Now established at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in the heart of London’s Docklands, this year’s London Classic Car and Historic Motorsport Show drew record crowds last weekend, February 15-18. Both exhibitions are now combined in one hall and linked by “Grand Avenue,” which provides a unique indoor ¼-mile-long runway for spirited live displays throughout the day.
Central to this year’s show was a tribute to F1 and Indycar Champion Nigel Mansell with five of his most significant cars forming the main display, including his World Championship-winning Williams FW14B (above, Roger Dixon photo). ExCel’s giant South Hall was filled with close to 700 classic cars from around the world, with a combined value of more than £300 million, including concours winners, race championship victors, barn-finds, rare classics and unique concept prototypes.
”Club Square,” situated at the East end of the hall, provided a wealth of unusual and interesting vehicles with stands from more than 20 owner and enthusiast clubs exhibiting examples of their “pride and joy.” Many Independent classic car dealers had mouth-watering, and, in some cases, wallet-busting gems to drool over, as well as their more affordable investments.
The Supagard Theatre hosted talks and interviews during the weekend, covering many aspects of motoring and motorsport, both contemporary and classic. On Sunday Nigel Mansell gave two talks in the theater on his 25-year racing career, on both occasions the theatre’s “Full” sign went up well before Nigel started speaking. On Saturday afternoon a busy Coys auction took place in the theater, topped by the sale of a 1984 Ferrari 512BB “Boxer” for just over £260,000.
Something that most shows are unable to provide is the “Grand Avenue,” where three times daily the hall reverberates to the sound of a live classic car display, running through the heart of the exhibition this runway provides the perfect space for visitors to witness cars in action. Spectators, three deep on many of the runs, were treated to some lively displays. This year’s theme was “Specials,” putting the spotlight on an eye-catching gathering of road and race cars steeped in history and mystique, owing to their unique design and often outlandish performance.
The 2019 London Classic Car Show will again be staged at ExCel on February 14-17, 2019. For complete information please visit www.thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk