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London’s mile of eye-catching style

Ross Brawn in the 1902 Arrol-Johnston, overall winner of the Concours d’Elegance.

Ross Brawn in the 1902 Arrol-Johnston, overall winner of the Concours d’Elegance.

THE traffic on London’s Regent Street was at a total standstill on Saturday – not, however, as a result of gridlock but for the annual Regent Street Motor Show.

The world famous West End shopping street was closed for a very special ‘mile of automotive style’ stretching between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus as the UK’s largest free-to-view motor show showcased a glittering display of more than 200 cars and bikes from past, present and future generations.

Last November’s event attracted more than 400,000 visitors and this year’s was every bit as popular with visitors relishing a huge variety of eye-catching machinery which embraced everything from motoring’s early pioneers to the latest electric cars.

Representing the dawn of motoring, and right at the heart of the display, was a remarkable collection of 100 pre-1905 machines. As a curtain raiser to Sunday’s running of the annual Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, these were partaking in the prestigious EFG International Concours d’Elegance.

This year’s star-studded judging panel included multiple-title winning F1 team principal Ross Brawn and TV personality Edd China. The beautifully original 1902 Arrol-Johnston of Alistair Hacking was awarded with the overall prize.

Close to Oxford Circus, the Top Gear Experience simulator was busy all day. Adjoining it was another power show: a display of Porsche 911 Turbos celebrating 40 years of the iconic sports car.

Top class motor sport was another of the huge crowd-pleasers. Former world champions Wayne Gardner, Christian Sarron and Freddie Spencer were revving up on Regent Street launching an exciting new World GP Bike Legends event which will be staged at Jerez in Spain next summer.

The busy Manufacturers’ Zone was showcasing some of today’s most exciting and desirable machines as well as a glimpse of the future. Among a host of eye-catching models on show were the groundbreaking BMW i3; Renault Twizy, Captur, Twingo and Zoe; Infiniti Q50, OX70 and Q50 Hybrid plus three examples of Tesla’s luxurious Model S.

Other modern marques on show included Mini and Morgan while there was also a special tribute making 50 years of the Ford Mustang.

“It was fantastic to see so many people in the sunshine enjoying such a wonderful display of amazing cars in the fabulous setting of Regent Street,” said Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee.

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