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London, 08-10 June, 2021

The fifth running of the London Concours, held in the green oasis haven of the Honourable Artillery Company in the heart of the City of London, attracted around 100 vehicles spread over the various classes and displays. There was a Collector Display which featured cars and motorcycles from the collection of Oxfordshire farmer and Harry’s Garage (You Tube) presenter Harry Metcalfe, another to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar E Type, and one featuring iconic British designs. The judged classes spanned Italian Berlinettas, Great Marques: Lotus, Great Marques: Porsche, Lost Marques, the 200 MPH Club, Young Timers and a Kustom Class.

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For this year’s edition the gathering was expanded from its previous two days to a three day event, with addition of a “Supercar” display on the third day providing a fresh perspective for those in attendance for all days. The 2020 running was blighted by persistent rain on the first day, which left sodden ground for the second day. Fortunately this year the weather was much more clement, with high ambient temperatures and plenty of bright sunshine, a welcome bonus to any outdoor gathering.

The Jaguar E Type display included the very first production example with the well known registration number 77 RW, which was driven out to the 1961 Geneva Motor Show by the renowned Jaguar test driver, the late Norman Dewis. Another first was chassis 860001, which was the first production right hand drive coupé, whilst also present was the famous low-drag Lindner-Nocker coupé, the only example built by the factory. Amongst the Iconic British designs display was another example of the E Type, together with the XJR 15 from the same company, which was penned by Peter Stevens, and of course no iconic British design class would be complete without an example of the ubiquitous Mini, in this case an unrestored 1960 example showing only 2900 miles on the clock. Apart from the feature displays there was an eclectic array of vehicles in the various classes, quite literally almost something for every taste. Whether it was supercars, like the quartet of Ferraris, an F40, F50, Enzo and LaFerrari, the Audi Quattro Sport and BMW M3 E36 in the Young Timers class or the diverse array of custom cars, including a wildly painted 1961 Ford Thunderbird in the Kustom Klass, on which the paint job alone took 575 hours. Within the Italian Berlinettas class there was the famous second ex-Stirling Moss 250 GT SWB, chassis 2735 GT, which won the Chairman’s Award, a rare example of the De Tomaso Mangusta, a Lamborghini 400 GT and the class winning Maserati Ghibli, resplendent in metallic blue.

The pair of Great Marques classes, Lotus and Porsche, also featured a fine variety of the respective manufacturer’s products. Within the former there was an original 1965 Lotus Seven, a 1957 Eleven, a 1961 Elite, a 1982 Elite Riviera, one of only seven examples built, and a single owner from new 1984 Esprit Turbo S3 in a unique “White-Out” paint finish. The Porsche class ranged from a 1955 356 1500GS Carrera Coupé, the first of only ten RHD examples produced, through the first 911 Targa from 1965, a 914/6 in rally trim from 1970, a 1972 911 2.7 RS, a 1981 924 Carrera GT, a 928 and a 2011 997 GT3 RS 4L, with plenty more in between.

Surprisingly, given the value and rarity of some of the vehicles on display, the Best of Show award went to one of the smallest and also less flamboyant cars on the field, albeit immaculately presented. This was an ex-works 1957 Lotus Eleven sports racing car, finished in British Racing Green and polished aluminium with the traditional yellow Lotus pinstripes on its flanks.

Keith Bluemel

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