Sunday, 6 November 2011

Concours d'Elegance - Regents St

The start of chilly November is synonymous with many traditions that Londoners revere. Bonfire night, the Lord Mayors show and the London to Brighton veteran car rally. These events, while no longer celebrated or attended as they once were, are part of the London mind-set. We may not want to take part ourselves but are glad that others do. A very London attitude.
The London to Brighton rally, the oldest motor car rally in the world, held a ‘Contours d’Elegance’ in Regents Street of at least 100 of the 500 cars entering into the rally along with a display of E-Type Jags, Mini Coopers, cars of the future and Bluebird.
I’m not a great fan of ‘veteran’ cars (why are they called veteran and not vintage?). The thought of being stuck on the side of the road, half way to Brighton with water pouring from a 100 year old radiator is not my idea of fun. But that’s just me and from the size of the crowd in Regents Street yesterday my cynicism is not shared by many.

I love E-Type Jags but found yesterday’s display a disappointment. A thing of beauty is usually a thing of rarity and to see so many of these vehicles side by side seemed to turn Regents Street into just a glorified car park.

You should never let light in on magic or get to meet your heroes. To see the interior of these cars, with their wooden steering wheels (certainly no air bags) and buttons and switches just waiting to come off in your hand raised fears that you would soon be parked up ‘half way to Brighton’ behind the leaking veterans.

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