Staged at London’s Excel Centre for the 5th time, the 2019 show took the opportunity to celebrate a number of anniversaries. Using its unique feature of “Grand Avenue” a car catwalk that runs through the center of the exhibition, the jubilees were commemorated with a moving motor show.
2019 celebrated four significant anniversaries firstly the centenary of Citroen showing some of the company’s earliest examples together with many of their technically innovative and elegant models. These included a 1925 C3 `Cloverleaf`, Traction Avant, 2CVs, and a number of DS variants.
Second was the 100th year of the Bentley Motor Company with plenty for the show organizers to get their teeth into using Bentley’s racing heritage and luxury road cars. Starting with a rarely seen 1914 DFP 12/40TT onto Le Mans `Blower` models, dropheads, Vanden Plas plus a whole host of Continentals concluding with the latest British GT Championship winning car.
A little younger, the Mini turns 60 this year, consequently Grand Avenue was filled with Issigonis’ originals and their derivatives. From Coopers to Mokes, from pick-ups to Police vans, from Countrymen to Radfords and from Elfs to Unipowers.
The fourth anniversary featured was 50 years of that petrol head movie “The Italian Job.” This was a static display and despite the fact that most of the cars were wrecked during production of the film the show organizers managed to source three originals, a Jaguar E-type Convertible and Coupe` plus the Aston Martin DB4 Convertible accompanied by ‘look-alikes’ to complete the display.
Other statics included `Need for Speed` curated by presenter Edd China and featured aero-engined racers. A whole host of marque dedicated stands filled Car Club Square with thirty owners clubs exhibiting, some of the more unexpected specialisations included the London Vintage Taxi Association, The Transit Van Club and the Rover SD1 club. This is one of the most interesting areas of the show as the club stands are manned by members who have a combined wealth of knowledge regarding the sometimes rare examples on display.
With a Coys auction each day and plenty of dealers exhibiting their finest classics there are many opportunities to spend serious money, or if you’re not in that league just dream. The Supagard stage hosted discussions and lectures throughout each day the most fascinating of them being a debate by advocates both for and against the electrification of classic cars! I’m sure every Vintage Road & Racecar reader will have an opinion on that subject.
Although classic racecars were few and far between at London’s Classic Car Show in 2019 the selection of road classics on display more than made up for it. Rare and consequentially highly priced gems were out in force but so were the more affordable cars some from the ’70s and ’80s just being recognized as collectable. If you are interested in a classic you can use on the public highway this is the show for you.
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