A Review of London Motor Week 2019


The Club’s London Motor Week, which ran from Monday 28 October to Sunday 3 November, was a week packed with motoring celebrations, drawing in enthusiasts from around the world.

Encompassing the past present and future, the biggest week for the Club began with a future design competition with the Royal College of Art Intelligent Mobility Faculty and ended with a historical celebration of the heritage of the automobile – the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

To view images from this year’s London Motor Week, please click here.

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The Bentley Bar

Throughout the week the Long Bar was transformed into the ‘Bentley Bar’ with the help of the manufacturer. Featuring some emotive Bentley artwork, sculptures and books, it was a fitting continuation of the Club’s Bentley centenary celebrations.

Click here to view the gallery.

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Monday 28 October – Royal College of Art Vehicle Design Competition

The Club’s London Motor Week calendar kicked off with a fascinating display of futuristic designs created by the post-graduate Art and Design students of the Royal College of Art’s Intelligent Mobility programme, tackling the issue of ‘Rural Mobility’.

35 post-graduate designers were tasked by the Royal Automobile Club and RAC Foundation to design methods of transportation for the year 2030 and beyond for commuters living in rural areas. The project focused on rural populations and the challenges these communities now face.

The teams presented their design concepts to an expert panel of judges at a special awards evening held at the Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse. Industry guests included past Royal College of Arts Vehicle Design alumni, many of which hold roles at manufacturers such as Bentley, McLaren, Tata, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford.

See images and our event review here

The Art of Motoring Exhibition

Monday also saw the launch of the fifth annual Art of Motoring exhibition which ran until Saturday 2 November and incorporated the works of 15 prolific motoring artists and sculptors including Tim Layzell, Neil Collins and Richard Wheatland. Now a firm favourite among many motoring enthusiasts, the works were displayed across the Mall Room, Small Mall Room and Hanging Gallery,

A highlight of the exhibition was Formula 1 artist David Johnson painting an artwork depicting Lewis Hamilton live in the gallery. Attended by several members, it was a fascinating chance to watch automotive art in motion.

See images and our event review here

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Tuesday 29 October – London Motor Week Dinner with Sir Jackie Stewart OBE

Club members and guests enjoyed an unforgettable London Motor Week dinner with three-time Formula 1 World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, on the year in which he celebrated 50 years since his first Formula 1 World Championship. The dinner was attended by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal who spoke candidly about her friendship with Sir Jackie to the present members and guests.

Broadcaster Simon Taylor chatted with Sir Jackie about his early days driving for BRM, his relationship with greats like Jim Clark and Jochen Rindt and his current charity, Race Against Dementia.

Watch our interview with Sir Jackie recorded on the night and see images from the event here

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Wednesday 30 October – The Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal Presentation Lunch

On Wednesday the Club presented two of its most esteemed awards to British automotive industry. The 2019 Dewar Trophy was awarded to JCB for their efforts in developing the first fully electric mini excavator

It was multiple speed-record holder Zef Eisenberg who picked up the Simms Medal for representing the ‘Spirit of Adventure’ which was at the heart of the medal.

See our interviews with the winners as well as images from the ceremony here

Motoring Book of the Year

Now a widely revered set of accolades presented to those in the automotive publishing industry, the Club’s Motoring Book of the Year Awards were as hotly anticipated as ever. Hosted by renowned broadcaster Simon Taylor, the ‘Motoring Book of the Year’ trophy was awarded to Matthew Field’s fascinating deep-dive into the story behind the creation of the Italian Job film with his book, ‘The Self Preservation Society’.

The ‘Specialist Book of the Year’ was awarded to Simon Taylor for his book – ‘John, George and the HWMs’.

Read our review and see images from the ceremony here

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Thursday 31 October – The Royal Automobile Club Motoring Lectures

The Club welcomed six automotive experts onto its stage for the Motoring Lectures, to speak on a range of topics related to the past, present or future of the automobile. A standout session was the Formula 1 Track Designer Hermann Tilke in conversation with Autocar’s Steve Cropley.

Professor Nicholas Oddy gave an insightful presentation on the the evolution of our road network, shedding some interesting light on the fact that the road signs of today are often taken for granted despite being the result of years of refined design.

Other guest speakers included Loughborough Universities’ Professor Rachel Thomson and the ‘Grenadier’s’ Dirk Heilmann.

See images and our event review here

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Saturday 2 November – Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show

Also celebrating 200 years of Regent Street, the largest free-to-attend motor show once again showcased an astounding display of classic, veteran, super and racing vehicles throughout Regent Street.

There was something for everyone to enjoy at this family friendly event, with a Motor Sport Zone featuring Colin Turkington’s BTCC winning BMW 330i M Sport, to a display of Minis, celebrating the marques 60th anniversary.

Also sharing the spotlight were 100 stunning veteran cars on display ahead of the following days London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. After much deliberation, the panel of expert judges, which included Alan Titchmarsh, awarded the Concours d’Elegance Overall Winner’s trophy to the 1904 Mercedes of Albert Eberhard from Portugal.

This pristine and charming 6.8-litre, four-cylinder tourer was originally ordered for Emil Jellinek (the early automobile entrepreneur who named the Mercedes company after his daughter) but was then delivered to the American importer in New York City. It is a regular head-turner on the road to Brighton and caught the judges’ eye for its significance and exceptional all-round condition.

To view images from this year’s Regent Street Motor Show click here.

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Sunday 3 November – Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

As daylight broke, 400 exquisite examples of pre-1905 vehicles, set off on the annual, epic 60-mile journey from central London on their way to Brighton. On a Run which enjoyed unseasonably fine weather, an astonishing near-90% of vehicles which started the Run at Hyde Park made it to the finish line in Brighton before the 4.30pm cut-off point.

To view images from this year’s Run click here.

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