Veteran Cars Ready to Turn Regent Street from a City Carriageway to a Concours Catwalk

 In 2016, News

Top prize for one lucky visitor helping to choose the popular ‘Spectator’s Choice’ award

Veteran cars planning to tackle the annual journey from Hyde Park to Brighton this November will need to be in more than just top mechanical condition… they will need to look the part, too.

On the day before the Bonhams Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox leaves London’s Hyde Park (that’s Saturday 5th November with the Run itself starting at first light on Sunday, 6thNovember) more than 100 veteran cars will take part in a Concours d’Elegance. The glittering showcase is a major highlight of the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show, an annual event staged in one of the world’s most prestigious shopping and lifestyle destinations situated right at the heart of the nation’s capital city.

Exhibiting in front of a panel of expert judges (photo below left), including TV motoring pundit Edd China, the veterans are all more than 112 years old, with the youngest built in 1904 and the oldest in 1898. While most are petrol-powered, the Concours entry also includes an American-built Cleveland electric car from 1900.

They will be competing for a number of awards including the Concours d’Equipe for the best turned-out team in period costume and the overall Concours d’Elegance.

However, not every car has to be polished to within an inch of their lives, as one of the most sought after gongs will be awarded to the best original or unrestored car.

One special prize involves members of the public voting for their favourite veteran car in the popular ‘Spectator’s Choice Award’, sponsored by Renault. The French company is one of the backers of the Veteran Car Run and an enthusiastic Run entrant with an open four-seater built in 1900 from its own heritage collection taking part in this year’s event. One lucky voter will also be in with a chance of winning an incredible prize and voting is already open – just follow the links A name will be chosen at random to win £2,000 to spend on Regent Street; dinner at the Brasserie Zedel; and an overnight stay at the nearby Cavendish Hotel.

Among the cars entered are last year’s winners, back to defend their titles. A 1903 Pierce will be contesting the Concours d’Equipe award; a 1903 Mors will be aiming to wow the spectators again, while no fluffy duster has been anywhere near an unrestored 1903 Oldsmobile in the past year.

Last year’s overall winner, a 1904 De Dion Bouton tourer (photo below right), will also be back hoping to collect top honours again, before its annual 60 mile trip from capital to coast.

First held in 2005, the Regent Street Motor Show – a Royal Automobile Club event – has gone from strength to strength. Last year, the event welcomed a record 450,000 visitors and even more are expected this year.

Regent Street is closed to through traffic during the day and as well as the veterans, the latest generation of low and zero-emission cars (with short test drives on offer) plus classic cars and bikes, supercars and historic competition machinery will be on display.

There’s 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, of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to get a little early Christmas shopping done, too.

Visitors can find out more – as well as vote in the Spectator’s Choice award – by downloading the Regent Street app (available on both iOS and Android) which also allows visitors to explore London’s most iconic shopping and dinning destination.


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