This years London Concours will gather a collection of the most beautiful and innovative soft-tops ever, paying special attention to the 1960s. Showcasing the likes of the Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 330 GTS, Alfa Romeo Junior Spider and Aston Martin DB2, it’s no wonder this class is known as Convertibles: The Golden Era.
Taking place from 19-20 August, the London Concours, set to be the UK’s first major automotive event since February, will gather these elegant cars and nearly 100 others into the Honourable Artillery Company HQ – a five-acre oasis of green nestled among the tall buildings of the City of London.
Below are a few of the highlights of the special Golden era of Convertibles display that will be on the lawn:
Aston Martin DB2 Drophead Coupé
With an advanced twin overhead-cam 2.6-litre straight-six and a lightweight tubular chassis, the DB2 was the latest in a lineage of sporting Aston Martins. Designed initially as a coupé, Aston Martin did produce just six DB2 DHCs in the First Sanction run. The First Sanction cars are those with three-piece front grilles, bumper strips and side extractor grilles. The example at London Concours was bought in 1950 by Prince Bertil of Sweden, a good personal friend of David Brown, then owner of Aston Martin.
Ferrari 330 GTS
The replacement to the 275 GTS, the 330 GTS was designed to be an elegant, open-top, V-12 grand tourer for Ferrari’s best customers. In short, it was designed to be the finest open-top automotive experience money could buy. While 598 330 GTCs (the coupé variant) were built in total, only 99 of the 330 GTSs would leave the factory gates by the time GTS production concluded in 1968, making the convertible a real rarity.
Jaguar E-Type Roadster 3.8
The E-Type’s looks were sensational, and it quickly became a symbol of the 1960s. Thanks to its unbeatable combination of price and performance, offering a top speed of close to 150mph (241km/h) at little more than £2000, it was an instant success, particularly in the vital American market. The early example on display at London Concours is powered by the 3.8-litre XK engine.
Fiat Dino Spider
Known as a Ferrari in disguise, the Fiat Dino Spider was powered by the same engine as Ferrari’s Dino. It was a way of homologating the new all-alloy V6 Dino engine to make it eligible for Formula 2 – with Ferrari’s limited production numbers they couldn’t do it alone. This early car was 415th out of the 500 cars needed for homologation and – as all Spiders were – features an elegant body designed by Pininfarina. Acceleration from 0-60mph took just seven seconds and the top speed stood at 130mph.
The full list of cars in Convertibles: The Golden Era is:
- Lotus Elan DHC
- Fiat Dino Spider 2000
- Aston Martin DB2 DHC
- Alfa Romeo Junior Spider
- Ferrari 330 GTS
- Iso Grifo A3/L Cabriolet
- AC Cobra 289
- Lancia Flaminia Touring
- Jaguar E-Type Roadster 3.8
- Porsche 356 Roadster
In total seven curated classes will be on display at the London Concours, including ‘The Pursuit of Speed’, ‘Lancia Legends’, ‘Era of the Supercar’, ‘The Speed of Sand’ and ‘The Lost Marques‘. A special celebration display of the Ferrari Dino will see 10 examples gathered, each in a different factory-original colour.
The automotive displays will be complemented by pop-up stands from some of the world’s finest luxury brands and motoring retailers. Presenting partner, Montres Breguet, will be showcasing its fine hand-crafted timepieces, Anthony Sinclair – original tailor to Sean Connery’s James Bond – will be displaying some of its latest pieces, while one of Britain’s top hat-makers Yvette Jelfs brings her collection of natural hats, made with traditional millinery techniques.
Specialist automotive businesses like Alpine, Jaguar Classic, Bell Sport & Classic, Foskers, Jensen International Automotive, Footman James and Moss Automotive will be on-hand for all car-buying or owning needs – should the mood strike you.
The London Concours 2020 takes place from 19-20 August. Tickets are available to buy now from www.londonconcours.co.uk/tickets