Doors open and revved up, the fifth annual London Classic Car Show opened its door at the ExCeL London Thursday 14th February 2019.
Experts, collectors and the usual classic enthusiasts flocked to witness the beginning the weekends activities, which run from today until the 17th.
Cordially opened by guests of honour Ian Callum, Edd China, Quentin Willson, Tiff Needell and a dapper looking Jonny Smith, the show is anticipated to attract around 40,000 visitors to celebrate their love of historic models on Valentine’s Day and throughout the weekend.
To mark the 50th anniversary of much-loved car chase movie The Italian Job, surviving models were reunited and joined by actors that appeared in the film, Hazel Collinson, the widow of the film’s director Peter Collinson, and David Salamone, who drove one of the iconic Minis.
The film’s original Aston Martin DB4 Convertible and red Jaguar E-Type Roadster were joined by identical reproductions of six other models featured in the film, including a Lamborghini Miura, OM Furgonato Sicurezza ‘Bullion’ Van, Harrington Legionnaire coach and of course, the red, white and blue Minis.
“It’s amazing that The Italian Job has become such an iconic film,” said Collinson. “Peter would have been stunned – he never would have believed it. It was a fun movie, but it didn’t strike him as being the best movie he’d made. Seeing the cars together here today at the London Classic Car Show has been lovely. We lived with these cars for weeks in Turin; they look beautiful, of course. I was slightly scared all the time during filming as there weren’t the safety measures then that there are now, so all the stunts were quite dangerous. It’s lovely that all these years on the film is still being so well received.”
During the evening’s opening event, Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum, was honoured with the London Classic Car Show Icon Award in recognition of his illustrious career and his impact throughout the industry. Some of Callum’s most notable and career-defining cars are being shown in a celebratory exhibition of his work, including the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and Ford RS200, along with his more recent accomplishments, the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and F-TYPE, winner of ‘World Car Design of the Year’ (2013).
It was the first run of the show’s much-anticipated Grand Avenue, led by a congregation of Minis to celebrate the model’s 60th anniversary, while an 1885 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the world’s first production automobile, headed up a parade of memorable machines that mark ‘Firsts’ within the automotive industry. Fitting tributes were paid to the centenaries of both Bentley and Citroën with a collection of models from throughout their 100 years.
These included the 1914 Bentley DFP 12/40hp 2-litre Tourist Trophy Speed Model, which acted as the stepping stone from W.O. Bentley’s position as a motor dealer to a manufacturer, and the 1925 Citroën C3 5HP ‘Cloverleaf’ three-seater, which is known for its central back seat, just like the third leaf of a clover.
Official auction partner Coys opened viewings of over 100 classic lots set to be auctioned over the weekend. Highlights include cars owned by celebrities Cilla Black and David Beckham, along with concourse-ready classics from Aston Martin, Porsche and Maserati. The lots will be divided across two auctions, set to take place at 14:00 on both Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February.
The show has also brought together premium classic car dealers from across the country to showcase a vast array of automotive investment opportunities, along with a comprehensive selection of the UK’s leading car clubs, all of whom have brought their most beautifully cared for classics to be enjoyed by show visitors. With a wide selection of car products, accessories, memorabilia and renowned restorers also at the London Classic Car Show, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.