The 2020 motoring events calendar was almost totally wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, 2021 is shaping up to be a classic year for car enthusiasts, with an ever-increasing number of motoring events to attend.
We’ve researched some of the UK’s biggest and best car shows and motorsport events, along with a selection of European shows within easy reach of French ports.
As this year has taught us, everything is subject to change, but we’ll update the list throughout the year.
Silverstone Auctions Race Retro sale – 5-6 March
The first Silverstone Auctions sale of 2021 will be the annual two-day Race Retro sale on 5 and 6 March. The auction will be streamed online, where you can watch and bid from the comfort of your own home. We’ll prepare an auction preview gallery for our sister site Retro Motor.
Autosport International Connect – 10-11 March
Autosport International will be an online-only event in 2021, with the organisers launching ASI Connect. It will take the form of an online marketplace, allowing trade attendees and exhibitors to network, showcase their products and services, do business and share knowledge. The event takes place on 10 and 11 March.
Britcar – 27 March
The Britcar season gets underway at Silverstone on 27 March, with further races at Snetterton, Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and Donington. Britcar managing director Claire Hedley said: “We’re very proud to announce new dates for 2021. We’ve all worked so hard to get through the problems the Covid-19 crisis has brought this year and we are confident we will have another strong season next year.”
Mini Fair 2021 – 28 March
Mini Fair has moved from its traditional date in January to a new date of Sunday 28 March. The indoor Mini show at Bingley Hall in Staffordshire will feature traders, an autojumble, club displays and a charity auction. Covid-friendly measures include increased walkways, hand sanitiser stations, additional cleaners and encouraging advance ticket sales.
BTCC – 3-4 April
Brands Hatch will be the curtain-raiser of the 2021 British Touring Car Championship on 3 and 4 April. From there, the BTCC juggernaut heads to Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton, Knockhill, Thruxton (again) and Silverstone, before the season closes at Brands Hatch in October.
Techno-Classica Essen – 7-11 April
Techno-Classica Essen is a European classic car show with a global reputation. Around 190,000 people from 46 countries attended the German event in 2019, with 1,250 exhibitors and 200 clubs expected in 2021. Essen is a five-hour drive from Calais.
London Classic Car Show – 16-18 April
With Covid-19 restrictions in mind, the London Classic Car Show is moving from Excel London to Syon Park. The 2021 event will celebrate 135 years of the motor car, 1930s style and elegance, 80s Brutalism and contemporary supercars. The show will also showcase 60 years of the Jaguar E-Type.
Donington Historic Festival – 1-2 May
The Donington Historic Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021. ‘Early bird’ advance discounted tickets are available until the end of January, with one-day and weekend passes available. This year’s event will include an 80-minute race exclusively for Ford GT40s.
Truckfest – 2-3 May
Tickets are now on sale for Truckfest 2021. There are eight regional events, kicking off with Truckfest Peterborough in May. The calendar also includes events at Wolsingham, Malvern, Edinburgh, Kent, Shepton Mallet, Knutsford and Newark. You’d be trucking mad to miss them.
Shelsley Walsh Autojumble – 15 May
New for 2021, Shelsley Walsh is launching what it calls its first proper autojumble. The paddock garages will be full of spare parts, tools and ephemera, while the main field will play host to trade and private stands. Camping facilities will be available to traders.
Goodwood 78th Members’ Meeting – 15-16 May
The rescheduled 78th Members’ Meeting will take on the weekend of 15 and 16 May. All tickets will automatically roll over from 2020 and remain valid for the new dates in 2021. The event has moved from its traditional date in March or early April in the hope of a roll-out of a vaccine across the country.
Retromobile – 2-6 June
Retromobile, which was pencilled in for 3 to 7 February, will now take place on 2 to 6 June. This is one of the most anticipated European events, with 1,000 vehicles on display in Paris. Needless to say the Jaguar E-Type will play a starring role in its 60th year.
Isle of Man TT – CANCELLED
The Isle of Man TT has been postponed until 2022. Laurence Skelly, minister for enterprise, said: “The TT relies on thousands of volunteers and officials across a wide range of organisations and we could not move responsibly towards a positive decision to proceed in planning for 2021.”
MotoFest Coventry – 4-6 June
MotoFest Coventry is a free motoring event in the UK City of Culture 2021. It’s perhaps most famous for the ring road becoming a sprint circuit for the weekend. Also look out for Formula Gymkhana and the Autotest National Championship.
London Concours – 8-10 June
New for 2021, London Concours is introducing a third day, creating three different themes: VIP Preview Day, Style Edition Day and Supercar Day. Expect champagne receptions, the world’s most exotic sports cars and the sharpest suits and dresses.
Classic Car and Restoration Show – 11-13 June
There will be around 1,000 cars on display at the Classic Car and Restoration Show, along with 250 exhibitors and autojumblers. Also look out for a pride of ownership competition, classic car auction and a display of barn-finds. The NEC Birmingham is the venue for this restoration extravaganza.
Le Mans 24 Hours – 12-13 June
The 89th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will take place on 12-13 June. Le Mans is less than three hours from the ferry terminals at Cherbourg, St-Malo and Le Havre.
Land Rover Legends – 12-13 June
Following its postponement in 2020, Land Rover Legends will take place at Thruxton on 12-13 June. You can expect feature displays, the leading Land Rover clubs and awards for the best vehicles. Advance tickets are available, although children under the age of 16 are free and do not need a ticket.
Bromley Pageant of Motoring – 13 June
The Bromley Pageant of Motoring is one of the largest classic car events in the world. More than 3,000 cars are expected, including 1,000 in the famous one-make section, where vehicles of the same make and model can be parked together.
Retro Carfest – 18-20 June
This new addition to the Carfest calendar will take place at Bicester Heritage in June. It’s a celebration of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, featuring cars, film, television, toys, gadgets, fashion and music from a bygone era.
Fully Charged Live – 18-20 June
Fully Charged Live was another victim of the pandemic in 2020. The good news for fans of electric cars is that the event is back for 2021, with Fully Charged Live moving to a new venue at Farnborough International. Ideal for anyone preparing for the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
Bath Festival of Motoring – 19-20 June
The Bath Festival of Motoring will take place at the Walcot Rugby Ground in June. Around 6,000 people attended the event in 2019, with around 500 cars on display. All proceeds go to charity.
Yorkshire Motorsport Festival – 25-27 June
Former Top Gear presenter Julia Bradbury was due to be the host of the Yorkshire Motorsport Festival in 2020. The event will now take place in June 2021, with the timetable including the first closed road hillclimb to be held in the North of England. Around 80 mainly pre-1986s cars will compete for the fastest time on a 0.8-mile track.
Le Mans Classic – 1-4 July
The 10th staging of the Le Mans Classic will take place in July 2021. It’s a biannual event, but the cancellation in 2020 means it will be three years since the last Le Mans Classic. Around 500 cars will be divided into six grids, many of which took part in the Le Mans 24 Hours race between 1923 and 1981.
Gravity – 4 July
Gravity is one of the largest modified car shows in the UK. To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the event will take place in four exhibition halls and two outdoor arenas at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Around 1,000 modified, classic, drift and race cars will be on display.
Goodwood Festival of Speed – 8-11 July
The Goodwood Festival of Speed will return in July 2021, with the organisers promising to celebrate the 2020 theme of ‘The Maestros – Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders’. We understand this isn’t a celebration of the Austin Maestro. Tickets go on sale on 1 February 2021.
British Grand Prix – 16-18 July
All tickets for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone come with a Covid-19 guarantee. If spectators are not allowed at the event due to government guidelines, ticket holders will be able to transfer their ticket to 2022 or receive a full refund.
Auto Royale – 16-18 July
Auto Royale 2020 was billed as a “true ‘festivalised’ event which will attract the very affluent and high net worth collectors along with ABC1 owners and enthusiasts of the automotive lifestyle.” That was before it was postponed until 2021. It will now move from Althorp to Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.
Carfest North – 23-25 July
Carfest North takes place at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire. You can expect the usual mix of music, cars and family fun, with a large percentage of the proceeds going to support BBC Children in Need. Tickets for 2021 are sold out.
Classics on the Common – 28 July
For one day every July, Harpenden is invaded by classic cars as it plays host to the UK’s largest weekday car show. If you want to book a day off work, Classics in the Common will take place on Wednesday 28 July 2021.
Festival of the Unexceptional – July
Owners of unexceptional cars of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are invited to the Festival of the Unexceptional for a celebration of saloons, hatchbacks and estates. Details are yet to be announced, but the event should take place in July.
Silverstone Classic – 30 July – 1 August
The Silverstone Classic is one of the highlights of the motoring calendar – a three-day, non-stop historic racing extravaganza. Although the details for 2021 are yet to be confirmed, you can expect to see around 10,000 classic cars and live motor racing.
The British Motor Show – 19-22 August
The British Motor Show will take place at Farnborough International in August. Highlights include The Caterham Experience, The Paul Swift Stunt Driving Experience and Under 17 Driving Lessons. Also look out for the latest new cars and celebrities including Mike Brewer, Tim Shaw, Fuzz Townshend, Vicki Butler-Henderson and Mike Rutherford.
Carfest South – 27-29 August
Carfest South takes place at Laverstoke Farm in Hampshire. It’s essentially a southern version of Carfest North, so you expect music, cars and family fun. Tickets for 2021 are sold out.
Salon Prive – 1-4 September
Salon Prive went ahead in 2020, despite restrictions that saw the majority of similar events postponed or cancelled. For 2021, the Concours d’Elegance will return to Blenheim Palace for the 16th consecutive edition. Around 1,000 supercars will take centre stage on the South Lawn, while Ladies’ Day plays host to the Boodles Best Hat Competition.
Concours of Elegance – 3-5 September
Like Salon Prive, the Concours of Elegance event at Hampton Court Palace went ahead in 2020. You can expect more of the same in 2021, when 300 of the world’s finest and rarest motor cars appear at the Palace. Full details to be announced.
Goodwood Revival – 17-19 September
Completing the triple crown of Goodwood events, the Revival will take place in September 2021. Visitors are encouraged to dress in period clothing to celebrate the golden era of motorsport. Tickets will go on sale on 1 February 2021.
Classic Motor Show – 12-14 November
The Classic Motor Show is a good way to end the show calendar. A chance to chat with like-minded enthusiasts before prized classics are put into winter hibernation. The NEC is your destination for this annual classic car curtain call.
London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – November
Last year was the first time the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run has been cancelled since 1947. Hopes are high that the event will go ahead in 2021, when cars registered before 1 January 1915 set off from Hyde Park for the 60-mile journey to Brighton.
Look out for updates and details of new events over the coming weeks and months.
Cancelled due to Covid in 2021
Sadly, even in early 2021, some events are still falling victim to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the events that were due to go ahead, but we subsequently cancelled.
New Year’s Classics Parade – 1-2 January
The Brooklands Museum New Year’s Classics Parade was due to place over two days on 1 and 2 January, with 50 classic cars and motorcycles taking part in vehicle displays. Instead, Brooklands hosted a #VirtualNewYearsDay on Twitter. The organisers hope to arrange a large-scale classic gathering later in the year.
January Scramble – 9-10 January
The Bicester Heritage Scramble began as a ‘cars and coffee’ get-together but has grown to become one of the largest events on the motoring calendar. Things are changing in 2021, with the need for Covid-19 compliance seeing a return to a smaller Scramble, with just 2,000 visitors per day. Alas, the 9 and 10 January subsequently had to be cancelled, but other Scramble events are planned for later in the year.