Beaulieu’s 2018 Spring Autojumble warms up the season…
Kim Henson and Chris Adamson were at this year’s Beaulieu Spring Autojumble.
(Photos by Kim, Chris, and courtesy National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, as individually credited).
Although not quite as large as Beaulieu’s famous September Autojumble, the Spring event is loved by many enthusiasts who welcome the fact that the whole event can be covered more easily within a single day (although the whole weekend there is always the better option!).
People travel from far and wide to acquire parts for their various project vehicles, and to help maintain their classics for use on the road, and in many cases to acquire a ‘new’ old vehicle.
For this year’s event more than 1,143 stands plus 2,905 exhibitors were in attendance, attracting a total of 15,132 visitors over the weekend.
The sun shone and temperatures (and spirits) remained at high levels through the weekend.
As so often is the case, I discovered a wealth of classic vehicle body panels and bumpers for sale, with prices starting at about £10 for used but serviceable items. Meanwhile, excellent condition original unused wings, doors, sills and other panels attracted asking prices stretching into the hundreds…
I noticed an abundance of panels for classic Fords, plus some useful and sensibly-priced wings (for example) for Rootes Group vehicles.
Serviceable engines and gearboxes also seemed to be present in abundance, for a wide range of vehicles spanning many decades of production.
The best stand trophy, donated by Lolly Lee in memory of her father and autojumbler Terry Lee, was awarded to friends Fiona and Ian Shaw, and Adrian and Jacqueline Carter, who had decorated their combined stand spaces (selling British tool kits and parts for Jaguars and Minis) with a Royal wedding theme complete with bunting, flags and pictures of the Royal family. The stand was selected by judge Practical Classics Editor Danny Hopkins for embodying the spirit of the event. They were presented with a trophy by Lolly and Beaulieu Commercial Director Stephen Munn.
Fiona said: “It’s been a very emotional day and I can’t believe that we’ve won this award. We have been streaming the wedding to watch it live over the internet.”
The couples were assisted on the stand by Adrian’s and Jacqueline’s daughter Olivia. Jacqueline said: “We’ve been coming every year for over 25 years, ever since Olivia was just six-months-old.”
Spring Autojumble media sponsor Practical Classics displayed a variety of classics on their stand, including a stunning Citroen D-Special, an Eastern-bloc Wartburg and the magazine’s Ford Model T rebuild project.
Sunday’s highlights included Land Rover Rummage, with a trading field dedicated to spares for the popular 4×4. Examples of items on offer were: Windscreens, wheels, transmissions, roof panels, body tubs and even a complete military Land Rover project. The Solent and District Land Rover Club put together a line-up of seven Land Rovers that had been modified for serious off-road terrain.
Trunk Traders was another Sunday favourite with buyers and sellers alike, with items offered for sale from car boots, including vintage oil cans, enamel signs, model cars, carburettors, cylinder heads, tool kits and wheels.
At the close of the show was the Walkabout Auction, hosted by guest auctioneer Danny Hopkins. Bargain hunters bid over items as varied as pink steering wheel covers, a Reliant Robin bonnet and Triumph Herald rubber bumper caps.
A highlight of this year’s event was the start-up of the National Motor Museum Trust’s 1950 BRM V16 Formula One racing car, with its freshly rebuilt engine. At the wheel was Chief Engineer and National Motor Museum Manager Doug Hill. The start-up marked the launch of limited edition timepieces made from the BRM’s original pistone; for further details please see: www.nationalmotormuseum.org.uk/support-us/brm-timepieces.
Tony Draper, 77, had travelled from Yorkshire to see the spectacle of the engine start-up; it was the first time he had seen the BRM since he was a child, when his father had worked on the car as an angineer, and Tony treasures a photograph of him taken with it at that time.
Cars for Sale
As always, visitors to the Automart area were rewarded with the opportunity to acquire a ‘new’ classic vehicle, from everyday saloons to sports cars to exotica. Prices ranged from the ‘cheap and cheerful’ to ‘Don’t be silly’ levels.
A favourite of mine was a 1935 Morris Eight Tourer, in need of full restoration but in unmolested original condition, having been off the road and dry-stored for six decades! The asking price? £3,850…
I also liked the look and sound of the 1958 ‘Mark I’ Jaguar 3.4 saloon, said to be owned by the same person for 24 years, offered at £22,950.
Other beauties for sale included an attractive BMW 700 Convertible (priced at £30,000), a low mileage Ford Consul Mark II (£6,995) and a rare Morris Fourteen dating from 1937 (having had much mechanical overhaul work done and surely good value these days at an asking figure of £5,000), plus large numbers of Jaguars, including three E Types with prices ranging from £80,000 to £135,000. There were also some comparatively recent Jaguars just now becoming regarded as achieving classic status.
In recent years a highlight of the Beaulieu Spring Autojumble has been the excellent display put on by the friendly, enthusiastic and very active Dorset Group of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club. Again this year their efforts were much-admired, for their depiction of 70 years of the Minor (introduced in 1948) was first class.
In addition to a variety of models, ranging from what is believed to be the earliest sidevalve Minor still on the road to one of the last examples of the Minor 1000 Royal Mail Van, the display included amazing groups of artefacts (including, for example, photographs, household items, record players, etc, etc.) from each of the decades of the Minor’s life, and also a comprehensive ‘Timeline’ showing in graphic detail the story of the Minor/Minor 1000 production years.
In addition to the Minors were some contemporary classics of other makes; in total around 300 vehicles.
A birthday cake celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Minor was cut by Beaulieu’s Managing Director Russell Bowman and Dorset Group of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club Chairman John Jenkinson (pictured right and left respectively), and each Club member was treated to a commemmorative glass.
Members wore a variety of outfits appropriate to the various decades during which the Minor reigned, adding colour and interest to this happy aspect of the show.
Among the Minors (all great to see) I was especially attracted to the ‘splitscreen’ 803cc two door Minor saloon (NCR 86, depicted in the second photograph below); its condition and its wide variety of clever but subtle ‘custom’ aspects all tribute to the dedication of its former owner, an engineer (sadly no longer with us) who owned and loved this Morris for around 60 years…
A number of other clubs/societies with historic automotive connections were in attendance this year too, including the Austin A30/A35 Owners’ Club, the Standard Motor Club, the Wessex Vehicle Preservation Club and the Morgan Sports Car Club.
I enjoyed my day at Beaulieu, having bought some spares for my cars (notably including some body panels I needed), and having enjoyed talking with fellow enthusiasts/friends, some of whom I only meet at Beaulieu. These conversations always seem to re-inspire/encourage me in my classic endeavours!
This year’s (2018) Beaulieu Autojumble, with over 2,000 stalls and 200 cars for sale expected, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 1st and 2nd September.
At the time of writing (mid-May 2018), the scheduled dates for next year’s (2019) Spring Autojumble have yet to be announced.
HALF-TERM… Over this coming half-term week, there’s a special attraction at Beaulieu, ‘Spies and Soldiers’ from 26th May to 3rd June 2018. For more information, please go to: https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/events/may-half-term/