support the event's clean-up efforts.

  • Do ask for permission before touching any vehicle.
  • Do be courteous when taking photographs.
  • Don’t participate in revving contests.
  • Do pack your own lunch to avoid long concession lines.
  • Do clean up your area to maintain the event’s cleanliness.

Respecting Owners and Cars

Showing respect for owners and their cars is very important. They put a lot of work and love into their vehicles. Even a small mark on a neat classic car can be upsetting. So, always keep a polite distance unless invited closer.

At some car shows, you might see huge gooseneck trailers with cars. These cars can be very heavy and big. This shows how much people care about their cars. In this setting, acting in a thoughtful way isn’t just nice, it’s a must-do.

Guidelines Description
Respect Boundaries Always avoid touching vehicles without the owner's permission.
Photography Etiquette Be courteous and ensure you do not obstruct others when taking photos.
Avoid Revving Refrain from impromptu revving contests to avoid annoying other attendees.
Pack Smart Consider packing your own lunch to save time and reduce reliance on concession stands.

By sticking to these rules, you help make the car show pleasant for everyone. This way, we can all admire the awesome cars without any issues.

Top Venues for UK Car Shows

The UK boasts some of the world's top car show venues. These places are not just for car lovers but offer unforgettable experiences. The right venue can make your visit much more fun.

Iconic Locations

Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester is top of the list. It's home to the Festival of Speed from 11th to 14th July 2024. This event is full of history and exciting displays. Meanwhile, Silverstone racetrack is where the British Grand Prix happens, from 4th to 7th July 2024. It's known for its history and thrilling events. And in June, the Le Mans race event happens from the 12th to the 16th, attracting fans of endurance racing.

Unique Venues

For something different, try Retro CarFest at Bicester Heritage from 23rd to 25th August 2024. It's a unique mix of new and old auto culture. On 27th July 2024, don't miss the Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional at Grimsthorpe Castle. For a royal touch, visit Blenheim Palace from 28th to 31st August 2024 for Salon Privé. And the high-energy Gravity Show is at NEC Birmingham on 24th and 25th August 2024.

Finding the perfect car show venue in the UK can truly make your experience better. With so many historic and modern sites, there's a place for every enthusiast to enjoy