Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Sunday November 06 2011

Early last week, via the Londonist, I heard about a big occupation of Regent Street that was going to happen yesterday, not by idiot hippies with no agenda (thank god), but by cars – veteran cars, E-type Jags, Minis, boringly modern cars, and surely plenty of etc. type cars.

But, come yesterday morning, I really wasn’t in the mood to get out, and nor was the weather very getoutful.  But I am very glad that I forced myself to attend.  I have never seen so many interesting cars assembled in one spot.  Any one of them would have deserved a photographic effort.  All of them congregated together was stupendous.

The light was poor, the kind where you have to hold your camera still or it’s disaster.  But I held it just about still enough, and snapped away like a mad thing.

There were, as promised, lots of E-Type Jags:

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Lots of E-Type Jags and Minis:

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Yes, lots of Minis, and we’re not talking the fake German Minis of recent years, that aren’t even that Mini.  These were real Minis:

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The reason for all that Mini Jag action being that both are this year celebrating their fiftieth birthdays.

Better yet, there were lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of vintage cars, of the sort constructed over a century ago, when they were still trying to work out what a car was:

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There were other cars, some exciting, like the knee-high red rocket car, and some dreary, like all the cars that demonstrated different varieties of fuel, such as electricity.  The dreary thing about the modern cars on show is that they look exactly like ordinary cars, i.e. in the nature of this, dreary cars.  You can’t see all the bizarrely new mechanical stuff, or not most of the time, because it is hidden behind dreary metal, just like a regular car:

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But despite the dreary modern cars, it all added up to digital photographer heaven.  Many of the above pictures contain photographers, whom I couldn’t have avoided snapping had I been trying to avoid snapping them, and of course I wasn’t.  Was I going to be the only digital photographer present?  Of course not.  Here are some more of my tribe in action:

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But what exactly, besides cars, were we all photo-ing?  I believe I was not the only one who was particularly noticing all the details of the vintage cars.  Like I say, they hadn’t (around 1900 or so) fully worked out what a car was supposed to be, and you can see them experimenting and juggling around with this and that arrangement, these and those luxury appendages, these and those sorts of seats, these and those sorts of bonnet shapes, right there in front of you.  Things had to be somewhat different from horse-drawn carriages.  But how different?

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Amazing.  That all took hardly more than an hour.  Throughout, it was threatening to rain, but it never did until I was ready to leave.  I love how, when you visit something with a camera, you can photo it, and then go home and look at it all at your leisure.

Including “Sport” in the category list is because today, many of these cars will have been racing down to Brighton.