10 Mediocre Cars Showcased For The 2022 Hagerty Festival Of The Unexceptional
2021 Festival of the Unexceptional
On July 30, Saturday, the much-awaited 2022 Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional will take place. It is a unique chance to walk around the beautiful grounds of Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire to marvel and appreciate the most marvelously mediocre and underappreciated cars ever made.
The expansive grounds of the Grimsthorpe Castle offers lakeside walks, formal gardens, and even a children’s play area, guaranteeing a great family day out for all guests of the 2022 Festival of the Unexceptional. Show facilities were also improved for 2022 as they offer a wide array of food and beverage outlets, a new vehicle access point, more display cars, easy parking, and exclusive Hagerty entertainment.
The annual Concours de l’Ordinaire by Hagerty highlights 50 classic vehicles from 1967 to 1997. It also celebrates the world of mundane motoring with a whimsical and ironic take on the typical concours format. Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional is the only car show that celebrates the mundane. One of the best parts of the festival is that the blazers and the chinos can take a back seat as the dress code is simply smart casual.
As a preview of what the 2022 festival has to offer, the Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional has confirmed 10 cars that will be showcased on the Grimsthorpe Castle concours lawn.
Fiat Panda Italia
It was back in 1990 when Fiat launched the special edition of the Panda in celebration of Italy’s hosting of the World Cup and Fiat’s sponsorship of the tournament. Based on the 750cc Panda L, it is thought that there are only a handful of these Panda Cup UK version left on the road. The example that will be displayed was registered on the day England beat Egypt 1-0. Though it is said that when England was kicked out of the tournament, Fiat removed all the graphics and the hubcaps and the example was returned to its original L spec.
Ford Fiesta Fanfare
Bought new in 1992, the first owner of this Ford Fiesta lovingly cared for it. It was used daily and carefully kept in the family garage at the end of the day. At the age of 87, however, the owner decided it was safer to stop driving. When the second owner took custody of the Fanfare, the odometer showed that it has travelled a mere 16,500 miles.
It has become an unofficial Festival tradition to have a rare Mazda on display. Last year, the spotlight was on a 1982 Mazda 929L estate. For this year, they are featuring the 1971 Mazda 1800, which is a very rare car that even the most zealous Festival fan might have a hard time recognizing the model.
The example was styled by Bertone, and it is thought that it is one of only three cars of the model in the UK. It is also one of the earliest surviving imported Mazdas.
Renault Mégane Scénic
In 1997, the Renault Mégane Scénic was awarded the European Car of the Year. Unfortunately, it seems that the survival rate of the model is extremely low. Just became eligible for the concours this year, the example that will be displayed is as original and unmodified a Scénic as possible, with 60,000 miles showing on the odometer. Do keep note of the genuine Renault teddy bear still in the car.
Vauxhall Astra Merit
These days, Vauxhalls are not quite as popular especially after the Ford and Vauxhall rivalry wherein Ford seemed to have gotten the upper hand. Of course, each brand had their fans, but in the 90s, Vauxhall could not quite keep up with Ford in terms of magazine road tests. Powered by a modest 1.4-liter engine, even its specifications are fittingly unexceptional.
In 1930, Avtomobilny Zavod imeni Leninskogo Komsomola was a Soviet – now Russian – car maker that made Fords that were shipped out in component form. In 1939, they needed a new and much catchier name, hence, Moskvitch was born.
A late model of the 2140 which started production back in 1976 and ended in 1988, this 1986 model is finished in yellow and brown. It is powered by a 1.5-liter engine that drives the rear wheels.
Leyland Princess 2200
The owner of the bronze example of the Leyland Princess 2200 describes their pride and joy as “A wallowy cornering gait, a super-smooth ride and the pleasing whine of its straight-six”. Designed by Harris Mann, who also designed the Allegro, Princess, and TR7, this 2200 model is a bit posh for the Concours de l’Ordinaire. It is rather exciting to see a low-mileage, surviving example in person.
Reliant Regal 21E
One of the most recognizable British classics, it won’t be a surprise if the 1969 Reliant Regal will be an instant crowd favorite during the Festival, as it has built for itself a perfect image largely due to being the brunt of numerous jokes through the years. This model was once a relatively common, everyday transport. It is just less appreciated, so the odd-wheeled Regal is a perfect example for this year’s concours.
Similar to the Renault Scénic, the first-generation Ford Ka is another model that has recently been eligible to be part of the concours. The model did not last long on the road as it was prone to rust. So, it is even more surprising that the model that will be showcased at this year’s Festival is not just an early production car, but it was built in September 1996, the first month of production. It is also one of only 14 first-year cars that have reportedly survived.
Hyundai Lantra GLSi
UK critics were quick to dismiss the Hyundai when it first entered the market. Now, the Hyundai is considered to be at par if not better than the models that Ford or Volkswagen make. The example, a 1992 Lantra is a three-owner example with a glorious paintwork with grey velour trim. Powered by a 16-valve, 1.6-liter engine, the GLSi also proudly sports steel wheels and no air conditioning, a perfect specimen for the Festival of the Unexceptional.