Despite heavy rain and grey skies in the days leading up to this year’s Spring Autojumble, held in the Beaulieu parkland on the 16th and 17th May, perfect weather was enjoyed on both days of the event. Mostly clear skies and warm sunshine provided the perfect backdrop for the show which is now in its 22nd year.
Total admissions reached 15,975, one thousand up on 2014 and the second best numbers since the first ever Spring Autojumble in 1994. Stand numbers were up again at 1176, including over 40 club stands, with 116 vehicles for sale in the Motormart.
Beaulieu’s Events Manager, Judith Maddox, said: “The warm sunny weather made for one of the most relaxed and enjoyable autojumbles that I can remember, with lots of happy faces and good humour all round. Exhibitors reported a good level of sales, particularly on Saturday, and the delivery service, taking large purchased items back to the car parks, was certainly kept very busy throughout the show.
“The opportunity to camp, offered to 4x4 exhibitors this year, proved popular, resulting in an increase in stand bookings. This camping option will be offered again for 2016.”
A further attraction this year was the Moggy Fest line-up of Morris models through the ages, organised by the Dorset Branch of the Minor Owners’ Club, with an example of the Morris Minor from every year of production from 1948 to 1971. The club also put on a fantastic indoor display depicting a typical Morris dealership of the 1950s and 60s which included a showroom, workshop, parts department, office and canteen sections, set dressed with evocative backdrops designed and painted by club members.
There was a wide choice of vehicles for sale in the Motormart. The smallest vehicle for sale was a 1961 Messerschmitt KR200 cabriolet bubble car. With handlebars instead of a steering wheel, tandem seating and a 191cc engine, this diminutive machine had plenty of charm. By the end of the weekend several cars were display SOLD signs including a vintage Oldsmobile, a 1935 Mercedes 550K and two 1960s Morris Minor convertibles.
On the show’s media sponsor, Practical Classics, stand during the weekend, the magazine team replaced the engine on Editor Danny Hopkins’ Rover P6 2200 SC. Putting the Autojumble’s boast that - if you can’t find it at Beaulieu, it doesn’t exist – to the test, editor Danny strode into the jumble stands and within minutes found another engine. The car was fired up on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday features once again included the Land Rover Sortout, with an increased number of stands selling all things Land Rover related. The Sortout has always attracted a dedicated following of Land Rover enthusiasts and this year was no exception. The sunshine brought Trunk Traders out in force, with ninety amateur jumblers selling their surplus bits from the backs of their vehicles. It brought a welcome injection of new stock to the field, with both exhibitors and visitors happily rooting around for bargain buys and hidden gems which included a Sinclair C5, a vehicle which seems to be experiencing a surge of popularity during its 30th anniversary year.
Another Sunday fixture, the Walkabout Auction, which offers an ‘end of show’ chance to buy and sell, proved as popular as ever with thirty five lots on offer and eager buyers crowded around the boxes placing bids of up to £60 a box. The boxes were full of the most amazing 'motorana' including vintage binoculars, 250 toy cars and eight hides of leather!
The Best Stand trophy, donated by Lolly Lee in memory of her father, Terry Lee, was awarded to Lord ‘Tim’ Longcase for his stand selling a mixture of motoring and general nostalgia items. Tim has been exhibiting at the International Autojumble for the past 35 years and at every one of the Spring shows. Always wearing his trademark pith helmet, Aran sweater and khaki shorts, Tim is one of the most recognisable characters on the showground.
The date of the 2015 International Autojumble is the 5th and 6th September, and Spring Autojumble 2016, the 21st and 22nd May. Visit www.beaulieuevents.co.uk nearer the time for more information or join the conversation on Twitter with @Beaulieu_Hants using #autojumble.