CLASSIC CAR fans have a major incentive to head to the UK capital this weekend: the London Classic Car Show has just kicked off in the city’s ExCeL exhibition centre.
The first major event on the British motoring calendar that’s dedicated to yesteryear’s automotive legends, the 2019 London Classic Car Show looks set to be one of the best yet. With numerous anniversary celebrations, a suite of car displays and the headline Grand Avenue parade, there’s plenty to keep show-goers occupied.
Here are the highlights you absolutely have to see if you’re visiting,
Citroën centenary celebrations
With Citroën celebrating 100 years since its founding, the London Classic Car Show is the ideal place to showcase some of its legendary models, including the exquisite DS, striking SM, iconic 2CV and the favourite-with-food-truckers H Van.
50 Years of The Italian Job
Another reason to get your skates on (mate) down to the London Classic Car Show is its display of cars from the iconic Italian Job movie of 1969. Though show-goers will likely love the replica Mini Coopers, the highlights for us are the three surviving vehicles from the actual filming: the Jaguar E-type coupé and roadster, and the Aston Martin DB4 Volante, as driven by Michael Caine’s character Charlie Croker.
Grand Avenue parade
Arguably the highlight of the London Classic Car Show is the automotive catwalk that is the Grand Avenue parade. Being held indoors means the themed runs will go ahead regardless of the weather, and there’s the added benefit of glorious engine noise reverberating around the exhibition hall. And the intoxicating smell of cars-gone-by, of course.
Edd China’s aero-engined car display
In the early days of motoring, the de-facto way to get into the land speed records books was to bolt a massive plane engine onto a ladder chassis. That simple recipe resulted in some truly mad motors, and former Wheeler Dealers mechanic Edd China has brought some of the wildest of them all to the London Classic Car Show — including Count Zborowski’s “Babs” special (pictured) that was one of the inspirations behind Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang books.
If you plan on leaving the London Classic Car Show with more cars than you had when you arrived, visit the Coys auction, which promises a great range of vehicles set to go under the hammer. Highlights include a prototype Austin Twenty tourer, rally-ready MG MGA and Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible once owned by The Grand Tour’s very own James May. Be sure to check out our classic car buying guide and auction buying guide before placing bids.
Supagard Theatre panels
Much like the film and comic conventions the ExCeL Centre also hosts during the eyar, the London Classic Car Show has an array of panels to attend. The one we’re looking forward to the most is the Big Electric Classic Debate, organised by show sponsor ERS, which sees Edd China, ex-Top Gear host Quentin Wilson, and Fifth Gear’s Tiff Needell and Johnny Smith discuss the pros and cons of converting older cars to pure-electric power.