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How many of these unmemorable motors can you remember?

By Tom Gibson | August 1, 2023


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Take a look at what won over judges at the Festival of the Unexceptional

How many of these unmemorable motors can you remember?

Now in it’s ninth year, the Festival of the Unexceptional was built to celebrate and remember some relatively unmemorable motors.

Well, unmemorable unless you owned one of course.

The festival attracted a sold-out crowd of 3,000 enthusiasts this year who showcased 1,200 mundane cars in the grounds of Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire.

But it wasn’t just a marvel at mediocrity. There were some prizes up for grabs if your motor was particularly average.

But how do you judge an average car? Well, according to Hagerty, which puts on the festival, judges are looking for well-kept, original cars, but above that it’s the unexceptionality of the entrants that the judges are focused on.

Chief judge Danny Hopkins, editor of Practical Classics, explained: “If your mum and dad had bought a new car and you went into the school playground the next day to tell your mates and they were so unimpressed they just said ‘oh right, shall we play football then’ – if that happened 30 years ago that car should be here.”

But what cars were there? Well Tercels, Metros, Novas and a host of other cult-classics from the 1980s and 1990s.

Stephen Pike, who now lives in Sweden, won the top prize for bringing his 1991 Daihatsu Applause back from the dead. After a two-year restoration to he just about finished work on his car before attempting the 900-mile journey to Lincolnshire.

“I love unusual cars. It was unusual, it was unloved, and I was on a mission to save it,” says Stephen. “Hopefully, it’s going to be around for a few years now”.

Sion Hudson and his 1983 Austin Metro took the second place trophy for “de-pimping” his ride, after finding out it had actually benefitted from a few upgrades over its lifetime. Sion removed the radio, passenger door mirrors and even the side repeaters to bring it back to the base level spec that would really allow people to feel sorry for it.

Netherlands’ Hugo Naaijkens and his 1993 Subaru Justy took the bronze prize after the Dutchman recently passed his driving test in his unmemorable Japanese hatchback. Naajikens has now vowed never to sell it.

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