Words: Elliott Hughes | Photography: Phil Kroll
The London Classic Car Show finally got underway at Syon Park in Brentford on June 25-27, after the original scheduling of the event at London’s Olympia venue in February was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the show’s displays focused on a look back at the history of the automobile. This meant the celebration of several important motoring anniversaries: 100 years of the Bugatti Brescia and Lancia Lambda, 60 years of the Jaguar E-type and 135 years of the motor car.
Each car celebrating an important anniversary had a dedicated display honouring its place in automotive history. Highlights included the Jaguar E-type bearing the registration ECD 400 that once belonged to Graham Hill, as well as the Bugatti Trust’s stunning collection of nine Type 22 Brescias.
The Evolution of Design display explored the development of automotive design over the past 135 years, tying disparate models into a wider context of vehicle styling; from “1930s Style and Elegance” to “80s and 90s Brutalism”.
Besides looking at the automotive past, the event aimed to tackle the thorny issue of the classic car industry’s future. The show explored the electrification of classic cars by showcasing a variety of iconic models that had been converted to EV powertrains by UK-based companies including Electrogenic and Vintage Voltage. These vehicles included a Series II Land Rover, Jaguar E-type, Citroën DS and a Porsche 356.
The newly formed Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) was present at the event, promoting its message on the sustainability and economic importance of the UK’s classic car industry. The HCVA points out that a classic car emits less CO2 annually than the average person’s laptop and mobile phone usage.
The questions surrounding the future of classic cars and the combustion engine were thrashed out on the Talks Theatre stage as a key part of the weekend. The stage saw several notable automotive figures such as Richard Hammond, Frank Stephenson and Tiff Needell deliver talks and host Q&As.
An interesting revelation to come out of the Talks Theatre was Frank Stephenson’s involvement in the Moon Mark project, in which two remote controlled racing cars will race on the Lunar surface, after being launched on one of Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rockets. The ground-breaking race is slated to take place later this year, although a date is unconfirmed.
The London Classic Car Show aims to return for 2022 unimpeded by the pandemic, more details to follow. For more information head to the London Classic Car Show website.
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