The opportunity to see Nick Mason’s incredible 250 GTO up close and personal, doesn't happen too often, and that experience is only available at The London Classic Car Show at the ExCel London through to this Sunday.
A collaboration and curated Show exhibition between the organisers and Joe Macari of Joe Macari Performance Cars, the Ferrari tribute area is nothing short of astonishing. This, a unique chance to see so many (21 in fact) rare and historic Ferraris in London, and in one place? It’s not to be missed.
Joe Macari explained that the pulling together of the Ferrari Tribute exhibition took months of work, with everything falling into place literally in the final weeks before the exhibition. Fortunately, Mr. Macari knew the locations of each of the Ferraris on display, a useful insight when curating such an exhibition. He would have preferred to have included sixty or seventy Ferraris on display, but was limited to 21, which was a task he likened to deciding “which one of the kids do you leave at home?”
Now in its third year, its hard to see anything matching this event in London in the comings years, and on a second visit to the Fair on Friday, it was absolutely packed with people, of all ages.
So what was selling?
It’s difficult to know precisely what was selling in such a massive venue, but there were certainly a good few sold tickets on a number of cars, although most dealers we spoke with were not necessarily exhibiting just to sell cars. “It’s a meeting place, a point of introduction and re-engagement with clients," one dealer said. “Somewhere to start a dialogue" as another dealer put it.
Essentially, that’s what a lot of Fairs have become. It’s hardly new knowledge that the really rare pieces don’t have to hit the show floor in some cases, actually most cases, but the overriding sentiment from every dealer we spoke to was that you had to be seen at and to be part of events like this.
So what's the classic car market like at the moment?
During a talk given by Quentin Willson on the Classic Cars Magazine stand, the discussion seemed all too familiar. He gave his overview of what the future holds for the classic car market and some of his current picks with potential for an uptick, which was interesting and in many ways, relative to the art market. “I think it’s got to be made in relatively limited numbers, it’s got to have a certain chemistry, it’s got to have a certain allure.” He went on to say, “The cars that are going to go up, are going to be just a little bit Leary, and a little bit crazy, it’s like people, you really like the ones that are faulty, and have that crazy glee in their eye, and it’s the same with cars. So they have to be sexy, they have to look good, or at least be a bold statement, and the emotional tug is really really important.”
In as far as the current state of the classic car market is concerned, the general feedback when we asked dealers for a broad overview was that it’s been going up too quickly and it seems to have plateaued, and now a few things have corrected.
We posed the same question to Joe Macari. “When there are 3, 6 or 12 examples of something in the world, even thirty examples, there are more than thirty people in the world that want them, and who can afford it” he said.
Next year, according to Bas Bungish the Show Director, the Fair is going to be better still. He confirmed that both the London Classic Car Show and HMI will be back from 15-18 February, 2018 in a new, even bigger format at ExCeL. How it can be bigger and better I do not know, but he’s certainly set himself and his team a challenge after this year’s spectacular event.
Admission to the London Classic Car Show incorporates free entry to HMI. Both shows run from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday.
Tickets are available from the show website and on the door where entry to both shows costs £27.
A short promotional video of the highlights from Thursday's opening:
London Classic Car Show, 23 - 26 February 2017
ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock London, E16
For Additional Information - www.londonclassiccarshow.co.uk
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