The London Classic Car Show 2018
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14-17 February 2018
The London Classic Car show bought another year of the very best of automotive culture and nostalgia. In 2018 we admired the incredible racing career and cars of former F1 World Champion and Indy CART World Champion, Nigel Mansell. With the help of Philip Glennister we created a beautiful display of getaway cars from the silver screen and even some used in real-world crimes like the Lotus Cortina of Bruce Reynolds, the driver for the Great Train Robbery. On top of all this we had 60 magnificent specials, racers, one-off’s, prototypes and the last remaining survivors of the world’s most incredible cars. It was truly spectacular seeing them drive down the Grand Avenue for the crowds to enjoy.
Thursday night was a jammed packed evening of entertainment, up first was a curated display of racing cars taking to the Grand Avenue. Soon after TV motoring presenters: Alex Riley (BBC One Show), Jonny Smith (Fifth Gear and Mud, Sweat & Gears) and Quentin Willson (BBC Top Gear, Fifth Gear and The Classic Car Show) discussed future classics, rapidly appreciating classics, smart buys and all things motoring, surrounded by what they felt were the stand-out cars of the show. Including a McLaren P1 (described as an instant classic), a beautiful, unrestored 1961 Jaguar flat floor E-type, an imposing 1931 8-Litre Bentley Tourer and a Jaguar XJ220, which all three presenters concurred is an astonishing, somewhat under appreciated super car.
Soon after for the first time in the show’s history, the opening evening witnessed a pair of major global car launches with two of Britain’s most iconic marques unveiling new models.
Morgan Motor Company took the wraps off its latest +4 Club Sport and then Lister revealed its never-seen-before Thunder.
Actor Nick Moran of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Harry Potter fame came down for the evening and delighted onlookers by reliving various film roles on the special display of Getaway Cars. Adding to the rogues’ gallery Nick Reynolds was reunited with the very Lotus Cortina that his late father Bruce Reynolds used to stake out the Great Train Robbery in 1963.
The Supagard Theatre was hosted by motorsport broadcaster Henry Hope-Frost and features a programme of curated talks over the four days of The London Classic Car Show and Historic Motorsport International.
Friday focused on the world of historic motorsport, where the programme examined a variety of topics including the use of technology, driving standards and sponsorship.
Over the weekend, the focus switched towards the classic car industry, enlightening talks were held with Paul Brace of Eagle E-types (designers of the gorgeous Eagle E-Type Speedster), Frank Stephenson (designer of countless exotic cars built by McLaren, Maserati, Ferrari). Future classics and Smart Buys were discussed by Quentin Willson and Philip Bell (Editor of Classic Cars magazine) which proved to be extremely popular with the crowd.
Philip Glennister went into great detail on Saturday describing his thought process behind the curation of the Getaway Cars feature and shared a few extra stories much to the amusement of the crowd.
On Sunday the highlight had to be F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell talking about his racing career – truly a fascinating man and deserving winner of the World Championship. His endurance, talent and stories were captivating. No space was left unturned as people listened in to his anecdotes of the racing scene in the 80’s and 90’s.
The Grand Avenue has played host to a wide variety of themes since the inception of The London Classic Car Show. With everything from “The Perfect 10” to “6 Nations” to “A Century of Motoring” drawing the focus of the appreciative crowd.
For 2018 we brought our focus onto “Specials”. These unique beasts are always steeped in history and mystique owing to their unique designs and often outlandish performance. Naturally, having so many in one place proved to be quite the spectacle. What will the 2019 theme be?
The London Classic Car Show Icon Award
The remarkable motor racing career of Nigel Mansell CBE was celebrated with a spectacular showcase at the London Classic Car Show.
From his arrival Mansell was on top form, delighting the crowds with some spectacular driving in an Eagle E-Type Speedster, 90’s Benetton F1 car and later a Ferrari Dino F1 car. Even in the tight spaces of the ExCeL he drove beautifully and proved why he was a deserved recipient of the Icon Award, his car control was superb!
It is now 25 years since Mansell finally achieved his holy grail by winning the FIA Formula One World Championship title in 1992. To mark that milestone a special display of his cars were available for all to see and enjoy. A Williams FW14B (his Championship winning car), his Crosslé he used to hone his craft, the Rover SD1 he once used in Rally Cross and the infamous Lotus-Renault he tried to push over the line in Dallas.
Mansell met many of his many lifelong fans, signed autographs and shared memories with show-goers in the Supagard Theatre.
Nigel first came to prominence when winning the British Formula Ford Championship in 1977 before graduating to Formula Three. He then made his Formula One debut for Lotus in 1980 and over the following 15 years won no fewer than 31 grands prix with Williams and Ferrari – an amazing tally only now topped by reigning four time world champion Lewis Hamilton among British F1 drivers.
The Englishman is also in the record books for being the only driver to win back-to-back Formula One World Championship and CART IndyCar World Series crowns, a feat he achieved when clinching America’s premier open-wheel title in 1993.
Nigel said “I’m delighted, honoured and, indeed, somewhat humbled that The London Classic Car Show has selected me to be its special ‘Icon’ at this year’s event. Seeing all those amazing cars which I raced during my career always brings back some incredible memories.”