The London Classic Car Show (LCCS) was an amazing exhibition packed full of stunning motors and collectable memorabilia. The four-day event ran from 15-18th February 2018, featuring over 700 cars, 2 car launches, celebrities and special displays. At the centre of it was the ‘Grand Avenue’, a road running through the middle of the ExCel’s South Hall where attendees could watch numerous eye-catching vehicles driving by.
On Thursday, I arrived at the Excel just before the show opened at 4 p.m. and made my way to the main entrance where a collection of photographers had started to build up. Automotive experts Quentin Wilson, Jonny Smith and Alex Riley were about to make things official. I made sure I was in a good position to get a picture of them. They briefly spoke about their passion for classic cars and then moved onto cutting a piece of ribbon which signalled the opening of the event.
I had an hour to quickly look around and gain an understanding of where all the exhibits were located before a photo call with Nick Moran from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on the Getaway Cars display. Straight off the bat, I was greeted by a jaw-dropping Williams Renault FW14B Formula One car, I knew it was a sign of things to come.
After what seemed like a quick look around the Historic Motorsport International section of the hall, it was already time to head over to the Getaway Cars display which had been curated by actor and car enthusiast, Philip Glenister. This display featured cars either made famous in movies or real-life robberies. It was a perfect backdrop for the photo call with Nick Moran who was visibly impressed by the cars on show. He posed with a couple of different cars and playfully cited lines from his role as Eddie in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Shortly after that, Moran was joined by Nick Reynolds the son of Bruce Reynolds who starred in the Great Train Robbery film back in 1963. They posed with the Lotus Cortina that featured in the classic movie. Just over an hour had passed since I entered the show and there was no shortage of things to do and see.
Next up was a photo call with RAF Red Arrows Squadron Leader Adam Collins, however, on the way I had to stop and admire some of the amazing cars casually dotted around the exhibition, namely a Ford GT40, Jaguar XJ220 and Ferrari 308 GTS, to mention but a few. I felt like a kid in a candy shop surrounded by iconic car after iconic car. The great thing about LCCS is that a lot of the cars on display are up for sale so it’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in purchasing a classic to do some browsing.
After tearing myself away from the XJ220, I headed over to the Car Club Square where RAF Red Arrows Squadron Leader, Adam Collins, was already posing for photos alongside the Aston Martin Red 10 car. I took a few snaps and then headed off in search of a much-needed coffee. It wasn’t long until the first Grand Avenue highlight show, something I was very excited to see.
I chose a position right next to the roundabout in the middle of the Grand Avenue and waited eagerly for the parade to begin. It started with some of the quieter coach built specials like the Rolls-Royce 20/25 Gurney Nutting and ended with a much louder Nissan GT-R Nismo GT1 car. In between, the crowd was treated to appearances from a Lotus Judd Type 101, Ralt RT1 F3 Toyota Novamotor, Lamborghini LM002 and much more.
The parade showcased classics for every type of enthusiast ranging from the early 1900’s all the way up to the 2000’s. It was entertaining, often loud and featured knowledgeable narration from petrolhead, Alex Riley. For me, the Grand Avenue illustrated just how much of a family-friendly event the LCCS is, showcasing cars from different eras that appeal to various generations. In short, there’s something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy regardless of their specific taste in cars.
Thursday’s scheduled events ended with the launch of the Morgan 4+ Club and the Lister Thunder. Both cars took a drive down the Grand Avenue and parked up for visitors to admire. Representatives from each company took some time to talk about the cars with presenters Quentin Wilson, Jonny Smith and Alex Riley.
The LCCS also featured appearances by Philip Glenister and Nigel Mansell over the weekend. Mansell took some time to sign autographs, meet fans and even drive some F1 cars down the Grand Avenue. In my eyes, this year’s show was an absolute success and I hope to see it get even bigger and better each year.
One of the things that stood out about this event is how well organised it was. The show had a good layout and included some amazing exhibits. There was always something going on, but not too much. I never felt like I was rushing around unable to take everything in. The timing of launches, celebrity appearances and Grand Avenue parades was spot on and well balanced.
Also, having some of the automotive experts not only host a part of the show but also their own displays was a great idea. It gave visitors a chance to engage with the personalities more intimately. The Supagard Theatre added to this giving attendees a chance to hear expert opinions on various car-related topics.
In summary, The London Classic Car Show 2018 offered something for everyone regardless of age. All the cars on display were well looked after and seemed to be in immaculate condition. I definitely learned a lot about some of the older cars and was really impressed with how knowledgeable and passionate many of the exhibitors were.
Lastly, the inclusion of car launches added a touch of exclusivity to the event and is something I would definitely like to see repeated at future shows.