Lord Montagu of Beaulieu was a pioneer. Opening the doors of the beautiful Beaulieu estate to the public and then crafting an iconic motor museum within the grounds, this man’s ingenuity and passion has made Beaulieu what it is today. The International Autojumble is one of his crowning glories as people travel from all over the world to converge here and trade in just about anything to do with a motor car. Alas, the 2015 instalment would be missing one very prominent figure; Lord Montagu himself.
Passing away just over a week ago aged 88, one of his last wishes was that Beaulieu went on regardless. Under his now ever watchful eye, the 2015 Beaulieu International Autojumble got underway. This was my first time in attendance and I must say that I was blown away by the sheer scale of the event. Hundreds of stands selling everything from pre-war vintage car parts to detailed diecast models, the grounds were a gauze of activity.
Visitors of every nationality hunted and bartered for rare items that they had come so very far to find. This Autojumble has to be one of the largest and most varied in the world. It wasn’t just bits and pieces of cars for sale, but also cars themselves. A beautiful Aston Martin DB5 gleamed in the sunlight whilst a row of Rolls-Royce stood regal. Smiles and laughs could be seen and heard all around as the atmosphere was as pleasant as Sunday’s weather.
I rolled up my sleeves to try my hand at selling on the Guild of Motoring Writers stand. My fellow journalists were running this post voluntarily to raise money for the Guilds Benevolent Fund. The fund itself aids journalist who have fallen on hard times. Off I went like a market stool trader trying to sell grapes! Caps sold well thanks to the sun beating down on Beaulieu, but my modest sales were upstaged by ex-Top Gear presenter Sue Baker who managed to sell a Suzuki branded winter hat on a scorching hot day. I suspect witchcraft!
The motor museum itself was also open to visitors and its fantastical display of cars through the ages captivated me as they once did as a child. Speed record machines to elegant icons of the road, if you haven’t visited you simply must.
From the casual motoring admirer to the complete car nut, the Beaulieu Autojumble is a feast of intriguing items and activity. Good show Lord Montagu.