London’s free-to-view extravaganza promises more than a century of motoring’s past, present and future
Love cars and shopping? Then there’s only one place to be on Saturday November 5th… Regent Street, in the heart of London’s West End.
Once again, the capital’s landmark shopping destination will be the ‘go-to’ place for petrolheads and Christmas shoppers alike, as it hosts the annual free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show.
Ahead of the fun of Bonfire Night, London’s ‘mile-of-style’ will be closed to through traffic and the roadway from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus will be filled with all manner of cars from new to old and fast to slow. There’ll be Formula One cars, London to Brighton veterans, futuristic electric vehicles and mouth-watering classics.
The Show – a Royal Automobile Club event – runs from 10.30 until 16:00 and it’s all free. Among the highlights will be the McLaren M23 that took James Hunt to his F1 title exactly 40 years ago. James’s son Freddie Hunt will be on hand to sign autographs while more iconic Grand Prix cars from the 1980s will be there as part of a display devoted to the Silverstone Classic, the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival.
There’ll be plenty of other classics at the show, too, with displays from the Jaguar Drivers’ Club including a number of the marque’s most iconic sportscars. Models on show will include an XK140 from the fifties, E-type from the swinging sixties and a race-bred XJ 220 from the early nineties as well as the company’s latest F-type.
Low and zero emission cars will be revealing the future of motoring with the latest electric and hybrid vehicles from Audi, BMW, Kia, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen on display. There’ll even be the opportunity for visitors to take a short test drive in some of the cars while experts from Go Ultra Low, the Government and industry-backed campaign to promote the benefits of electric vehicles, will be on hand to offer buying advice.
Matching motoring’s future will be more than 100 examples of motoring’s past. The veterans, all built before 1905, will be taking part in their annual International Concours d’Elegance before heading off from Hyde Park to Brighton at daybreak on Sunday (November 6th), when they take part in the famous Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox.
It’s not just the machines that are magnificent as many of the drivers and passengers will be in period costume. Don’t forget your camera.
There’s still more with entertainment from the Steve Colley Stunt Bike display team, the Top Gear Mercedes F1 simulator and street theatre performances from the West End Kids.
And with many of the capital’s leading stores and specialist shops lining both sides of the street – and with plenty of restaurants and bars in the side roads – it’s the perfect chance to have a drink or a meal while doing a spot of Christmas shopping before, during or after wandering through the Motor Show.
“Regent Street is a great place to visit at any time, but it’s really buzzing at Motor Show time. For many the veterans steal the show, but the variety of cars on display means there’s something for everyone,” said Peter Read, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee.
- Anyone wishing to take a test drive in an electric vehicle or Plug-in hybrid must be over the age of 25, have a valid UK driving licence and a copy of their DVLA code. They can obtain this by visiting the DVLA website (www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence) and inputting their driving licence number, national insurance number and post code.