Bumper turnout for Swanage’s carnival classic car show

Swanage’s classic car show was back for 2023 and this time it’s become an official Swanage Carnival event as a curtain raiser to its main week of summer festivities.

More than a 100 classic vehicles entered the show that took place on Sunday 23rd April 2023 at the Main Beach car park in the centre of Swanage.

Carnival classic motor show

From the big beasts…

Carnival classic motor show

… to the more refined classics!

From a classic Land Rover to a vintage Alvis

The event, sponsored by Swanage estate and letting agents Miles and Son, not only raised money for charity but was also a chance to see a rare selection of vehicles from a classic Land Rover to a vintage Alvis and plenty of others in between.

A number of stalls pitched up with some offering a chance to buy classic Dinky toy cars, while others promoted charitable good causes like Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, Can Care, Dementia Friendly Purbeck and the local defibrillator partnership.

Carnival classic motor show

The classic VW camper

Carnival classic motor show

Many of the vehicles bring back childhood memories for some

Swanage’s classic car show was founded in 1996

Local resident Jenny Lazenbury started the classic car show in 1996 and it soon became an established attraction on the Swanage calendar but after 36 years, Jenny took the decision to hand over the organisation of the event.

Jenny was helped in running the event in 2022 by Swanage resident Culvin Milmer and his son Eddie and together they agreed for the classic car show to become a Swanage Carnival event.

Carnival classic motor show

One of the most popular classic vehicles – the ice cream van!

Carnival classic motor show

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary was one of the organisations setting up a stall at the event

“It now looks set to become an annual event for Swanage Carnival”

Secretary of Swanage Carnival, Kevin Langdon said:

“This is the first time that the carnival team has done it and I can’t believe how popular it is. We were asked to get involved and it’s been a great success.

“It now looks set to become an annual event for Swanage Carnival. Not only is it good to raise more money for charity, it’s also a good opportunity to let everyone know about the carnival that’s taking place this year from Saturday 29th July to Saturday 5th August 2023.”

Carnival classic motor show

Moonfleet Cars sponsored the best in show prize, while Miles and Son was the main sponsor of the Carnival Classic Car Show 2023

Carnival classic motor show

Steering the show to success. Left to right: Jeff Soulsby, Eddie and his father Culvin Milmer

“We’ve had a really good turn out”

The main driving force behind the event this year was Jeff Soulsby and Culvin Milmer along with his son Eddie.

Jeff said:

“We’ve had a really good turn out from both visitors coming to the show and 104 vehicles on display. Vehicles have come, not just from Swanage but also from Weymouth, Poole and Broadstone.

“There were also two classic motorbikes and a surprise visit from 15 scooters that had travelled down from London for the day and were delighted to discover they had timed their visit to coincide with the show!”

Carnival classic motor show

The winner of the best car in show is announced by Swanage Carnival compere Neal Diffey (right)

Carnival classic motor show

Left to right: Jeff Soulsby, mayor’s escort Lesley Parkinson, Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster, winner Mike Nicholls, Nick Rowley from Moonfleet Cars and Culvin Milmer

“Continuing to raise money for good causes”

Culvin added:

“I’m really pleased that the classic car show is continuing and that it is continuing to raise money for good causes – which is part of Jenny’s original concept.

“It’s also nice to be able to accommodate the stalls which offer community organisations a chance to publicise what they do, alongside the great display of classic vehicles.”

Carnival classic motor show

The original classic British racing green

Classic car show winner

Best in show – Mike Nicholl’s Jag XK150

Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe scoops best car in show award

The best car in show, sponsored by Swanage garage Moonfleet Cars, was won by Mike Nicholls from Weymouth with his classic Jaguar XK150 drophead coupe in original British racing green.

A real classic car enthusiast, Mike is a member of the Weymouth car club Transport of Yesteryear, known as TOYs and has four other vehicles, including another vintage Jag, a 1977 Mini Clubman and a Jensen Interceptor. He said:

“I’m really pleased that my car was voted as best in show by the visitors. It spent the first 30 years of its life in Hong Kong before being brought to this country in 1987 to receive some restoration work.

“By 2012 it required a major restoration and I then bought it in 2014 from a man who wanted to buy a villa in Spain. I know what I prefer and I think I got the better deal!

Carnival classic motor show

Swanage Carnival’s theme for 2023 in the Year of the Coast is Under the Sea

Further information

  • The date for the next Carnival Classic Car Show has already been organised for Sunday April 21st 2024. More details on how to enter next year will be on the Swanage Carnival website nearer the time

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