If you plan to motor west, to London’s West End next month (November), make sure you get your kicks on the A4201…
Better known as London’s Regent Street, a trip to London’s premier shopping street will give car enthusiasts just as much of a buzz as a blast down Route 66, America’s ‘Mother Road’.
Saturday, 4th November is when Regent Street is closed to through traffic and the road is filled with hundreds of cars of all ages – from veterans and cherished classics to futuristic hybrids and electric vehicles – for the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show which, this year, is presented by Enjoy Illinois Route 66.
Cory Jobe, Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, said: “We are excited to take Illinois and Route 66 to the Regent Street Motor Show as the presenting sponsor. This partnership is a prime opportunity for our team to highlight in a meaningful way all the Route 66 Americana flair that our international visitors travel to experience – from the iconic Route 66 Begin sign in Chicago to the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac and the Original Historic Brick Road in Springfield.”
Illinois will be on Regent Street as presenting partner to the Regent Street Motor Show, promoting holidays to the State and raising the profile of Route 66 by showcasing iconic elements of the Route and giving away maps and destination guides to Show visitors.
And one lucky visitor will be able to go one better and get their kicks on the real thing. Illinois will be holding an on-stand competition with four nights’ accommodation in the State of Illinois up for grabs.
Much of the Illinois leg of the Mother Road is frozen in time, a 300-mile neon-lit drive through a past filled with motor inns, quirky restaurants and diners, and museums with amazing memorabilia. For starters, check out the 30-foot tall smiling spaceman called the Gemini Giant next to the soon-to-be renovated Launching Pad diner in Wilmington, the large Route 66 Shield Mural on the back wall of the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, and the curious attraction of Henry’s Rabbit Ranch for equal parts entertainment, visitor centre and rabbit ranch.
Nick Wigley, CEO of organisers, Goose Live Events, said: “We are delighted to welcome Illinois and Route 66 to Regent Street: two iconic roads linked by a rock ‘n’ roll classic!”
The Regent Street Motor Show presented by Enjoy Illinois Route 66 promises a feast of high octane excitement for hundreds of thousands of visitors – more than 400,000 spectators enjoyed the spectacle in 2016.
Among the displays will be more than 100 horseless carriages from the turn of the 20th century – many with their drivers and passengers in period dress – taking part in the annual Veteran Car Concours, the day before they set off on their annual trip from London to Brighton.
Displays from leading classic car clubs will include a 60th anniversary tribute to the Fiat 500, while the Silverstone Classic, the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival, will be giving an insight into the 2018 event.
Go Ultra Low, the government-backed initiative promoting low and zero emission travel will be offering test drives in the latest hybrid and battery-powered cars, while UK motorcycle manufacturer Triumph will be on hand with its latest bikes.
The first Regent Street Motor Show was staged in 2005 and it has now become a hugely popular must-see spectacle. It attracts vast crowds keen not only to see the hundreds of veteran and classic cars on display and to take test drives in the latest machinery but also enjoy street entertainment, too.
The Regent Street Motor Show presented by Enjoy Illinois Route 66 and the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox are key events in the week-long London Motor Week run by the Royal Automobile Club.