Celebration Marques 2019


The Iron Ladies - 100 Years of Bentley

Much like their track performances, Bentleys have always put in a good showing at Motorclassica, taking out two Best in Show and three class awards over the last nine years. This year, we give one of the most desirable marques in the World the celebration it deserves.

Bentley’s heritage speaks for itself - six Le Mans wins, five of which were achieved during the “Cricklewood” years, the legend of the Bentley Boys, connections to James Bond and The Avengers’, John Steed and a list of famous owners ranging from Queen Elizabeth II to Kim Kardashian – and a rare example can gain an invitation to any concours event in the world.

Keep Calm and Carry On - 100 Years of Alvis

Recently, British car maker, Alvis joined Jaguar and Aston Martin in resurrecting a selection of old models as “continuations”.  But what of the hundred years that precedes today?  It’s fair to say that from the 1920s to the 1940s, when the Luftwaffe flattened their Coventry factory, Alvis was a titan of Britain’s luxury sports car market, manufacturing Grand Prix and Le Mans cars throughout the inter-war period, and even placing 6th in the great endurance race in 1928.  The 4.3L produced between 1936 and 1940 was one of the fastest cars in the world and the first production four-door to hit 100mph.  It was also one of the most expensive, only marginally cheaper than a Bugatti Type 57.  In the 60s, Alvis was the marque of choice for the Duke of Edinburgh, who famously sported a one-off 1961 TD21 drophead coupe. 

100 Years of Alvis supplies the perfect bookend to Bentley’s centennial at this year’s Motorclassica.

Joyeux Anniversaire Mon Ami - 100 Years of Citroë

There is no example of Gallic ingenuity and innovation greater than that of Citroën, celebrating its centenary in 2019.  Distracted by unique designs and styling queues, it is easy to forget that Citroën pioneered a number of firsts including being the first company to import Henry Ford’s mass production techniques to Europe, the introduction of the “all-steel body”, development of the front-wheel drive, the unitary body and of course, the world-first hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension system.  A multiple world rally champion and three-time European Car of the Year winner, it is this innovation and style has garnered Citroën a dedicated following throughout the world.

A Sting in the Tail - 70 Years of Abarth

Following on from a successful racing career in both motorcycles and cars, Carlo Abarth, along with Guido Scagliarini founded Abarth & C in 1949, out of the ruins of Cisitalia. With five 204A Cisitalia sports cars, Abarth rebuilt and christened his own Abarths, enlisting the skills of drivers such as Nuvolari, Cortese ad Taruffi to assure a string of successes for the Squadron Abarth racing team.

Producing aftermarket performance products for Fiat, Lancia and Simca, Abarth began its famous association with Fiat in 1952 when it built the Abarth 1500 Biposto on Fiat mechanicals.  The rest is history.

From 1960 to 1981, Abarth developed and built cars for Porsche, Simca, Fiat and Lancia, including the iconic Fiat 124 Abarth Rally, Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo and Lancia Rally 037 – all high-performing and powerful but equally small and agile, just like their scorpion familiar.

The Giant Slayers - 60th Anniversary of Mini

Arguably few other cars are as instantly recognisable and adored as the BMC-built, Mini.  Originally developed out of Great Britain’s needs for a more fuel efficient car, the transverse-engined, front wheel drive provided maximum interior space and a wide stance to aid balance and handling.  An instant hit, the Mini was initially released under both Austin and Morris badges, but it wasn’t long before race car builder John Cooper saw the small car’s potential, developing it for Group 2 rally racing.  An even more powerful (and desirable) Mini Cooper “S” was offered in 1964, and this model went on to become a motorsports icon with multiple wins in the Monte Carlo Rally, and locally a clean sweep in the 1966 Gallaher 500 (now Bathurst 1000).

These giant slayers will take pride of place on the gallery level of the Royal Exhibition Building in 2019, assuming their rightful position as Kings of the Mountain!

Hayai Kurama - A Tribute to Japanese Sports Cars

There is no denying the impact that Japanese sports cars have had in shaping automotive history and popular culture. Given that the European and American car manufacturing industries had a 60 year head start, the Japanese car makers have punched well above their weight and achieved much since Datsun released Japan’s first sports car, the DC-3 in 1952. With only 50 built, in was an inauspicious start, but would eventually lead to the iconic Fairlady/Z-car series, the biggest selling sports car in the world in the 1970s. Honda followed suit in 1963 with the S500.  Powered by a tiny 500cc engine, it was the beginning of a revolution which over the following two decades saw the introduction of Toyota’s 2000GT and Celica, Mazda’s Cosmo and RX series, Nissan’s Skyline.

In 2019, for the first time at Motorclassica, we celebrate the cultural impact of these motoring samurais. 

Motorclassica 2019 Dates

Friday 11th October – 9am to 9pm

Saturday 12th October – 9am to 9pm

Sunday 13th October – 9am to 5pm

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See the Motorclassica 2019 highlights here