If you like wheels, boy are you in for a treat. We sent two very comme ci comme car people to the capital’s biggest indoor car event to see if cars really are good
Imagine for one second the smell of a brand new car. That overwhelming synthetic carpet freshness that only a small cardboard pine tree doused in chemicals can provide. Now imagine that smell on a warehouse-sized scale. You friend are experiencing the feeling of walking into The Confused.com London Motor Show.
We’re here today at the show’s press day not as avid petrol heads, but more fence-sitting maybe boys, willing to be won over by a hanger full of shiny machines. Situated in London’s ExCel Arena, an exhibition center so big and sleek that it feels like a sci-fi city, the show is the English capital’s modest equivalent of motoring big dogs like Geneva and Detroit. The show boasts exhibitors, driving events, talks and more, all an avid car fan could want. We’re here to ask the simple question: Are cars good?
Our first port of call for the day is the RS Motorhomes stand. We’re not talking just any old converted Transit though, we’re talking luxury horse lorries for people. The models on show are the Endeavour and Envoy and frankly, they’re pretty incredible. Even the luggage holds in the bottom of the Envoy would be more luxurious than camping.
Although there are many many dream whips here (maybe there’ll be a The Fast & The Furious film based on a car show heist?), it’s the quirky stuff that catches our eye, not least a funny little car surrounded by what looks like a picnic. A closer look reveals that this Citreon CV2 is actually the world’s smallest food truck. Nicknamed ‘Dolly’, the renovation of the car celebrates the iconic model’s 70th anniversary and this particular one now has a kitchen incorporated into the back of it, as well as a car-sized hamper showcasing Britain’s finest produce. Hire it for your wedding and pretend you’ve ordered a British food hamper to a rural French town.
Past more extremely fast (I assume) and shiny cars and we stumble upon the future of black cabs. And you guessed it, it’s electric. The LEVC TX is the first electric black cab that can drive purely on electric power. With room for six, a typical fuel saving of £100 per week, a range of 377 miles, the LEVC TX also boasts a redesigned interior for comfort and space. Only time will tell as to whether the new black cap concept will attract a more progressive and woke driver.
Just in case you’re wondering, all of your favourites are here. Bugatti Veyrons, Jaguar E-Types, Lamborghinis, Ford Mustangs and of course, ice cream trucks. The stall of Whitby Morrison, the world’s leading manufacturer of ice cream vehicles, leaves us pondering the future of the mobile ice
cream business. Will they opt for electric vehicles? Will a cash-free society as early as 2022 leave them cold? Whatever happens, the Crewe-based company is a fascinating example
of niche engineering.
We move on to the BIG zone, a place set aside for you guessed it, above average-sized vehicles. You know the old adage about guys in big cars? Well this is the place for them. Featuring the fastest American police car (a Dodge Charger), custom XXL Hummers, a 4WD Mini and giant American rigs, this area runs on pure unleaded testosterone. The soundtrack of tyres screeching from the nearby Mercedes-Benz World Driving Arena only heightens a turbo-charged sense of masculinity. If for a moment you’ve forgotten you’re a man, kind skimpily-dressed women hand out leaflets and encourage you to take your dad to an Essex car event on father’s day.
Cars firmly perused, we leave for the DLR, thoughts waiting to be gathered. Are cars good? Yes, cars are quite good. Did the Confused.com London Car Show seem slightly outdated? Yes, it did. From the creepy topless posters handed out by Longstone Tyres to only a few modest nods to an electric future, it will be interesting to see how the London Car Show develops on its route towards a petrol and diesel free London by 2040. EJ
Words by Davey Brett
Image Credits by Thomas Sumner