Kim Henson was there, and enjoyed it very much…
Inevitably I enjoy all the Autojumbles at Beaulieu; the heady mix of thousands of vehicular components on offer to help with restoration projects, classic car upgrades or simply to keep an old vehicle safe, legal and on the road, is hard for me and for thousands of other enthusiasts to ignore. The social side of this gathering is great too; the event provides a wonderful meeting-point for car-lovers from home and abroad.
While the annual ‘original and still the best’ September event is always simply vast, the Spring Autojumble, held in May (this year on Saturday 21st/Sunday 22nd) is pretty impressive too. With 1,236 stalls (including 48 club stands) this year (up from last year’s 1,176) there were plenty of automotive goodies to look through. There were complete vehicles too of course, for sale in the Automart area; this year there were 116 on offer. A few (among many) to attract me included a lovely Standard Eight of the 1950s, a Ford V8 Pilot and a smart Triumph Herald Convertible. My wife, who accompanied me at Beaulieu and whose first car was a Herald 12/50, said that this Convertible was her favourite of the day…
As if that’s not enough, on the Sunday only of the May event could be found the aptly-named ‘Land Rover Rummage’ and the ‘Trunk Traders’ section – where individuals brought along a variety of car-related parts to help empty their garages while boosting the contents of their wallets.
In addition, it’s always a pleasant experience, with the world-famous Museum also available to browse (along with all the other Beaulieu attractions), as well as the cars and parts for sale.
Despite some unwelcome rain on the Saturday of this year’s event, some 14,735 enthusiasts attended the Spring Autojumble this year.
I was among them, and within the aisles of fascinating car parts I found a rare original Austin engine mounting that I had been looking for over several years, some paint I needed for another project vehicle, plus a variety of small but useful components I was in need of.
As always, I was amazed at the sheer variety of parts for sale. This time I spotted some scarce bumpers and body panels for early continental classics (as well as many for home-grown vehicles), and a number of engines and transmission units covering the decades from the 1920s to the 2000s. There were ancient but useful tools-a-plenty too, and high quality upholstery materials at reasonable prices.
The team from the media sponsors of the event, ‘Practical Classics’ magazine, were on hand with various vehicles ranging from a Model T Ford to a Dyna Panhard to a Rover P6, to chat to visitors, and the magazine’s Editor, Danny Hopkins, chose the Best Stand award. The trophy, donated by Lolly Lee in memory of her father, autojumbler Terry Lee, was awarded to Don Pitt (it was his 50th Beaulieu Autojumble) and Ria Mills for their stand selling vintage car and motorcycle spares, automobilia signs and vintage clothes/accessories.
Another long-time regular attendee at Beaulieu is John Bramwell, who celebrated his 80th birthday at the event. John is a Singer enthusiast and was on the Association of Singer Car Owners’ Club stand, which was celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Rootes Gazelle. John has been attending Beaulieu Autojumbles since the first one in 1967. Talking of which, if you have any photographs, stories and/or memorabilia of the first half-century of these events, Beaulieu would like to hear from you as they prepare for a very special 50th Anniversary event to be held on September 3rd and 4th this year. Please e-mail any relevant items to: IAJ50@beaulieu.co.uk, or post to: Jane Riddiford, P.R. Manager, Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN.
I spent a very enjoyable day at this year’s Spring Autojumble, and look forward to future ‘Beaulieus’, as always.
Coming soon… The new, first Beaulieu Supercar Weekend, to be held on 20th and 21st August. For more information on this and all other forthcoming Beaulieu events, please go to: www.beaulieuevents.co.uk
I should add that regardless of whether there is a special event taking place, there is always plenty to see and do at Beaulieu for all the family… If you are interested, please see my article on this website about a lovely ‘Grand Day Out’ at Beaulieu… http://www.wheels-alive.co.uk/the-national-motor-museum-beaulieu/