Archive 2005: First Limo and Chauffeur Show Report.
Mar15

Archive 2005: First Limo and Chauffeur Show Report.

To celebrate TheChauffeur.com’s Tenth Anniversary, we look back on an event which marked the start of a series of events we hosted in the UK… The Limousine and Chauffeur Show hit the UK for the first time last month and received a fantastic response from the chauffeur industry. The show at Sandown Park in Surrey ran over two days and saw more than 4000 visitors feasting their eyes on some of the world’s most prestigious stretched limousines, luxurious chauffeur cars and exotic vehicles. The show was Europe’s first opportunity to introduce this kind of trade event outside of the USA, bringing together some of America’s most deluxe limousine manufacturers and desirable executive cars from all around the world The show featured almost 40 exhibitors from the motoring industry including; Binz UK, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, XoticLimos.com, Limo Word UK, The Chauffeur Magazine, Direct Chauffeur Line (show sponsors) and the National Limousine Association. Making its European debut at the Limousine and Chauffeur Show was the impressive six wheeled, Hummer H6, worth over £73,000. The H6 is expected to take the UK’s limousine market by storm. Limo World UK, the sole European dealer and distributor of the H6, has already seen units sold in Japan, USA and Dubai. Nick Clarke, Managing Director of Limo World UK comments: “Europe’s first limousine show has been a fantastic opportunity for us to debut the new Hummer H6. We also sold 20 Hummer H3 Limousines, some of which are going to European buyers, from Paris, Switzerland and Belgium as well as the UK. We are already looking forwards to being part of the 2006 Limousine and Chauffeur Show.” Barry Schiller from Tiffany Coachworks Europe said, “We were very proud to have been there to witness the birth of a new show in the Limousine Industry calendar and have no doubt that it will become the event that no serious player in our industry will dare to miss in 2006.” He added, “It made a refreshing change to be able to play host to our American colleagues on our home turf after all the hospitality that we have received over the years and at a show that, despite being the first, could hold its head up high and shine.” The Ford Excursion Diplomat, with an interior comparable to that of a private jet, also made an appearance at the UK’s debut show. Full of the ‘bling’ factor, Limo Depot UK ECB’s un-stretched Excursion has already attracted attention from a range of world famous music stars. Also at the show, ECB President David Bakares comments; “We are very pleased with the show. We have sold a number of...

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VOSA to produce legal Hummer
Aug02

VOSA to produce legal Hummer

A stretched Hummer produced in conjunction with VOSA is apparently on the cards and will be tested in the UK in September, according to close sources to The Chauffeur magazine. The 180 inch H2 is currently being built in the USA and it has been said that VOSA is fully behind the project to make sure the limousine arrives in the country and it’s able to confirm to full COIF and PSV standards. It is due to arrive in September when it will have to complete three weeks of gruelling testing at Millbrook before it can get the approvals required to obtain the certificates. Our sources have said the H2 will have completely modified brakes, rear doors, seating, higher roof and a heavily re-engineered front end. The Chauffeur magazine has been exclusively invited to inspect the vehicle at the coachbuilders on the east coast before it is completed and bought into Europe. It is thought the Hummer will have a slightly higher price tag, but the vehicle would legally be able to seat sixteen...

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The Royal fleet of limousines

Robert Wilkins highlights the amazing history of how the Rolls-Royce was introduced into the Royal fleet of limousines. Up to the time King George VI died, the Royal Fleet consisted of Daimlers. Meeting Princess Elizabeth on her arrival back in the UK following her father’s death was a suite of limousines which clearly came from an earlier age. It wasn’t long before the new monarch ushered in a new era in Royal Limousines. In 1948 Rolls-Royce had built an experimental car based on a Bentley design, called the ‘Scalded Cat’. One of the people they leant this prototype to was Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He was greatly taken with the car and subsequently Rolls-Royce put into production a very special limousine. A car designed purely for Royalty and Heads of State with an impressive 130mph top speed. The Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, as it came to be designated, was such an exclusive vehicle that only 18 were ever made, and remarkably 14 still survive to this day, several of which are in the ownership of descendants of the original owners. The Phantom IV was fitted with a Straight Eight engine of 5,675 cc and had a wheel base of 12’ 1”. Indeed it is rumoured that the standard distance between UK parking meters was set at 19’ to accommodate the size of the vehicle! The Duke of Edinburgh ordered a Phantom IV and when delivered was bodied as a formal limousine by H J Mulliner and was painted a dark shade of green. The interior had green leather seats to the front, Liebman Grey cloth to the rear with walnut veneer throughout and a nautical compass provided. The rear carpet was a mohair rug with a green carpet in the front. The windows were electrically driven, along with the division and rear window blind. The division cabinet contained a clock, ashtray, lockable magazine rack and in the centre armrest was a radio, mirror, notepaper and writing implements. A small blue police light was fixed onto the roof along with fittings to accommodate the Royal couple’s heraldic shield and standard. The vehicle was christened ‘The Maharajah of Nabwa’. Following Princess Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, the vehicle was sent to Hooper & Co who was commanded to prepare the Phantom IV as a State car. It was decided that the Royal Fleet needed a uniform identity and thus the Royal colour scheme of Royal Claret over Black with a vermillion coachline was established. The Queen’s car was re-painted in this new livery. The Royal Coat of Arms was painted by hand on each of the rear doors and boot...

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Frankfurt debut for extended wheelbase Phantom

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars launched the extended wheelbase version of the Phantom for the first time in Germany at the Frankfurt motor show in September. The longer model was complimented by two other Bespoke Phantoms with a range of new features. Rolls-Royce announced the extended wheelbase model at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. An additional 250mm increases the already generous rear space and gives customers the chance to increase the level of Bespoke equipment. The first cars will be built for the Middle East market in early autumn. Deliveries to the Asia Pacific region will begin at the end of the year. The extended wheelbase Phantom can be ordered with such options as rear seat DVD player, individual six-inch screens positioned in the rear of the front seats, drinks cooler and a humidor. Alongside the extended wheelbase model will be a Bespoke, contemporary specification Phantom. The solid black exterior provides the perfect backdrop for the Jasmine-coloured coach-lines. Inside is a Black Tulip wood veneer with Mother of Pearl detail inlay, matching black carpets and Jasmine leather seats. In the rear, a Bespoke cool box sits below the lounge seat. Blue chrome fittings complete the look. The second Bespoke Phantom has been designed to appeal to the business user. This car includes items such as a rear telephone and laptop power points. The rear compartment also features a theatre package — two individual, fully adjustable seats, separated by a centre console, which houses a cool box and a crystal glass set. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and CEO, Ian Robertson, said, “Rolls-Royce has always been an innovator, pushing the boundaries of automotive art. The Phantoms on display at Frankfurt reflect the new, younger owners of Rolls-Royce cars. We are continuing to take significant steps forward in automotive thinking, not with the aid of superfluous gadgets, but through the original use of materials, technology and...

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Operators boasts the benefits of the minicoach

Roy Thomas from Park Gem Limousines in Crawley highlights the growing trend for mini coaches, therefore tavoiding the licensing difficulties with American limousines… When you first buy a limousine and start-up in the industry, you probably thought that the car would be working seven days a week, stuffed full of famous celebrities and it will soon have you on the way to your first fortune. However, within a very short time you realise that you may have got it wrong! Limousines rarely work full-time due to the fact that your real customers generally go out at the weekends, apart from the proms and race events, but those bump up the business only for a month or so. This is when your air bags burst, the air conditioning clamps out, the sound system gives up and you get intimate with your pitmans track rod ends and ball joints. You also find out the wonderful diversity of the American stretching market… hands up those who have got a wiring diagram? How many times have you watched a man with a meter scratching his head and mumbling profanities about American cars? And just when you think you’ve got it sussed you meet your local licensing officer who informs you that they will not licence white cars, American cars or left hand drives despite the fact that the next licensing authority along will licence them…sound familiar? This actually is not just a problem for stretch limousines, but also for the airport transfer people and any operator who business is not entirely local. Despite all the above, when the SUV’s started coming over to the UK, the “must have one of those” thoughts started nagging at me. Initially the finance was a problem but we overcame that, but it was during that period the overall problem became clear, we were now heading for show down with VOSA. Now VOSA is bit like the tax man, they may not move too quickly but they will get you in the end and they are getting quicker. Once you get up into the realms of over eight passengers as we all know you enter a whole new ball game. It was now that the idea of using a legal vehicle that was made to carry 16 passengers and had a CIOF (certificate of initial fitness) was too great. So, with this in mind we first looked at mini buses, we initially didn’t like them as they look a bit too much like converted vans (not surprising as that is what they are). The choice soon narrowed all the way to the Caetano Optimo which can be re-seated...

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First Industry Awards — success for UK companies

The UK’s first industry awards took place at the Limousine and Chauffeur Show and recognised businesses and individuals from the industry. Editor of The Chauffeur Magazine, Paul Gibson, presented the awards to a crowd of 300 at Sandown Park. Categories such as Limousine of the Year, website of the Year and Chauffeur of the Year were all presented with the help of popular comedian Simon Evans. Eddy Ellis and Neil Percival collected the award for Website of the Year a1stretch.com. Judges looked for design, content, navigation and good links. Dave McPhail from Moonlight Industries gets awarded for Limousine of the Year for its Joker H2 creation. Royale Limousines were awarded Coachbuilder of the Year. President Cabot Smith collects the award for the quality limousines his company produces. The Audi A8 Long-wheel base was given Chauffeur Car of the Year award. Nathan Dennis from Audi UK received the award from Jon West of category sponsors Broadway Wholesale Tyres Ltd. Operator of the Year was awarded to Singletons Limousine based in South Wales. The company was nominated for its amazing growth, excellent fleet of vehicles and professionalism. The award was presented by Peter Wright from Star Limos parts and accessories, sponsors of the category. Chauffeur of the Year was given to Robert Mortimer who was voted for his professionalism, smartness and attitudes towards the industry. Robert was awarded 12 months free insurance by Direct Chauffeur Line Insurance Consultants. Finalist: Website of the Year, Limos4sale.co.uk. Paul Miles Finalist,: Website of the Year, Limoshop.co.uk Finalist: Coachbuilder of the Year, Pinnacle Limousines. Finalist: Coachbuilder of the Year, Executive Coachbuilders, collected by David Bakares and Tom Fielding Finalist: Website of the Year, Chauffeursnetwork.com. Malcolm Canavan. Finalist: Chauffeur of the Year Kevin...

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