Visitors to Chelsea AutoLegends in central London today (Sunday) were treated to a feast of mouthwatering machinery and entertained by a host of motoring legends.
One of the themes of this year’s event in the picturesque grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea was the Swinging Sixties, which meant displays of 1960s Le Mans racers mixed with the cream of road-going exotica from the same era.
The event celebrated the great racing patrons of that time, men such as Rob Walker – who entered and prepared cars for Sir Stirling Moss across a variety of motorsport disciplines – Jaguar stalwarts Tommy Sopwith and John Coombs and Colonel Ronnie Hoare, who founded the famous Ferrari dealership, Maranello Concessionaires.
Spanning all the generations was Autocar’s own exhibit, which featured cars representing our top ten road tests of all time. Taking pride of place was Jaguar E-type registered 9600 HP – the world’s oldest E-type and the car featured in Autocar’s road test at the time. Other cars featured in the display included the Ferrari Daytona and the VW Golf GTi Mk1.
AutoLegends visitors braved the occasional rain shower to hear a host of past racers – including Moss himself, David Piper, Paddy Hopkirk and modern-day ace Anthony Davidson – hold court on the Autoglym stage.
The PistonHeads Supercar Run added a touch of modern spectacle and noise as a phalanx of modern-day machinery announced its mid-morning arrival via the Chelsea Embankment. About 30 of the world’s finest supercars set off from outside the Royal Automobile Club’s headquarters in Pall Mall and embarked on a short (but head-turning) drive, ending their journey parked in the supercar paddock in the heart of the AutoLegends site.
The inclement weather didn’t prevent a healthy crowd attending the second running of the event, which was held over an expanded site this year. Advance ticket sales were reported to be well up on 2010’s inaugural event.
Other key exhibits included a spectacular line-up of Invictas (a marque that had its production base in Chelsea in 1933), a huge line-up of Le Mans machinery promoting next weekend’s Autosport Six Hours of Silverstone enduro and a special display celebrating another 1960s classic, the Mini Cooper.