Kim Henson has attended every ‘Beaulieu’ since 1978, and describes this, THE biggest autojumble in Britain. In fact Beaulieu Autojumble is the original such event, the biggest in Europe and widely acknowledged to be the best…
(Photographs by Kim, plus additional shots, individually and gratefully acknowledged with thanks, provided by Chris Adamson).
Enthusiasts (in their droves!) made their way to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, for this year’s sun-blessed Beaulieu International Autojumble.
Weather-wise, this year’s ‘Beaulieu’, held on the weekend of 1st and 2nd September, was excellent, with sunshine and warm temperatures on both days.
No doubt this encouraged would-be buyers, and over the two days more than 34,000 people turned up to study the wealth of stands (over 2,000 of them!), selling classic car components and automobilia of all types.
Sponsored by ‘Practical Classics’ magazine, the event was enjoyed by enthusiasts who came from far and wide across the U.K. and indeed from around the world.
There was a wealth of body panels, both unused ‘new old stock’ and secondhand items, on offer this year, and I was fascinated to see a great many unused wings for pre-War models, as well as more modern classics. Prices were generally fair too. In addition, chromework ranging from bumpers to badges and door handles was available in abundance this year.
I also noticed that complete engines were available for cars ranging from pre-War Austins to 1960s Volkswagens to 1970s Jaguars to more recent classic Hondas, among others; for anyone in need of a power unit it was definitely worth scouring the stands!
Running gear items…
In addition I spotted complete axles (some of them rarely found), brake components, steering boxes and racks, you name it!
I bought some books on classic cars; there were automotive brochures, magazines and photographs for sale too. Personally I was very interested in the stall I found selling components and books (etc.) relating to micro cars.
Complete cars too…
As well as the huge variety of stalls selling classic vehicle components, the majority of which were being offered at reasonable prices (plus a few, as always, that were ‘over the top’!), enthusiasts in search of a new project vehicle, or indeed a ‘ready to drive’ classic, were able to look closely at the 146 vehicles for sale in the Automart section. There were vehicles on offer to suit all tastes and pockets.
Examples of cars offered for sale included a very tidy-looking, original right-hand drive U.K. model 1967 Fiat 600D, priced at £8,750 and a beautiful 1970 Jaguar E-Type Series 2, having been owned by the same person for the last seven years and with a ticket figure of £65,000. For those preferring a saloon, what about a Mark 2 3.4 (manual transmission with overdrive), for which £49,950 or ‘sensible offers’ was being sought… At the other end of the scale, for someone looking for an inexpensive modern classic, a smart-looking and now rare 1985 Rover 213S (powered by the contemporary Honda engine), with a new clutch, new headlining and new master cylinder, looked good value at £1,300.
Other eye-catching classics on sale included a bright yellow Morris ‘Bullnose’ Cowley (badged as an Oxford), dating from 1925 and the private sale asking price for this was £17,750.Offered as a project vehicle was a two owners from new, but unused since 1981, Sunbeam Talbot 90, said to be in sound condition in terms of body and chassis, although needing a respray and mechanical restoration. Offers on £5,000 were invited…
Fancy a 1930s Rolls-Royce? Well, a beautiful-looking 20/25 Park Ward 4 Light Limousine, dating from 1933, could have been yours based on a starting figure of £42,500.
Or what about a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle1200 ? The price? £6,995 o.n.o.
There were many more vehicles for sale, of all types, sizes and ages, ranging in price from ‘bargain’ to ‘how much?’. Another that caught my eye was a red MGC roadster automatic, with just 63,500 miles behind it… Much rarer than the MGB, and powered by BMC’s ‘C’ Series six cylinder engine, this one was priced at £18,500.
A colleague commented that this year there seemed to be more ‘modern classics’ for sale than older examples; perhaps this is inevitable as the years pass…
Additional cars were on sale in the ‘Dealermart’ area, where classic car dealers offered a wide variety of vehicles, and the Bonhams auction sale also saw many cars finding new homes.
On the Sunday (only) buyers could try their luck in the ‘Trunk Traders’ section, which enabled enthusiasts to sell car-related items from the ‘boots’ of their vehicles.
…and the winner is…
Best Stand Award went to long-standing autojumblers Andrew Honeybill and Martin Gee, who share a stand selling veteran, vintage and classic spares, and who have been attending for more than four decades… They were presented with their award by Lord Montagu, Lolly Lee (who donates a trophy in memory of her late father, autojumbler Terry Lee, and judge James Walshe (Deputy Editor of event sponsor ‘Practical Classics’).
Talking of ‘Practical Classics’, the magazine displayed a pre-War ‘La France’, and a Tofaş Serçe, a rare derivative of the Fiat 124, which had been rescued and driven to the Show by Technical Editor Sam Glover.
Meanwhile, on the PreWar.com stand, life was being breathed back into a 1930s Lancia Augusta, and its non-original MG engine was started up on the Sunday afternoon, much to the delight of those in its vicinity.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event, as always. I liked the happy ‘buzz’ about the place, as well as seeing the amazing variety of automotive ‘things’ for sale. I always meet up with fellow enthusiasts there too; indeed it’s a social occasion for many.
Deliberately, I didn’t buy another vehicle but I did acquire some useful components. I was especially pleased to find a right-hand rear wing (‘it just seemed to have my name on it’) for one of my long-term project Austins, having bought its left-hand opposite number at Beaulieu a few years ago!I still look upon this event as being THE best for finding parts for projects like this, and indeed for just keeping any classic on the road.
While at Beaulieu, I briefly visited the Museum (as I always like to do while there…). Incidentally, for autojumble attendees, museum entry is included in the ticket price.
In the Museum I enjoyed seeing the ‘Art of Kustom’ display of amazing vehicles created by ‘custom king’ Andy Saunders. His creativity and skills in producing some fantastic vehicles from ‘scrap condition’ cars is legendary (and I was writing magazine articles about his cars in the 1980s, and being impressed by them at that time…). The display – which includes many of Andy’s creations which are now in the hands of private collections – is coming to an end in mid-September, so if you would like to see these (and it’s well worth it), you’ll need to be quick.
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR…
At the time of writing (September 2018), the dates for next year’s Beaulieu Autojumble (and their Spring event) have yet to be confirmed, However, for more information/dates on these events, and others happening at Beaulieu, please keep checking back to: www.beaulieuevents.co.uk