Dawlish Warren welcomes South West’s biggest American classic car show

American Classic Cars

Photo by Sin Amigos, CC BY 2.0

Petrol heads and families turned out in their numbers to The Green at Dawlish Warren earlier this month to celebrate the largest collection of American classic cars, hot rods and muscle cars in the South West of England. The Cofton American Car Show was a three-day extravaganza which saw some of the biggest American and Canadian manufacturers come to town, including Mustangs, Chevrolets, Buicks, Cadillacs, Pontiacs, Jeeps and many more. This year’s festivities marked the fifth anniversary of the event, which has grown year-on-year to become a genuine celebration of the sights and sounds of the North American muscle cars.

Live music and car processions inspired by those Stateside

Friday evening saw a feast of live rock’n’roll, country and western and rockabilly tunes performed on-stage by Western Rock. The live music in the marquee rolled on well into the night as the town fully embraced the American theme once again. Saturday morning saw the headline procession of more than 100 classic cars meander their way from Dawlish onto The Green at Dawlish Warren, allowing visitors to get an eyeful of these rare and much-loved vehicles, as well as the roar of their engines.

Once the car procession ended on The Green, the team lit a delicious barbecue for the crowds to enjoy, while there was face painting and the chance to learn some new circus skills, offering fun for all the family. There was plenty to amuse the older generation too, with the Pavilion Amusements close by. Their over-18s section offered all the latest casino games daily, except of course the live-streamed dealer action that’s increasingly available to players on smartphones and tablets on the move. Canine lovers were also able to check out the annual Cofton dog show, designed to raise money for the local Dog's Trust, featuring a fun-filled agility course and several awards on offer for dog handlers young and old.

‘The King’ still reigning supreme at Cofton American Car Show

Once the sun set on Saturday’s daytime festivities, it was time for world-renowned Elvis Presley tribute act, Adam Carter to take to the stage and serve up a feast of hits from ‘The King’. The closure of Carter’s greatest hits set was followed by a colourful fireworks display overlooking the coastline. However, there was still lots to discover the following day, with a further 200 classic cars and vehicles shipped over from the States for display. During this display, the show offered a range of classes for vehicle owners to compete in, ranging from the judges' best overall vehicle on display, along with the most impressive custom and Hot Rod speedsters, through to the People’s Choice on the day.

Keith Bloomfield, event organiser, said in his preview of this year’s event that he believed the show offers cheap weekend entertainment for families in Dawlish Warren and south Devon as a whole. Bloomfield labelled the show as being the largest and most popular American car show in the west of the UK, admitting that it is still “growing year-on-year” – and it’s not difficult to see why. The entire festivities across the weekend cost just £5 per head. Better still, Bloomfield confirmed that visitors who rock up in an American-made vehicle will receive free entry for up to two people.

It was one of many exciting events held in Dawlish Warren this month, with the one-day music festival Snookyfest offering fun for all the family in aid of charity taking place, too. Snookyfest welcomed a host of top-notch live bands with experience in headlining large festivals and playing main stages around the UK, including N.U.M.B. and Lucky 13. August also sees the arrival of the Dawlish Celebrates Carnival week, running from 11th – 17th August, culminating in the magnificent firework show on Thursday 16th August, starting at approximately 9.15pm on The Green.