MOTORING NEWS - Motoring enthusiasts, shoppers and Londoners savoured a Saturday to remember on Regent Street in November, as the capital's premier shopping street was transformed into the country's biggest free motor show.
The famed Regent Street was closed to through traffic for the first Saturday in November and the road filled with a glittering collection of cars from the past, present and future.
Providing a timeless showcase, close on 200 vehicles were presented. These varied from the days of the horseless carriage, through the classic years right up to the battery and hydrogen-powered cars we will be driving in the future.
This year's Regent Street Motor Show was presented by Enjoy Illinois Route 66.
Illinois and the famous Route 66 was promoting the US state and America's 'Mother Road'.
The busy Illinois stand featured an eye-catching display of American automotive nostalgia, providing a good photo opportunity.
Taking centre stage at the show were around 100 pioneers dating back to the dawn of motoring - all built before 1905.
They and their passengers, many in period costume, were taking part in the annual Veteran Car Concours d'Elegance before setting off at dawn on Sunday morning for the time-honoured pilgrimage from London to Brighton in the famous Bonhams Veteran Car Run.
One of the venerable oldies.
Among those judging the evocative veteran machines this year was renowned gardener and classic car enthusiast Alan Titchmarsh. After much deliberation, the panel of experts awarded the Overall Winner's trophy to an extraordinary dark green 4-cylinder Darracq owned by Malcolm Ginns.
The French car has a remarkable history, having been entered into the ill-fated Paris to Madrid "race of death" in May 1903.
More than two million spectators came to watch along the road to Bordeaux, where this notorious race was officially halted as there had been so many fatal accidents en route - the largest toll of dead and injured persons recorded in motor sport, with Marcel Renault among them.
Along with a number of other entrants, the Darracq's owner, Albert Arvengas, went on to Madrid.
The overall winner, a dark green 4-cylinder Darracq, has an interesting history.
The car remained in the Arvengas family until the 1970s and to this day still carries its original rear-entrance, tonneau body with five seats.
Further up Regent Street, and bringing the motoring story up to date, were displays of modern cars and bikes from companies including Renault and Triumph.
Not content with the present, Go Ultra Low was looking to the future by offering drives in a wide range of contemporary battery-powered electric vehicles and plug-in petrol-electric hybrids from manufacturers including BMW, Renault, VW, Toyota, Kia and Hyundai.
Experts were also on hand to offer advice to anyone considering a zero or low emission and hybrid car as their next purchase.
Visitors were also offered short test drives, allowing them to sample the next generation of environmentally friendly transport.
In keeping with the low emission theme, Harrods was displaying its electric vehicle fleet from the battery-powered 1901 Pope Waverley to the newest Nissan e-NV200 delivery van.
For those with a need for speed, other displays on Regent Street included a preview of the biggest classic motor sport event on the calendar - the Silverstone Classic.
Its stand not only included a huge screen broadcasting highlights from last summer's record-breaking event, but also three of the stand-out racers that will be in action next July.
British marque Aston Martin showed the new DB10 James Bond Spectre Supercar, which drew a crowd throughout the day.
Motoring's classic years were represented by the Fiat 500 Club celebrating the 60th birthday of Italy's city car with a colourful collection of original super-minis.
The event wasn't only about cars. Musical interludes came from the talented West End Kids, who performed throughout the day.
The Regent Street Car Show draws about 400 000 visitors annually.
Visitors could also discover what it's like to drive a Mercedes F1 car in one of two Top Gear experience simulators.
There was also ample opportunity to drop into the flagship stores on Regent Street to do some pre-Christmas shopping.
The Regent Street Motor Show was first staged in 2005 and regularly attracts close to 400 000 visitors.
Despite a damp start, this year's show was just as popular.
The Regent Street Motor Show and the Veteran Car Run are key events in the London Motor Week run by the Royal Automobile Club.
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