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Revving up for the Mount Edgcumbe American & Classic Car Show

Enjoy 500 veteran and vintage cars on display at the Mount Edgcumbe American and Classic Car Show, set in a beautiful location overlooking the Tamar River.
Mount Edgcumbe Classic Car Show draws thousands to this lovely historic estate near Torpoint on the first Sunday in August. Five hundred American and classic cars are on display, along with kit cars, motorcycles and military vehicles. They are all accompanied by their proud owners who are always happy to talk about their restoration project or the history of their beloved vehicle.

Best way to get to Mount Edgcumbe American and Classic Car show

is the perfect place to spend a family day out, in a stunning waterfront setting at Cremyll. The red sandstone mansion looks down the sloping lawns to the Tamar Estuary and across Plymouth Sound to Devonport and the City of Plymouth.

Getting to Mount Edgcumbe can be quite a drive down the winding Cornish lanes along the Torpoint/Rame Peninsula. The pay-and-display car parks are quite small and cramped when you get there. The easiest way to get to the Classic Car Show is via the historic Cremyll ferry as a foot passenger from Devonport. It costs next to nothing and is a fun eight-minute ride across the Tamar Estuary, with views of the many warships and pleasure boats in Plymouth Sound as you cross.

Once on Cremyll dockside, Mount Edgcumbe Estate’s grand gates are just ahead, with the Grade I listed mansion positioned above the beautiful gardens and lawned parkland.

The event is opened by the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe at 11am, but cars start arriving as early as 8am. Arrive early, and you can have a tasty breakfast from the Stables restaurant in the lower park, but do save room for a tasty clotted cream tea or ice cream later!

What’s on at the Mount Edgcumbe Classic Car Show

There are rows of historic, antique, vintage and classic cars. motorcycles and commercial vehicles lined up with chrome gleaming and bonnets up for inspection, if you’re that way inclined.

I prefer the huge American Cars – Thunderbirds as long as a bus with their rear “wings” and spare wheel on the back. The bench seats are more spacious and comfy than your sofa back home, all finished in panels of leather to match the car – more orange, scarlet and sky blue!

Appropriately, the event also includes a huge car boot sale and there is a wonderful craft fair to browse around the stalls. For kids, there is plenty of space to run around, amusements and the beach nearby to paddle and play on.

Refreshments, live music and a licensed bar make this a very relaxed occasion on a sunny summer’s day. Best of all, entrance to the Mount Edgcumbe American and Classic Car Show is free for non-exhibitors. The cost for exhibitors is £5 if you want to enter your vehicle and get in line for one of the trophies and receive a nice certificate of attendance.

Mount Edgcumbe House and Gardens

The grand mansion was built by the Edgcumbe family in the 1500s and they moved here from , their former country residence. The estate is now jointly owned and managed by Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council.

In the summer (March to October) you can take a guided tour of the lovely house and the private Earl’s Garden. Most of the gardens and woodland are free to explore and the area is home to the National Camellia Collection – a real picture in spring with its showy dark pink, pastel and white star-like blooms or full double species.

There are many footpaths running through the estate including the , and a lovely café in the Orangery which overlooks the sunken Italian Garden. Apparently you can even do Segway tours of the grounds, so keep your eyes open for that too!

Bring a picnic, admire the cars, tour the house, enjoy the well-established gardens, walk the coastal path to for a pub lunch or just relax in the beautiful setting and watch the boats go by.

Thousands of people visit the Mount Edgcumbe Estate every year. Let us know what you enjoy about visiting this historic home and gardens. Car lovers would love to read your comments if you have attended the American and Classic Car Show in past years.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.


  1. John Perth says:

    Are you able to walk down the winding Cornish lanes? If so, will I still get to see the warships? The long distance isn’t a hindrance for me it’d just be nice to walk along the Cornish countryside with a beautiful view of the historic ferry route.

  2. Zaiva says:

    I personally have never attended a car show before, but I would love to go to one. I do consider myself to be a car enthusiast, and I love American cars, especially muscle cars which are now considered classics. Hopefully I can get down to this show, or if one of you have been here before, could you let me know what it was like?

    It would be interesting to see how many cars turn up, if some are imported especially for it. It seems to be a main event down in Devon, there’s quite a lot of information about it online so it should be a fun day out for everyone.
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  3. Gillian says:

    This is the best car show that I have attended in the area with a wide variety of car types and ages. Nigel Mansell’s Woodbury Park also holds fabulous concours d’elegance events which I have attended with the Porsche Club. These tend to be one-offs not annual events but it’s worth keeping your eyes open for them.

  4. Gillian says:

    John – thanks for your comments. If you follow the coastal footpath along the edge of the beach at Edgcumbe and continue along the coastal path you will get some great sightings of the warships (and a sub if you’re lucky!). I walk out to Cawsand that way, and after refreshments in one of the local pubs I return through the village and turn right along quiet country lanes that run parallel to the coastal path. They eventually become the driveway into Edgcumbe the back way so you get the best of both worlds! Check Google Maps before you go and you’ll see what I mean.

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