NEC Classic Motor Show pays tribute to the end of the Great War

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show 2018 | NEC Birmingham | NEC Classic pays tribute to the end of the Great War

With Sunday 11 November marking one hundred years since the signing of the Armistice, and the end of the tragedy that was the First World War, a number of clubs will be commemorating this historic event at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery.

The Veteran Car Club of Great Britain has adopted a ‘Coming Home’ theme for its stand 1-355 in Hall 1 of Birmingham’s NEC, and will be displaying an amazing selection of vehicles that were used during the conflict:

The Rolls-Royce armoured car made between 1914 and 1920 is certainly imposing and is one of only two survivors. Equally fascinating is the Crossley that was used by the Royal Flying Corp - employed for general duties it was also used to recover downed aircraft.

A staff car for use by officers is represented by a Vauxhall Type D, while the Ford Model T was mainly used as an ambulance but later armed and converted for general use. Take a look at the rare Berliet on display and you’ll see the shrapnel damage suffered during a visit to the Front by a French General.

The fine Napier was donated to the War Department by its owner and converted for use as an ambulance. After the war it was returned to him and became an estate vehicle. And finally, there will be a Wolseley whose owner was killed at the Front in 1917.

The Daimler and Lanchester Owners Club promises a dramatic display on stand 2-820 in Hall 2, which includes a replica of the Lanchester armoured car. Painted in period-correct camouflage, around 36 were built at the company’s factory in Sparkbrook, Birmingham and none are known to survive. The replica on show was built in Belgium, and many of the original vehicles were loaned to Belgian forces during the conflict. When the vehicles returned to England, most were then sent to Russia where they continued in use for a number of years. This display is definitely not to be missed, especially by enthusiasts of British military history.

Two fine examples of the Daimler marque, both of which also reflect the show’s ‘Built to Last’ theme, will also be on display. The first is a 1906 Daimler Wagonette that was changed from a Limousine to the Wagonette bodywork in 1910, while the second is a 1911 Daimler Landaulette. It’s fitted with a three-speed gearbox, along with the underslung worm rear axle that was introduced by Lanchester in 1907.

Amongst the other clubs remembering the occasion is the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register in Hall 4 with a war-themed stand featuring period uniforms, poppy displays, and a showcase of WW1 poetry. As well as three of the Register’s earliest cars, visitors to stand 4-600 will also be able to view pictures from a pilgrimage undertaken by members to monuments around Ypres and the laying of wreaths at the Menin Gate. 

On a slightly lighter note, visitors should make their way to Hall 8 where they will find the Retro Caravan Club on stand 8-100.  Marking both 100 years since the end of the war and 100 years of the trailer caravan, the Club will be showing how manufacturers used redundant artillery axles to build caravans that could be towed by cars. Particularly special is the 1918 Eccles Box, one of the first built after the war ended.

For anyone with family connections to this momentous event in world history this year’s show is sure to be a moving occasion. As part of the show weekend, there will be a two-minute silence at 11am on Sunday 11 November, where service personnel attending the show will be invited onto the stage to be recognised for their service and their sacrifice.