The Vancouver All British Field Meet classic car show takes place on the grounds of VanDusen Botanical Garden on the Saturday of the May Long Weekend.
In 2019 the event was on Saturday May 18th (so a couple of days before the Victoria Day statutory holiday).
For the event’s official website click Westerndriver.com.
British Classic Car Show
The All British Field Meet (ABFM) is a fabulous event for people of all ages, especially if you love vintage British vehicles, classic sports cars and/or botanical gardens.
About the British Car Show
The car show takes place on the Saturday of the May Long Day Long Weekend every year at VanDusen Botanical Garden, and so in 2019 it happened on May 18th. It’s an impressive event featuring literally hundreds of British cars and motorbikes.
On display each year there are antique Rolls Royces, pre-war motorcycles, and the latest Jaguars, Aston Martins and Land Rovers, as well as a wide range of vintage classics of various other models.
At the event there are also food trucks, motor parts vendors, the current year’s vehicles from local dealerships and live entertainment, all of which make the long weekend Saturday an amazing day to be at VanDusen Garden.
With five dozen different classes of vehicles on display, over 450 cars in total and some 5000 car fanatics expected, the All British Field Meet is the largest classic car show of its kind in Western Canada.
SPECIAL FEATURED VEHICLES
Every year, in addition to all the other cars, the event features a few special vehicle marques. In 2019 they were the Bentley (which turned 100 years old this year), the Mini (which celebrated its 60th anniversary) and the AJS motorcycle (which turned 110). These vehicles got extra attention at the event this past year.
For comparison, in the previous year, the All British Field Meet headliner vehicles were an Austin-Healey Frogeye (a.k.a. Bugeye Sprite) and a Jaguar XK120. Also on site in 2018 (and again in 2019) was the customized “Grizzly Torque” Land Rover that Canadian artist Robert Bateman drove tens of kilometres across Africa in during the 1950s. The vehicle was also famously used by Bateman at that time as a painting canvas!
Admission to the ABFM Car Show
The Vancouver All British Field Meet takes place at VanDusen Garden at 5251 Oak Street on the Saturday of the May Long Weekend from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Early-bird ticket prices, up until May 10, 2019, are list below. As you’ll see, if you purchased early you saved between $2 and $5 for most tickets. (Note: A small online fee was extra.)
- Adults (ages 19-59) – $15
- Seniors (ages 60+) – $12
- Youth (ages 13-18) – $10
- Children (ages 5-12) – $6
- Families (2 adults plus children under age 19) – $35
- Combined High Tea & Show Entry – $40 each
Ticket prices for the public after May 10th in 2019 were the following (plus a small online fee):
- Adults (ages 19-59) – $17
- Seniors (ages 60+) – $15
- Youth (ages 13-18) – $12
- Children (ages 5-12) – $6
- Families (2 adults plus children under age 19) – $40
- Combined High Tea & Show Entry – $45 each
- Children under 5 years of age are free
Note: Some of the above prices were even lower than they were in the previous year, which is great! The age of seniors dropped from 65 to 60 compared to 2018, so folk between the ages of 60 and 64 got to pay even less than they did the year before. Youth, child and family passes were also all about $2 less than in the past too!
Included with the cost of admission in 2019 was a chance to win a trip for two to Great Britain. Other prizes included a new set of tires and a $200 gas card.
2019 Schedule of Events
Below is a schedule of what happened at the event in 2019. (Note: times and details were subject to change.)
- 10:00 am to 4:30 pm – Gates are open to the public
- 10:00 am to 3:30 pm – Event merchandise and regalia for sale at the ABFM official tent
- 11:45 am – First seating for the Plated High Tea
- 1:30 pm – Entrants’ Choice & Individual Class Voting Closes
- 2:00 pm – Second Seating for Plated High Tea
- 3:30 to 4:30 pm – Pipe Band and Awards Presentations
Plated High Tea in the Carriage Trade Teahouse
In addition to the cars on display, swap meet, food trucks, exhibitor booths, cars for sale and music in the bandstand, there is also a plated High Tea served in a tented area on the day at VanDusen Garden. Being a “British event”, High Tea seems only fitting!
In 2019 the High Tea was served in two sittings which took place at 11:45 am and 2:00 pm. The cost was $45 per person. Items on the menu included smoked salmon, cucumber, egg salad and ham & cheese sandwiches. There was also a selection of fresh-baked pastries (including scones and clotted cream of course), a miniature dessert platter and both tea and coffee.
Also included in the cost of admission to the Carriage Trade Teahouse was a chance to win a couple of gift baskets, a $50 Gas Card and four limited-edition ABFM beer steins.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions on how to make the most out of your experience at the All British Field Meet.
TIP #1: Buy your tickets online and skip the early morning lineups. It’ll be worth waiting in line to get into this very popular event, but you’ll be even happier if you can bypass the queue.
Especially if you plan to get there towards the start of the day and it’s sunny, it’ll also be worth paying the extra little processing fee for the convenience.
TIP #2: Tickets are available on the day at the gate. They will be the same as non-early bird prices, minus the couple of dollars in online fees.
For more information about the car show, visit the event’s official website at WesternDriver.com.
If you enjoy car shows like this, other Lower Mainland events you might be interested in at other times of the year include the following:
- Vancouver International Auto Show – a major modern car show at the Vancouver Convention Centre in March.
- Easter Vintage Car Rally – a gathering of over 70 vintage cars on Easter Sunday (which takes place each year in either March or April). In past years it took place in the parking lot of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. In 2019, however, it takes place at the Trev Deeley motorcycle store on Boundary Road.
- All-British Vancouver-Whistler Run – a continuation of the above ABFM car show at VanDusen Garden on the May Long Weekend, but up at Whistler in the Olympic Plaza the following afternoon on the Sunday.
- Sockeye Run Car Show – a large car show in Steveston Village in June.