Now under the magnificent arches of London Olympia a significantly expanded London Classic Car Show got underway on Thursday 20th February 2020. Taking over two large halls and the upper galleries there were more vehicles, around 500 with a total value of £70M, to delight and tempt the visitors. Not just those with a mega-bonus to spend, but also for those of more modest means. With a choice of ready to go or something needing a little TLC to make it roadworthy.
The central feature of previous years ‘The Grand Avenue’ has been replaced with a static ‘Car Stories’ theme, enlivened by guest appearances and interviews. Expect notaries;
Adrian Newey OBE and Ian Callum CBE, Paul Spires (President of Aston Martin Works), Jonathan Neale (COO McLaren Technology Group), Bradley Mauger (Haynes Motor Museum) and Marino Franchitti. On the other side of the microphone will be Tiff Needell and Mark Hales to entice stories and anecdotes from their guests about their careers and vehicles such as: 1969 Lotus 49B, Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM, Aston Martin Goldfinger DB5 Continuation, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato Continuation, 1931 Duesenberg Model J, 1987 Porsche 962C, 1956 Maserati 250F and 1954 Jaguar XK120.
The numerous car car clubs were present to offer expert advice on restoration or the intricacies of the model range through its history. Membership of these knowledgeable organisations brings help and guidance for those in the restoration process and offer the additional benefit of meeting socially with like minded souls.
The were also celebrations of outstanding marques and drivers, Bruce McLaren being honoured for his racing and cars. The formidable Audi Quattro had a 40th birthday, Range Rover chalking up a half century – with vehicle from the yet to be released latest James Bond epic ‘No Time To Die’ on display. Lurking round a corner was another 007 icon, an Aston sporting the number plate BMT 216 A.
The sight of a few pigeons flying through the atrium made for a different environment, and caused a few concerned looks from those responsible for keeping the cars freshly polished.
In the red corner there were Ferrari’s aplenty, but representations from other top marques; Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, etc., were there for viewing and purchasing. However it wasn’t just these aspirational models. On the upper level there was a rank of vintage London Taxi’s, vehicles from the sixties – a Bond three wheeler unmistakeable in bright orange, to V8 US Muscle cars – Mustangs, Challengers etc. Amongst the racers there was a fine collection of track machinery ranging from ex-F1’s through Touring cars to vintage sports such as a Bruce McLaren owned and raced Austin Seven.
Overall it’s still are grand opportunity for those looking to purchase or trade-in their existing classic car. And for those tempted but who have not yet made the plunge it’s an opportunity to to discover what’s available, the likely price and how to finesse that decision. Although for some it was an opportunity to dream and ponder; when I…, or what if ….,
And to close with this month’s favoured author, William Shakespeare the lines from ‘The Tempest’ “We are such stuff As dreams are made on” sums it up nicely.