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The London Classic Car Show 2016

By raccars Published

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The 2016 London Classic Car Show took place at the weekend, with guests including Jenson Button.

Held at the London Docklands ExCel Centre, this year's event featured the 'Classic Six Nations Cup' competition, designed to choose which country makes the best cars out of France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the USA. Vintage metal from each nation was on display and visitors voted by text. This year the London Classic Car Show also highlighted the McLaren F1 and looked at the history of rallying.

Classic car six nations parade

A 'Grand Avenue' moved between the usual static stands, forming a moving motor show of 60 cars from the six nations, a team of ten each. The spectacular parade included a breath-taking Bugatti Type 51 from 1931, a gleaming first generation Chevrolet Corvette and a glorious Alfa Romeo 8C Spyder wearing a Ferrari badge. Jenson Button took a spin around the Grand Avenue in a yellow F1, after revealing that he'd planned to take a slot presenting the new Top Gear before being offered another year's contract by Ron Dennis.

Great Britain was declared the winner on the Sunday afternoon as visitors decided that the home nation had produced more of the greatest cars in the world than the other nation. Along with the McLaren, Britain's team for the competition included the super cool Lotus 49 wearing the classic red and white colours of the Gold Leaf livery, the Aston Martin DB5, a Land Rover, an 80 year old 3.5 litre Bentley in the most spectacular condition, a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and an original Mini.

The Lamborghinis Miura and Countach made for a very Latin display in orange and red respectively, their masculinity not remotely diminished by the Miura's headlight lashes - a 1980s bedroom wall poster made real. The Italian Six Nations team also featured a strong collection of Maseratis and Ferraris, including a rare bright blue F40, helping it take second place. America's muscle cars put the USA in third, followed by Germany and France, while Japan brought up the rear.

The McLaren F1

An exhibition detailing the history of the McLaren F1 benefited from an appearance by the car's designer, Gordon Murray, and was a definite highlight of the show. The Le Mans winning F1 GTR racer was among seven McLarens on show, with displays detailing what happens under the car's skin. The racing F1, for example, had its power output limited with an air restrictor to ensure compliance with regulations, but its lighter weight still made it faster than the more powerful road-going F1.

The Aston Martin stand is always a highlight, and this year placed the DB3S racer shoulder to shoulder with the modern #Aston Martin Vanquish and a fabulously yellow 1970s DBS. The stand also included the legendary DB5 of James Bond fame and a DB7. There aren't many opportunities to view such a varied and comprehensive range glorious Astons, all together.

Group B rally legends

Very different but equally impressive was the Subaru Impreza WRC driven by Colin McRae, putting on a show of furious growling and handbrake turns. Arguably even more iconic, the Group B winning Audi Quattro SWB put on a performance. Among the legendary rally cars on display were a ridiculous 3.0 litre V6 powered Metro 6R4, while great rallying personalities attending included the 1981 WRC winner Ari Vatanen.

Motoring personalities attending included F1 ace Jenson Button, officially opening the show, Sir Stirling Moss and TV presenters Jodie Kidd and Suzi Perry

This year's show was only the second edition of the London Classic Car Show, and judging by the quality of metal on offer and the crowds packing out the venue, its success is likely to be repeated in future years. 33,000 visitors attended, twice as many as last year.

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