The NEC Classic Car Show in November 2023

Every year, The Morris Register has show stands at the Classic Car Show in November and the Restoration Show in March at the NEC near Birmingham. The Midland section of the Register organises the stand, and this year, there was a plan to have our usual stand with a selection of six Morris cars representing the club.

At a later stage in the planning, we were very kindly offered a 1913 Bullnose car by Mr Jowsey. This being the 90th anniversary year, it was decided it needed further exposure than mixed in with other already selected cars. An approach was made to the show organiser.

An additional stand featuring early cars was decided to be set up next to the club stand. The stand had the 1913 car placed in the centre. During the preparation, two more “quirky” early cars were selected: a sliding door Bullnose and a double bed Flatnose.

The plan was made; the next problem was to get them to the NEC on Thursday before the show started on Friday, the 10th of November and into the stand in hall 3. There were to be over 3000 classic cars on display in addition to 319 classic car clubs plus 360 exhibitors and the biggest indoor auto jumble in the UK. This year, I am told that 72,260 visited the show in three days.

Trying to get nine Morris pre-war cars onto the stands is a logical logistical nightmare. Next time you chat to Monty, our Deputy Chairman, ask him all about it with his car.

Our stand manager, Mick Roden, with the help of twenty members, successfully executed the plans of John Ford, who had been taken ill with heart trouble.

The centre car is an Oxford that left the factory on the 19th of April 1913 and is the oldest Morris still on the road today. Cliff and Edward Jowsey brought it from its Yorkshire home. The paintwork is gently patinated and possibly original, making it look every bit an old-timer, to all those who admired it.

To the left was Monty Goding’s 1923 Oxford with an unusual sliding door configuration bodied in Tyseley, Birmingham. I am told it was occupational work for him in the recent epidemic. The finish is first class.

To the right stands the Chas Moody created 1928 “Bedsitter Cowley”, looking superb bought by its owner Philip Steed. The front seats can be dropped to form a camping bed by an arrangement of straps. Those who tried one night in it fear its comfort is more like a 1920s lumpy bed. The whole car is Immaculate.

The cars were highly admired and frequently featured in social media and insurance promotions. The exit of the cars on Monday was impressive, and the last car to leave the large Hall 3 was Monty’s Morris Oxford, there standing alone.


Stephen Parkes