Classic treats at Excel
Winter can be a troublesome time for petrol heads. Weather too unpredictable to let your pride and joy lose on the roads. The motorsport season is still under wraps, though no doubt there’s all kinds of feverish activity taking places as cars are fettled for another season’s activity. So what to do?
Well we managed to find some solace at the London Classic Car Show at Excel in London’s Docklands. Mind you a word of warning. Leave your chequebook at home because there’s a awful lot of temptation on offer.
Do you know who Ferrari gave the last Enzo off the production line to? The Pope!!!
To be honest to call it a show is a little misleading. It really is more of a gathering of the UKs upmarket second hand car dealers and bespoke builders in the country. But none the worse for that. Think we saw more replica ‘Cobras’ in one place than ever before! E-types are well, quite frankly, common as muck judging on the number of them on display! Mind you the Eagle Speedster and Low Drag GT ‘recreations’ from Sussex based Eagle are an achingly beautiful take on the originals. If money were no object, why would you buy any of the contemporary offerings from mainstream manufacturers when these beauties are on offer?
Talking mainstream, TV star and classic car dealer Joe Macari had some pretty stunning cars on offer including this carbon fibre bodied Ferrari Enzo and slightly lurid red Alcantara interior. Mind you on the basis of if you got it, flaunt it, this certainly ticks the boxes. No official word on who the one careful previous owner was, but guess what? Do you know who Ferrari gave the last Enzo off the production line to? The Pope!!!
Interesting counterpoint to the Enzo’s womb like interior, was the rather more restrained gentleman’s club approach on show in the Bentley Flying Spur. Impeccable taste don’t you know…
Back to Italian stallions, another rather special car at the show was the Lamborghini Miura that starred in the opening sequence of the Italian Job before BMC’s finest stole the show. Of course we all remember how it (well its twin) met its end. But the interesting thing is that having filmed the sequence of the car tumbling down the mountain, the film crew returned the following day to retrieve the wreckage and it was gone! Nicked!
And not a lot of people know that.
Another rather tasty Lambo on parade was this similarly immaculate Countach. Compare the two and it really brings home what a shock the Countach was when launched being light away from the traditional voluptuous style we’d got used to. Mind you, nothing compared to shock owners got when the service bills started mounting up…
But once you’ve done the rounds of the stands, making a mental note of new additions to your dream garage, there’s the centre piece of the show, the Grand Avenue where throughout the day a fairly constant stream of exotica are paraded. Has to be said the sound of race cars, particularly the F1s, in that confined space certainly catches the attention!
The show itself is only on for three days so you need to keep an eye out, but come next year when it will surely be bigger judging by the numbers there on a Friday, it’s well worth sticking in the diary as a way of keeping those winter blues at bay!