Just a boy with a dream car…

Classic Motor Show boy with a dream

The 35th anniversary of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show isn’t just a milestone for the event’s organisers as it also holds fond memories for car enthusiasts too.

James Walshe, Classic Car fan and Deputy Editor of Practical Classics magazine, attributes the very first NEC show as where his passion for motoring, and in particular, the manufacturer Citroen started.

“In 1984, when I was eight years old, my dad took me to the NEC Motor Show,” explains James. “On entering Hall 3, I saw the most amazing thing I had ever clapped eyes on, rotating on the plinth at the Citroen stand amid bright lights and music. It was a Citroen CX GTi Turbo, launched that very year, and looking like something from one of my science fiction comics!

“The moment was captured on camera by my father, who simply could not drag me away from the stand. Thereafter, I pestered him for years to buy a CX (which he finally did so five years later). It’s one of the reasons I got into cars and a really precious memory for my dad and I.

“Nowadays, less than ten of these early GTi Turbo models exist. Then this spring, I got a phone call from a man in Aberdeen who was being forced to clear his garage. In it, a silver CX GTi Turbo, which has been sat there abandoned for 25 years. My jaw dropped – I just couldn’t believe it!

“So…  enter my new project car in Practical Classics! Restoration work is now very much underway! If my eight-year-old self knew I would one day own the object of my desire, I would have peed myself!”

The Citroen CX GTi Turbo is the latest in a long line of Citroens that James has brought to the show, some for display and some that have been restored on the Discovery Live Stage with the Practical Classics team.

Do you remember your first visit to the NEC Classic Motor Show? Maybe you displayed a car one year? Or did you find a car you never wished you let go? Get in touch and share your happy memories of the UK’s biggest and best indoor motoring extravaganza.