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Over a Century of Motoring Brings Vintage Fun to Eastbourne’s Bank Holiday Weekend
Eastbourne’s Magnificent Motors festival kicks of a vintage season this 2 – 3 May, as the free classic car extravaganza celebrates over a century of motoring at the seafront Western Lawns.
Bringing both high octane and nostalgia to the Bank Holiday weekend, the annual free festival is one of many vintage treats in store this year from vintage chauffeur-driven motoring tours around the South Downs National Park to art deco dining and wartime heritage.

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

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

Eastbourne Borough Council Senior Head of Tourism & 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.”

The festival kicks off each day with a seafront cavalcade at 10am from the Eastern seafront to the Western Lawns featuring many of the exhibits, plus live bands, children’s rides and a continental seafront market (1-4 May).

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.

Vintage Eastbourne
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 1920’s 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 1940’s 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.

In Eastbourne, the clifftop Hydro Hotel offers art deco splendour, reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel and complete with croquet lawns - the perfect stop for a Sussex cream tea. Boutique haberdashery, The Owl & Sewing Cat, offer beautiful vintage inspired fabrics and sewing workshops to create sew inspired furnishings and retro fashion.

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 1940’s 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 WW1 convalescent camp back to life in a free Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Summerdown Camp’ exhibition, exploring the ‘Blue Boys’ and the pioneering treatment they received.

On Friday evening the 1930’s 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 2 – 3 May, from 10am to 5pm each day. To enter a vehicle for display or for more information visit

Eastbourne hosts many more vintage free events, including:
· Sunshine Carnival (Victorian theme) – 30 May
· South Downs Drive (Jaguars) - 31 May
· Eastbourne Classic Bus Running Day – 5 July
· MG South Downs Run - 6 September
· Steampunk Festival 12-13 Sept
14 April, 2015

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