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The organisers of Chelsea AutoLegends held a press preview day at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea on Wednesday 18 May, to showcase the themes for the 2011 edition, to be held at the venue on Sunday 04 September. The Royal Hospital was founded by King Charles II in 1682, who commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to design the buildings to provide “succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war”, to become the home of the famed Chelsea Pensioners, with their striking scarlet uniforms, always worn with great national pride. The grounds of the Royal Hospital have played host to the world famous Chelsea Flower Show since 1913, and the organisers of AutoLegends think that it would be nice if there show could enjoy similar longevity, and help in providing funds for the hospital.

The inaugural running of the event in 2010 was an outstanding success, far exceeding the expectations of the organisers, with over 7000 people in attendance during the day. However, the unprecedented number of attendees put pressure on the catering and other facilities available, realising this, the organisers have addressed this aspect for the upcoming gathering in September.

At the presentation it was announced that motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss OBE has agreed to be the official patron of the event, recalling ”Mini Coopers, mini skirts, E-Types, The Beatles…. Those really were the days”. One of the main themes for the 2011 event will be “The Swinging Sixties”, very apt, as the King’s Road, a short distance away in Chelsea, was the centre of the urban chic fashion scene along with Carnaby Street in the West End. Apart from cars of the era, like the iconic Jaguar E- Type, and the Mini Cooper, both celebrating their 50th anniversaries, it is planned to celebrate the youth culture and fashion explosion of that decade.

Other showcases for the event will be iconic Le Mans cars, Group B rally cars, classic motorcycles, the ten most significant road cars as chosen by Autocar magazine, after publishing their 5000th road test earlier this year, and patrons, the private entrants, like Rob Walker, who did battle with the manufacturers teams in international racing. It won’t be all nostalgia though, as the younger generation is not forgotten, with a display of modern supercars, Including a Bugatti Veyron SS. Additions to the programme include a supercar run from the Royal Automobile Club’s headquarters in Pall Mall to the event, along with another for motorcycles from the famed sixties motorcyclists hang-out, the Ace Café, on London’s North Circular Road.

Owners of past and present classic and supercars have the opportunity to become an integral part of the display area, with a limited number of reserved parking spaces available at £20 per vehicle. General admission is £20 per person on the day, with free admission for accompanied children under 12. A 25% saving can be made by advance booking, either online
www.ChelseaAutoLegends.com  or by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 581 0760. Make a note of the date, 04 September, in your diary now, for what promises to be another great automobile feast in central London.

Keith Bluemel