The Horseless Carriage Exhibition

Bo Mascot car

We mark the 120th anniversary of the original Horseless Carriage Exhibition with veteran cars from the turn of the 20th century, as well as a special guest from the College's history.


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London’s first motor show was held at Imperial in 1896 and heralded the birth of the British motor industry. This year, the motor show returns to its original setting at Imperial as a guest star of the 2016 Festival.

The exhibition will feature a number of early static exhibits dating from the 1880s-1900s, and explore the motive power choices that Victorian engineers had to face – steam, electricity or petrol – an issue that is still relevant today. A marquee on Exhibition Road will house a number of early motor cars belonging to De Dion Bouton Club UK members, which will feature in a parade. Horseless carriage

Joining the exhibition will be the City and Guilds Union mascot, Bo, as well as Clem 1 (renamed Joanne), the original mascot of the Royal School of Mines Union - a steam-powered traction engine which is returning to Imperial for the first time in over 50 years.