Historic Motorsport International Pulls in the Punters
The inaugural Historic Motorsport International attracted in excess of 37,000 visitors during it’s four day run alongside the London Classic Car Show, and a date has already been fixed and plans are afoot for the 2018 edition.
The show was opened on Thursday by Jacky Ickx, who, in addition to his official duties, Ickx shared his memories with visitors during two fascinating public interviews in HMI’s busy Supagard Theatre on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning when he was joined by Derek Bell, the Englishman with whom he shared three of his six Le Mans wins.
The Supagard Theatre also hosted entertaining interviews with a number of other famous faces from motorsport including renowned racers Emanuele Pirro, Steve Soper, Martin Donnelly and Jackie Oliver and was home to the two-day HMI 2017 Conference Programme – with leading names from the sport discussing important topics such as safety, driving standards and eligibility.
The tens of thousands of HMI visitors were also treated to a unique insight into all areas of historic motorsport. Exhibitors included the organisers of all of Europe’s premier series’ and championships as well as iconic race car constructors such as Lister and Crosslé.
Notable displays came from historic preparation specialist Hall & Hall and Cosworth, the latter celebrating 50-years of its remarkable DFV F1 engine featuring one of the original 1967 Lotus 49s which gave the DFV the first of unrivalled tally of 155 -rand prix wins. Positioned close to the main HMI entrance it was a major head-turner as was the 1988 Le Mans winning Jaguar XJR9 on show in the Supagard Theatre.
The world’s biggest historic motor racing festival – the annual Silverstone Classic – also had a major presence at HMI not only showcasing some of the stand-out cars that will be competing come July but also bringing its famous Scarf & Googles pub to London for the very first time.
Adding to the already buzzing atmosphere, HMI boasted a live sale by specialist auctioneers Coys on Saturday afternoon with an appealing collection of 22 competition and classic road cars coming under the hammer and generating more than £1 million worth of sales.
Topping the bill was a Ferrari 330 GT which was finally sold to the room for £510,000. Other notable lots included a rare right-hand-drive Mercedes 190SL which achieved £120,000, one of the highest prices seen in recent times, £65,000 for a race-prepared Lotus Elan and £56,000 for a Deep Sanderson with 1963 Le Mans history. All prices are plus premium.
“It was exciting to part of the very first HMI – a show that clearly is going to be a major player in the historic motorsport sector,” said Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys. “There were some amazing cars on show – and not just with us here at Coys. We are very much looking forward to next year.”
The confirmed dates for next year’s Historic Motorsport International are set for 15th-18th of February when HMI, once again, will run alongside The London Classic Car Show at ExCeL London.
“Launching a dedicated historic motorsport show in London alongside the already fantastic London Classic Car Show has created a fabulous pre-season market place for all aspects of historic motorsport,” said Show Director, Ian France. “Many of those participating have already reconfirmed for 2018 when HMI will not only be bigger but will also be a week earlier thus providing all those involved with an even better opening to the competitive season ahead.”