• James Martin is the latest star to join Gala Evening celebrations• Ferrari-owning chef ready to celebrate special tribute to the Prancing Horse
TV chef James Martin has discovered the perfect recipe for a weekend that’s guaranteed to thrill anyone with a hint of high-octane fuel running through his or her veins.The ingredients include an amuse bouche of concept cars, an hors d’oeuvres featuring some of the cars that have starred in the career of the greatest all-rounder, Jacky Ickx, and a dessert that will score a Perfect Ten.And the main course? A veritable feast of Ferraris, with 20 examples of the best from the Prancing Horse worth a combined £120 million.The venue for this exclusive motoring banquet is the London Classic Car Show, which opens its doors on Thursday (23 February) at ExCeL, London and runs until Sunday (26 February). And Martin, a serial Ferrari owner himself, will be one of the star guests joining in the fun at the show’s opening night Gala Evening.He will be joining racing legends Ickx, Derek Bell, Dario Franchitti, Emanuele Pirro and Jürgen Barth to mark 70 years of Ferrari road cars with a remarkable Ferrari Tribute Collection curated by the Show organisers and specialist dealer Joe Macari.Among the cars on display will be a 250 GT SWB, a Daytona, F40, 250 Lusso and a 250 GTO, which alone is worth more than £35 million.“I’m not sure what will be more exciting – seeing all those glorious Ferraris or rubbing shoulders with some of the most successful racing drivers of all time.“Did you know that between them, they have 17 wins at Le Mans, four Daytona 24 Hours victories and three wins at the Indy 500?” said an admiring Martin, who has owned a number of Ferraris in his petrolhead career including a new 360, bought when he was just 24, plus a Daytona and a 275.This will be Martin’s second visit to the London Classic Car Show. He was a curator of the inaugural show and displayed a number of cars from his own collection including a brace of Minis, a Mustang and a Ferrari, as well as establishing the James Martin Classic Café dispensing ‘good, honest grub’ to visitors. “It’s great to be going back,” he said.Another star guest at the Gala Evening with a Ferrari connection is the TV classic car guru Quentin Willson. Quentin will be at the show on all four days, advising visitors how to spot one of his ‘Smart Buys’, a classic that’s set to jump in value in the near future. One of his tips is the Ferrari Daytona.Now in its third year, the London Classic Car Show is packed to the rafters with hundreds of classic cars, some rare, some hugely valuable, some for sale and some starter classic cherished by their owners.As well as the tributes to Ferrari and Jacky Ickx, stunning displays include the show’s Perfect Ten – 60 rare and iconic classics representing ten types of car including saloon, coupé, woodie, single-seater and convertible – all of which will be run along The Grand Avenue, a highway that runs through the centre of the show and allows visitors to see and hear the favourites in action. EVO and Octane magazines, meanwhile, are presenting a display of four rarely seen concept cars from Aston Martin, Jaguar, Vauxhall and Peugeot.Other highlights include Car Club Square, with displays from leading one-make clubs, the Beaulieu Pop-Up Autojumble, and the Open Paddock allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the Perfect Ten and other stunning classics.Although the show opens in just a couple of days, saving scan still be made by booking advance tickets from the show website – thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk. Advance prices start at £24 for single adult entry (£27 on the door on the day). Tickets for Thursday’s star-studded Gala Evening cost £42 with access to the Grand Avenue Club, where the interviews take place, priced at £70.All London Classic Car Show tickets provide free entry to Historic Motorsport International, the new sister show dedicated to historic racing and rallying.
HMI will open its doors at 12 noon on Thursday, 23 February while the London Classic Car Show will burst into life at 3pm that afternoon. The LCCS closes at 9.30pm on the opening Thursday, runs from 10am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday.