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International Motor Shows

In bygone times of limited media communications, motor shows gave a unique opportunity to admire and compare the newest models and learn of the latest developments in automotive design. Events in Paris, Turin, Geneva, Detroit, and London attracted many thousands of visitors. Car manufacturers used these extravaganzas as public relations exercises, promoting their brands to dealers, journalists, and the public. Motor shows were often the favoured venues for important car launches.


The London Motor Show of 1948, the first in the city since the outbreak of World War II, was an unparalleled success, drawing in more than 560,000 motoring enthusiasts. Held at the Earls Court exhibition centre, the show saw the launch of several motoring legends, including the Jaguar XK120, Morris Minor, and Bristol 401; the Morris stand is just visible at the rear of the hall. While American marques appear prominent, few of these impressive, powerful cars would be sold in Britain. There were much better prospects in store for the country’s caravan-makers (some can be seen at the very back), as improved roads and greater prosperity triggered a new wanderlust in European drivers.

After the austerity of the war years, the British public relished the chance to get up close to the finest motor cars of the day at the 1948 London Motor Show. The London show ran from 1903 until 2008, and was revived in 2016.


It is a quote. The Classic Car Book – The Definitive Visual History 2016

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