Festival of the Unexceptional

2023 Festival of the Unexceptional – gallery

by Hagerty
1 August 2023 1 min read
2023 Festival of the Unexceptional – gallery
All photography by Rich Pearce

Editor’s note: Click on any image to expand the picture and enter a slideshow

The mediocrity was mesmerising as 1,200 of the most bland, banal and boring cars descended on Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire for the 2023 Festival of the Unexceptional.

We’ve shone the spotlight on the winners already, so now is the time to turn our focus to the mundane masses who make FOTU the most incredible event.

Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to see you next year for the tenth anniversary of this extraordinary celebration of the ordinary.

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  • Jason says:

    Tooo many prestigious cars want in on the action instead of the gloriously mundane

  • Charli Newman says:

    Please stop the prestigious and exceptional cars! It is not what the event is about and it was disappointing to see so many in the grounds.

  • Miles says:

    Amazing turn out but was a bit disappointed to see cars newer than the 1998 limit.

  • Stephen Franklin says:

    A good day out. Agreed to many prestige cars, F355 and 720s amongst others. Needs better policing by staff.

  • Laura says:

    No one gave my Mk2 Clio any love which I think is an award in itself as to how mundane it is!! It’s a bit new though…I’m sure it will get even more boring with age!!

  • Mark says:

    Fantastic show somewhat spoilt by modern, prestige and exceptional cars. It’s meant to be about street furniture that littered our roads back in the day. Mk2 Astras, Rover 214’s, Ford Escort’s, Cavalier’s, Sierra’s, Metro’s, Nova’s etc etc etc. Please can you separate the show out next year. Will work so much better.

  • Tim Distin says:

    The organisation was terrible, took us best part of an hour to get into the show ground.

  • Colin says:

    I was very disappointed to be the only lonely mk1 Fiesta showing there, especially with the demise of the model in June, otherwise, a fantastic show, and well worth the 148 mile drive each way and very almost eye wateringly high entry cost compared to the usual £4-£10 average elsewhere.

  • SJ says:

    The marshalls really need to understand what unexceptional means. Far too many prestige vehicles on the display lawn. A Rolls Royce! Come on, a Datsun Cherry is where it’s at. Better organisation please and sort out the access. An improvement on last year but needs deeper thought for a exceptional visitor experience. Those issues aside, a great event.

  • Mark Poynter says:

    Not keen on the 1998 cut-off date. It should be a rolling 20-year one. That way my ’04 exceptionally unexceptional car would become eligible for next year’s FOTU.

  • Charli Newman says:

    It’s rolling 25 years, no?

  • Nick says:

    Loved the event….but keep it mundane and ordinary! Renault 4, Datsun Cherry, Vauxhall Astra, Volvo ‘Box’ etc. Rolls Royce? Really?

    Exceptional cars can be seen anywhere……..keep this basic.

  • James says:

    Remember, Volvos were very prestige and expensive back in the day, as were Jaguar.

  • HG Marina says:

    My third FOTU, & I agree with all the comments re poor marshalling (& not enough food outlets, so monster queues there too) & excluding the moderns & the fancy cars from the main display area. C’mon organisers, be clearer about what FOTU is, & then get tougher please !!!

  • Kevin Bray says:

    “Unexceptional” is difficult to define in car form. Maybe just keep it to pre 2000 or anything pre ’51 plate if that makes life easier for the entry staff.

  • Allan says:

    When it comes to filtering the exceptional out, the Marshalls could be really brutal on 25 years and marque but allow rejectees a second chance to run a ‘gauntlet’ of (public?) judges with a majority thumbs up/down over the few seconds of drive through (shouldn’t even slow the flow) and no right of appeal following that: straight to the pariahs’ car park.
    The gauntlet could be a spectacle in and of itself and would help define what we’d really want to see.

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