London’s free-to-view motor show promises cars from today and tomorrow as well as veterans from the past.
Remember, remember the fifth of November… because that’s the date London’s premier shopping street will, once again, be turned into a glittering showcase of motoring’s past, present and future.
With the entire street closed to traffic from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus, visitors can wander freely among the exhibits.
And they will come in their hundreds of thousands – the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show, first held in 2005, goes from strength to strength and last year welcomed a record 450,000 visitors.
They were attracted not just by a display of veteran cars from the dawn of motoring, but also by today’s cars and tomorrow’s technologies from an increasing number of manufacturers keen to show city-friendly low and zero emission eco machines to visitors.
Many of them took time out to take short test drives from Regent Street, around Berkeley Square and back, in a selection of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The relevance of low-emission cars to modern city life saw that all the available test drive slots were quickly snapped up.
The great news is that for 2016 the initiative will not only continue but will also expand as more manufacturers appreciate the Show’s huge reach by joining the likes of Renault in Regent Street.
“With their innovative design and futuristic technologies, our latest Twizy and Zoe electric cars are designed for cities – that’s why we really relish the opportunity not only to display them to the huge numbers on Regent Street but also to offer some the chance to savour a brief test drive,” confirmed Mark Waller, Senior Communications Manager, Renault UK.
Part of the Regent Street Motor Show’s appeal lies in its variety. As well as advanced new cars, there will be many other attractions for the car enthusiast with classic car displays, historic racing cars, bikes, and even musical entertainment from a song and dance troupe.
And of course there are the veterans. The Regent Street Motor Show takes place the day before the famous Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox that leaves the nearby Hyde Park and at least 100 of these venerable machines will be displayed as part of the annual Veteran Car Concours d’Elegance.
The owners of these pioneering machines – every car was built before 1905 – will be competing for a number of different awards, including the Most Original or Unrestored Car and the Concours d’Equipe for drivers and passengers wearing period costume. Visitors will also be able to vote for their own People’s Choice award.
Despite their undoubted value – and, in some cases, their fragility – Regent Street visitors are encouraged to inspect the cars at close quarters and quiz their ever-enthusiastic owners and drivers before they head off to Brighton at the crack of dawn on the following day.
“The Regent Street Motor Show started as a veteran car showcase but over the years it has grown to embrace all aspects of motoring from the past, the present and the future.
“The success of our test drive initiative in 2015 shows the huge interest visitors to the Regent Street Motor Show have not just in the cars of yesteryear but also in the cars they will be driving tomorrow. There’s no better place for car companies to showcase their current and future models to a vast audience,” said Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club’s Steering Group for the Veteran Car Run, Ben Cussons.
“And, of course, all the fabulous stores along Regent Street will be open throughout the day so there’s ample opportunity for some early Christmas shopping, too.”