Hundreds of autojumblers jostled for the best finds as they packed Beaulieu’s 23rd Spring Autojumble in spite of the weather. As many as 14,735 event-goers visited the show, an unmissable highlight of the classic events calendar in the Beaulieu parkland on May 21st and 22nd. The number of stands was up to 1,236 from 1,176 last year, including 48 club stands.
Saturday’s rain gave way to sunshine for Sunday as enthusiasts hunted down bargains and elusive spares, to barter, buy and swap everything automotive. As well as parts for cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles dating as far back as the veteran era were books, models, tools, automobilia and oddities such as a fairground cat-face dodgem and even a model camel. The wide variety of motoring miscellany once again proved that if you can’t find it at Beaulieu, it probably doesn’t exist!
Beaulieu Events Manager Judith Maddox said: “We were delighted to have even more stands this year and to have so many wonderful comments about how much people enjoyed themselves. There was a lovely atmosphere and everyone was glad to see the sun on Sunday.”
Impressive new club displays included a collection by the Retro Caravan Club which reminded visitors of camping holidays of the past, with a camp site of period-perfect caravans and matching tow vehicles. A 1935 Bertram Hutchings Winchester Deluxe was the oldest caravan on display and also one of the biggest, measuring over 16 feet long. Also on show was a 1957 Hunters Moon, a 1969 Bluebird Europe and a 1977 Viking Fibreline, all kitted out with an fantastic selection of period camping gear and accessories. The matching tow cars included a Hillman Minx, VW Type 3, Wolseley 6/110 and Ford Zodiac MkIII.
The Classic Hearse Register turned plenty of heads with a stunning display celebrating the dignified but often overlooked classics. In addition to Cadillacs, Volvos and Daimlers were more unusual hearses, such as a 1963 Fiat 2300, still equipped as it would have been when on service in Italy, and a 1958 Morris Minor Traveller which had been lengthened for funeral duties.
Show regular the Wessex Car Club displayed a wide selection of members’ cars, ranging from a Delorean to a VW Beetle.
As many as 129 classic vehicles were on sale in the Automart, up on the 116 vehicles for sale last year. A distinctive British microcar, a 1957 Bond Minicar Mk D was on sale at £8,500. With a one-cylinder two-stroke engine, this tiny classic contrasted with a huge 1997 Hummer, powered by a 6.5-litre V8 diesel and on offer for £39,999.
In the Dealermart visitors were able to admire more high-quality classic cars being offered for sale by classic car traders.
On Sunday, Trunk Traders brought an excellent selection of autojumble stock to the events fields, including mechanical spares, body panels, tools and parts. Trading was brisk and Austin Seven owners were particularly spoilt for choice, with several pitches offering engines, panels and even a full chassis for these pre-war favourites.
Another Sunday highlight, the Beaulieu Land Rover Rummage gave enthusiasts the opportunity to gather items for their much-loved 4x4s. Wings, doors, roofs, roll-bars and winches could be found alongside transmissions, fuel tanks, wheels and more. The Solent and District Land Rover Club displayed a line-up of members’ vehicles including radical off-road specials, early Discoveries and a Series III Lightweight.
Show sponsor Ringwood Brewery treated visitors to the sight of its beautifully preserved 1950s Bedford truck, as they sampled special beers.
The team from Practical Classics magazine, the media sponsors of the Spring Autojumble, showed visitors a decrepit Ford Model T – the feature of its new car rebuild challenge – complete with Henrietta the hen roosting under the bonnet. The team will put its mechanical know-how to the test to transform the car and show its progress at Beaulieu’s International Autojumble.
The popular Walkabout Auction returned in the closing hours of the show on Sunday afternoon, as traders filled boxes with unsold stock to be auctioned to the highest bidder. The variety of odds and ends included fan belts, air filters, manuals, light lenses and even a door and boot lid from a Morris 1100. While some lots were fought over by keen bidders, bargains included a fully-functioning classic Raleigh bike for just £2 and a spare MG Midget front wing for just £1.
The Best Stand trophy, donated by Lolly Lee in memory of her father, autojumbler Terry Lee, was awarded by Lord Montagu to Don Pitt and Ria Mills for their combined stand selling vintage car and motorcycle spares, automobilia signs on one side and vintage clothes and accessories on the other. Winning the award was the perfect celebration for Don’s 50th Beaulieu autojumble.
Don said: “I started coming with my father and remember playing in a pedal car at Palace House with Lord Montagu when we were both children. I took over the running of the stall at the age of 12 and can’t imagine being anywhere else this weekend. Winning this award made the weekend perfect. ”
Ria said: “A few of us decided to start bringing our clothes to the autojumbles so there was something special for us too. That has grown into vintage stalls and now the men come to buy clothes here too.”
Exhibitors and visitors to the Spring Autojumble also brought photographs and memorabilia from the early autojumbles to add to celebratory displays and a commemorative booklet being planned for the 50th International Autojumble on September 3rd and 4th. To share any memories or display items from the early autojumbles to the present day, email them to IAJ50@beaulieu.co.uk.