London Concours d’Elegance 2021

Held on the beautiful, historic grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company, the London Concours d’Elegance was a showcase of over 80 superb cars across a number of classes and displays.

One of the larger displays was honouring the 60th anniversary of Jaguar’s E-Type with a number of special examples.

Here is chassis 860001, the first right hand drive E-Type coupe and the sole surviving ‘no.1’ chassis car in existence.

Peter Lindner’s E-Type Lightweight rebuilt at Jaguar’s plant in Coventry with low drag bodywork. The car went on to compete at the LeMans 24 Hours and Nurburgring 1000km in 1967. Sadly the car was involved in a accident which killed 5 people, including Lindner, at the 1000km race in Paris 1974. The car remained in France until 2007, when it went through a 5000 hour restoration.

86004, another very early coupe raced at both club and international level under the ownership of RAF officer, Jaguar dealer, race car driver and team owner Dick Protheroe (a very interesting character who I highly advice you look deeper into). Note the blue nose on the car, a tribute to Protheroe’s Bugatti Type 37, and the extended rear window, which I just found an interesting modification.

There were a number of cars representing all three ‘Series’ of E-Type.

Harry Metcalfe, who I know from the YouTube channel Harry’s Garage, but who also co-founded Evo Magazine, had a display celebrating his wide collection of both cars and motorbikes.

My personal highlights of his cars on display were the two 1980s poster cars, the Ferrari Testarossa and the Lamborghini Countach.

The Lamborghini Espada was also a really interesting car. I’ve never seen one before. I like it!

Harry’s collection isn’t just Italian cars though, he has quite a varied collection.

I also got to see Harry (middle) speaking about his experiences commissioning restorations and what to plan for, which was interesting. He pays his restorers monthly as the restoration proceeds so he doesn’t get a big bill at the end of the project, which I think is a fantastic idea for cash flow, especially if the restoration goes over budget.

There were two ‘Great Marques’ classes being judged. One was Lotus and the other was Porsche. Here are a selection of cars from the Lotus display. As you can see it covers the history of the brand.

This Elite Riviera was of particular interest to me. One of only 7 Elites with the removable Riviera roof.

The class winner and the winner of Best in Show was the LM150 Lotus Eleven, the Coventry Climax powered race car.

Lotus themselves were present at the show, displaying their new 2000hp (yes that’s 2000hp) electric hypercar, the Evija.

On the Great Marques Porsche display there were a few early 356s. The blue Carrera was the first of only 10 356A GS Carreras to be built as right hand drive cars. It was that car that won the class.

There were only a few 911s, but those that were there were quality.

Here we have a 997 GT3 RS 4.0. A stunning car and I bet a monster to drive!

A 930 Turbo with a very 1970s look!

The 928. V8 at the front, rear wheel drive coupe. What’s not too love?! Tony Montana also owned one in Scarface which is also pretty cool.

The 959 and Carrera GT. Revered super cars of different eras.

The Italian Berlinetta class was a celebration of Italian coupes of the 1960s. The dark blue 1969 Maserati Ghibli won the class. All the cars in this category were absolutely stunning though!

The Ferrari 250 SWB (car no.7 pictured below) took the Chairman’s Award. It was once raced by Sir Sterling Moss and Graham Hill.

The Lost Marques class was quite an open category. Sadly plenty of manufacturers have gone out of business over years. This class was to commemorate some of them.

The class attracted an interesting variety of machines from the Austin-Healey Sprite, which is mechanically the same as the MG Midget.

To this beautiful Bristol 400:

The AC Ace, the car that acted as the basis for Carroll Shelby’s Cobra. This car won the class.

My favourite car of the event was also in this class. This absolutely beautiful 1926 Packard 426 with a custom boat-tail body.

Check out the detailing on the very tip of the tail and the arrows that run up the flank of the car.

The Young Timers class covered German performance cars from the 1980s up until the early 2000s. As an owner of a W202 C240 Sport I found this class really inspiring. Although the bodywork is now fantastic, the car still needs a lot of work to get it to this level.

The Koenig kitted Mercedes C126 SEC was the winner of this class.

‘Kustom’ cars are late 1930s to very early 1960s American cars that have been lowered, had the roof chopped to make a shorter silhouette and many have had all the external trimmings shaved to make them super smooth. This style of customisation began with the greasers in the 1950s.

They’re not really something that I’ve covered on this blog before, but it’s definitely something I would like to cover more of in the future. The attention to detail and finish of these cars is incredible and I bet they look superb on the road!

This little Austin A40 Somerset was a nice addition to the class. It was cool to see a British car done in this style!

The biggest draw of the day for me was the ‘200mph Club’. This was in essence a collection of hyper-cars, both old and new, capable of over 200mph.

The 1990 Lister LeMans was the old ball of the group. It’s a heavily modified Jaguar XJS delivering 482bhp which was a huge amount in 1990. Only 19 examples of the car were ever made.

Four of the Ferrari big 5: The F40, F50, Enzo and LaFerrari. The F40 won the class and rightly so, it was presented with the original tan luggage and is completely original with just 2700 miles on the clock from new.

This is the first Zonda I’ve seen in person. Even by supercar standards it’s an absolutely bonkers machine.

Bugatti’s Veyron was always one of my favourite super cars. In 2005 this made over 1000hp and would reach 252mph whilst still being really luxurious and pleasant to drive normally. An absolutely stunning machine which really pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved. Even 16 years later it’s incredibly impressive!

The Chiron is the evolution of the Veyron. I always considered the Chiron to be hanging on the coat tails of the Veyron. In my eyes it was just a Veyron on steroids and I never really paid it too much attention. Having seen the car in person though, I realise just how special it is and, much like it’s predecessor it too is an incredible feat of engineering in it’s own rights.

The blue weave in the carbon looked lovely.

These brakes have to be the largest I’ve seen on a factory standard car.

A manual Murcielago roadster.

Finally, the Diablo GT.

I really enjoyed my time at the London Concours d’Elegance. Every single car there was special and, whilst this was a long blog post, there were a lot more stories and could tell and photos in my album that I could put on here. I had a superb day and I will most certainly be going again next year!

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By Richard Francis

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