Footman James Classic Car Show – September 15th & 16th 2018 (10am – 5pm both days)     Buy Tickets Now!

A year in the 'show-life' of an MGB GT owner

Created on Monday, 02 Jul 2018 19:04:36


Here’s a snapshot of my past year with my 1972 MGB GT

Last September I was lucky enough to be invited to display my MGB GT for the first time at the Footman James Classic Car Show in Manchester. Having spent over 2 years driving up and down the country looking for an honest and solid MGB GT  I finally purchased my car in April 2017 and the Manchester show capped what had been a whirlwind 5 months of working on, and showing my car at relatively small local shows. Manchester was my first experience of displaying a car at this level and I enjoyed it so much that it gave me the appetite and confidence to consider taking my car to other major shows.   

Following Manchester I attended the Classic motor show at the NEC in Birmingham in November 17 and decided that I would try to enter my MG for the Pride Of Ownership stand in the forthcoming restoration show in March 2018 and by early January I was awarded a place as a finalist. In December my car was selected for the 2018 MGB GT fan club calendar and is featured this month. The winter months were largely spent cramped up in my garage constantly working on the car and trying to improve it prior to the show. Unfortunately the cold weather and late bursts of snow made the task much more difficult. 

Finally the day arrived and I drove into the NEC Birmingham on the Thursday 22nd of March in preparation for the Practical Classics Restoration show, hardly believing that out of 85 applicants for the Pride Of Ownership stand I had taken the car to a level of finish worthy of becoming one of the 18 finalists.  The stand was situated on a large square of black carpet right in the middle of hall 5 and on viewing the other 17 vehicles on the stand it was apparent that I had some incredibly tough competition.   Having obtained various photos from speaking to former keepers I displayed these, along with other past history in the rear of the car including in pride of place my finalist trophy from displaying on the concours stand at Manchester.     

The 3 day show opened on the Friday I spoke to hundreds of people who all seemed to love the car. The amount of people who spoke to me about my car, and then shared tales of the car they owned was overwhelming and it was a pleasure to share our mutual appreciation of cars. I was delighted to see a number of people who had travelled a considerable distance to come and support me as The Pride Of Ownership award is voted for by the public who attend across the 3 days of the show. Although I was constantly busy throughout the show I had no idea how my car was being received compared to others on the stand and I made a point of staying with the car from the opening of the show each day until closing.

On the final day of the show it was time to reveal the 3 cars with the most votes and Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead came onto the stand to announce the winning car. 3rd and 2nd place was announced and it all came down to who had won.  Finally Mike Brewer read out it was my 1972 MGB GT that was the winning car, Pride Of Ownership winner as voted for by the public! With over 30,000 people attending the show I was delighted and stunned to win first prize and the amount of work and effort in preparation for the show was all worth it in the end.  Following the show my car was featured in a number of publications including the MG Owners club and Practical Classics magazine.

Since Birmingham I have attended many local shows and events throughout the summer and the car is used on a regular basis. I have met so many amazing people as a result of owning the car and during the past year have made some great friends who I look forward to seeing at the various shows in and around the North West and they constantly offer me great help and support.

I am delighted to be back displaying my car once again at Manchester in the Autobrite Direct Concours, as this is the show that was the catalyst for everything that’s happened this past year. Please feel free to come over and say hello during the course of your visit to the show as its always great to meet new faces.

Enjoy the show!


Footman James

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September 15th & 16th 2018​

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