The world’s first sports car, first all-wheel-drive Formula One winner and first Ferrari Superleggera are heading to London next month – although you might not spot them amid all the Minis.
The trio are among the highlights at this year’s London Classic Car Show, which has ‘first’ as its main theme and which, like every other show this year, will also pay tribute to Alec Issigonis’ diminutive icon.
Other cars on display at ExCel London in February will include the 1914 Bentley DFP 12/40hp 2-litre Tourist Trophy Speed Model and a rare Bricklin SV-1.
There’s plenty to look forward to seeing, then, but we’re most excited about the Stirling Moss car. The Ferguson P99 actually holds a dual distinction: when Moss steered it to victory at Oulton Park in 1961, it became not only the first all-wheel-drive vehicle to win a Formula One race but also the very last front-engined machine to triumph at that level.
The Prince Henry Vauxhall, meanwhile, is considered by many to be the world’s first sports car. Very few are left these days, but one of them – a 1914 4-litre model designed by famed engineer Laurence Pomeroy – will be at the ExCel.
Another rarity is the 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Superleggera Coupé by Carrozzeria Touring. It’s the ninth road car ever made by the firm and the earliest road Ferrari in the UK. And, let’s face it, it’s gorgeous.
Of course this being the 60th anniversary of the Mini, the London Classic Car Show will also include a sizeable feature on the British icon.
There’ll be a host of Mini variants on display, including a rare Heinz 57 Wolseley Hornet Convertible and a Mini Moke from the 1960s TV series The Prisoner.
The London Classic Car Show takes place between 14 and 17 February. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
Ferguson P99 image: John Lakey