With the mist and fog swirling around the imposing Alexandra Palace, this iconic building seemed the perfect setting for the inaugural Classic & Sportscar London Show, held over the Halloween weekend.
In the planning stages for some years by Goodwood’s media partner colleagues at Classic and Sports Car, GRR were in attendance to see if this new London-based classic car show would be a seasonal trick or treat, and having toured the exhibition extensively, we are pleased to report the latter.
Okay, so the first Classic & Sports Car London Show may have been confined to just three halls, and visitors hoping to see vast swathes of ‘regular’ affordable classics, or buy parts for their MGBs and Morris Minors, initially may have been disappointed.
However, the Ally Pally event was aimed squarely at quality over quantity, making the most of the limited exhibition space available, with preference given to top-end rare and desirable classic cars, presented by a number of the UK’s and Europe’s leading classic car dealers – some of the Continental specialists exhibiting in Britain for the very first time.
Many dealers reported good enquiry levels, with a few selling cars directly from their stand at the Show, including a £3million Ferrari 275 GTB on the first day (if the rumours we heard were accurate). Among the more interesting cars for sale that caught our eye was an original, unrestored, Ferrari 375 GTB/4 Daytona coupe, with just 11,000 miles on the clock, as well as a tempting Ferrari 288 GTO, and an arresting Bentley Blue Train evocation.
An extensive classic vehicle display by Essex-based JD Classics included the ex-Scarab Grand Prix Fiat-Bartoletti double-decker race transporter – sold recently by Bonhams at its Goodwood Revival auction – revamped with Cobra livery at the Show to reflect the Shelby 427 and one-off Ghia Sonic-bodied Cobra ‘parked’ on board.
In Ally Pally’s main exhibition hall, the Classic & Sports Car team curated three themed displays, focusing on Aston Martins, Sir Stirling Moss’s racing cars (including his early Cooper MK IV, plus Vanwall VW5, BRM Type 25 and Lotus 18 grand prix) and the ten Best British Cars Ever, as voted for by the readers of the magazine.
The stylish central display included pristine examples of Britain’s finest, including a Jaguar XKSS, Lotus Seven, Mini Cooper, Ford GT40, Range Rover, McLaren F1, and the ultimate people’s choice, the Jaguar E-Type. We hope the second C&SC London Show is as good as the first.
Photography by Gary Axon