Concours to honour grass-roots car collector

Plus, one lucky Drive-My reader will be invited to be a judge. Photograph Graeme Hurst.

A special display at the London Concours is to celebrate the motoring life of graphic designer and Historic racer Julian Balme, via his heavily US-influenced collection of cars. Balme started his career at Stiff records in the 1970s. He has designed many famous record sleeves, including ones for the likes of The Clash, as well as creating designs for a huge number of books and other projects.

Concours to honour

Concours to honour

His dedication to motoring has been lifelong, and the cars expected at the Concours will be as interesting as they will be huge. Many of them have fascinating background stories, such as the 1954 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Wooly Bully in which Balme took part in the inaugural revival of the Carrera Panamericana and which has also competed at the Goodwood Revival. Other racers vary from Balme’s beautifully presented and well-known Ford Falcon to his visually arresting ‘Gasser’ dragster, Kandee Twist.

The collection is nothing if not eclectic, however. It also includes a Lotus Elan +2 which Balme has owned for over 30 years, and a Triumph Spitfire which his mother bought new and which has been in the family ever since. He said: ‘Being someone of fairly normal means rather than one of the country’s wealthier collectors, I was both shocked and honoured to be invited to be the first collector to have his cars showcased at the London Concours. For me it demonstrates that it really is an event for genuine enthusiasts and is not solely about megabucks cars. Having lived and worked in London for 35 years, I think it’s all the better that this is my “home” concours.’

Also, just as in 2018, one lucky Drive-My reader will be invited to join the roster of judges who will be selecting the winners at the Honourable Artillery Company in the heart of the City of London on 5 June. Our winner will receive a free ticket, plus one for a guest, to attend on the first day – though our judge can expect to be busy with his or her duties.

To enter, email [email protected] with your name, contact details and why you are the right person for the job (in fewer than 50 words) by Monday 13 May. Please make sure you put ‘London Concours’ in the title line. The winner will be notified by Friday 17 May. You can find the rules at

See for more details of the event or to book tickets.

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