PaddlUp heads to the capital for London Concours
Nestled amongst the scores of high-rise buildings that litter the Finsbury skyline lies The Artillery Garden at the HAC, a picturesque green space, understatedly intersecting central London, providing some welcome respite from the concrete jungle. This week, this serene garden played host to The London Concours 2022, presented by Montres Breguet.
The London Concours, in essence, is an ultra-exclusive automotive garden party boasting the highest levels of luxury and an overwhelming air of opulence. Hoasted at the Honourable Artillery Company Headquarters, this prestigious event will see the commingling of 80 exquisite automotive examples, arranged into themed categories, complemented by a premium culinary offering and ample retail chalets with luxury goods available to purchase. Although the threat of rain persisted above, guests remained sanguine about the prospects of a sunny and prosperous few days in the capital.
Having been open to the public from Tuesday, June 28 to Thursday, June 30, there was a huge amount to see and do at London Concours. Official judging of the competition entrants took place on Tuesday before an array of in-depth industry-relevant discussions took place at the event stage across the following two days, whilst supercar owners were welcomed to join the festivities on the third and final day.
PaddlUp's own 2012 Lexus LFA made an appearance in the 'Japanese Jewels' class, displaying the very best the land of the rising sun has to offer. The distinctive, V10 Lexus supercar certainly turned a few heads whilst flaunting the traditional PaddlUp plates as well as its notable plastic-covered seats, sun visors and media system.
The LFA was joined in 'Japanese Jewels' by a number of exquisite cars that caught the team's attention. A superb track-honed 1995 Honda NSX-R was rather memorable whilst guests also enjoyed the anachronistic intricacies of one of the 1960's most well-loved GT cars – the 1967 Toyota 2000GT. For something a little different, a 1991 Mazda MX-5 Le Mans made a surprise appearance, sporting the legendary 78-7B livery to commemorate their victory at the 24-hour race. This example was turbocharged and is one of only 22 that were produced.
The show-stopping 'Pursuit of Speed' class featured some truly special examples. Among them was a McLaren Special Operations edition of the Mercedes-Benz SLR. One of just 25 made, this derivative enjoys an upgraded aero package as well as an improved exhaust system and suspension. The SLR was accompanied by a quartet of immaculate Ferraris; an F50, an Enzo, a 488 Pista and an F40 produced in the same year as our PaddlUp brand ambassador car – 1992. A 2021 Ford GT Carbon Series, Jaguar XJ220, Koenigsegg Agera S and a chassis no.1 McLaren 765LT MSO also joined the line-up among other high-performance machinery.
On the other side of the venue, meanwhile, the 'Great Marques: Mercedes-Benz' class was flexing its muscles too. As we all know, the 300SL earned the appellation 'Gullwing' through its unique door mechanisms and so, was etched into automotive folklore, the particular model seen at London Concours 2022 had been masterfully restored in recent years and commanded the attention of those in close proximity. The antithesis of the Gullwing lay mere metres away in the shape of a 2005 AMG C-Class DTM driven by double Formula 1 world champion, Mika Häkkinen to victory at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps. The contemporary 2022 AMG GT Black Series brought proceedings back into the present day with a near-fully carbon fibre body and ludicrous rear wing producing over 400kg of downforce.
Amongst the other highlights were the stunning 1962 Ferrari 250GT California SWB from 'The Italian Spiders' collection, the quintessentially British Bentley Blower, which harked back to a more simple and elegant time in automotive history, and the outrageously large 1958 Cadillac Sedan de Ville measuring a mind-boggling 5.7 metres in length.