Do you remember your 25th birthday? No? Then you might have done something right – as the peak of your twenties simply has to be celebrated with a roaring all-nighter among friends and companions. That’s exactly what we had in mind when we planned the Classic Driver's 25th anniversary celebration – and the official launch party of our new “Best of Classic Driver” book. So we teamed up with our pals from Duke of London, who kindly offered us to host our party at their Brentford event space, bar and garage – one of the UK hotspots for contemporary car culture and the go-to destination for the London scene.
But Merlin McCormack and his team at ‘The Duke’ weren’t the only friends who offered their help. While London might Classic Driver’s spiritual home, St. Moritz has always been our preferred weekend destination – so we were thrilled to partner up with our friends from the mountains, offering a reminder of our Classic Driver St. Moritz Panda 4x4 Meet and a taste of alpine glitz with a St. Moritzini served as the special drink of the night.
Meanwhile, our buddies from Ultrace in Poland demonstrated their take on tuner car culture with the Kustom Kolors BMW 320 Group 5 Art Car that was stacked on top of an orange BMW 2002 Jägermeister racer representing the Rennmeister project we are involved in. And when it was time to decorated the Christmas tree, we couldn’t help but throw some fairy lights across the Duke’s purple Meyers Manx and cosy up to their Nocciola Ferrari Testarossa – what better gifts could you wish for?
So on Thursday afternoon, the Duke’s trademark pale blue parking lot started to fill up with CD team members, friends and longtime collaborators, as well as clients, readers and followers, some of whom travelled all across Europe for the occasion. And naturally, they brought along a fine and eclectic assortment of motor cars.
Our long-time companions from Fiskens arrived in a wonderful, race-ready Porsche 356 Carrera GT while our friend Neil Clifford defied the weather with his Peugeot 205 T16 homologation hero. Meanwhile, Harry Millington, founder and director of Inverted, who we met during our 25th anniversary display at Concours of Elegance, entered the guest parking lot in sublime silence, steering his fully electric Range Rover Classic. Still, it was our buddy Jimmy Howson who dropped the mic in the parking lot with his Porsche 911 RSR art car designed by famed artist lefty.
And while the DJ was playing all the hip hop, trip hop and electronica songs we danced to when Classic Driver was founded in 1998, guests were browsing through the 400-page “Best of Classic Driver” anniversary books stacked into the rear of a MGB GT. Retelling the history of Classic Driver and compiling some of the greatest stories of the past years, the collector's edition book is the perfect Christmas gift for any discerning car enthusiast. If you didn’t get a chance to grab a copy at our birthday party, you can order it comfortably through the CD Shop today – and receive it just in time for Christmas.
The greatest pleasure of the night was to see so many of the writers, photographers, designers and Classic Driver alumni – who have helped shape the Classic Driver legacy over the years – join us in this anniversary celebration.
So we chatted, danced and sipped on St. Moritzinis – and enjoyed the roaring all-nighter among friends and companions that we had wished for. Thanks for everyone who helped make this a night to remember as a beautiful blur.
Photos: Błażej Żuławski / Elliot Newton