Eastbourne gears-up for Magnificent Motors

Photograph by Graham Huntley
Photograph by Graham Huntley
  • Popular festival kicks off a vintage season
  • High octane and nostalgia at Western Lawns
  • More than 500 gleaming motors to explore

The popular Magnificent Motors festival kicks off a vintage season in Eastbourne this spring as it celebrates more than a century of motoring at the seafront Western Lawns.

Bringing both high octane and nostalgia to the Bank Holiday weekend, the annual free classic car festival is one of many vintage treats in store this year.

We’re in for a magnificent Bank Holiday weekend, from sizzling supercars to stately sedans

From a pre-war 1909 Brush Runabout to a 1928 Bugatti Type 35, one of the most successful racing cars of its time, the event celebrates both classic and vintages cars, motorbikes, buses, commercial, military and steam-powered vehicles.

Featuring MGs, American classics and many more car clubs, motoring fans can explore more than 500 gleaming motors over the weekend, including modern day Ferrari, Porsche and Lotus models.

Eastbourne Borough Council senior head of tourism and enterprise Philip Evans said, “We’re in for a magnificent Bank Holiday weekend, from sizzling supercars to stately sedans, Eastbourne offers something for all paces in life and certainly enough to keep your motor running this May.”

On both Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, the festival will kick off with a seafront cavalcade at 10am from the Eastern seafront to the Western Lawn featuring many of the exhibits, plus live bands, children’s rides and a continental seafront market.

There is still time for classic car owners and car clubs to enter their vehicles for the exhibition and cavalcade, with organisers particularly seeking out new bus, commercial vehicle and steamer exhibits. All participants receive a commemorative plaque from the weekend.

Magnificent Motors is just the start of the vintage events on offer in the town this year.

Eastbourne is a haven for classic motoring and this year features brand new vintage chauffeur-driven tours into the South Downs National Park aboard a 1920s Rolls Royce Tourer. Bentley Motor Museum is just a short drive away, as is the much filmed Bluebell Railway, featuring steam locomotives travelling between restored 1940s stations. Beginning at Sheffield Park Gardens, these Capability Brown designed landscaped gardens are a stunning treat and well worth the visit after a trip on the railway.

For wartime nostalgia, the Redoubt Fortress features a new Home Front living room and interactive garden, featuring real Battle of Britain film footage taking place overhead, filmed by a family in Sussex. A new Treasure exhibition explores vintage finds and special mementos and their 1940s Outpost café features a quirky menu of Bombardier brownies and Colonel Coffees served in moustache mugs.

Next door the Pavilion brings the UK’s first and largest First World War convalescent camp back to life in a free exhibition, exploring the ‘Blue Boys’ and the pioneering treatment they received.

On Friday evening, the 1930s seafront Bandstand bursts into life with a Legends tribute show and firework finale, while Sunday afternoon sees the return of the traditional brass band.

Magnificent Motors returns to the Western Lawns on May 2-3, from 10am to 5pm each day.

To enter a vehicle for display or for more information visit www.magnificentmotors.co.uk

For more information on the other vintage events, visit www.visiteastbourne.com.