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The London Motor Show moved to a larger venue at the Excel Exhibition Centre

Ferrari Portofino s/n 234623

Ferrari Portofino s/n 234623


The Excel, 17 – 20 May, 2018

After two editions at Battersea Evolution in south-west London, the show moved to a larger venue at the Excel Exhibition Centre in the east of the capital. This allowed it to expand not only in display area, but also to provide a separate Mercedes-Benz World live arena. Here there were displays by the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows display team, of stunt driving by Paul Swift in a Ford Mustang and focus RS, who was also giving passenger rides,  or if you wanted something a little more sedate, there was the Mercedes-Benz Under-17 Driving Experience or rides in the new LEVC electric taxis.

The show was officially opened on the Thursday afternoon by its patron, HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO. The much expanded main show hall featured a wide variety of exhibits, with one of the main features being JCBs “Built in Britain”. This featured a broad spectrum of British engineering through the years, ranging from the Napier Railton from the Brooklands Museum, through their own Diesel World Record Car, also including one of their Backhoe Loaders in the Williams Martini Racing livery, an Eagle Speedster, through to the Bloodhound Thrust World Record Car. This area also featured manufacturer and dealer stands, including David Brown Automotive, Eagle E-Type, Lister, Lotus, McLaren, Morgan and TVR, and if you wanted something completely different, then how about a pair of New Holland tractors. Another large feature display was “The World Car of the Year” (WCOTY) garage, where a selection of “real-world” cars, chosen by an international jury comprising of 85 motoring journalists and broadcasters, were on display, including the overall winner for 2018, the Volvo XC60, the Design of the Year which was the Range Rover Velar, the VW Polo that took the Urban Car award and the luxury Car award winning Audi A8.


If the World Record Cars, JCB Backhoe and New Holland tractors weren’t big enough for you, there was the “Big Zone”, where there were a pair of massive Kenworth Trucks on display, along with a pair of menacing black Hummers, one of which was a six-wheel custom conversion. H.R. Owen also had an impressive display of cars for which they are franchised dealers, including the new Ferrari Portofino, a Maserati Levante, the new Bentley Continental GT and Bentayga Hybrid, an Aston Martin DB11 and a Rolls Royce Black Badge Dawn Adamas convertible. From the largest displays to the smallest, a Citroen 2CV Mobile Kitchen! This ingenious piece of engineering named “Dolly” was conceived as part of the 70th anniversary of the model. It houses a complete mobile kitchen, including a sink, a two ring cooker and even a deep fat fryer, within the parameters of a converted 1985 2CV. They say that “variety is the spice of life”, and the London Motor Show certainly had plenty of that.

Keith Bluemel