A Review of London Motor Week 2018


Monday 29 October to Sunday 4 November 2018

As the dust settles from another packed seven days of motoring celebration it is time to review another successful London Motor Week.

The biggest week for the Royal Automobile Club began when we hosted the students from the Royal College of Art Intelligent Mobility Faculty and ended with the highlight of London Motor Week, the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox.

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

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Monday 29 October

Royal College of Art Vehicle Design Competition
London Motor Week kicked off with a fascinating display of innovative designs created by the post-graduate Art and Design students of the Royal College of Art’s Intelligent Mobility programme to represent ‘Ageless Mobility’.

The brief set by the Club, in conjunction with the RAC Foundation, to the 24 post-graduate designers invited them to understand the needs and options for those over 60 and to design an autonomous solution to keep them mobile, healthy and happy in 2035.

The design concepts were judged by an expert panel including Club member, Professor Gordon Murray, and presented at the first of our London Motor Week events.

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The Art of Motoring Exhibition
Monday also saw the launch of the fourth annual Art of Motoring exhibition which ran until Saturday 3 November. One of Europe’s primary curated exhibitions of motoring and motor racing art, it incorporated the works of 14 prolific motoring artists and sculptors including Tim Layzell, John Ketchell and Klaus Wagger.

For the first time in many years, the works of Argentinian artist Alfredo de la Maria were also on display along with the unique solid bronze and aluminium castings by sculptors Gary Smith, Tim Potts and Robin Bark. Another debutant was Jonny Ambrose, showing his steam-bent wood and carbon fibre creations.

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Tuesday 30 October

From Combustion to Electric – the Motoring Lectures
The Club hosted a series of Motoring Lectures, bringing together some of the finest experts in the field of motoring and motorsport. Headlining the event was three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and current Formula E Team Principal, Allan McNish. McNish provided a fascinating insight into the technologies currently being developed and used in Formula E, and said “From petrol to diesel, diesel to hybrid to fully battery electric cars in just eleven years, a rate of change that I never thought I’d see in my lifetime – it’s a new exciting era”.

Other guest speakers included Bob Owen, Stuart Gibbard and Mike Bishop.

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The London Motor Week Dinner with Dr. Ian Robertson
Our special guest at this year’s London Motor Week Dinner was ex-BMW Board Member, Dr. Ian Robertson.

Ian held significant roles at some of the leading global car manufacturers during his career until his recent retirement earlier this year. He gave a truly insightful presentation on the changing face of the automotive industry and how the last 10 years has turned the last 100 years of the motor car on its head as we move through a fast-changing world of petrol to hybrid and electric.

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Wednesday 31 October

The Dewar Trophy 2018
The Club’s prestigious award honours outstanding technical achievement and innovation in the British automotive industry. The 2018 Dewar Trophy was awarded to Integral Powertrain Limited for the development of the integrated electric motors and inverters which powered the 2018 Pikes Peak winning car.

Romain Dumas raced into the history books in June this year with the 500-kW (680 PS) Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak electric car, setting a record of 7min 57.148sec through the 156-corner 12.42-mile course.

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Motoring Book of the Year
Now in its fifth year, the Club’s Motoring Book of the Year Awards are recognised as the most prestigious awards to be bestowed in the automotive publishing industry. Hosted by respected broadcaster and journalist Simon Taylor, the ‘Motoring Book of the Year’ was awarded to Adrian Newey’s fascinating and powerful memoir, How To Build A Car. Whilst ‘Specialist Book of the Year’ was awarded to Reid Railton: Man of Speed by Karl Ludvigsen.

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Thursday 1 November

The Motoring Forum
The Motoring Forum has become a favourite of the London Motor Week festivities. Now in its seventh year, presentations covered a variety of motoring topics, including automotive fashion, a history of roads in Britain, European manufacturers in the US and motoring fiction. Club member Daniel Ward hosted the popular Veteran Car Run-based quiz to round off the popular Forum.

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Saturday 3 November

Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show
Regent Street once again transformed into a free-to-attend motor show, showcasing the very earliest cars right up to the latest electric city cars and everything in between.

There was something for everyone to enjoy at this family friendly event, with a Kids’ Zone featuring the time-travelling DeLorean from Back to the Future, a Scalextric racetrack, Top Gear experience simulator and performances by the West End Kids singing and dancing troupe.

Also sharing the spotlight were 100 stunning veteran cars on display ahead of the following days London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The 1903 De Dion Bouton W Type of Harold Pritchard was judged the winner of the prestigious Concours d’Elegance and was presented the award by television presenter, Club member and classic car enthusiast Alan Titchmarsh.

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Sunday 4 November

Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run Supported by Hiscox
To the backdrop of a beautiful autumn sunrise, on the banks of the Serpentine in Hyde Park stood a group of people dressed in period costume ceremoniously waving a red flag. Only for it to be torn to pieces just moments later, this year that honour fell to Red Bull Racing Formula 1 boss Christian Horner and fashion model Yasmin Le Bon, setting in motion the annual 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 to the finish line on Madeira Drive on the Brighton sea front. Armed with just goggles, scarves, warm coats and flasks of tea to sustain the ruddy-faced drivers and their passengers on what, for some, turned out to be an arduous trip. By the cut-off time of 4.30pm, around 90% of the starters had successfully made it to the finish line and were presented with their celebratory finishers medals.

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