The world's longest running motoring event - and one that's come to define motoring London - is the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Open only to vehicles built before 1905, the 60-mile run celebrates the abolition, in 1896, of a law that a man with a red flag had to walk in front of all motor cars. Today, some 500 vehicles set out from London on the first Sunday in November, forming a heroic sight as they leave Hyde Park early in the morning. Some 100 of the cars can be viewed, free, at the Regent Street Motor Show in London's West End on the Saturday before the run.
London is one of the best cities in the world to see supercars on the streets. When Rolls-Royce was conceiving their new Phantom, they sent designers to Park Lane because that's where most customers would spend their time. Today, one automotive London walk for dads and sons alike begins on Berkeley Square in Mayfair, where Jack Barclay, which holds a royal seal for supplying Bentley cars to the Queen, has its headquarters. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has an extensive showroom next door. Browsers are generally welcome at both. Nearby, on Mount Street, is the impressive Porsche Centre Mayfair and a short stroll away is Park Lane, where Stratstone Aston Martin always has a mouth-watering selection of cars, and where, outside the Dorchester Hotel, there is usually a selection of guests' Ferraris and Lamborghinis parked outside.
In February each year The London Classic Car Show assembles millions of pounds worth of the planet's greatest motor cars at Excel London in Docklands. From Minis to Maseratis, from Alfa Romeos to Zagato-bodied Aston Martins, there is something for everyone. The show's unique feature is a "car catwalk" where some of the stars of the show, including Formula One cars, are fired up and run each afternoon. Gourmet food is available at pop-up restaurants around the show.
The 200 select exhibits in the London Motor Museum are just a short train ride away from Paddington Station, in Hayes, Middlesex. Cars on show include some rare American vehicles such as a 1937 Auburn Speedster, a 1967 Shelby 'Eleanor' GT500 and a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr with more than £155,000 worth of customisation fitted to it. There's a Bat Cave with both the 1966 and 1989 Batmobiles, a unique supercar workshop where visitors can see specialist mechanics at work and a selection of cars from the movies, including Mr Bean's Mini and the Lotus Esprit from the James Bond film 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. Burgers are served on a customised London bus.