The Classic & Sports Car London Show opened its doors at Alexandra Palace for the first time this morning, with countless visitors flooding into the show halls after For The Love of Cars' Ant Anstead cut the green ribbon.
Visitors didn't have long to wait before the winner of the much-anticipated Autoglym Best British Car Ever feature was announced, the red veil finally being removed following months of public voting. Despite fierce competition from some of the most innovative British designs of the past 100 years, including Colin Chapman's ingenious Lotus Seven and Sir Alec Issigonis' ground-breaking Mini Cooper 'S', the overall winner was judged to be the Jaguar E-type – a verdict that went down well with the waiting crowd.
The unveiling was made even more special by the example used to represent the model – arguably one of the most significant and famous to ever be built. The car was one of the original press demonstrators shown at the 1961 Geneva Salon, and only made it to the event on time thanks to a dramatic 17-hour overnight dash by Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis. It is the oldest surviving example, as well as having been used for The Motor magazine's famous 150mph road test.
The E-type proved the clear winner in a group that represented some of the finest, most beautiful and innovative cars to ever be built in Britain. Among the other contenders was the Range Rover Classic, Austin Seven and Ford GT40 – an example of which made a rare trip from Ford's Heritage Centre and proved a big hit with enthusiasts.
"It comes as no great surprise that the Jaguar E-type has been voted the Best British Car Ever," said Classic & Sports Car editor James Page. "With beautiful styling and great performance, the car is a landmark in British car design."