Regent Street Motorshow – Sat 2nd Nov 2013

1904 Oldsmobile. 1 cylinder, 7hp. Note the boat like tiller instead of a steering wheel!
1904 Oldsmobile. 1 cylinder, 7hp. Note the boat like tiller instead of a steering wheel!

This event has been held annually for a number of years now to coincide with the weekend of the London To Brighton Veteran Car Run. To show the cars Regent Street is closed is closed off between Oxford Circus and Picadilly on the Saturday to allow a range of the veteran cars participating in Sunday’s run to be viewed at close quarters. Their owners also tend to turn up clad in matching period costume which makes for quite a spectacle.

In addition to the main event (the veteran cars) there is usually a display of more modern motors. This year the 100th Anniversary of Aston martin and the 50th Anniversary of the Porsche 911 should have resulted in a special display of cars representing the different marques over 100 and 50 years respectively. Aston had a reasonable stab at it but Porsche were a dismal failure!

Healey Silverstone. Note the Electron front suspension.
Healey Silverstone. Note the Electron front suspension.

There was a tiny display promoting the Silverstone Historic Festival which was nice as a) it is a good historic car event and b) they’d gone to the bother of finding a Healey Silverstone to display.

 

 

Spare tyre doubling-up as rear bumper!
Spare tyre doubling-up as rear bumper!

The Healey Silverstone is a typical 50s “drive to the track & race” special designed by Donald Healey using a Riley or Alvis engine and a handsome front cycle winged basic body/chassis unit.

Two particularly interesting features of the car were the incredibly expensive and exotic front suspension formed from cast Electron and the rear mounted spare doubling-up as a rear bumper by protruding out of the back of the car.

Porsche Display

Modern Martini 911. Yawn!
Modern Martini 911. Yawn!

As an early 911 owner I was really disappointed with the 911 display which seemed to consist entirely of a small number of modern and completely new cars from a Park Lane Porsche dealership. I simply cannot understand why not a single early 911 was on display.

 

Pimp my 911.
Pimp my 911.

OK – so there were a couple of Ruf modified cars and a car backdated into a 2.7 RS Carrera lookalike but where were the 1960s and early 70s cars?  Porsche Club GB or a number of UK early 911 specialists could have provided any number of excellent early cars to show the purity and simplicity of the original Alexander (Butzi) Porsche design and the way that 911s have sadly evolved into fat-flanked, water-cooled modern monstrosities. Medication increased – rant over!

 

Aston Martin Display

A gaggle of Aston DBs & V8s
A gaggle of Aston DBs & V8s

In stark contrast there were new and old models in abundance to represent the 100 years of Aston Martin.  A large number of them  were quite modern but they did have a lot of DB2s, 4s, 5s and 6s, some 70’s William Townes designed V8s and even one pre-war car. This was a much bigger and seemingly more representative display.

 

 

 

 

DB4s are soooooo elegant. Lovely superleggera bodywork by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan & thumping great Tadek Marek engine!
DB4s are soooooo elegant. Lovely superleggera bodywork by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan & thumping great Tadek Marek engine!
Astion Martin Lagonda. Thunderbirds are Go!
Astion Martin Lagonda. Thunderbirds are Go!
William Townes V8s. Not to my taste.
William Townes V8s. Not to my taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did start to think there was a bit of a jingoistic British slant on the whole event but the veteran cars are a truly international bunch so that can’t be true.

Funny how taste changes with age. I used to love DB6s but then preferred DB5s and now much prefer DB4s with their non-slopey headlights.

 

Pre-War Aston
Pre-War Aston

My ultimate favourite Aston has to be the DB4GT Zagato but sadly I don’t have several million quid to indulge myself. Me and my mate Gordon did see one race at Silverstone many years ago just after it had been bought for £4.5 million. It crashed!

Burgundy Aston DB MkIII & Green Lagonda 2.6 DHC
Burgundy Aston DB MkIII & Green Lagonda 2.6 DHC

There were also some modern Renault and BMW cars on display on Regent St. that I completely ignored. Sorry.

Lovely Gulf liveried Aston
Lovely Gulf liveried Aston

Aston Martin Racing (bless them) turned up with a couple of racing GT cars and the Drayson Le Mans car. The GT cars were unceremoniously fired up at hourly intervals to burst eardrums and raise the hairs on the back of people’s necks which was nice during what is normally a quiet and sedate affair.

There really is nothing like the raucous, visceral sound of a racing engine being revved hard and the tourists and hapless passers-by on Regent St. should be grateful for the opportunity to experience it in the middle of a what would have been a bland day of inane wallet-emptying shopping.

 

Veteran Car Display

Whilst it inevitably tends to be the same cars year on year – they never fail to delight. The one thing that does seem to improve is the efforts of the owners/drivers to don something like period costume although some of the tweed suited men look more like modern well heeled country gents than Edwardian begoggled motoring adventurers.

Genevieve. Watch the 1953 film of the same name starring this wonderful 1904 Darraq, a 1904 Spyker (and some actors)
Genevieve. Watch the 1953 film of the same name starring this wonderful 1904 Darraq, a 1904 Spyker (and some actors)

Genevieve – the wonderful Darraq star of the 1953 film by the same name starring John Gregson, Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More & Kay Kendall turns up regular as clockwork. The other main car protagonist in the film is a 1904 Spyker.

Salvesen Steam Car - c 1896 + solid fuel supply
Salvesen Steam Car – c 1896 + solid fuel supply

 

 

 

 

Also present and correct was one of my favourites – the 1896 (or thereabouts) Salvesen Steam Car along with it’s trailer piled high with coal for the journey. How this mobile stove makes it all the way from London to Brighton is beyond me. Hats-off to the stokers. At least they can have a fried breakfast and gallons of tea on the way! Come to think of it they could probably do a full Sunday roast dinner in that stove.

Beautiful 1900 Daimler
Beautiful 1900 Daimler

Tucked away on a side street was this wonderful 1900 2 cylinder, 6hp Daimler. It was just beautiful in black.

When the owner raised the bonnet – the engine was just immaculate.

 

1902 Daimler 2 cylinder, 6hp engine
1902 Daimler 2 cylinder, 6hp engine

 

 

 

"Can I borrow your beard old chap"?
“Can I borrow your beard old chap”?
Veteran brolly basket. Almost as cool as the airplane samurai sword holsters in Kill Bill!
Veteran brolly basket. Almost as cool as the airplane samurai sword holsters in Kill Bill!
Pimp my Edwardian ride. Candy stripe paint, larey lights, serpentine horn, snazzy wheels and low profile (solid rubber) tyres!
Pimp my Edwardian ride. Candy stripe paint, larey lights, serpentine horn, snazzy wheels and low profile (solid rubber) tyres!
"I was that close to painting it beige"!
“I was that close to painting it beige”!

 

 

Looking for the leak!
Looking for the leak!
Racing Napier. Comfy race seats for driver and riding mechanic.
Racing Napier. Comfy race seats for driver and riding mechanic.
State of the art Napier racing cockpit. No poncey flappy paddles here! Just big manly levers, valve thingys and a light switch???
State of the art Napier racing cockpit. No poncey flappy paddles here! Just big manly levers, valve thingys and a light switch???

 

Another racing Napier. 4 cylinder, 100hp!!!
Another racing Napier. 4 cylinder, 100hp!!!
Hand Klaxon horn on racing Napier
Hand Klaxon horn on racing Napier
194 Delaugere et Clayette. 6.3 Litre,4 cylinder, 24hp.
194 Delaugere et Clayette. 6.3 Litre,4 cylinder, 24hp.
1903 Wolsley. 2 cylinder, 10hp.
1903 Wolsley. 2 cylinder, 10hp.
Phare Ducellier acetylene lamp
Phare Ducellier acetylene lamp
"No Mama - I think you'll find that's the way to Amarillo"!
“No Mama – I think you’ll find that’s the way to Amarillo”!
Oldsmobile with a fringe on top…..and driver.
Oldsmobile with a fringe on top…..and driver.
De Dion Bouton
De Dion Bouton
Exposed valve gear of the De Dion Bouton engine
Exposed valve gear of the De Dion Bouton engine
"No I said Humber - not Hummer"!
“No I said Humber – not Hummer”!
They don't know if they're coming or going!
They don’t know if they’re coming or going!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                              Related Posts

Regent Street Motor Show – Sat 31st Oct 2015 Part 2
Regent Street Motor Show – Sat 31st Oct 2015 Part 1
London To Brighton Veteran Car Run – Sun 2nd Nov 2014
Regent Street Motor Show – Sat 1st Nov 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Regent Street Motorshow – Sat 2nd Nov 2013”

  1. Excellent post Phil, shame the Porsche crowd let the side down, pity yours couldn’t have been there to add some interest,

    Are you/did you go to the start of the London to Brighton?

    Cheers

  2. Hi Phil,

    Excellent read on the motorshow. Took me back to our visit. It was great to see the beauties once again,

    Regards
    Sudeesh

  3. Hi Phil, just stumbled across your excellent pictures for the Regent Street display back in 2013. As you asked the question, the pale green early 50s car is indeed a Lagonda 2.6 DHC. The burgundy coloured DB MkIII next to it happens to be mine 😉

    1. Hi Richard, Thanks very much for your corrections to my Regent Street Motorshow 2013 post. I’ve now corrected the caption on the photo of the Lagonda DHC and your fabulous looking Aston Martin DB MkIII. Much appreciated. I hope to bump into you at some future motoring event.
      Cheers,
      Phil.

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