HomeCar CultureHagerty Festival of the Unexceptional Returns to Lincolnshire

Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional Returns to Lincolnshire

The ninth-annual event celebrates the British version of Malaise


By now you must have heard of the Malaise Era, that moment in time when all cars sucked. It’s arguable that the era ranges from 1973-83 (though this guy has his reasons), with the Brits seemingly having a different take: 1968-88. In celebration of the “Unexceptional Era,” Hagerty is planning the ninth-annual Festival of the Unexceptional for Saturday, July 29, 2023 at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire.


Originally staged by everyone’s favorite insurance and automotive lifestyle company, Hagerty’s Festival of the Unexceptional is an “attainable concours” akin to a stiff upper lip version of the Concours d’Lemons. It offers a mix of rare cars (usually from a rate of attrition POV) at a fancy pants place that contrasts sharply with the informal approach to what some may argue are classic cars. In the United States, 1968 was a high point in so many ways but, apparently, in the UK the industry took a bad turn and the motoring public were subjected to the ordinary for two decades and beyond.

We understand, Cockney brothers from another mother!

“Festival of the Unexceptional is a must-see event for so many enthusiasts, not just from the UK but all over the world,” says Mark Roper, Managing Director of Hagerty International. “Events like FOTU show that Hagerty caters for all types of classic vehicle enthusiast, regardless of what they drive. I can’t wait to see all the wonderfully preserved cars on the lawns of Grimsthorpe later this year.”

As the show that celebrates the everyday cars we know and love (and hate), the Festival of the Unexceptional is highlighted by the Concours de l’Ordinaire. Fifty unusual and prized everyday classics are judged by a highly experienced panel of motoring experts. However, hundreds of other unexceptional attendees will wet your automotive whistle with a Dolomite here, a Proton there, and perhaps a Viva or two.

Of course, there will be other things to keep attendees entertained, including food and drink, curated displays, and the Hagerty Live Stage full of interviews, music and more.

For those owners of the unexceptional across the pond who would like to enter their Reliant or what-not in the Concours de l’Ordinaire at the 2023 Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional, there’s still time — you can apply via this link, and be sure to provide a description of, and the story behind, your car including photos.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


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