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VM inspiration: The London Classic Car Show

For visual merchandising displays based around cars, the London Classic Car Show at London’s Excel Centre was a ‘must-see.’ Not only are there wonderful examples of much-loved cars, which can be photographed, but there is everything that the auto-aficionado might wish for.

Eagle, one of the larger companies showing, has a professional stand displaying the up-to-date chassis that it fits to old E-type Jaguars. The new owner receives a classic car in mint condition, with today’s state-of-the-art performance and safety. A screen placed behind a car on this very elegant exhibition stand allows the improved performance and handling to be impressively demonstrated.

The replacement chassis took pride of place on a low modular platform with the Eagle name on the side, surrounded by examples of recent projects.

An extremely tilted Jaguar displayed on a carpeted bank allowed the quality of the scarlet leather interior re-fit to be appreciated, and would look amazing in any car showroom window - not least because of the gravity-defying angle at which the car was parked.

This car has had the paint removed and the shell polished to a steely shine. The totally perfect smooth curves neatly underline the skill of Eagle’s body-shop and its extremely high standard of workmanship.

The stand of this specialist oil supplier suggested retro style with leather seats, a factory door behind the service desk, and sales staff-dressed in brown overalls. A nice touch.

Another vendor offered a selection of classic crocodile and Louis Vuitton trunks, perhaps destined for use as coffee tables in touring hotel interiors, rather than strapped to the back of a Morgan. The crocodile-covered Chesterfield sofa, just glimpsed, was also for sale. Unfortunately the price is probably beyond most VM budgets!

Fantasy versions of classic cars were also included. This version of a La Sarthe by Rolls Royce and Bentley restoration specialist Bensport is based on a Bentley classic, yet morphed into an extreme version of Bentley’s 1953 car with accentuated, cat-like haunches.

Interestingly, the La Sarthe original was also on display, named originally after the Le Mans circuit. Bensport offers to create a bespoke classic car for privileged owners. In some ways this encapsulates the essence of the car, in much the same way that VM often underlines and showcases the essence of a brand, a season, or a mood. And remember, with a little tweaking, a VM version of that rear trunk (below) could easily carry a chromed luggage rack to showcase relevant merchandise.