Held from 30th October to 1st November at one of London’s most majestic venues, visitors were treated to a motoring feast, with over 300 of the world’s finest classic cars – and bikes too – thanks to a variety of bespoke displays and stands from world-renowned dealers.
Organised by Classic & Sports Car, and Haymarket Exhibitions, The London Show announced the results of its worldwide poll to find the Best British Car Ever, with all ten finalists celebrated in a special feature sponsored by Autoglym.
The winning car was the Jaguar E-type and a very special example, ’77 RW’, the oldest surviving open E-type, was unveiled by Building Cars Live TV presenter Ant Anstead just after the doors opened to the public on the morning of Friday 30th October.
The London Show also included a celebration of Aston Martin in partnership with EFG International, featuring a host of the brand’s most-loved models from its oldest surviving, the amazing A3, to the very latest DB9 GT. Showing the development between the two were a 2-Litre Speed, DB MkIII, DB5, V8, DB7 and Vanquish.
Sir Stirling Moss was honoured with a display that featured some of his most famous British single-seater competition cars. These included the Cooper MKIV Formula Three car which dominated the 1950 season, the Rob Walker-liveried Lotus 18 and the Ferguson P99 in which Moss won the 1961 Oulton Park Gold Cup.
Crowds flocked to a star-studded Interview Stage, held in partnership with Smooth Radio, which featured celebrity guests from the world of motoring and motorsport. Norman Dewis OBE entertained crowds with his amusing anecdotes, including driving Jaguar E-type 77 RW overnight to Geneva for the 1961 Salonwhile Ross Brawn OBE gave an enthralling insight into the workings of Formula One, such as what it was like to work with the legendary Michael Schumacher. Additional guests to take to the action-packed stage throughout the weekend included presenters Ant Anstead and Alex Riley, Professor Peter Stevens and BMC and Ford rally boss Stuart Turner.
Other features included two picture galleries from LAT Photographic, celebrating Jaguar Land Rover and British F1 respectively, while visitors could pore over a host of stands selling everything from motoring art to clothing and books. In the Panorama Room, 50 British motorcycles ranging from 1909 to the present day were on display, with a pair of barnfind Brough Superiors taking centre stage.
Meanwhile, outside Alexandra Palace there were car parks full of classics, a Pistonheads Sunday Service and period machinery including a vintage mobile cinema, a replica Supermarine Spitfire and a showcase of Lambrettas.
Running alongside these exciting elements were displays from some of the world’s finest dealers. Some truly iconic classics were in attendance including Desmond J Smail’s Aston Martin DB4 GT, Mecaniques Modernes and Classiques’ green Ferrari 275GTS and the first production Triumph TR5, which featured on the Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth stand.
Ferrari was well-represented at the show with desirable models such as the F40, F50 and 288 GT0 across the HR Owen, Graypaul and Maranello Classic Parts stands. Another highlight of the event was the Cobra-liveried Fiat Bartoletti transporter loaded with a 289 and Frua-bodied Willment example which took pride of place on the JD Classics stand. Dealers reported excellent footfall with high calibre visitors throughout the three-day show, resulting in several million-pounds worth of cars sold.
Commenting on the success of the weekend, JD Classics managing director, Derek Hood, said: “Having advertised with Classic and Sports Car for 27 years, I was pleased to be one of the first to sign up to the show. The team at Classic and Sports Car did a great job ensuring the show had an intimate feel. We were very successful on the stand, selling two cars and we look forward to coming back next year.”
Daniel Donovan, founder DD Classics, said: “It was great to be a part of the inaugural Classic and Sports Car – The London Show. We met lots of like-minded classic car enthusiasts and were very happy to find new homes for two of the cars – a Citroën DS and a Daimler Sovereign 420.”
Nick Aaldering, owner of The Gallery Brummen, commented: “Classic & Sports Car – The London Show was a really good event for us and we sold two cars over the course of the weekend – a beautiful Maserati Vignale Spyder and a rare fibreglass Ferrari 308. In addition we generated some great leads and have two appointments confirmed in the next week.”
Mike Biddulph, sales, Vintage and Prestige, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Alexandra Palace show and it turned out to be a great business opportunity for us. We not only sold one of our cars on stand – a 1929 Vauxhall Hurlingham Roadster – but also received numerous positive enquires and met many potential new customers.”
Key sponsors of the inaugural event also shared their experience of the show.
Paul Caller, chief executive, Autoglym, said: “The show was a great opportunity for us to meet enthusiastic car owners in a stunning setting. There were some fantastic features confirmed for the show, but the Best British Car Ever really caught our attention and we were thrilled to sponsor such a great tribute to the British automotive industry and maintain the top ten cars within it.
The diverse selection of cars shortlisted was a focal point at the show, with the reveal of the winning Jaguar E-type a definite show highlight that we were pleased to be a part of.”
Keith Gapp, EFG International’s head of strategy and marketing, said: “EFG International was delighted to partner with Classic & Sports Car at its inaugural London Show. Many of our clients and employees are collectors, drivers, or simply admirers of classic cars and we have been an active supporter of historic motoring events for a good number of years now.
“The Aston Martin display we sponsored was a real highlight of the show which included some of the luxury brand’s most iconic models, from the oldest-surviving to the very latest. It was a great feature to be affiliated with and a fitting celebration of such an influential British marque.”
James Elliott, group editor of Classic & Sports Car and show curator, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our first London show has been such an enormous success. From the displays such as the Best British Car Ever, to the packed stands of some of the world’s most renowned dealers and an interview stage full of big names with even bigger stories, I am so happy that we filled the wonderful venue of Alexandra Palace with the Classic & Sports Car vibe. Seeing crowds queuing for the show to open every day was so satisfying and I am glad we made our visitors and exhibitors very happy. Myself and the rest of the Classic & Sports Car team are already looking forward to next year.”
Source. Classic & Sports Car/Photos. John Patterson