Riviera Classic Car Show
The Show now
With the current layout the show is more a part of the Festival than ever. The display of fabulous vehicles is complemented by stage entertainment through the day, food outlets, a craft marquee and licensed bar. We’re still able to accommodate around 400 vehicles and the result is a unique event which has developed its own very special relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Such is its popularity that we now have exhibitors bringing their vehicles from over much of England and South Wales, and bookings for spaces are full some months in advance. Some of our entries are individuals, whilst we also have clubs taking their own stand spaces. The range of vehicles is something to behold. There are a few rare examples from the early part of the 1900s, lots of classics from the 50s to 70s or even a bit later. There’s also a sprinkling of modern custom and supercars, commercial vehicles, scooters and motorbikes.
The show site is right at the heart of one of the most popular and busiest parts of Torbay and is always enjoyed by families on holiday as well as locals who make a point of visiting us every year. With so much to see and do, it’s a great day out for all the family.
The site postcode is TQ4 6BW. Map
The history of the Show
TOWC organises the Riviera Classic Car Show in late July every year on the first Sunday of the Paignton Festival, which lasts for 9 days. The Festival was formerly called Torbay Carnival and has been held since 1908. It was given its new name in 2016 and still includes the Torbay Carnival procession on the Wednesday evening. The show is an important part of the Festival week and was first held by us in 1994. It raises funds for the Festival, which are used entirely to support local charities and community organisations. In 2022 we were proud to donate £7,000, bringing the running total raised to well over £66,000. Amazingly, almost half of this has been since 2016.
The Show takes place on the north section of Paignton Green, alongside the beach and Paignton Pier.
There have been some changes to the layout of the show in recent years. Originally the whole of the Green was available, but things began to change in about 2009. Firstly a seasonal license was granted by the local council to a roller coaster ride located on the site from July to September which reduced the space. Then in 2012 a large new adventure playground opened on the adjacent middle green. This meant that there was no longer room there for the marquees and stage which are part of the Festival. The only option was to re-site them on the North Green, further reducing the space left for the vehicle display. But it’s not all negative, as you’ll see.
Next Show Sunday 28th July 2024
We can fit in almost 400 vehicles but the show’s popularity means it’s always over-subscribed. Exhibitor Entries are now open. Please click on the link HERE for an entry form.
We do sometimes find that we have a few spare spaces on the day. We can never guarantee this, but if so then we will accept some late entries. All exhibitors are given a rally programme and a small memento to show our appreciation.
The cut-off age for exhibits is 1984 with the exception of cars in the Americans and Custom/Exotic classes, and clubs. We're pleased to announce that our modern classics are now from 1985 to 2000 but the class is limited to 15 entries. All entries are accepted at the discretion of the organisers. A minimum of 5 vehicles is needed for a club stand and we recommend block applications for this.
For safety reasons, drivers must be on site before 10 am and not leave until the show closes after the prize giving around 4.30 pm. This is clearly stated on your entry form and when you sign you agree to this.
TOWC organises just the vehicle display at the show. For all enquiries regarding trade or catering outlets and sponsorship opportunities please contact the Paignton Festival chairman Mike Bailey at email@example.com or 07403 259916. Under local council rules, no advertising vehicles or stands are permitted on the show field itself.
The show is open from 10am to 4.30pm. There are entrances at both ends of the Green. Gate receipts contribute to most of the amount we donate to Paignton Festival charities each year. Entry is a donation of £2.50 for adults. Accompanied children under 12 are free.
The show is child friendly but, for safety reasons, unaccompanied children are not permitted.
NO bikes or scooters please, also for safety reasons. You may leave these with our gate staff for safekeeping at owner’s risk.
Disabled access is good. The site is flat but grassy.
Dogs on leads are welcome but please make sure you use your doggy bags and dispose of them in the appropriate bins.
Toilets are just outside the show ground, these are operated by a private contractor and there is a charge (card payment available)
Street parking is limited but there are multistorey and other car parks close by.
The show ground is a short walk from both bus and train stations
Drones - in line with current regulations, the people on the field are "a crowd". Overflying is not permitted.
Many owners will be around to tell you about their vehicles, and some may allow children to sit in their cars for photos but please ask first. On site there will be stage entertainment and there’s ice cream, burgers and other stalls of interest.
Right alongside the show is the award winning Paignton Beach, Paignton Pier, the Geopark Adventure Playground (free of charge) and a funfair. There is also a good range of food outlets outside the ground.
For the Press
The Riviera Classic Car Show is a major event in the area with many photo opportunities. Organised locally for local charities it is very much a community success and goes from strength to strength each year. In recent years we have had some noteworthy vehicles to see. These include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a perfect working copy of the talking car Kitt driven by David Hasselhoff in the Knight Rider programmes, the actual Volvo driven by Sir Roger Moore in The Saint TV series, a replica of the Dukes of Hazzard car, a Flintstones car, the AC Cobra of Fitz from BBC, and the Bristol bus brought along by Shep of BBC Southwest. We welcome Press interest to help us promote the show beforehand and to relate the story in the days following.
We have a large number of royalty free images from previous shows which we are happy to supply. Our club’s Press Officer is Chris Headon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01803 411873, 07778 602188.