I don’t know if you are familiar with London but if you come out of Old Street tube station and wander down the City Road towards Moorgate you pass what looks like the entrance to a medieval castle.
This is the home of The Honourable Artillery Company who are the oldest regiment in the British Army and for three days in June was the home of The London Concours Car Show.
It was difficult to know where to look first from wacky beach buggies to the most extravagant Rolls Royce and everything in between. Norton celebrated 125 years with an amazing selection of new and old machines including racing and ex police bikes.
Each day was themed with the Concours de Elegance on the first day. The second day was reserved just for style and the third a rip roaring display of supercars.
For me personally the best part of this event was an interview with Lord Hesketh who gave a very interesting talk about Team Hesketh, Formula 1 in the ’70s and James Hunt.
He explained how he and his designer Harvey Postlethwaite were invited for an audience with Enzo Ferrari. When they landed at the aerodrome everything was shut and locked and the only way of escape was to break a window which led to the toilets of a pizzeria. Once inside the restaurant they asked to borrow a telephone but at that moment two Ferrari 400s appeared to whisk them off to the Ferrari factory.
Enzo Ferrari offered Hesketh his engines which was an offer that had never been made before. He knew James Hunt would drive well but he also understood that Harvey Postlethwaite was the best aerodynamicist working in Formula 1 at the time. He also dispelled some of the myths surrounding James Hunt who apparently was not quite as the press made him.
These events are no longer just car shows and whilst you’re enjoying all of the action you can sip a glass of champagne, book lunch at one of the restaurants stationed around the green or just shoot the breeze with the exhibitors who are generally a friendly crowd pleased to discuss their pride and joy.
So if you do find yourself in The City Road next June have a look, you’ll never know who you might meet.
James Hunt retired from racing at the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix. Dr Harvey Postlethwaite went on to design championship winning Ferrari Formula 1 cars.