Thousands of visitors flooded the show halls at Alexandra Palace from 30 October-1 November to take in some of the world’s finest classic cars at the inaugural Classic & Sports Car – The London Show.
More than 300 stunning cars filled the event halls for the three-day show, with special displays dedicated to the history of EFG: Aston Martin, the career of Sir Stirling Moss and the Autoglym Best British Car Ever – an accolade that went to the Jaguar E-type.
Also in the running were a Range Rover, Austin Seven, Lotus Seven and Jaguar XKSS, plus a stunning Ford GT40 on loan from the Dagenham firm and a world-class McLaren F1, which starred in Classic & Sports Car magazine earlier this year.
Celebrity guests from the world of motoring were also out in force, led by For The Love of Cars and Building Cars Live’s Ant Anstead. The TV presenter and owner of The Evanta Motor Company was given the honour of opening the event on Friday morning, as well as unveiling the winning Jaguar E-type and taking part in an informal chat with Henry Hope-Frost on the event’s Smooth Radio Interview Stage.
Fittingly, Jaguar’s greatest test driver Norman Dewis also made an appearance on the Smooth Radio stage, enthralling the crowd with stories from the world of motoring, including that of his 17-hour dash across Switzerland in the very Jaguar that represented the model in our Autoglym Best British Car Ever poll – ‘77RW’. Le Mans winner David Brabham, rally BMC and Ford legend Stuart Turner and Formula One engineer and former team boss Ross Brawn also took to the stage.
A number of Europe’s top classic car dealers brought cars to the event, with several finding new homes throughout the course of the weekend. A highlight for many was the imposing Cobra-liveried Bartoletti transporter that took pride of place on JD Classics’ stand, while elsewhere a brace of Ferrari F40s – one featuring on Graypaul’s stand and one from HR Owen – proved a big hit with younger visitors.
Ferrari fans also flocked to an immaculate 275, 288GTO and incredibly low-mileage Testarossa – but not every car in the show halls was in concours condition. Elsewhere, a Lancia D24 continuation from the 1980s belied its age with myriad battlescars and crazed paintwork, evidence of a life hard-lived driving the route of the Carrera Panamericana.
Not all the classics were for sale – a number of visitors took advantage of Alexandra Palace’s dedicated classic car parking area, which was fully subscribed on each day of the event. The morning of the second day saw a convoy of classics make its way to the event from the historic Ace Café, led by the Classic & Sports Car team.
Meanwhile, the outside of the Palace was adorned with a number of eye-catching displays, including a Spitfire fighter, a mobile cinema which played vintage films throughout the weekend, and an incredible Austin Loadstar BBC outside broadcast van.
Fans of two wheels were also well catered for, with the venue’s cavernous Panorama Room playing host to a wonderful selection of historic motorcycles – some 50 in total. The headline act was a pair of barn-find Broughs, which were displayed in as-found condition following a lengthy period in storage. Each had been with the same owner for more than 45 years, and are expected to be auctioned later in the year.
The Broughs were joined by a mesmerising line-up of other significant bikes, including a number from the AA’s historic fleet and a Royal Enfield Constellation that became the poster bike of the Rocker movement in the 1960s thanks to a cameo appearance on the cover of the Daily Mirror. Also on show was a charming group of Velocettes, plus a ‘Red Rooster’ GPO BSA Bantam. Show sponsor Nyetimer sparkling wine offered sparkling wine masterclasses from its customised 1968 Routemaster bus.