The Jaguar E-Type has been named the best-ever British car on the opening day of Classic & Sports Car - The London Show.
The E-Type saw off competition including the McLaren F1, Mini Cooper S, Bentley Speed Six and Lotus Seven to claim the title, which was voted for by the public. All 10 finalists are on display at the show, which takes place at Alexandra Palace in London.
Representing the E-Type at the show is '77 RW' - the oldest surviving example of the car, and the original model that Norman Dewis OBE drove from Coventry to Geneva for the E-Type's world debut in March 1961.
As many as 100 key figures from the classic car world were polled to decide the final list, including the likes of McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray, Lotus head of design Russell Carr, Pink Floyd drummer and classic car collector Nick Mason, Dire Straits frontman and classic car enthusiast Mark Knopfler, and motor racing author and commentator Simon Taylor.
The decision process was led by the Classic & Sports Car editorial team, and the discussion took in classics such as the Aston Martin DB5, Bristol 405, Ford Escort Mexico, Jaguar D-Type, Rover SD1 and even the Gordon Keeble.
Classic & Sports Car group editor James Elliott said: "The E-Type has it all: looks to stop traffic and a driving experience that has stood the test of time. When it was new you could not have bought more style and performance for the price. It is a car that continues to seduce young and old, and is a very worthy winner."
Over 300 classic cars will be presented to the public this weekend as part of the inaugural Classic & Sports Car - The London Show.
Among the models on display will be a Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’, a 1973 Pontiac Trans Am and a Porsche 993 Carrera RS. Tickets can be bought here.
Some of the other notable classics on display at the show - including an Aston Martin DB4GT and a Ferrari 250GT California Spider - were featured as part of a line-up worth £18m to preview the show earlier this month.
Aston Martin is taking centre stage at the event, displaying its oldest surviving model - the 1921 A3. As well as the A3, which has recently undergone a three-year restoration, Aston Martin will be showcasing its newest models and unique examples from its historic collection, and celebrating its association with James Bond. The A3 is powered by a 1486cc monobloc engine and has been donated by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust.
Taking place from 30 October to 1 November, the event is being supported by private collectors, classic car dealers and motor manufacturers.
The show is timed to coincide with a number of classic motoring events taking place in the capital, including the London to Brighton veteran car run, the Regent Street motor show and the Bonhams veteran car auction.
Elliott said: “Classic & Sports Car - The London Show is the essence of our magazine written large on the international stage, and broadcast from one of London’s most dramatic venues.
"We are putting everything we know about classic cars into this show – and as a result it’ll be a must-attend event. At Classic & Sports Car, passion counts for everything, so whether you’re one of the world’s richest collectors, a classic car dealer or simply a classic car enthusiast, you’ll be warmly welcomed at Alexandra Palace.”
Among the famous faces lending support to the show is Sir Stirling Moss OBE, who said: “To me, London is the centre of the world and it is essential that it has a top-quality classic car show. Alexandra Palace is the perfect venue and, with Classic & Sports Car being the world leader in its field, it is an event people should definitely add to their diaries.”
Racing legend John Surtees added: “With events such as Goodwood, Britain has established itself as the centre of the classic car world. The capital, although rich in world-beating veteran events, has so far been starved of a fixture showcasing post-war cars that reflects its status. Now it’s getting one.”
A selection of the best classic car dealers in the world have been confirmed as exhibitors at the show.
Classics from manufacturers such as Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Bentley will be on display at the event. The line-up of dealers that will be exhibiting includes JD Classics, Hexagon Classics, Frank Dale & Stepsons, New Forest Classic Cars, Maranello Classic Parts, Graypaul Classic Cars and DD Classics.
These dealers are all set to bring several models from their stock, with JD Classics promising to display a high number of cars. It has sold cars from manufacturers such as Aston Martin and Ferrari in the past, and JD Classics owner Derek Hood said of the event: “We’re very excited to be involved in Classic & Sports Car – The London Show. Alexandra Palace is a sensational location for this event. Rest assured we will more than match its drama with a display of the finest historic cars.”
Paul Michaels, chairman of Hexagon Classics, also spoke of the company's excitement at being involved with the event. “We’re huge fans of Classic & Sports Car magazine, so we’re very proud to be involved with this exciting new London event," he said. "I have no doubt it will be extremely well attended - and the fact that it is being held at such a majestic location as Alexandra Palace is the icing on the cake.”
Hexagon Classics is likely to display some of its traditional stock, including Porsche models, although it has recently become an official Lotus dealer, so it will also feature an original Lotus Elite on its stand.
If more luxurious models are your thing, Bentley and Rolls-Royce specialist Frank Dale & Stepsons will most likely have something of interest, as the company specialises in everything from pre-war Wraiths to 1960s Silver Clouds.
New Forest Classic Cars specialises in restored examples of the Jaguar E-Type Series 1, and Daniel Smith, senior team leader, said: “We will be showing off what we think are the finest-prepared E-Types in the world.”
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