Visitors will be treated to huge, eye-catching displays featuring more than 700 of the world’s finest classic cars, many offered for sale by the country’s top specialist dealers as well as a duo of global new car launches by Lister and Morgan, two of the most iconic marques in motoring history.
Highlights this year also include a special collection of Nigel Mansell’s racing cars plus a rogue’s gallery of getaway cars curated by Philip Glenister, aka DCI Gene Hunt from the television series Life on Mars and its sequel Ashes to Ashes. Glenister will be at show on Saturday followed by Mansell on Sunday.
While no stranger to high profile personalities, the real secret to the London Classic Car Show’s spiralling success is its ground-breaking all-action Grand Avenue. In effect, the central Grand Avenue is a car-themed cat-walk running through the very centre of ExCeL, along which some of the world’s greatest classic road and competition cars are driven. This year’s eye-catching Grand Avenue parades focuses on ‘Specials’, a mouth-watering collection of 60 unique street and competition cars renowned for their rarity, curiousity and desirability.
Maximising its growth, this year’s London Classic Car Show also includes an enlarged Car Club Square, a bigger autojumble and a second Coys auction – this time for automotive memorabilia – on Sunday.
Adding extra value, tickets also give access to Historic Motorsport International, a sister show celebrating the UK’s leading global position in retro racing and rallying.
Those wishing to share their fervour for retro motoring with like-minded individuals – and to savour more than 600 of the world’s finest automotive creations – can take advantage of significant discounts on offer when booking tickets for the 2018 London Classic Car Show in advance. If purchased now, adult admission costs just £25 (£30 on the door) and a range of upgraded Premium and Family Tickets are also available online.
Moreover, all tickets also include entry to the London Classic Car Show’s sister show Historic Motorsport International, which celebrates the UK’s leading role in all areas of historic motor sport.
Lister and Morgan launches
Two of Britain’s most legendary marques will be launching exciting new high-performance models at ExCeL – both cars will be unveiled in a special Grand Avenue show on Thursday evening and remain on display for the event’s remaining three days.
Lister is revealing its stunning 200+mph ‘Thunder’ supercar – the most rapid, powerful and luxurious Lister ever made in the company’s 65-year history. Morgan will be taking the wraps of its latest Morgan +4 GDI – a new road-legal, competition-focused sporting model aimed at those wishing to start racing, rallying or hill climbing. Key figures from both manufacturers will be present at the Show for those eager to find out more.
The Grand Avenue
More than 50 specifically singled out ‘Specials’ will be parading on the Show’s innovative Grand Avenue. The roster of standout machines is topped by a record number of F1 cars ranging from front-engined Ferraris and Aston Martins from the fifties to more modern extreme machines from Benetton and Lotus. Other extraordinary icons on parade include a centre-steer Land Rover prototype from the forties, a twin-engined Mini Cooper from the sixties and the sole surviving 1939 Daimler DB18 Drophead – the very car in which Winston Churchill addressed the crowds during his election campaigns in the darkest hours of the 1940s.
Nigel Mansell – Icon Award
The London Classic Car Show has a history of celebrating automotive greats. In recent years, tributes have been paid to Adrian Newey, Group B rallying, Jacky Ickx and Gordon Murray’s remarkable McLaren F1 supercar. This year, the Icon Award fall on Nigel Mansell CBE.
It is now 25 years since Mansell finally achieved his holy grail by winning the F1 World Championship in 1992 and the special display will feature his title-winning Williams-Renault FW14B as well as the very Williams-Honda FW11 in which he came within a dramatic puncture of lifting the 1986 crown. Mansell will be at the Show on Sunday to sign autographs, share memories and drive F1 cars on The Grand Avenue.
This years London Classic Car Show will pay homage to Getaway Cars – an evocative tribute to those vehicles made famous in movies or used in head-line grabbing real-life robberies. The display has been curated by actor and car enthusiast Philip Glenister.
Famous for ‘firing up’ his Audi quattro when acting as DCI Gene Hunt in Ashes to Ashes, Glenister says he’s used films to select cars that are ‘quick, handle well and have lots of room in the back’. Among those chosen are an Italian Job style Mini Cooper, an Audi S8 D2 super-saloon as seen in Ronin and the actual Lotus Cortina used by gang-member Bruce Reynolds to case out the Great Train Robbery back in 1963. Glenister will be present on Saturday.
For those keen to jump aboard the classic car bandwagon, all the country’s premier dealers will be exhibiting at the show, offering visitors everything from endearing MGs and Triumphs to exotic Ferraris and Rolls Royces.
Among the 250 carefully selected exhibitors are Aston Martin Works, Duncan Hamilton Ltd., Vintage and Prestige Cars, Howard Wise Cars and Joe Macari Performance Cars. A wide selection of car products, accessories, memorabilia and renowned restorers will all be adding to high-octane atmosphere.
Smart Buys with Quentin Willson
Classic car guru Quentin Willson returns to share his Smart Buys experiences courtesy of Classic Cars magazine. A household name from presenting Top Gear and The Car’s the Star on television, Willson will be making regular appearances on all four days of the show advising visitors on what and what not to buy.
Whetting appetites, Quentin has picked three classic cars for display which he thinks will go stratospheric soon: Alfa 2600 Sprint; Bentley Continental R and Jaguar E-type Series 3 Coupe.
Car Club Square
First introduced in 2016, Classic Car Square has established itself as one of the show’s highlights. This year, it has expanded again and will showcase no fewer than 24 of the UK’s leading car clubs representing many top marques such as Aston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini, MG and Porsche. Members of these clubs add an extra dimension to the show by sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors.
They will be displaying some fastidiously maintained classics, too – notably the XJS Club which will be home to very rare cabriolet model commissioned especially by Princess Diana. Uniquely, it comes equipped with a pair small rear seats fitted for her two young Princes: William and Harry.
Historic Motorsport International
Launched last year and celebrating all areas of retro motor sport, Historic Motorsport International has already established itself as the definitive pre-season event for competitors, prepares, race organisers and enthusiasts. Building on 2017’s success, this month’s HMI has grown and is now located within The London Classic Car Show and will boast its own Grand Avenue paddock supported by Octane magazine.
As well as offering unparalleled network opportunities, HMI also features display stands teeming with eye-catching completion cars plus two auctions overseen by Coys. The first, on Saturday afternoon, will see a large line-up of sports, sports racing and competition cars coming under the hammer; the second on Sunday is a new addition for memorabilia.
The Supagard Theatre
HMI is also home to the Supagard Theatre, an open auditorium hosting a series of HMI Conference Programme debates and discussions on Friday followed by celebrity interviews on Saturday and Sunday. Nigel Mansel CBE, Philip Glenister, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Andrew Jordan and Quentin Willson are among those being interviewed by motorsport broadcaster Henry Hope-Frost.