REPORTAGE / The First City Concours in London

AN AUTOMOTIVE GARDEN PARTY IN THE THE CITY OF LONDON was introduced this year as a must-do event of the Summer Season in London. Taking place at the beginning of June, the Concours is taking the position once filled by the Verve Clicquot Hurlingham Club Concours D’Elegance.

Jeremy Jackson-Sytner of Thorough Events seems to have the knack for finding the best venues around the world for Concours events, from Royal venues in Britain, to Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. We first met Jeremy back in 2016 at Cavallino, and for his debut in central London, he has commandeered the Honorable Artillery Company – a four acre cricket pitch in the heart of the Square Mile. It is a frankly astonishing sensation to walk along the tight streets of the city, through the gates of the HAC, and then find yourself in this expanse of manicured greenery.  The architecture around the edge ranges from modern glass tower office buildings to Armoury House which was built in 1622, and as such it serves as the perfect foil for a modern Concours event which mixes the very best examples of cars and coachbuilding from all eras.

Photo by Simon Aldridge
Ferrari La Ferrari in front of Armoury House.
Photo by Simon Aldridge
A 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ heads up an arc of supercars including the Jaguar XKSS and a 1973 Porsche 911RS.
Photo by Simon Aldridge
1980s Rivals – Aston V8 Zagato and Ferrari 288 GTO.
Photo by Simon Aldridge
A Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was among the prewar machines on display.

This inaugural event featured 80 of the world’s most exciting cars, from pioneering racers and rally cars from the prewar era, to Le Mans racers and modern bespoke creations.

The Evolution of the Supercar feature offered the largest selection of cars, arcing around the cricket field in an arc that ran from the 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ to the 2017 Bugatti Chiron. Highlights for MOVECTO among the supercars from the 1950s to the present were the Jaguar XKSS, Ferrari 288 GTO, Aston Martin V8 Zagato, McLaren F1, 675LT and P1, and the Aston Martin Vulcan.

Amongst the modern bespoke and coach built machines were the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder by Touring, the Ferrari 550 GTZ Barchetta by Zagato, and the Eagle E-Type Low Drag Coupé.

Photo by Simon Aldridge
McLaren P1.
Photo by Simon Aldridge
Nicholas Mee brought displayed some special Aston Martins including the new Vantage GT8.

Alongside these are a few manufacturer, dealer and specialist stands, showcasing another 80 vehicles, as well as a watch pavillion, artisan areas, art collections, a Taittinger Champagne bar and fine food stalls.

Photo by Simon Aldridge
Taittinger Champagne bar, fine food stalls and artisan areas beside the cars.

Official sponsor Octane Magazine were there of course, and we met with Editor Chris Bietzk and followed up with a lunch with Robert Coucher. Clearly, the classic and collectible car world is in rude health, particularly in Britain. The historic vehicle industry generates revenues in excess of £5.5b per year – an increase of 27.9% over the past five years – while classic car usage has quadrupled, according to the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs National Historic Vehicle Survey. This is great news for owners and enthusiasts of collectible cars, and now they have an event to celebrate that in the Nation’s Capital. We look forward to next year.


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