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London, 19-22 August, 2021

The British Motor Show is back! Despite all the adversity presented to event organisers due to the pandemic over the past eighteen months, the team behind the resurrected British Motor Show managed to put together a truly diverse and attractive gathering. It is some thirteen years since there has been a major internationally represented motor show in the UK, so it was a good feeling to get that motor show vibe on home soil once again.

The venue was the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, situated on the south-east perimeter of Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, some 35 miles south-west of London, between 19-22 August. The venue has the advantage of not only having large exhibition halls, but also plenty of outdoor space to broaden the scope of the show. Traditional motor shows normally only offer static exhibits, but the organisers of this one wanted it to be a fully immersive interactive experience, that would be of interest to not only car enthusiasts, but would also provide an enjoyable day out for family groups of all ages. Thus there was plenty of “action experience” throughout the four days of the show.

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The action included the Live Arena where every day there was a varied schedule of activity taking place, ranging from both classic and supercar parades, to a motorcycle display team and Paul Swift stunt shows, with plenty of tyre smoke being generated. If you wanted even more smell of tortured burning rubber, then not far away was the Caterham Experience, where one could buy a passenger ride in a Caterham Seven, for a tyre smoking slalom ride. More serenely one could also buy a charity ride in a classic car courtesy of the Sporting Bears Motor Club, who support a number of children’s charities through their “Dream Rides” activities. If travelling in silence was your wish, then there was the Ford Experience, where you could test drive the new electric Mustang Mach-E, or head over to Hall 5.which was dedicated to electric vehicles, and which had its own test drive area.

The show’s welcome feature was a quartet of Ferraris, a Dino 246 GT, F40, F50 and Enzo in the main entrance lobby. Apart from the previously mentioned Ford Experience, other major manufacturers were either present themselves or represented through their dealer network, including Alpine, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, SsangYong, Renault, Volvo & Volkswagen. H.R. Owen presented an array of manufacturers for whom they are official dealers, amongst which were Aston Martin with a DB11 and DBX, Ferrari with a Portofino M and Roma, Lamborghini with a Urus and an attention grabbing Huracan STO. Just outside the main exhibition hall there was the supercar paddock presented by Premier GT, where there was a wide variety of cars on display and taking part in the live arena parades through the course of the day.

If retro was what you wanted then there was the expansive club display area close to “Select Electric” Hall 5, with a wide variety of car clubs in the Classic Car Zone, with some totally crazy Mini creations including one with a V8 engine, whilst the lurid orange Porsche trike had to be seen to be believed. There were also plenty of unmolested classic cars, like a nice array of Citroen Traction Avants. There was more family entertainment adjacent to this with a Kids Karting Arena, a Wall of Death and a Paul Swift Stunt Experience. Overall a very eclectic and interesting show that deserves to be a success, certainly from the number of attendees on the first day it was a great hit.

Keith Bluemel