The best Classic Car & Restoration show returns

The Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show is back, taking place on the 24th-26th March weekend at the NEC, Birmingham. If you’re looking to rev up your passion for cars, finish restoring an old banger, or just want to reminisce with family and friends over the plethora of classic cars on display, then this show can’t be missed.
The event displays more than 1000 cars; various marques and models from over 150 car clubs; close to 300 autojumblers and exhibitors, including services providers, product suppliers, and restoration companies; celebrities will be there; the Classic Car Auction will throw up some choice buys; plenty of car competitions; educational workshops on refining your restoration skills, and lots more. 

Have you entered our competition to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets? Follow us on social media @mycarheaven so you don’t miss out on our regular competitions.

This show is the place to be for any motorhead, to source all the knowledge, tools, and services you need while enjoying the vehicles and activities on offer.

The highlights on display at the Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show are a car lover’s dream.

From Dream Rides to Epic Restorations, your car paradise is awaiting. Want top tips on your car project? Head to the Live Stage and get educated by the experts, or simply admire the endless array of Classic Cars on display at the show. 

Classic Cars Display

Classic Car Displays 2

Over 1,000 beautiful classic cars will be there for you to discover, from restored barn finds to concourse-quality motors, ranging from Fords and Austins, to Ferraris and Bugattis, with everything in between.

With such a varied lineup you’re sure to take a trip down memory lane, no matter what corner of the globe you’re from. This is the place to be if you want to find inspiration in your restoration journey and to learn something new. 

Epic Restorations

Come and see ‘Epic Restorations’, a feature in The Classic Cars Magazine, come to life again, as it first did in the show last year. 

Mini Cooper Before

This Mini Cooper languished in its owner’s garage for close-to three decades, narrowly avoiding the scrapyard in a number of occasions, before eventually beginning its journey back to factory perfection.

Mini Cooper After

Car Clubs

Classic car clubs are unquestionably the life and soul of the classic car community. Over 150 car clubs join each year, and they all work tirelessly to make sure every magnificent marque is not forgotten.

The car clubs are encouraged to showcase every aspect of the restoration process. You’ll get to see first-hand and learn how they’re able to get classic cars back onto the road. It’s such a fantastic opportunity, as you walk around the show, to ask thousands of enthusiasts about their experiences, leaving you knowing much more than when you arrived.

Car clubs

This year will bring 159 car clubs to the show, from the Alfa Romeo Owners Club to the Historic Marathon Rally Group, all the way through to the XR Owners Club.

Barn Find Display

A favourite spot of ours is the UK’s biggest Barn Find display, showing vehicles in various states of rustiness, all being voted on by the visitors to be crowned the winner. 

How do you define a ‘barn find’?

Some say it’s a car covered in three decades worth of dust, to others it’s a forgotten car, inactive for many years. The cars on display have been unearthed from sheds, garages, the backend of peoples gardens swallowed by years of weeds. If there’s a ‘manky motor’ in your life that you want to rescue and restore to their former glory, here’s your chance.

It’s remarkable what can be done with a little bit of imagination and a lot of elbow grease! Harry Larcombe proved just that as he was last year’s Barn Find winner with his 1949 Jowett Bradford.

Harry Larcombe - 1949 Jowett Bradford

Classic Car Auctions 

Classic Car Auctions has its largest sale at the show every year, so it’s your opportunity to view the huge line up, sell your car or buy one on offer.

Looking to buy? 

Whether you’re a fan of Ford, Ferrari, Aston Martin, BMW, Porsche, Triumph, or Lamborghini, you’ll be sure to find something to aspire to on the auction block.

Looking to sell?

If you’re looking to get a top price for your classic beauty, Classic Car Auctions offer a wonderful chance to get your motor in front of a brilliantly receptive audience.

Classic Car Auctions

Classic Car Auctions is a specialist, world-class auction house offering vehicle enthusiasts the opportunity to buy and sell a variety of iconic classic cars from across the eras.

A sensational catalogue of vehicles will be up for auction over two days at the show – an event that cannot be missed.

Come and see the lots available during auction viewing hours, then join in the delight of the auction when it gets underway. Whether you’re placing your own bid or just enjoying the spectacle, you’re guaranteed a fun-filled time during the auction on Saturday and Sunday.

At Auction

The Workshop

Always an area of activity at the show, the Workshop is always a big attraction for the crowds, with lots of sessions understandably being ‘standing room only’.

These sessions include topics focusing on panel work, lead loading, using the wheeling machine, hand tools, paint polishing, and how to remove defects.

Vital skills taught by Mike Coman and his expert team from Gilbert-Michaelson, ideal for anyone planning their own restoration project or own a classic. 

You’ll be glad to know that this isn’t a sit back and watch feature, you’ll be encouraged by Mike and his team to ask them any questions about restoring and maintaining classics.

The Workshop

What You Can Expect…

Lead Loading     

Leadloading is somewhat of a “dark art”, favoured for many years by high end coach builders and car manufacturers on cars such as Ferrari, Jaguar and Rolls Royce.

In this popular session the team will give the plus points of lead, as well as the pitfalls to be aware of when using it. You’ll view the equipment needed to do your own lead repairs, every stage of the repair, and how a repair should be finished. 

Panel Making

Within classic car circles everywhere the interest in the “wheeling machine” is having a resurgence. In this session you’ll see basic panel fabrication techniques using the wheel demonstrated.

If you don’t have the luxury of a wheeling machine, the team explain what can be done at home in your garage using simple tools that are easily accessible. 

Paint Polishing

We all want the greatest finish possible on our classics and in the Paint Polishing session the team will explain and demonstrate the techniques used when polishing a new paint job on a car, as well as removing defects from a paint finish.

They will also explain the various types and grades of abrasives and demonstrate how to use tools to achieve the best finish, all done the old-fashioned way, by hand.

Who’s Gilbert-Michaelson?

Gilbert Michaelson

Steve Gilbertson and Michael Coman established Gilbert-Michaelson in 2015, drawing upon their combined experience of over 40 years in restoring classic motors and educating people about what’s required to restore classic cars.

They are renowned for the high-quality personalised service they offer to their clients, both new and returning – skills ranging from paint refurbishing and body shop work to mechanical expertise. 

Exhibitors, Car Dealers & Autojumble

This is the place to be when looking for that much-needed tool, accessory, or item to help with your maintenance or restoration project. This show has plentiful exhibitors that are bound to have what you’re looking for.

Everything and anything needed by a car and restoration lover will be amongst the goodies in the autojumble. Chat motors with specialist exhibitors and purchase your next classic car at the auction or with the dealers. There will be plenty to peruse, be it a special motor to drive out at the weekend, or perhaps something more robust to venture on an endurance rally or tour.

Exhibitors, Car Dealers & Autojumble

Parts and spares galore can be found at the Autojumble and Trader Village, giving you the chance to finally find that one motoring part you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Whether it’s accessories, automobilia, literature, tools, or clothing, the Autojumble area is the place to be. There’s something for everyone and you’re sure to pick up a mega bargain amongst the 100s of stands within this must-experience feature of the show. 

Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership

Another must-view feature is The Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership, which celebrates classic cars and their owners. It’s a fantastic display that gathers car enthusiasts with heart-warming stories about the rarest, most unusual and cherished vehicles in the UK. 

In recent years there’s been cars found as a complete wreck and restored to their former glory, other rare examples and lots of delightful stories of how these special cars hold such sentimental value to a loved one.

Lancashire Insurance Pride of Ownership

The winner is picked by the visitors, voted for throughout the weekend giving owners the chance to tell you their story and why you should choose their car. 

Sporting Bears Dream Rides

Here’s a chance for you to take your Dream Ride in one of Sporting Bears beautiful classic cars, and in doing so help raise money for vital children’s charities.

There surely isn’t a better way to raise money for charity than by being a passenger in a 10-mile ride in the car of your dreams. Their garage features a stunning array of cars for you to choose from and enjoy the open roads surrounding Birmingham’s NEC.

It’s an unforgettable experience, giving you the thrill of a Ferrari, the luxury of a Lamborghini, or the pure joy of a classic car from a bygone era.

Sporting Bears Dream Rides

National Car Club Awards

The National Car Club Awards recognise, honour, and celebrate the achievements of the nation’s car clubs, the spirited people who run them and the incredible cars they preserve and cherish.

This is the time to reward this wonderfully committed community and celebrate those that have made a difference. Awards to look forward to include:

  • At Show awards
  • People’s Choice
  • Judges Special Recognition
  • Celebrities Choice

So there you have out preview to this years Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show. If you haven’t entered our competition, and/ or need tickets, then go here.


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