Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show

Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show 1904 1904 De Dion-Bouton
1904 De Dion-Bouton ‘Victoria’, 1 Cylinder, 8HP (Photography: Mike Massaro).

Regent Street was closed from Picadilly Circus to Oxford Circus on the 2nd November for a very good cause: a fun event showcasing some rare cars from the very early 1920s to present day electric and supercars, some stunning Harley-Davidsons and giant screens playing a trailer of the 2019 Ford v. Ferrari movie. The King B Blues Brothers Band played throughout the day, in spite of the recurrent drizzle.

This is an annual Royal Automobile Club event that gathers more than 100 pioneering vehicles built before 1905 and dating back to the dawn of motoring.  The cars were driven to the event by owners and motoring enthusiasts in period costume, all taking part in the annual Veteran Car Concours d’Elegance, prior to setting off on Sunday morning for the time-honoured pilgrimage from London to Brighton in the famous Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

The state of Illinois was the lead sponsor of the show for a second year running. Famous for its iconic Route 66, affectionately known as America’s ‘Mother Road’, it is perhaps best known for its capital city, Chicago. 

Chicago is of course a destination in its own right, and much more than the start of Route 66. 

Sporting spectacular architecture and no fewer than 25 Michelin star restaurants, the city is also home to a great number of cultural activities and public art projects.

Beyond the city itself, there are wine trails, zip lines, horse riding tours and an unadulterated taste of vintage Americana which feeds into the nostalgia for all things Mid-Western.