The Car Fan’s Guide to Europe: London

By | October 20, 2011

European Vacation Daily Derbi Style

In this latest series, we pack up the Family Truckster and head across the pond for a 3 week journey throughout the European Union. We’ll take you to the exotic car playground that is London and traverse the Chunnel at 186mph to show you that there’s really not much going on car-wise in Belgium. We’ll teach you that the Nurburgiring’s nickname “Green Hell” has multiple meanings, especially for those visiting without a car. We’ll also show the awesomeness that is the car scene in Switzerland. We’ll take you to the holiest city of all automotivedom (it’s a word, trust us): Maranello, Italy.

First stop, London. After the 4500 mile journey, we touched down in foggy London town and headed straight for the London Underground “tube” system. I knew I was in a magical place when upon exiting the station I was immediately greeted by the site of a Lamborghini dealership. After dumping our luggage we took a stroll down one of the little “mews” or alleyways nearby and came across this adorable exotic car dealership:

London Precious Metals

Exotic Car Dealership LondonLondon Ferrari F40


Exotics are commonplace in this part of town as literally every other car we saw was either a Porsche, Bimmer, Merc, Ferrari, Lambo, or more commonly an Aston Martin. Thanks to minimal parking and a massive lack of garages, I woke up to these beauties outside my window every morning:

R8 V10 LondonAston Martin DB9


There are obviously many sites to see while in London aside from the eye candy found in daily traffic. For the car enthusiast, we highly recommend the McLaren dealership just up the road from a little department store called Harrods.

McLaren Dealership London

This flagship dealership highlights McLaren’s new MP4-12C and their many triumphs in Formula 1. Literally hanging on the wall is Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 Driver’s Championship winning MP4-23. On the showroom floor is the holy grail of Formula 1 cars, Ayrton Senna’s 1988 Driver’s and Constructor’s Championship winning MP4-4. Of course, the amazing MP4-12C is the centerpiece.

McLaren MP4-12CMP4-12C

London MP4-12CMcLaren MP4-23

McLaren London Dealership1988 McLaren Formula 1 Car

Ayrton Senna's 1988 Championship CarSenna McLaren

Unfortunately, the dealership is not open to the public and access to the showroom is by appointment only. But you can see it all from the sidewalk thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. We think it’s definitely worth a look on your way back from Harrods after spending a few million quid.

We then hit the antique markets on Portabello Road near Notting Hill. Here we found further proof of London’s opulence in the form of this vintage 1930’s BMW 328:

1930's BMW 328

We also found a classic Fiat 500 used as window candy INSIDE a popular pizza parlor.

Fiat 500 Pizza Parlor

London is truly a fairytale land filled with cars fit for kings and queens… oh, and there are some pretty cool buildings and bridges there too. We highly recommend you go see it for yourself someday.


AJ Wilcox on October 20, 2011 at 10:26 am.

You got to see the MP4-12c-SFX-P00-CR3-Q13?!?!?! Oh man, I was considering a drive to California to see one at the dealership…I’m wicked jealous.

Chad Waite on October 20, 2011 at 10:52 am.

What, no shots of the Top Gear studio? I’m disappointed….

Totally kidding, Brando. Senna’s F1 car is amazing. It’s so funny how simple they look from the outside. I love that picture of the R8, too, with the Aston in the background.

Brandon Christiansen on October 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm.

Ha, I tried to get tickets but they weren’t filming the winter series yet. If you go in mid-late November/Early December, however, you might be in luck.

Sad thing is that the tickets are free too. Dang X-Factor! Pushed Top Gear filming back a few weeks.


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