Hampshire, UK — The Beaulieu International Autojumble, held September 2-3 in the substantial and picturesque grounds of the National Motor Museum and Lord Montagu’s estate in the New Forest is hailed as the largest event of its kind on this side of the Atlantic. First held in 1967, this year’s 50th anniversary running attracted 2,000 trade stalls, Bonhams auction, a couple of hundred cars for sale in the “Automart”, a display by the Morgan Car Club and some 34,000 visitors.
Highlights included a start-up of the museum’s ex-Graham Hill Lotus 49 and the auction of a 24-liter W12 aero-engined 1921 Napier Blue Bird Homage, built in the spirit of Malcolm Campbell’s world land speed record breaker, which was hammered down at £264,700 ($349,300).
Another eye catcher was a duplicate of the Lincoln Continental Presidential Limousine in which President Kennedy was assassinated in November ’63. Both cars were built by coachbuilders Hess and Eisenhardt of Ohio, the President’s car in 1961 and this one in early ’63. Having spent nearly 30 years in a French museum it was being offered at £80,000 ($105,500).
There was everything for sale from basket case Minis and Morris Minors to an immaculate 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible at £140,000 ($184,750) and a superb 1916 Flying Merkel motorcycle at a whopping £142,500 ($188, 400), plus books, tools, movie posters, engines, car and motorcycle parts galore, bicycles, models, car radios, vintage clothing, widgets, oojamaflips, and all sorts. There were also many specialist engineering firms, chrome platers, interior trimmers, instrument makers and coach builders. It was just a matter of seeing the wood from the trees. You can’t beat a good rummage and you can’t do that on the internet. Here’s to the next 50 years!
Words and Photography by Steve Havelock