With January and February always being quiet months for the motoring industry, it was nice to have the first ‘show’ of the year, right here in the UK.
Autosport International 2017 took place between the 12th and 14th of January, with 12th for trade and 13th and 14th for the general public.
We decided to make our way down to the Autosport International show on the Saturday, setting off at around 10am, meaning with stops for fuel (both car and myself) we arrived at Birmingham NEC around midday.
When we first walked into the exhibition hall, I think it took both of us by surprise with just how big it actually was. What I knew straight away was that you could potentially spend a lot of money here..
As we meandered round the show, we got a look a wealth of rally cars and super cars. A particular highlight at this point for me was being able to see a Porsche 911R in the flesh (see pic below), which up until this point I hadn’t been able to. Oh and if you’re interested it was up for sale at the small price of £440,000.
We were fortunate enough to hear Johnny Herbert talking on the stage facing the whole range of 2016 F1 cars, including the winning Mercedes AMG of Nico Rosberg. Being a complete F1 fan, it was great to be able to get up close to the W07. I always find it interesting as well that Red Bull opted for matte paint on their cars as they believe there is time in it, surely the other manufacturers would follow suit if this was the case?
After spending hours, essentially geeking out over tools and different upgradeable components, we made our way to the back of the hall where there were the major tuning companies such as Revo and Liberty walk, prestige customisation companies like Urban and the Coys auction.
The Coys auction had an eye-catching mix of road, race and rally cars. My personal highlights included a 1996 Porsche 993 Cup racer, a 1974 Ferrari 246 GT Dino, right-hand drive and with Ferrari Classiche Certification and a 2004 Ferrari 360 Spider, right-hand drive and six-speed manual.
I then got to see my first Ford GT and Honda NSX in the flesh, all I have to say is the Ford GT is one very long car. After spending time looking at these we headed over to the stand where Mr JWW and Shmee150 (Youtubers – see pic below) were based, having a good look at the Mclaren 675LT and Aston Martin GT8 that were there.
Finally, we had been allocated seating In the Live Action Arena for the final show of the day. We headed over for the 6pm start time. Not really know what to expect it was a pleasant surprise when David Croft jumped out of his car and announced he would be MC’ing the show. The show contained a celebration of 50 years of Rallycross, while BTCC icons have been going head-to-head in an exhilarating Time Trial and ended with stuntman Terry Grant performing a nail-biting loop-the-loop performance.
Whilst it may not be a traditional motor show, it was a great way to kick off the year and has made the excitement for Geneva event greater.