Old, unassuming cars are experiencing some sort of renaissance over in the UK – so much so that there’s even an event called the ‘Festival of the Unexeceptional’, designed specifically to celebrate these cars. The 2021 instalment happened over the weekend, and the Concours de l’Ordinaire this year was won by the exceptionally unexceptional classic Proton Saga!
If you think you’d seen this car somewhere before, you’d probably be right – it’s the same Proton Saga that was featured in the idriveaclassic video we came across last year! That’s not really all too surprising, though, since Proton only made 201 units of the Black Knight Edition Saga, and this here is supposedly the last surviving example.
Speaking to the organisers Hagerty, the owner of the winning car, Jon Coupland, said that the original owner shelved the car back in 1993 with less than 6,000 km on the clock due to personal health issues.
It remained in the garage until 2017, when it was sold to its second owner before being driven for nearly a further 16,000 km. Coupland then acquired the car in 2019, and now uses it sparingly to drive to events like these.
“I was over the moon to be accepted for the concours, so to have impressed the judges enough to have won the overall prize is beyond my wildest dreams!” Coupland added. And just because it’s all for a bit of fun, the winning trophy that Coupland brought home was shaped like a mug of tea – the ultimate symbol of British normalcy.
The Festival of Unexceptional was created in 2014 by classic cars insurance specialist Hagerty, as a celebration of the “long-forgotten everyday family cars from 1968 to 1989, which have played as significant a role in our culture as any Aston Martin, Ferrari, or Mercedes”.
To win, all you need is bring the most mundane car you can find from the correct time period, and make sure it’s as close to stock as possible. Supposedly, judges love that some of these cars don’t even come with a radio (as per the official “how to win guide”), so make sure your entry doesn’t have any of these unnecessary modifications.
The 2021 selection was for cars between 1966 and 1996, and the event brought over 3,000 fans and a wide array of rare models from across the nation down to the lawns of the Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire, where 50 cars were selected into “one of the best concours lawns in seven years of the festival”.
As you’d imagine, it’s beige, mustard, brown, and steelies as far as the eyes can see…