Beaulieu’s 50th International Autojumble Sets New Standard

More than 36,000 visitors turned out for Beaulieu’s 50th International Autojumble with 2,378 stands crammed with motoring treasures and elusive spare parts for classic car enthusiasts.

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Exhibitors dressed their stands in gold for the celebratory year and a special anniversary exhibition and commemorative booklet recorded five decades of the largest Autojumble this side of the Atlantic.

For some of the stallholders, it marked their 50th event at Beaulieu. Car collector David Bennett, who has been a stallholder since the first International Autojumble in 1967, said: “I knew Michael Ware, the curator of the Montagu Motor Museum as it was called then, and he asked if I would like to take part in this new event. That first year I hired a 1965 Ford Transit and brought along an Austin Seven engine, which sold for £10, while I also sold a set of Riley engine valves for half a crown. I have had a stand ever since, with help from my friends and family. I love the atmosphere and enthusiasm of all the visitors.”

Beaulieu’s 50th International Autojumble sets the gold standard

Richard Skinner has also attended every Beaulieu International Autojumble. He said: “My dad worked for Beaulieu, so my parents came along to support the first event. My mum was heavily pregnant with me at the time, so although I hadn’t yet been born I was even at that first show! I have been at every Spring and International Autojumble ever since. It is the biggest social event in the calendar for us and everyone is always sure to be there . . . plus we do a bit of selling as well!”

The first Autojumble in 1967 was advertised as ‘a day of great interest for everyone’ and this was still  true of the 50th event. From complete engines and transmissions, to bodies for pre-war specials, wings, bumpers, upholstery, lamps and wheels, the spare parts on sale were complemented by countless motoring books, brochures, model cars and automobilia, making it an unmissable event.

Beaulieu Events Manager Judith Maddox said: “The 50th International Autojumble was a golden opportunity to buy anything automotive, from a set of spanners to a Lalique mascot. The sun did come out on the Sunday and the overall atmosphere of the show was very warm. We were delighted with the efforts that people had made to celebrate the anniversary and look forward to another 50 years to come.”

Lord Montagu and Jools Holland unveil statueThe show was the fitting place for Jools Holland and Lord Montagu to unveil a 6ft bronze statue of Edward, Lord Montagu in front of the National Motor Museum. Jools is a keen autojumbler and was a special guest of the late Lord Montagu’s for the 40th International Autojumble celebrations.

Beaulieu resident Paul Nicholas, who commissioned the statue, said: “Lord Montagu was a great man and I thought he deserved this statue in recognition of his work for Beaulieu and for creating the National Motor Museum. He will never be forgotten now.”

The statue shows Edward, Lord Montagu dressed in the vintage clothes he would have worn on the London to Brighton run and with his hand on a Dunlop tyre. He managed to see and approve the statue before his death last August. The statue’s creator, sculptor John Cox also became ill and died before it was completed but his work was finished by his wife Joy and daughter Jayne Meadows who are both part of the family business. The statue will remain on public display in front of the museum for Beaulieu visitors.

As a special feature for the 50th event, the anniversary exhibition offered a showcase of three classic vehicles which evoked the spirit of the show. From a barn find to the finished project, the cars demonstrated what an autojumbler can achieve with a little help from Beaulieu.

The exhibition’s Morris Minor Traveller, in need of total restoration, was provided by Charles Ware’s Morris Minor Centre and represented a typical project in the making. Showing the end results of a restorer’s hard work and perseverance, a second Morris Minor Traveller had been restored to an award-winning standard byPractical Classics Project Manager Matt Tomkins. Completing the display was Graeme Rust’s amazing Alvis Woody, which was discovered in a barn after a 30-year lay-up and became a project which was 10 years in the making. Graeme sourced countless parts at the International Autojumble to transform the distinctive station wagon, including lamps, dials, aircraft parts and even milking machines! The backdrop to the display was a series of images and memories from 50 years of the autojumble, which was given its name by Beaulieu’s Michael Ware and even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003.

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The anniversary trophy for the best gold-themed stand was awarded to Autojumble regular Andy Lee, of R&D Classic Car Spares, for his eye-catching giant illuminated birthday cake-topped stand. Vistors could enter the stand through a specially mounted golden front door. Lord Montagu presented the trophy to Andy and his fellow stallholders Graham Lee, Laurence Downes and Dave Withington.

The winner of the show’s Best Stand award was Michael Rowell, of Classic Car Spares, who brought along a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow V8 engine which he started up every hour. Michael has been an exhibitor at the show for 15 years and his stand was packed with engines, gearboxes, bumpers and lights. He was presented with his award by Lord Montagu and Lolly Lee, who donates the prize each year in memory of her father and keen autojumbler Terry Lee. The award is made to the stand which best represents the spirit of autojumbling and was given to Michael and his fellow autojumbler Martin Bradley.

The event’s media sponsor Practical Classics unveiled the results of its car rebuild challenge at the show, starting up the project’s 1916 Ford Model T for the first time on its stand. The challenge to breathe new life into the century-old veteran was launched at Beaulieu’s Spring Autojumble and attracted a lot of interest at the show.

Show sponsor New Forest-based Ringwood Brewery ran a popular bar throughout the event with visitors able to sample the award-winning craft ales which they have been producing at their brewery since 1978.

Enthusiasts looking to buy an entire car could choose from 186 classics on sale at Automart and 57 high-quality machines at Dealermart ranging from economy saloons and family estates to sports cars, off-roaders and commercial classics.

Selling within minutes of the show opening was a rare Rosengart, a French-built derivative of the much-loved Austin Seven, while offers were invited for an equally scarce but much larger 1930 Viking Eight Deluxe, an American built V8 luxury saloon.

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There were a number of low-mileage cars on offer, including a time-warp 1972 Vauxhall Viva HC with just 16,000 miles on the clock and a price tag of £4900. An immaculate 1988 Austin Maestro with just 9,600 miles on the clock was also on offer. For a sports car, £39,950 would have secured a 1976 Ferrari 308 GT4, while £5,995 was enough to buy a 1985 Porsche 944 in vivid Guards Red. A 1949 Volkswagen Beetle, which started life with the German border patrol, turned heads with its sun-bleached paintwork and lowered suspension and was on sale at £27,500. A unique Morris Minor Traveller, built on a van chassis in 1956 and featuring an additional rear door and a split folding tailgate, was up for grabs for £28,000.

For a project, buyers could choose from an ex-California Ford Falcon V8 Sprint, priced at £4,750, a 1958 Bentley S-type saloon in need of bodywork but with an excellent leather interior at £11,500 and a Jaguar E-type Series 2 project at £31,750.

In the Bonhams sale on Saturday, bidders fought over rare and desirable machines as they went under the hammer. The sale total was £3.1 million, with 84% of the 464 lots of cars, motorcycles and automobilia finding new homes. The top selling lot was a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe, which was one of only 560 built and was first owned by the late King Hussein of Jordan, selling for £292,700. Also attracting plenty of bids was a 1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I which had been dry-stored for 30 years and, although partially dismantled, sold for £203,100. A 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage was hot on its heels at £197,500.

At the other end of the scale, a charming 1964 Wolseley 1500 sold for just £1,035, while a 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp project, which had been in a dismantled state for over 50 years, sold for £2,300. Other highlights included a gold-coloured 1974 BMW 3.0 CSL which was in need of restoration after a lengthy lay-up but smashed its £40,000 estimate to sell for £64,220. A 1971 Ranger Rover in original condition was sold for £23,000.

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A favourite feature with show-goers was Sunday’s Trunk Traders, which continues to grow in popularity as the best place for amateur jumblers sell and swap motoring miscellany from their car boots. With parts for anything from Minis to Rolls-Royces, there were plenty of chances to rummage through boxes of tools and workshop manuals before bartering for bargains.

Plans are already underway for Beaulieu’s 2017 International Autojumble. Dates will be announced on the Beaulieu website.

50th International Autojumble Fact File

  • 36,053 total number of visitors across the weekend (3rdand 4th September)
  • 2,378 stands spread across Red, Green and Yellow Fields
  • 243 cars for sale in Automart and Dealermart
  • 4,000 burgers sold over the weekend by the catering units and restaurant
  • 4,000 rashers of bacon cooked for bacon rolls
  • 39,600 litres of rubbish emptied from the bins
  • Over 6,000 wristbands printed and distributed to exhibitors
  • 3,000 copies of the 50th anniversary booklet were distributed
Note: Press release courtesy Beaulieu International Autojumble