On the day before the Bonhams Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox leaves London’s Hyde Park (that’s Saturday 5th November with the Run itself starting at first light on Sunday, 6th November) more than 100 veteran cars will take part in a Concours d’Elegance. The glittering showcase is a major highlight of the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show, an annual event staged in one of the world's most prestigious shopping and lifestyle destinations situated right at the heart of the nation’s capital city.
Exhibiting in front of a panel of expert judges, including TV motoring pundit Edd China, the veterans are all more than 112 years old, with the youngest built in 1904 and the oldest in 1898. While most are petrol-powered, the Concours entry also includes an American-built Cleveland electric car from 1900.
They will be competing for a number of awards including the Concours d’Equipe for the best turned-out team in period costume and the overall Concours d’Elegance.
However, not every car has to be polished to within an inch of their lives, as one of the most sought after gongs will be awarded to the best original or unrestored car.
One special prize involves members of the public voting for their favourite veteran car in the popular ‘Spectator’s Choice Award’, sponsored by Renault. The French company is one of the backers of the Veteran Car Run and an enthusiastic Run entrant with an open four-seater built in 1900 from its own heritage collection taking part in this year’s event. One lucky voter will also be in with a chance of winning an incredible prize and voting is already open – just follow the links at www.regentstreetmotorshow.com. A name will be chosen at random to win £2,000 to spend on Regent Street; dinner at the Brasserie Zedel; and an overnight stay at the nearby Cavendish Hotel.
Among the cars entered are last year’s winners, back to defend their titles. A 1903 Pierce will be contesting the Concours d’Equipe award; a 1903 Mors will be aiming to wow the spectators again, while no fluffy duster has been anywhere near an unrestored 1903 Oldsmobile in the past year.
Last year’s overall winner, a 1904 De Dion Bouton tourer, will also be back hoping to collect top honours again, before its annual 60 mile trip from capital to coast.
First held in 2005, the Regent Street Motor Show – a Royal Automobile Club event – has gone from strength to strength. Last year, the event welcomed a record 450,000 visitors and even more are expected this year.
Regent Street is closed to through traffic during the day and as well as the veterans, the latest generation of low and zero-emission cars (with short test drives on offer) plus classic cars and bikes, supercars and historic competition machinery will be on display.
There’s entertainment from the Steve Colley Stunt Bike display team, the Top Gear Mercedes F1 simulator and street theatre performances from the West End Kids. And, of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to get a little early Christmas shopping done, too.
Visitors can find out more – as well as vote in the Spectator’s Choice award – by downloading the Regent Street app (available on both iOS and Android) which also allows visitors to explore London’s most iconic shopping and dinning destination.
About the Regent Street Motor Show:
The annual Regent Street Motor Show is a unique free-to-view London motor show held from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday 05 November, and which previews the famous Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox with the Veteran Car Concours d’Elegance. The event attracted no fewer than 450,000 visitors in 2015.
For more details and all the latest news, visit the official Regent Street Motor Show website: www.regentstreetmotorshow.com
About London Motor Week:
The Regent Street Motor Show is an integral part of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week, which in 2016 incorporates the following events:
Monday 31 October to 6 November – The Art of Motoring Exhibition
Monday 31 October – Royal College of Art - Design Presentation Evening
Tuesday 1 October – The Royal Automobile Club Motoring Lectures
Wednesday 2 November – Dewar Trophy Presentation Lunch / Motoring Book of the Year Awards
Thursday 3 November – Royal Automobile Club Motoring Forum
Friday 4 November – Bonhams Veteran Car Run Auction
Saturday 5 November – Regent Street Motor Show
Sunday 6 November – Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox
For further information on London Motor Week, go to: www.londonmotorweek.co.uk
A Darracq Called Genevieve - Veteran Motoring's Most Famous Car at Bonham's Veteran Car Auction on November 4th between 5pm and 7pm. Author, Rodney Laredo, will be on hand to sign copies. We'll be next to Genevieve for the Regent Street Motor Show on the 5th and, again, Rodney Laredo will be on hand to sign copies of his new book.
Veloce is grateful to Bonhams for hosting the launch and to the Louwman Museum, The Hague, Netherlands for the presence of Genevieve at the event, when Genevieve is normally on display.
The life and times of the world’s most famous veteran car!
Genevieve is the first definitive, documented, ownership history and cinematic record of the 1904 French Darracq motorcar. This car was propelled to international fame as Genevieve, in the record breaking 1953 film that centred around the annual London to Brighton run for veteran cars pre-1905.
A Darracq called Genevieve is the story of the car that starred in the Bafta award-winning Genevieve, Best British Film of the coronation year 1953 with an Oscar nominated music score by harmonica player Larry Adler. The film became the catalyst for unprecedented interest in veteran motoring worldwide.
Genevieve’s participation in the annual London to Brighton run for veteran cars, alongside her rival, a throaty, bright yellow Dutch Spyker, has become a legendary tale. But what of this 1904 French Darracq’s life before and after it’s film career?
Rodney Laredo’s in-depth biography of Genevieve is the first of its kind. It charts both the public and private life of this famous identity within the old car industry.
For more than forty years the author has collected an extensive pictorial and documented archive of material, through his own personal association with Genevieve and her respective owners and restorers in England, New Zealand, Australia, and Holland. Much of the material is new, and made available here for the first time.
Intriguing recollections – from those who starred in the film Genevieve, who were involved in its production, and who became friends of the author over a long period – are likewise included.
A Darracq called Genevieve is available now! Click HERE for more information about the book!