Story and photos by Jonathan Sharp
London Docklands was once the place where hundreds of ships carrying thousands of tons of cargo and goods from all around the globe would be unloaded at the piers.
Now it is home to the Millennium Dome, or the O2 arena as it is now called; Canary Wharf houses the merchant bankers and the ExCel Exhibition Center is a major contemporary exhibition hall with an address of the Royal Victoria Dock and where the London Classic Car Show was held on February 23-26.
The London show was actually two shows in one. The London Classic Car show features the grand avenue car parade. Across the corridor was the inaugural Historic Motorsport International show. One ticket gained access to both.
Two weeks after Retromobile, us old car nuts usually decamp to the ExCel for the newest show on the calendar, and the first event of the UK season. The London Classic Car Show is a bit different to the normal type of car show, as at London, some of the cars are driven…inside! The main hall is dived in two by what the organizers call the ‘grand avenue’. Twice each day during the show, various cars divided into several classes are paraded in front of the visitors. The classes this year were Saloon, Coupe, Convertible, Sports car, Supercar, Hatchback, Shooting Brake, Single Seater and Aerodynamic Pioneer.
Each year the show honors an invited guest. This year it was multiple Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx. It was because of this that I decided to attend the gala evening on the Thursday where Jackie was joined by Derek Bell, Jurgen Barth, Dario Francitti, Jackie Oliver and Emanuele Pirro. As can be seen from the shots of the drivers below, taken during the Gala Evening event, they seemed to be enjoying themselves.
More about this unusual multi-event can be seen at London Classic Car Show.
Others and assorted
In the adjacent hall, and sharing space with the inaugural Historic Motorsport International show, was the car club section where various one-make car clubs had been invited to show of their classics. My favorite was the Renault Alpine Owners club stand which included this trick-looking A110 and elegant A610.