The North East might not boast a lengthy history of hosting motor shows, but that didn’t stop the first ever NE1 Motor Show bringing 100 cars new and old right to the heart of the Tyneside city at the weekend.
Set in the historic Grainger Town district the NE1 show featured a backdrop of Grey’s Monument, surrounded by listed Georgian and Victorian buildings. It looked a world away from the faceless exhibition centres of most modern motor shows.
Thankfully, for an open-air show, the weather managed to be surprisingly un-Northern like, bathing the crowds in warm sunshine.
Local dealerships brought along plenty of new metal, allowing the public to get up close and personal with performance offerings such as the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 GTS, and Aston Martin DB9 GT; the latter only just revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Mercedes-AMG GT S also drew lots of admirers, although it was the gull-winged and bespoilered SLS AMG Black Series that really impressed.
Infiniti displayed a 2014 Red Bull Racing F1 car, contrasted by a 2.2-litre diesel Q50 road car, whilst Audi brought along the new RS 3 Sportback super-hatch and a moody looking RS 4 Avant.
On the steps of the Grade I Listed Theatre Royal could be found a Volvo V60 Polestar, and all-new XC90, bringing a different kind of culture to the cobbled streets.
Lower down Grey Street could be found a whole host of classic and specialist offerings, ranging from Ford Mustangs to MGs and TVRs. Seeing a Chevrolet pick-up truck lined up against a Lotus Exige typified the diverse range of cars on offer. It certainly made for a more colourful display of parking than normally seen in the city.
Based on the crowds which flocked to the NE1 show on both Saturday and Sunday, it is fair to say this inaugural event seemed to be a success, getting cars out of dealership showrooms and up close and personal with the public.
Being a free, ticketless, show can only have helped matters. Fingers crossed we’ll see it back again for 2016.