Spring success for Beaulieu Autojumble

Spring Autojumblestands (g)This year’s Spring Autojumble, held in the Beaulieu parkland on the 17th and 18th May, enjoyed perfect weather for both days of the event.

Clear skies and warm sunshine provided the perfect backdrop for the show which is now in its 21st year.

Total admissions reached 14,917, not quite as high as last year’s bumper show total of 16,500 which was enhanced by the Morris Minor Centenary and Hillman Imp 50th anniversary displays but, that apart, the best since the 15,324 recorded at the first ever Spring Autojumble in 1994. The number of vehicles in the Motormart was up on last year as was the number of autojumble stands, with 1168 in total over the weekend.

Beaulieu’s Events Manager, Judith Maddox, said: “It is very encouraging to see visitor numbers remaining high and also over one hundred extra stands booking for the event this year. In recent years, this event has come out of the shadow of its big sister, the International Autojumble, with exhibitors and visitors alike appreciating the more relaxed atmosphere that this smaller autojumble offers. This show also gives us the opportunity to offer free stands to car clubs and we were delighted to have 45 clubs join us this year with the Wessex Car Club and The Bug Club displaying a number of owners’ cars.

“Feedback from exhibitors indicates that they were pleased with the level of sales, with one exhibitor commenting that even the British were buying this year, not just the Europeans!

“Last year’s show was somewhat marred by a number of thefts and I am pleased to say that, thanks to increased police presence and activity, no thefts took place this time.  However, we advise all visitors and exhibitors to remain vigilant.”

There was a good mix of vehicles in the Motormart, with one car selling within ten minutes of arriving. Prices ranged from as little as £1,500 for a Morris Minor 1000 restoration project, £3850 for a 1972 Austin 1100 and £4,500 for a 1972 VW Beetle in Rusty Red to a classy six times Le Mans winning 1959 Jaguar XK150 Fixed Head Coupé in Carmen Red with tan leather interior for £62,995. Other Jaguars included a 1964 3.8 Mk2 for £17,995 with a sold sign, and a 1951 black XK120.

MGs were as usual well represented and included a fully restored 1973 MGB in Bottle Green for £9,000 and a Vermillion Red 1980 Roadster for £5,500. There was also a red 1973 Triumph TR6 in pristine condition for £16,995.

American cars were also in abundance; two particularly catching the eye were a two-tone light blue and white 1957 Chevrolet 350ci V8 with 120,000 miles on the clock for £11,595 and a 1966 Mustang V8 in pink for £18,750.

Perhaps the most unique car for sale was a 1929 left-hand drive Austin 7, BMW Dixi, built under licence in Germany. It was unrestored but in perfect running order, having recently taken part in the Automobile magazine Oily Rag Run, through the Yorkshire Dales and had an asking price of £16,000. Other offerings included a pretty 1960 Austin 7 Cooper S copy, a 1968 Ford Corsair D/L – one of only 85 surviving on the road and just 28,000 on the clock, a 1942 WWll Willys Jeep for £17,995 and a Deluxe Teardrop trailer (just room for one) at £5,995.

Danny Hopkins, editor of the show’s media sponsor, Practical Classics, said: “It was a brilliant Beaulieu Spring Autojumble …. a vintage one in fact. Glorious weather, more stalls than ever, a fabulous display from the Dorset Morris Minor Owners’ Club and the boys from the Sussex Imp Club joined Practical Classics on our stand to put the National Motor Museum’s Hillman Imp number 1 back into running order. I even bagged a boot full of bargains for my Triumph 2000. What a great weekend – when the sun shines, Beaulieu is petrolhead heaven.”

Sunday features once again included Sodbury Sortout, with stands selling all things Land Rover related, which has always attracted a dedicated following of Land Rover enthusiasts. This year was no exception, with plenty of people making a beeline for the Sortout where there were lots of bargains to be had. The sunshine brought Trunk Traders out in force, with over sixty 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.

Another Sunday fixture, the Walkabout Auction, which offers an ‘end of show’ chance to buy and sell, proved as popular as ever with thirty lots on offer and eager buyers crowded around the boxes placing bids of up to £50 a box. The boxes were full of the most amazing ‘motorana’ and the prices paid were simply giveaway – a box full of vintage brochures, handbooks, and oil point charts for £4! Come next year for the real bargains.

The Best Stand trophy, donated by Lolly Lee in memory of her father, Terry Lee, was awarded to the Dorset branch of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club. Chosen by show sponsors, Practical Classics, editor, Danny Hopkins said: “No other stand at this year’s show prepared with such extraordinary care and imagination.  It is more than a club stand – they have created a complete time capsule.” Club secretary, Laurie Blewers, said: “This was a whole club effort with many members contributing items toward the set dressing and everyone on the stand in period dress.”  The evocative backdrops which took two months to complete were designed and painted by club member, Roger Kellow.

Following Beaulieu’s successful world record attempt at the Longest Line of Toy Cars just two weeks before the Autojumble, the 24,189 toy cars donated for the attempt are now being sold, with proceeds going to Hampshire based children’s hospice, Naomi House and Jacksplace. Sales over the weekend totalled £1,100 with junior jumblers immediately understanding the basic principal of jumbling – have a look at what’s on the table but root around the piles on the grass to find the hidden jems!

The date of the 2014 International Autojumble is the 6th and 7th September, and Spring Autojumble 2015, the 16th and 17th May. Visit www.beaulieuevents.co.uk nearer the time for more information or join the conversation on Twitter with @Beaulieu_Hants using #autojumble.

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