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The London Classic Car Show speeds into a new venue later this week, taking over the grand old Olympia in Kensington for four days of fun.
There’s a lot more to look forward to than just the fresh venue, though: there’ll be an estimated 500-plus classics on display, many of which will be available to buy, while the new ‘Car Stories’ feature will showcase six very special models.
So, where should you start? Read on for our pick of the cars to look out for.
1. Ex-Graham Hill Lotus 49B dream car
It’s heartening to know that the automotive aspirations of Formula One design supremo Adrian Newey started like many of ours – with a Tamiya model, when he was 10.
The Tamiya in question was a Lotus 49B R8 racer, and unlike most of us, Newey now owns one. What’s more, it’s an ex-Graham Hill car that the F1 man restored himself.
The Lotus is one of six classics in the new-for-2020 ‘Car Stories’ feature, which will see classic car expert Max Girardo speaking with the people who know them best. You can view a full schedule at the bottom of this article.
2. Mr Bond is expecting you
This Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation is another British classic in the ‘Car Stories’ showcase, and it’s sure to draw the crowds just a few months ahead of the release of No Time to Die.
It’s based on James Bond’s 1964 car and is packed with fully functioning gadgets, including revolving numberplates, a smokescreen generator and oil squirters.
Aston Martin Works’ President Paul Spires will be on hand to explain all.
3. Audi’s quattro sweeps to 40
We’ll happily take any excuse to gawp at a bunch of Audi quattros, so the fact that the model is celebrating its 40th birthday at the London Classic Car Show will do nicely.
If you’re a fan – and who isn’t? – then look out for the five-strong display that will honour the quattro both as a road car and as a rally star.
Among the examples on show will be the 1985 S1 E2 that Walter Röhrl drove to victory at that year’s Semperit Rallye, an early 10V from 1981, and one of the final 20V versions built.
4. Rare Maserati Ghibli goes under the hammer
There are so many cars for sale at the LCCS that we couldn’t possibly choose a favourite – but this 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder in Fly Yellow would certainly be high up the list.
One of just four right-hand drive, European-spec examples, it’ll go under the hammer at Coys’ auction at the show on Saturday (22 February).
That it was produced for display at the 1970 London Motor Show, its colour chosen to attract attention, makes its sale here all the more appropriate.
But if its £800-900,000 pre-sale estimate is a little more than you can manage, take a look at the full lot list to see if there’s something else you fancy.
Outside of the auction, keep your eyes peeled for the first Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold and delivered in the UK – which will be offered by Hemmels and which is expected to achieve around £1.3 million.
Another one to watch is the one-of-75 Aston Martin DB4GT which Aston Engineering Ltd has for sale, though that would set you back more than £2m…
5. Celebrating the great Bruce McLaren
Motorsport great Bruce McLaren will be honoured with The London Classic Car Show’s 2020 Icon Award, 50 years after the racer and team founder lost his life at Goodwood.
Although the Icon Award will be presented at the event’s Preview Evening on Thursday (20 February), a special McLaren display will run throughout the show, uniting four notable cars with memorabilia such as trophies, his crash helmet and his racing jacket.
The four-wheeled exhibits look particularly interesting: they’ll include the Austin Seven Ulster restored by McLaren and his father, and later campaigned by Bruce, plus an M8D, M14D and M7C/1.
6. Range Rover hits 50
Eight Range Rovers are joining forces at Olympia to mark the model’s half century, so if you’re a fan of this luxury go-anywhere vehicle, you won’t want to miss it.
The earliest examples on show will be a 1974 Range Rover Classic Reborn, a two-door restored to its factory spec, and a ’94 Range Rover Vogue LSE.
7. Porsche 962C tells all
In another of the six ‘Car Stories’, Tiff Needell will be telling the tale of this 1987 Richard-Lloyd-Racing Rothmans Porsche 962 in which Jochen Mass won the Kyalami 500 and that Jonathan Palmer and Mauri Baldi steered to a win at the Norisring ‘Money Race’.
Needell is particularly well-placed to share the car’s story: four of his 14 Le Mans starts were in 962s.
8. Moss’ marvellous Maserati
A serious piece of eye-candy and an even more serious bit of kit, the Maserati 250F in the ‘Car Stories’ showcase is sure to turn heads.
Mark Hales will be on hand to share its secrets.
‘Car Stories’ provisional schedule at The London Classic Car Show*
Friday 21 February
- 10:45 Duesenberg Model J with Bradley Mauger
- 12:15 Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM with Ian Callum CBE and Adam Donfrancesco
- 13:45 Maserati 250F with Mark Hales
- 15:15 Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation with Paul Spires
- 16:15 Richard-Lloyd-Racing Rothmans Porsche 962C with Tiff Needell
Saturday 22 February
- 10:45 Maserati 250F with Mark Hales
- 12:15 Lotus 49B with Adrian Newey OBE
- 15:00 Lotus 49B with Adrian Newey OBE
- 16:00 Richard-Lloyd-Racing Rothmans Porsche 962C with Tiff Needell
Sunday 23 February
- 10:30 Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM with Ian Callum CBE
- 13:15 Richard-Lloyd-Racing Rothmans Porsche 962C with Tiff Needell
- 14:15 Maserati 250F with Mark Hales
- 16:15 Duesenberg Model J with Bradley Mauger
* Car Stories schedule is provisional and subject to change ahead of the event
The sixth London Classic Car Show opens with a Preview Evening on Thursday (20 February) and runs until Sunday. You can buy tickets here.