NEC Classic Car Show 2017This years NEC turned out to be a massive success which is surprising since a lot of it went not entirely to plan.........
First Phil Ade was going to bring his beige Reliant Rialto 2 estate but sadly the engine failed so over the weekend of the NEC it was having its engine replaced, so instead Phil brought his bright yellow Reliant Rialto SE hatchback.
This wasn't the only vehicle to have pulled out three cars were quickly changed only days before the show began, a Reliant Robin LE93 was meant to appear but the owner sadly couldn't bring the vehicle and a week before the show James found out his Tempest kit car wouldn't fit on his trailer, so as replacements I ended up bringing my Reliant Rialto 2 saloon and James brought his 1997 Reliant Robin van.
Our 4th vehicle on show was Rockin Robin which is a mk1 1976 Reliant Robin fitted with a Rover 3.5 V8 engine owned by Andy Skinner and Jonty Thomas, this was the only car which was originally planned to attend that did.
So I have told you all this and this was even before we arrived at the NEC, me and Melvin arrived on Thursday (day before the show) to set up our stand and to our surprise Phil and James had already arrived, now we had arrived we moved the 3 cars to their positions and then set up our magazine rack, information boards and other interesting items we have on the stand, a little time later Peter Huggins arrived with the shop so we presented this on our tables. After this we went to the hotel and then the pub! we even came 3rd in the pub quiz.
In the morning we all arrived to do our final set up for the shows start, the night before around 7pm Andy had dropped off his V8 Robin for us, so we put this is at the front to get maximum attention to people walking past, Andy and Jonty weren't arriving themselves until Saturday. With this we noticed our stand was full of cream, white, beige and yellow but hey at least we were consistent.
Our stand was in a great position. We were not far from the auto jumble and only at the side of the restoration theatre which restores classic cars live on stage, and it has a huge amount of chairs for spectators. We usually end up backed up against the Reliant Scimitar & Sabre owners club but this year they were in the centre of the halls and we were this year backed against the Bond Bug club.
Throughout the weekend all our cars gathered a lot of attention, we were featured in classic car weekly and practical classics afterwards and mostly because of the V8 Reliant Robin, this always had a massive amount of people pointing and staring at it in amazement usually and of course a bright yellow Rialto will always get attention too.
We needed a Reliant Rialto 2 to arrive as this year is the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Rialto 2, for this my car had a happy birthday banner all weekend as well as a birthday cake which was quickly eaten.
We heard plenty of stories over the weekend and received a few visits from friends such as Malcolm Norris, John Crawford and Geoff Payne. Our biggest visitors were former deputy managing director of Reliant Barrie Wills and former saviour of Reliant Jonathan Haynes, both of which have now joined the Reliant Owners Club and had plenty of interesting tales to tell.
By the end of our 3 day long show we ended up joining 13 new members and running short on a few bits of popular Reliant Owners Club merchandise, afterwards we got some good publicity from car magazines which is always a nice thing to be noticed amongst all the other car clubs attending the show.
Lastly I would like to thank everyone attending this show and James Holland for organising it. If you want your vehicle to be shown at the NEC classic car motor show you can apply to James via email, if you do please take into account it isn't cheap as you need accommodation over the weekend (and buying lunch and evening meals) and attend the show, or you can drop off your vehicle Thursday and pick it up Sunday evening, to apply email James.firstname.lastname@example.org. Accommodation can cost anything from £300 on site to £150 if you drive away each day.
Adam Turpin Nottingham Branch