Beaulieu’s 2019 Spring Autojumble is just the job to start the summer…
Kim Henson and Chris Adamson were both there.
(Photos by Kim, Chris, and the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu – all as individually credited).
This year Beaulieu’s Spring Autojumble, which took place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May, celebrated 25 years of this event, which is very comprehensive but a little less huge than the famous September Autojumble (but for that reason is perhaps easier for enthusiasts to take in, especially if they can only attend on one day).
Parts, accessories and automobilia were on offer as always, and for those in need of a ‘new’ classic, there were plenty on sale from which to choose.
This year more than 2,951 exhibitors were there, drawing in a total of 8,512 visitors over the weekend, exceding the numbers for last year’s event.
The weather was changeable (sunshine and heavy showers at times) but that didn’t deter the enthusiastic attendees…
As always I discovered a variety of classic body panels and bumpers for sale, many at very reasonable prices. Among these, as examples, were Hillman Avenger, Ford Escort and Sierra wheel arches, sills for Ford, BMC and Vauxhall models, Allegro wings and even a complete rear side panel for a BL 1100/1300.Serviceable used power units and drivetrain units were also available for a wide range of vehicles, and I spotted several fully rebuilt and guaranteed motors and gearboxes for sale.
Stallholders generally seemed pleased with their weekend. First-time seller Sarah Bradley (below) was delighted to have sold many of her lamps and electrical items.
The Best Stand trophy, donated by Lolly Lee in memory of her father, autojumbler Terry Lee, was awarded to Matt Beale and his family, from Weston-super-Mare, for their colourful stall displaying oil cans, historic signs, petrol pumps and automobilia. At the heart of their stand was a vintage petrol pump which had been painted silver for the occasion. The stand was selected by Practical Classics Editor Danny Hopkins for embodying the spirit of the event and the trophy was presented by Lord Montagu and Lolly Lee, who said: “The stand is like a flashback for me, it’s just how my father’s stand used to be.”
Winner Matt said: “We have been coming to Spring Autojumble for 10 years and selling for four years and I’ve been fortunate enough to turn my passion of collecting into a business.” Matt’s son Cameron said: “Over the past few years, our stand has grown and grown and we have bought a bigger caravan to fit the stand!”
Long-dormant Mini estate
Event sponsor Practical Classics brought along its project car, a 1968 Austin Mini estate that has been off the road for more than 40 years. When its owner, the magazine’s Projects Editor Matt Tomkins wanted to try starting the car’s long-dormant engine, he searched the show’s stands and was delighted to find the perfect replacement ignition key!
Cars for Sale
The Automart area was well worth a visit for potential buyers, or just to survey the vehicles on offer. There were examples to suit all budgets, and in conditions ranging from ‘as found’ to ‘concours’. I felt that some of the asking prices were rather optimistic (and Chris agreed with me), but doubtless sales were made! The following photographs show a selection of the vehicles available…
Major Minor Success – ‘MoggyFest’
A regular treat at Beaulieu Spring Autojumbles has been the always-superb display arranged by the ever-enthusiastic Dorset Group of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club. This year was no exception, and their special exhibition helped to celebrate the 25 years of the Spring Autojumble. They had successfully re-created a full-size scene as depicted on the cover of the first ever programme for the spring autojumble (in May 1994), in the form of a Teal Blue Minor 1000 Traveller, fully laden with spares (including many body panels etc. on the roof rack!).
60 Years of BMC Minis
The Mini Cooper Register put on a display of 60 vehicles to celebrate 60 years since the launch of the first BMC Minis (Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor) in 1959.
Cars on show included examples from the earliest models to the final years of production.
Other clubs/societies in attendance this year included the Armstrong Siddeley Owners’ Club, the Austin A30/A35 Owners’ Club, the Morgan Sports Car Club and the Standard Motor Club, also the Standard Register (catering for models from the years 1903 to 1930), and the Wessex Car Club.
One of the most famous Standards in the world was in attendance on the ‘Practical Classics’ stand. It had looked almost certain that ‘Bluebell’, the 1959 Standard Ten, was going to have to be crushed, having been taken in under Ford’s recent scrappage scheme. However, due to the hard and persistent work of the Practical Classics team, the Standard Motor Club and many individuals (including Westminster politicians) who took up the case to save the car, Bluebell was saved and eventually deemed eligible to be returned to the road. The car has subsequently been driven south from the north of Scotland to attend various classic events in England, and indeed was present for the Beaulieu Spring Autojumble. So many enthusiasts (including me!) were delighted to see the car ‘in the metal’ and to know that it can still be driven and enjoyed, rather than scrapped!
Bluebell will now be on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, until September.
On the Saturday afternoon, Autojumble attendees were treated to seeing and hearing the start-up, following restoration, of the unique Costin-Nathan racing car prototype, with its original creator and racing driver Roger Nathan aboard.
For the car’s Californian owner Michael Plitkins, it was the first time he had ever seen the unique vehicle after buying it by phone at auction and commissioning its restoration. Michael, who had flown in for the show, said: “I’m really pleased with how it has turned out. When it came up for auction, I decided this was a rare opportunity to buy a racing car quite rare in design and completely original in concept. I got in touch with Roger and commissioned him to oversee the restoration. It’s tremendous, utterly fantastic. I love the car.”
Roger Nathan, who created the 1965 Costin-Nathan with Frank Costin, drove it to success in the 1966 Coupes de Paris race at the Montlhéry circuit – becoming a David slaying the big Goliath race teams. Roger said: “It’s been wonderful and a great privilege to have a second chance to drive it, like having a second life!”
On the Sunday of the Autojumble, the familiar ‘Trunk Traders’ and ‘Land Rover Rummage’ aspects came into play again this year, and the Solent and District Land Rover Club displayed some of its members’ vehicles.
Meanwhile TV motoring presenter Edd China was in attendance on the Saturday, launching his new book ‘Grease Junkie’ and signing copies for buyers.
I have never yet failed to enjoy an Autojumble at Beaulieu, and as always managed to find some components that I needed for my project vehicles. My colleague Chris also found items for which he was looking for his classics.
I always like the social aspect of these Spring events, and again this time it was good to meet and talk with fellow enthusiasts/friends.
This year’s (2019) Beaulieu International Autojumble, with over 2,000 stalls and 200 cars for sale expected, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 7th and 8th September.
At the time of writing (mid-May 2019), the scheduled dates for next year’s (2020) Spring Autojumble have yet to be announced.