Hagerty UK’s Festival of the Unexceptional scheduled for July 25
The UK Festival of the Unexceptional, a more, perhaps, civilized version of America’s Concours d’Lemons, will be held July 25 at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. The event celebrates “exceptionally ordinary” cars—an oxymoron, to be sure, but the purpose of the show is to shine a spotlight on cars that were once commonplace and mundane but are now rare.
The event is sponsored by Hagerty, which “seeks to amplify and enhance the simple pleasures of classic car ownership,” says Hagerty UK managing director Marcus Atkinson.
Originally staged in 2014 as the first event of its kind in Europe, the Festival of the Unexceptional has increased awareness of less-appreciated cars and has redefined the word unexceptional, turning it into a term of endearment rather than a derogatory dig. Best in Show honors have been awarded to a Nissan Cherry (2014), a Ford Escort Mk2 (2015), a Marina Pickup (2016), a Datsun Sunny (2017), a Chrysler Alpine (2018), and a Marina Estate (2019).
“When we first created the Festival, its sole aim was to celebrate the unsung heroes of the road. Seven years later and that ethos remains the same, despite the show now being much bigger,” Atkinson says. “Now that the Festival is established, we want to slow the loss of unexceptional cars on UK roads through raised awareness of their decreasing numbers. Not only will this save many wonderful cars from extinction, it will also create a new genre of classic car in the process.”
UK owners of unexceptional vehicles can submit their cars for inclusion beginning February 14. The next edition of America’s goofy Concours d’Lemons is scheduled for March 7 at Amelia Island.