Supercar Showdown

The Beaulieu Supercar Showdown really came of age this year. It has matured from the 30 cars that appeared at the first showdown in 2011 into a spectacular collection of over 300 extraordinary and exotic motor cars which created a wonderful day out for families and petrolheads alike.

Achieving the ambitious target of displaying a timeline of iconic cars from every year between 1914-2014 was a great accomplishment and the display, which was housed in an  impressive marquee, was greatly assisted by members of the Beaulieu One Hundred showing one or more of their cars.

Johanna and car

Johanna White’s magnificent 1956 Mercedes 300 SC is an exceptional example of a one owner car from new which has been treasured throughout its life and has covered on average less than 800 miles in each of its 59 years.

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Colin and Fay Hampson’s beautiful Suffolk Jaguar SS 100 looked magnificent in its steel grey paint which contrasted with the more flamboyant Florida green over white colour scheme of John Smith’s Austin Healey 100 – which also won the Peoples’ Choice Award on the day before at Beaulieu’s Simply Classics show.

Supercar Showdown Smiths 3 john and car

Niall Holden displayed two of his beautiful cars. The ex Rod Stewart’s Lamborghini Miura which we were able to see at close quarters at last year’s Beaulieu One Hundred dinner and his stunning Ferrari 288 GTO (which was once owned by a little know guitarist called Eric Clapton!)

Supercar Showdown Holden

After making the trip down from Silverstone, new member, Dermot Bambridge showed his lovely Jaguar XK120 for the year 1953 in the timeline.

Dermot and car

Sir Anthony Evans also showed Britain at its best with his 1981 Bentley T2 which is the last ever T2 made in right hand drive.

Further Beaulieu One Hundred members who took part include Tim Longthorpe with his Aston Martin V12 Vantage and my own BMW Z8.

The event was greatly enhanced by the impressive support from a number of car clubs. The Lotus club was well represented with cars dating from the Elans of the 1960 & 70’s, through the later M100 Elan of 1980’s & 90’s and a handful of the iconic Lotus Esprit. There were also contemporary Lotus cars including Elise, Exige and Evora which will hopefully carry the torch of Lotus into the future. The Porsche Club, as in previous years put on an extensive display of 911’s and also provided their lovely 356 for the timeline display in the marquee.

Owners of the Aston Martin club came in force for the main display and also for the timeline with a selection ranging from a 1934 Le Mans MKII, to two DB5’s, and all the way up the new Vanquish.

The Marcos Club also featured at the event for the first time and added over 20 cars to the display. Jardine Motor Group joined the event this year with a massive convoy of McLaren’s, Lamborghini’s and Aston Martins. Of course Craig Cairns of Pangbourne Lamborghini delighted the crowds with his usual cavalcade of Lamborghinis of all shapes and sizes – all with one thing in common – they are ferociously loud! Something which delighted the all the kids – from seven to seventy!

The core of the day, as always, was the demonstration runs. The poor weather in the morning restricted things but there were still showings from the Bugatti Veyron and new Lamborghini Huracan.

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With the weather improving in the afternoon the big guns appeared and the crowds got to see and experience the sounds and sights of the Supercar acceleration.

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For me the success of the event this year was in its broadened appeal. While it retained the Supercar Showdown it was billed as, the timeline of iconic cars over the last 100 years added depth and variety. I think everybody that attended went home having enjoyed a fantastic show at Beaulieu which they will want to return to next year. Even the weather, which threatened to make it another damp experience, relented by mid-morning and by the afternoon we enjoyed warm sunshine and the later demonstration runs were done on dry(ish) tarmac.

The question on everyone’s mind as they left was, ‘If I could choose just one, which of all those magnificent cars would I take home?’ Not an easy question to answer but the Porsche Carrera GT would take some beating for me.

The Supercar Showdown is a sensational day and a high point in the Beaulieu events calendar. Hopefully next year even more B100 members will be inspired to enjoy and support the event by showing their cars to the public – and to each other.

Andy Ollerenshaw and all the Event team deserve our sincere thanks and congratulations for delivering such an outstanding event at Beaulieu.

And Thank you to Mike Timmins for writing such an excellent summary of the day.

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