A racing-heritage theme dominates the Jaguar collective at Earls Court. In a wonderful demonstration of the longevity of the brand in motorsport, the vehicle line-up consists of a 1950 XK120, 1956 long-nose D-type, 1988 XJR-9 and the latest Formula E car, ready for the next generation of Jaguar’s motorsport endeavours.
What a magnificent celebration of the pinnacle of British automotive excellence: references to the world’s oldest international sporting trophy (nautical, as it goes, but that in itself a brilliant example of how cars have as much sporting pedigree as any other challenge), right up to the next frontier in electric motorsport, all on display in the world’s most spectacular and, frankly, only serious historic race meeting staged entirely in period costume.
Then again, if the Germans tickle your fancy at Earls Court this year, BMW and Porsche will be out in force.
While Porsche is sticking resolutely to the modern face of the marque, with one of the first chances to see the handsome new Panamera in the flesh, BMW is picking up where it left off after the Festival of Speed, with its centenary celebrations. This time, there’s an interpretation of BMW headquarters in the Fifties, moving into a Fifties vision of a futuristic control room, with a timeline linking the two. A BMW 507, 328 and Isetta will sit alongside the electric i3 and i8. Two Rolls-Royce Phantoms from the BMW Group will be on display, as well as R50, R32 and R7 motorbikes and two Minis.
The Earls Court Motor Show exhibition, for the uninitiated, sits infield at the Revival. Simply follow the pedestrian tunnel under the circuit from the main entrance, emerge blinking into the light and head straight ahead and slightly left until you hit the big white building. It’s the perfect example of the ability of motoring marques to innovate through the decades, to evolve, to meet customer demand, to reflect the zeitgeist and, ultimately, to thrive.