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London, 06 November, 2021

After a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic the Regent Street Motor Show returned to central London as part of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week, the finale to this being the RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on Sunday 07 November. Fortunately for the hardy participants the weather was kind to them this year, with hazy sunshine after their early morning gathering in darkness in Hyde Park, with the first vehicles leaving as dawn broke just after 7.00am.

2021 marked 125 years since the original Emancipation Run, first held in 1896 to celebrate the recently passed Locomotives on Highways Act. This had raised the speed limit for “light locomotives” from 4 to 14mph and abolished the need for a man to walk ahead waving a red flag. The way things are going in London at the moment with multiple 20mph zones, we’ll soon be back to the dawn of motoring! Actually we probably are already in terms of average traffic speeds.

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The stretch of Regent Street between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street becomes a pedestrian zone for the day to facilitate the show, always attracting large crowds to meander through the wide variety of vehicles on display. As part of the show there were close to a hundred of the veteran run participants on display, featuring in a pre-run Concours d’Elegance, which was won by a 1903 Peerless Model F that had spent its early years in a mining town in Colorado.

In the electric car zone there were manufacturer displays from BMW, Fiat, Kia and Polestar, whilst there was also a modern electric powered interpretation of the popular in the ‘50s Morris J-Type van. This new retro styled version features a lightweight carbon fibre body and is designated Morris JE, due to its motive force. There was also a pair of hydrogen-powered Enterprise Rent-a-Car loaned Toyota Mirais, which were acting as official course cars for the Veteran Car Run.

Between the veterans and the alternative energy cars of today, there was a broad spectrum of classic models, including Aston Martins and Ferraris, together with a line-up of Jaguar E-types, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the model’s launch at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. One of the E-Types on display was originally owned by Dave Clark of the sixties British pop group The Dave Clark Five, and featured on one of their album covers.

The show is family orientated, featuring song and dance routines from the West End Kids, an electric Go Kart track for children between 4 and 10 years of age, the Abel’s removal company with their horse drawn removal wagon, the horses being a great attraction for the children, together with a pair of Top Gear Mercedes F1 simulators.

Keith Bluemel
11/2021