Take to the Road’s London Concours Highlights 2018

The London Concours once again graced the lawns of the Honorable Artillery Company in the heart of the capital. This years event took place over two days and provided a wonderful taster for the upcoming Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in September. Even though the London Concours is only in its second year (see last years highlights here), the quality of the cars on the display was exceptional. And Take to the Road was there to get a closer look at some of the rarest and most expensive classic cars in the country.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The two day event was in its second year
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
As always there was much to see at the London Concours
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
A playground filled with automotive delights
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The Honorable Artillery Company grounds provided a wonderful backdrop to the event
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
Though the focus was of course on the cars

The setting for the event really is second to none. The lawns of the Honorable Artillery Company is a wonderful setting for an event, the well maintained grass setting off the cars against the towering city scape that surround the grounds. Approximately 180 cars were on display this year, an increase on last years numbers. As always with an event like this it is very hard to choose a favourite, such was the quality on display. Below is a selection of the cars that caught my eye on the day.

London Concours: 1911 Fiat S76 “The Beast of Turin”

One of the cars that immediately caught my eye on arrival was the very hard to miss Beast of Turin. This was my first time to see the famous 1911 Fiat S76 and it was pretty exciting to finally get the chance to get up close and see the car in more detail. Although on this occasion the colossal 28.5 litre engine was silent, the sheer size of it was mesmerising.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
Sneaking up on The Beast of Turin

Originally built by Fiat to break the world land speed record, the aptly names Beast of Turin produces 300BHP, an eye watering number for its era. It really is a marvel of early 20th century automotive engineering. I expect if it had fired up its massive engine, it would have shook every single window around the grounds.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The torpedo tailed Fiat S76 was built for speed
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
It completely dwarfed the Fiat 8V Supersonic
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
It must have been an incredible feeling to get behind the wheel of The Beast in 1911. A feeling that no doubt remains true even today.

London Concours: 1969 Ac 428 Fastback

Another eye catcher at the show was this stunning AC 428 Fastback. This is one of my favourite GT cars and combines the best of British, Italian and American engineering. Built by AC Cars at Thames Ditton in West London, the striking Fastback was styled by Frua, with power supplied by a Ford big block V8.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The AC 428 took pride of place at the entrance to the show
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
It is a fabulously proportioned GT
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The great British badge that made the American Cobra famous
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The long bonnet and frontend hides the powerful Ford V8

Also known as the AC Frua, only 54 were built making it a very rare and fascinating car. For me this is a sublime GT, combining exquisite Italian styling with a British built chassis and American V8 muscle.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
If I was to buy a V8 powered automatic GT this would be it

London Concours: 1970 De Tomaso Mangusta

Continuing with the Ford V8 theme, another stunner at the London Concours was this exceptional De Tomaso Mangusta. For me this is the most beautiful car ever built by Argentine industrialist Alejandro de Tomaso. He employed Italian design house Ghia and the master Giorgetto Giugiaro to pen the shape of the ultimate supercar.



Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The De Tomaso Mangusta is an impressive classic era supercar
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
Like a Peacock strutting its plumage, the Mangusta shows off its engine covers.
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
A work of art
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The Mangusta needs a lot of rubber to transfer all that V8 power to the road

Powered by a powerful Ford 5.0 V8, the Mangusta was noted for its unique ladybird like hinged engine covers. And it was also noted for being a bit of a handful to drive. While it may not have had the best chassis, the De Tomaso Mangusta is a significant classic supercar.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The Italian studio that De Tomaso later bought

London Concours: 1970 De Tomaso Mangusta

Another spot at the show was this delightful 1952 Jowett R1 Jupiter. This car raced at the 1952 Le Mans and won its 1.5 Litre Class with drivers Marcel Bequart and Gordon Wilkins. The win was Jowett’s third in a row at Le Mans, which demonstrated how effective the Yorkshire based firms Works team was.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The 1952 Le Mans class winning Jowett R1
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The aerodynamic body was based on a standard Jupiter road car
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The R1 has one of those happy race car faces
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The car has been extensively restored by its current owners
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
As good as an old race car dashboard gets

When you imagine an old Le Mans racer this is exactly what come to mind. It is a fascinating car with fantastic period race history.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
There were lots of details on the Jowett

London Concours: 1959 Fiat Abarth 750GT

Following on from the charming blue Jowett there was another exciting spot. And this was a fantastic blue Fiat Abarth 750GT Double Bubble Zagato. This car is right up there in my list of top Fiat’s of all time. It is the combination of its cute and fun appearance, combined with a speed and handling that I find so appealing. The Double Bubble was built to race and it proved very successful with a 1-2-3 finish in the sub-750cc class at the 1957 Mille Miglia.

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The Fiat Abarth 750GT is about as cute as it gets
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
But despite its appearances the Double Bubble was devastating on the race scene
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
Tiny but powerful
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
The badge of tuning perfection
Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
And the badge of styling perfection

It is a superb example of Fiat and Abarth’s small engine focused race car designs of the period. And combined with its gorgeous Zagato styled curves, it just has bags and bags of quirky character. It punches well above it weight. Very successfully!

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
Double Bubble

Other cars of significance at the 2018 London Concours

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1990 Alfa Romeo SZ

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1969 Lamborghini Miura S

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Series 4

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1952 Ferrari 212/225 Inter Berlinetta

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta

Take to the Road London Concours Highlights 2018

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