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Plenty of Beauties and even a Beast at this year’s London Concours

With the 2024 event season now in full swing, attention turned to central London, and more specifically the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company, where London Concours brought along a delightful array of machinery, with a few wild cards thrown in too!

If you were to find yourself stepping out of London’s bustling Liverpool Street Station, walking along the busy streets surrounded by chain cafes and supermarkets, you may not even notice a small archway at first. Had you noticed it, you’d be greeted to one of London’s many hidden gems, a leafy square of grass that once a year, provides the ultimate arena for the London Concours. 

Bringing together a welcome mix of classics, period-raced machines and the very latest hypercars, the event’s laidback style ensures a fantastic atmosphere is maintained throughout the three days. Following the path down the steps into the main show ground, an OCD-comforting lineup of colour-matched cars is the ideal starting ground. Last year’s event was all about making green great again, but this year it was time for some ‘Purple Reign’, and the London Concours team had brought together a wonderful array of berry-shaded delights. 

Strolling through the sea of purple hues, machines from the swinging 1960s, right up to recently rolling off the factory floor stunned the crowds at the Honourable Artillery Company. Within the line-up, which proudly featured a Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring finished in Lilac, a Roman Purple Aston Martin DB5, and many other offerings from Ferrari, it was a fellow Italian supercar brand that had us intrigued. Seeing a Lamborghini Diablo at any event is a welcome sight, for it is a car that is perhaps overshadowed by the Countach and Muira, and yet isn’t as flashy as the brand’s newer offerings like the Aventador. Its somewhat subtle styling has aged better than most, and so seeing both a SE30 Jota parked facing another Diablo is truly a wonderful moment, where the organisers had rightly placed the pair as you first enter. 

While there are plenty of beauties to be found among the various categories within London Concours, including celebrations of Zagato, the icons of Carnaby Street and Hypercars, it was the V12 legends area that we stumbled upon an entirely different beast. Born from Paul James’ original creation, now taken over by John Dodd, the Beast is a 1,000 horsepower, 27-litre Rolls-Royce areo-engined monster. The car’s history is surrounded by court cases, unpaid fees, copyright claims and more drama than a daytime soap opera, but it all comes together to give this simply outrageous machine a story unlike any other Rolls-Royce, or any other car for that matter on the road!

Incredibly, the Beast wasn't the only car that followed the same ‘what is that?’ ethos at the London Concours, where an unlikely machine carrying a TVR badge caught our attention. Bult in 2007 by former TVR boss Peter Wheeler, the Scamander Amphibious was not a vehicle we expected to see parked between a pair of classic Jaguars. With a seating layout that is closer resembled to a McLaren F1 than anything else, the cabin looks as though it has landed directly from Mars, boasting unique aircraft style fuselages and a mighty rear exit exhaust. While we may all remember TVR for their colour-shifting sports cars, the Scamander isn’t something we’re going to forget for a while. 

One final standout was another oddity, but one at least sporting a badge known for its custom culture. From the front, this may look like a regular, albeit very well-kept Mercedes-Benz W140 S-Class, but move ever so slightly to reveal the side profile and you’re left with something entirely different. Recently acquired from Japan by DK Engineering, this V12 S-Class has been customised into an Estate, and is finished in Glacier White over an outrageous Designo Jade Green interior, this big-bodied Benz had just about every head turning at the event! Seeing a great selection of carefully curated cars parked among the cloud-touching cityscape of Central London is what really sets this event apart, bringing to life a tranquil fraction of what is an incredibly busy part of the capital city. 

Photos: Elliot Newton