Last weekend, the ExCeL in London played host to the second running of the London Classic Car Show. The inaugural event had been a huge success and it seemed obvious to build upon it for the second year, but there had been a potential fly in the ointment.
After being starved of classic car action for many years, Londoners were suddenly spoiled for choice in 2015. After a successful debut of the London Classic Car Show show at ExCeL, a rival show popped up at Alexandra Palace later in the year. With another London show in the marketplace, plus competition from countless other events across the country, would the follow-up London Classic Car Show still be able to generate enough enthusiasm from exhibitors and paying customers?
Well, the good news is that there continues to be strong interest in classic car events, and the second running of the London Classic Car Show was another resounding success. Everything was bigger and better the second time around, and indeed a second hall was used to showcase some of the UK’s car clubs, which was an excellent feature.
Once again, the ExCeL was packed full of amazing metal from all eras and all parts of the world, along with many stands of automobilia exhibitors.
The Grand Avenue returns
One of the great features of the London Classic Car Show is the central Grand Avenue, where several cars participate in demonstration runs up and down a roadway in the middle of the show at various times throughout the day. This year, organisers featured a ‘Six Nations’ theme to decide the greatest car-building nation in the world. The contestants were Great Britain, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan and France. Somewhat predictably at a British show, the home team was declared victorious on Sunday afternoon.
A word of warning for parents taking children – having F1 cars blasting down an indoor runway is exciting to watch, but it gets very loud…
Murray’s McLaren masterpiece
A feature exhibition this year was the story of the seminal McLaren F1 supercar from the 1990s. Several road and race cars were assembled for the feature, along with explanatory information from the car’s creator (and motor racing design legend) Gordon Murray. In fact, Murray’s own F1 road car was also on display.
Car Club Square
This year’s show took up substantially more space at ExCeL than last year’s. Part of this additional room was devoted to Car Club Square, a celebration of several of the UK’s classic car clubs. Representatives from the Jaguar Drivers Club, Porsche Car Club, Mercedes-Benz Owners Club and others had their vehicles polished up and proudly on display for all to see.
Modern metal mixes with the old timers
It may be called the Classic Car Show, but that doesn’t mean that all of the vehicles on display are wartime relics. Visitors would have spotted some of the latest supercars from around the world on display, including a Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and Aston Martin One-77 – plus manufacturers like Abarth and Peugeot had displays of their latest vehicles to tempt any buyers. There was also a good mix of road and race cars featured across the event.
Four packed days proved that the London Classic Car Show was once again able to draw a sizeable crowd of car enthusiasts. Organisers claimed that 33,000 people passed through the doors for this year’s event, and they are already making plans for next year’s Show, which is due to take place on 23-26 February 2017.
Stuart attended the 2016 London Classic Car Show as a guest of Footman James Car Insurance.