Do you remember those games from when you were little? If you were a 90s or 00s baby it was Gran Turismo on your PlayStation or if you were an 80s baby it might have been Rad Racer. Before then, you’ll still be familiar with the classic supercars on display at this years London Concours show.
Set in the Artillery Gardens hidden away in the hustle and bustle of the City, over 100 supercars were lined up for members of the public, fellow car collectors and members of the media and autosphere to lust over.
It’s an outdoor exhibition of supercar innovation, classic design, 200mph cars and you could buy/sell a Bentley.
And it was lust.
The cars had their engines all hanging out in the same way your parents would spatchcock a chicken on a Sunday. They were polished and in glistening colours.
Think of Naomi Campbell’s shoe cabinet -all the love and care in the world had gone into making these cars memorable.
Not even me – transport correspondent to the core who purposefully doesn’t drive and takes the train everywhere – was immune to the Pagani Zonda. This was the same Pagani Zonda I used to drive on my PlayStation as a 9 year old. The memories became real.
Supercars today do not have the best reputation. T
hey aren’t super here in London, where they cannot enter thanks to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – and if they do it’s hard to go any faster than a £300k double-decker bus
They’re also hated by the residents of Zones 1 and 2 who have suffered from countless crashes, impromptu drag races and loud exhausts mixed with louder music.
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So, what is the point of a supercar in 2021?
At the show, I met a panel of supercar collectors- Rod, Jane and Amit. Rod and Jane’s anecdotes were fascinating.
Rod is one of only 40 people in the UK to have obtained a brand new production-run Ferrari F40 when they were first made. He ordered his in 1987 and it finally arrived after being finely assembled in 1991.
Jane is the owner of a Lamborghini the late F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone gave to the model Twiggy, who like me grew up in Neasden.
Amit, who owns several supercars including a Porsche 911 992 Turbo S he drove to the event, spoke about the memories he’s had in his supercars.
“The memories the cars create are what is pleasurable about them… the Sunday drives… the memories with my wife and my daughters,” he says.
“I find supercar ownership as much about the thrill of the chase to find the right car, the right example. I didn’t know how much of a sucker I would be for the cars’ history.”
Without an ounce of petrol in my head, I could still understand the power of those memories. Nine-year-old me has fond memories of driving my virtual Zonda. Adult me would do anything to go for a ride in a real Zonda!
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Amit admits that even supercars are not exempt from the demands of the real world, “We live in a changing world. There’s social media, the power of Instagram, there’s such a huge awareness about classic cars and supercars and yet we’re at a stage where a lot of these cars are being driven off the roads or taxed very highly.”
“I think events like this are the future, you’re able to enjoy the cars as works of art. We’re at a very interesting inflection point for supercar ownership.”
He’s not wrong. It was refreshing to see such an honest, nuanced viewpoint from a self-confessed petrolhead. It’s his passion and I understand that. It’s his version of my steam railway or classic Routemaster, it’s all the memories.
The event awarded best car prizes in several categories and the event itself won an award from The Driver’s Association. It was a moment of pride which I’ve never seen at a classic bus fair or a new train launch.
So, whilst I might not be jumping in a Zonda anytime soon, Supercar Day at London Concours will always leave me with good memories of one.
Are you a supercar fan? Is there a dream car you’d love to see on London’s streets? Let us know in the comments below.