Motors, Music, fancy dress and the weather
By Shahzad Sheikh
Rain, cold and blustery wind – that was the forecast the night before and the next morning – and I don’t do brollies. Very nearly put off, I corralled my resolve and went anyway, and I’m so glad I did.
Today the London-Brighton Veteran Car run is taking place, and the Regent Street Motor Show was a great opportunity to get a really close look at the astonishing vintage cars (they all have to be pre-1905) gearing up to do the 60 miles from London to Brighton. Loved the fact that the owners and drivers really get into the spirit and some even wear period clothing!
Awesome British classics on show commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Ford Capri (the green widebody was particularly striking though as the #BrownCarGuy I was quite taken with the brown example too!) and 60th anniversary of the Mini.
There were also Healeys, Triumphs, Reliant Scimitars and a solitary bright orange Bond Bug – the only colour it should ever be presented in!
The Gasoline Ally Speedshop brought along several awesome examples of Americana to display including a Chevrolet Bel Air, Plymouth GTX and a Mustang Mach 1 priced at £59,950, although they are all up for sale.
They also had a brilliantly rat-roddy 1954 Chevrolet Truck which I couldn’t help but go full HDR on. Check out their shop, they also like to chop up Smart Cars and graft Hayabusa engines onto the back just for laughs. Wicked!
Along with two awesome Dodge Challengers – including a Hellcat Redeye – there was stunningly presented 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback Bullitt replica restomod, fitted with new 5.0 V8 Coyote engine, power steering, adjustable coil over suspension and modern infotainment. It was offered for sale by Clive Sutton at £250,000. And the only downside – it’s an automatic.
There was a line-up of racing cars, a vintage fire engine, a gorgeous DeTomaso, a sensational Ferrari 275, supercars including the McLaren 600LT and a new Ford GT – talking of which there were also a couple of beautiful classic GT40s present to promote the new Ford V Ferrari movie.
But what I enjoyed most of all at the Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show was the Blueprint Blues Brother Tribute Act and 505 Band concert – brilliantly done, and they even had the Bluesmobile – a 1974 Dodge Monaco police car. As they strode up on the stage and uncuffed the case with the harmonica inside, fully in character, it felt like I was in the movie!!
The Regent Street Motor Show could do with better weather (although the rain held off for a good part of the middle of the day) and frankly more support from new car manufacturers as, apart from EVs, it was surprising that new car dealers had not brought their latest offerings show off. But other than that, what a wonderful trip into nostalgia and a great day out. I’ll back be next year!