Think a smaller, indoors Silverstone Classic without the racing.
The third weekend of February sees London descended upon by classic cars for the London Classic Car Show. The ExCel Centre in the capitals Docklands becoming the mecca for all vintage car aficionados.
By Lena Hedges
The center had a specially built track running down the centre to show off the expertise of these amazing beasts while exhibitors took up the sides with trade stands and static cars. With record ticket sales in the lead up to the show the centre was heaving with bodies and buzzing with excitement. This is the fourth year of this illustrious industry event and by far the most sparkling yet with Thursday’s opening day being the launch pad for two well known marquees to unveil their newest additions and Saturdays Getaway Cars extravaganza being a star studded event.
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High Profile Photo Ops
It wasn’t just the cars who were the stars of this years show as Superstars of screen and tarmac were out in force to support the classic cars they love and drive. THe show was officially opened by three well known motoring presenters; Alex Riley of the One Show, Jonny Smith of both Fifth Gear and Mud, Sweat and Gears and Quentin Wilson of Top Gear, Fifth Gear and The Classic Car Show. The trio were also joined by Blue Peters Anthea Turner to select 4 of the most outstanding cars of the show to join the parades over the weekend.
Actor Nick Moran, well known for his role in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, was on the Getaway Cars display curracted by actor and For The Love Of Fast Cars presenter Philip Glenister. Moran re-lived various film roles on this special showcase.
Glenister, who is best known for his role as DCI Gene Hunt in Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes has, himself, been in many high speed on screen car chases was also in attendance on Saturday.
RAF Squadron Leader Adam Collins was on the Aston Martin Owners Club stand with the limited edition Vanquish S Red Arrows edition which was raffled off recently to raise £1.5 million for the RAF Benevolent Fund. The winner of this amazing example of British motoring was Londoner Humphrey Bradley, who also joined Collins on the stall.
The son of the late Bruce Reynolds, mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery of 1963, was there in spirit with his Lotus Cortina being reunited with Reynolds son Nick.
Sunday saw the 1992 F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell CBE speed in to be reunited with some of the iconic racing cars he has raced around some of the world’s most revered tracks and in which he received his notable sporting success.
Getaway Cars Showcase
Curated by screen legend, self confirmed petrohead, and Audi brand ambassador Philip Glenister this showcase featured some of the most iconic motors in history, infamous cars used by notorious criminals, from both film and real life, to evade capture, including the aforementioned Lotus Cortina used during the most well known heist in history. This exemplary example of a perfectly preserved classic has just 3,500 miles on the clock and is still fitted with the exact tyres that left the Police the tracks they used to hunt down the robbers back in the 60’s. Other greats showcased include the exact Volvo P1800 that Roger Moore used in The Saint and the 1965 Ford Transit MK I which the Met called the “Most Wanted Van” because (in the 60’s) “Ford Transits are used in 95% of bank raids. With the performance of a car and the space for 1.75 tonnes of loot, the Transit is proving the best getaway vehicle.” In an interview Glenister stated that his top get away cars would be “In no particular order – Volvo P1800, Mini Cooper S, Audi S8” he is clearly very proud of his involvement and went on to say “I’m really excited about it and there are some brilliant motors that will form part of the lineup for it.”
A selection of the impressive array of classic cars were chosen to be paraded on the indoor track over the weekend. These included a revolutionary 1960’s twin engined Mini and an almost sexual and ultra rare 1980’s Lamborghini Miura Jota. Joining these were the four stand out cars of the show chosen by Turner, Riley, Smith and Wilson; the 1932 Bentley 8 litre, 1961 Jaguar E-Type, 1992 Jaguar XJ220 and classic of the future 2015 Mclaren P1 hypercar, jointly they have a value of £3 million. Nigel Mansell even took to the informal track himself in a 1959 Ferrari Dino 246 F1 Grand Prix car.
The extensive selection of exhibitors exceeded expectations and covered all aspects of the motoring industry from the newest and best platform to sell your car to track days. With nearly 200 stalls for your perusal there was colour and sound wherever you look. Your senses were astounded by the many marquees, car clubs and product displays. Luxury Cars London is a new car sales platform, think Autocar with less fees and no hidden charges; list your car in seconds for just £39. Motorsport Days is the go to track day organiser for race drivers who want to move up a class. And it wasn’t just car related, other forms of transport were given a nod with Edge Bikes who are at the forefront of the bicycle industry with their glorious electric bikes. The marquees were out in force with a list that reads like the A-Z of the worlds best car manufacturers, including Aston Martin, BMW, Fiat 500, Jaguar, Porsche and Tesla. Products on show included Blacks Cheese and exclusive vintage champagnes from The Champagne Cave which do not retail in the UK
Two of Britain’s best loved marquees unveiled their new cars with Morgan displaying the new +4 Club Sport, this exciting addition to their books is a road legal racer aimed at those with a passion for the track and an interest in competing in Motor Sports. Perfect for racing, sprinting or hill climbing as light weight with no inside trim or carpets and rubber mats in the front footwell only and can be yours for £48,994 plus delivery and on road costs. Lister then made public their never before seen Thunder, based on the Jaguar F-type and features a tuned version of the already almighty Jaguar 5.0 litre Supercharged V8 engine. This mighty beast of a supercar has a devilish 666 bhp and a top speed of 208. With only 99 being made all buyers will be enter the illustrious and very exclusive Lister Drivers Club.Pricing starts at £139,950 but with 22 having been sold in the space of 24hrs you’ll have to get in quick.
This exemplary showcase of the best of Classic has outdone itself this year. The final words go to show director Bas Bungish “The London Classic Car Show just goes from strength to strength, getting bigger and better each year … we are immensely proud to have witnessed two major global launches.”
Check out all of @Anglocreative’s pictures in the gallery below.
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