My first time at the London Concours was last year which you can read about here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2021/06/09/london-concours-delegance-2021/. Although I’ve covered plenty of classic car and pre-war car shows before, the 2021 concours was the first show that I’d been to which had such a luxurious, high-class sort of atmosphere.
I really enjoyed it. As strange as it may sound, I found it confidence boosting to even attend such an event. As a young man from South Essex who works at a hardware store day to day, who takes pictures of cars on a 10 year old Nikon DSLR and then writes about them on a old ASUS laptop – to be in an environment surrounded by millions of pounds worth of cars, and people whose wrist watches probably cost more than my own classic car, it was one of those “how the heck did I get here?” moments. Sort of like when I went to SEMA in Las Vegas, it made me feel like the work that I put into this blog and my other social media is paying off.
For me then, the 2022 Concours had an awful lot to live up to, and I’m pleased to announce it did not disappoint!
Walking through the big iron gates of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) off of City Road, one can breathe a sigh of relief as the hussle of the city is left behind.
The HAC is an interesting venue. A perfectly curated lawn flanked on three sides by tall buildings. On the fourth side is the HAC’s historic Armoury House, backed by the woodlands of Bunhill Fields burial grounds.
Despite being near the heart of the capital it’s an incredibly tranquil place. The sounds of the city being blocked out by the tall structures that surround the venue. Replaced by soothing music from ‘Bangers & Brass’ whose music complimented the serene atmosphere of the show perfectly.
The 100 or so vehicles in the show were split into catagories to be judged. The first catagory was called ‘The Italian Spiders’ which featured open topped Italian cars from the 1950s to the 1970s.
The winner of this class and the winner of the ‘Chairman’s Award’ was this short wheelbase Ferrari 250GT California. One of 56 Californias built.
The next class was the ‘Japanese Jewels’. This was a collection of some of the most influential Japanese sports cars ever produced. Cars ranged from the mid 1960s, thorugh the golden era of the late 1980s to the early 2000s and even into the 2010s with the V10 Lexus LFA (one of the best sounding production cars ever in my opinion).
The winner of this class, along with overall ‘Best in Show’ was this 1967 Toyota 2000GT. I’ve never seen one with the headlights up before! It’s such a great looking little car.
Next up we have the ‘Fins and Chrome’ class celebrating American cars of the 1950s.
‘Fins and Chrome’ was won by this 1958 Cadillac Sedan de Ville.
The ‘Great Marques’ class of this year featured the cars of Mercedes-Benz.
This class was won by a beautiful 1955 300SL Gullwing.
‘Great British History’ is a celebration of pre-war British motoring. The cars in this class ranged from the famous Bentley 4.5ltr ‘Blower’ to a 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost to the magnificent little Austin 7 Swallow which I absolutely wanted to take home.
The Austin 7 Swallow. Basically a Austin 7 chassis with a body designed by the Swallow Side Car Company. This was my favourite car of the day. I absolutely fell in love with it.
The car that won this class was a Jaguar SS100 with race history in Australia.
‘The Pursuit of Speed’ class looks at super cars throughout the ages from the Lamborghini Countach to Ford’s GT.
The winner of this class was the Koenigsegg Agera that we saw earlier in the year at Salon Prive (an event which you can read about here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2022/04/23/salon-prive-london-2022/)
The owner opened the car up. It was cool to get a look inside it. I don’t much fancy servicing it though! I suppose if you have a car like that though you don’t tend to service it yourself.
The ‘Ode to Ducati’ class was the only motorcycle class. I’m not too sure what I’m looking at here truth be told, I hope some of you enjoy it though!
Though not a Concours class, there was a display of coachbuilt and concept cars throughout the ages ranging from a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Pick-Up truck to a Lotus Elan shooting brake.
My favourite of the collection was the Mercedes F200 Imagination. I saw this car before way back in 2016 at Mercedes Benz World Brooklands (which you can read about here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2016/08/29/mercedes-benz-world-brooklands/) It was really nice to be able to get up close to it. The vehicle can be driven by both the driver and passenger through the joystick in the middle of the car.
As with last year the show also had a display of a particular collector’s cars. This year the spotlight was on Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia – founder of Euro Car Parts.
There were a number of vendors displaying their products. Alpine brought along two A110s and one of their Formula 1 cars.
Lotus brought their electric hypercar the Evija.
The new Emira platform.
Finally they brought along the concept of their new SUV the Eletre.
The auction house Gooding and Company brought along a beautiful array of cars. Of particular note is the Porsche 550 Spyder, once owned by Formula 1’s Jo Siffert, which has spent the last 35 years in a barn in the swiss countryside.
Electrifying classic cars is a hot topic at the moment. RBW Electric Classic Cars had a couple of converted cars on display.
The final thing I’d like to show you today is the prototype Voxi Solar Taxi by VO.
This thing was receiving a lot of attention and I’m sure you can see why.
It’s a little two seat taxi prototype which has a full EV range of 100-150 miles which can now be boosted with the pedal assist that’s recently been engineered into it.
The pedal assist also means that it can legally be driven in cycle lanes. Super helpful for cutting down journey time in the city!
I think it’s a fun project. Check out their website to learn more. vovoxi.com
To conclude, I really enjoyed my time at the London Concours. It’s very easy for me to get to so I’m sure that this will be an event I cover annually. It’s such a nice, easy day out it would be rude of me not too!
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By Richard Francis