One of the best things about car culture is that sometimes you simply can’t predict where the car will take you. Whether it’s friendships, new cities and adventures, developing your own personal taste and style, or me and my friends, organizing an event that brings people together.
Allow me to awaken your memory.About this time a year ago, I wrote an article on Speedhunters about a stupid guy instagram The page I run with my best friend. We’ll post there the cars we find on the streets of London, and the theme of the whole page is that they’re “a little fun”. We added “London Cars” to the back and hey, in a blink of an eye @mildlyinterestingcarsoflondon was born. Abbreviated as MICOL.
Well, since that article MICOL’s instagram The page kept growing and we met a whole bunch of awesome people. Because of the variety of content we covered, we attracted a broad base of car enthusiasts, and it wasn’t long before people suggested we hold our own event.
Now, that’s awesome, we’re very lucky to be in a position where people want to come together with a common interest (cars!) with us. However, the real challenge is finding the right venue.
Just being in London is not enough. We wanted a distinctive place, a place that better represented everyone behind the MICOL page. We need it to be a hub for youth culture, fashion, music and art before it becomes a hub for cars.
The cars we discover and describe are cool, but the context in which they are found, how we found them and most importantly the stories of their owners is more important. The story is often a direct result of life in London, which is what really sets MICOL apart.
Our venue needs to make people understand how this happens. We want people to be able to talk, understand each other and go beyond the standard cookie-cutter car gathering where people gather around the brightest Porsche on display. MICOL is much more than that.
Just over a month ago, I found a instagram Posts from 2017 show a BMW E38 L7 parked in a former town hall somewhere in London. I’d never seen this car before, and it was really fun to discover how something so special sneaked under not only my radar, but my friend’s as well. There can only be a maximum of five or so L7s in the UK, let alone on the outside rather than under the hood.
After several days of detective work, we managed to pin down an approximate location. My friends and I decided to make it a Sunday, starting with a meeting in a vintage car near my neck, before heading to where we thought the L7 was. At the morning meeting, we saw an orange Bentley, and today’s story really started.
Fast-forward five hours after seeing the Bentley, and we’re in treasure hunt mode, trying to find the damn L7. Honestly, we’re just going around in circles and getting nowhere. Walking down Druid Street in Bermondsey we came across the same Bentley again.
This time we go up and take a closer look, and hear the old-fashioned lines we all hear when we look at cars: “Do you want to buy it?” From there we started chatting with the owner, Chris.
It has been revealed that Chris’ son Sebastian is the curator and main pilot of ForeverGood, an event space fronted by beautiful orange arches. Over the past few years ForeverGood has hosted various musicians, celebrities, art exhibitions and anything creative from London. Sebastian’s event space also has its origins in classic cars, as it used to be a garage.
Take Sebastian’s interest in accommodating London’s many creative subcultures, Chris’s love of fun vintage cars, a bustling area of South East London with empty free parking lanes overlooking iconic London landmarks, we own perfect MICOL car and coffee morning location.
After meeting Seb and his team a few times, we found a date and started a guest list registry for our followers. The area isn’t huge so we didn’t want to overbook and force people out of where the venue is. We picked our numbers and sent out invitations to those who applied.
Inside, Chris parks a few cars on the ramp, and Sebastian arranges an art exhibit. Now, preoccupied, I was out all morning mingling with the people who showed up, putting names on their faces and seeing how people were doing, so I didn’t actually take pictures of anything inside the venue. I know, my effort is poor. Seb, I’m sorry I let you down on that one.
But take my word for it, ForeverGood provides space for everyone to sit and chat, with a chance to have tea, breakfast, and see what the venue is like. With Sebastian’s help, we succeeded in realizing our vision – a place where people come together not only because of their love for cars, but because they are interested in people first.
The combination of cars is simply perfect. BMW owners are slightly dominant, but hey, you should know by now that I have a strong connection to the brand. There were also quite a few modified cars, some of which are sure to hit the pages of this year’s Speedhunters, including Josh Gresswell’s GX61 and Dino’s AE86.
Of course, there are many more cars that feature the original “gentle and fun” mantra.
Every rickety car has something to say about it, but this 4×4 Panda stole my heart. This is an absolute modern classic that will see the same following in 10 to 15 years that the original model sees today.
The BMW 502 V8 was the German automaker’s first attempt at a V8 engine, and it ended up being the precursor to all the V8 5-series we’ve come to know and love from the ’90s to this day. I know BMW Welt in Munich had a 502 Taxi in their garage with over 1,000,000 km on the odometer as a model of build quality and reliability, even back in the 70’s.
Sam’s Mitsubishi Delica is incredible. This is an off-road metal tent that can not only go through the greenway, but also do the whole truck life that is very popular now. Plus, it’s cooler than any Mercedes-Benz Sprinter you’ve seen on the internet.
Parked next to it is Seb’s 996 CSR – a 911 redesigned by Porsche specialist RPM Technik and a car that’s a whole story in itself – and then another black 996 C2 owned by my friend Ghaleb. Ghaleb is a talented writer who contributes a few posts each month to help me run MICOL. Ghaleb and Dino were key figures in getting MICOL off the ground and organizing the event with the ForeverGood team.
Speaking of which, Chris of course brought his orange Continental Sedanca Coupe – a luxurious targa top, one of 79 built of Bentley’s iconic Continental GT. Chris was even kind enough to reverse his Bentley a bit so Speedhunters’ Ryan Stewart could park his JZX100 outside the front door.
And that’s all just scratching the surface of the day’s shock. I could easily write another 1,500 words to get to know each car in depth, probably 1,000 words on the 500 mile Porsche 918 alone.
Within a month of meeting the ForeverGood team, they provided us with the perfect venue, we provided the perfect crowd, and the crowd brought the perfect car to a really fun car and coffee morning.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the ForeverGood folks certainly know where the damn L7 is parked. The icing on the cake. We found it, and yes, it’s incredible. Not bad for an impromptu day trip in Bermondsey, eh?
Instagram: Candy Showroom