The annual British motor show has opened in London to reveal everything in the motoring world from cheap models to battery power, and the world's fastest production car -- a six-wheeled 200-mile-an-hour (320 kilometres-an-hour) Panther P-6.
GV INTERIOR PAN Main hall in motor exhibition, Earls Court, London, U.K.
SV PULL BACK TO GV People on balcony watching dancers
SV Two miniature ponies standing in front of French Citroen 2CV
CU PULL BACK TO SV Electric car
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Battery-operated car
SV Silver Panther de Ville ZOOM INTO price label GBP32,950
SV Model sitting on car
SV World speed record-breaker Bluebird
SV Six-wheeled British Panther "P-6"
SVs ZOOM IN "P-6" engine (2 shots)
GV New British Rover 2.6 litre
SV PULL BACK TO GV French Renaults
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Background: The annual British motor show has opened in London to reveal everything in the motoring world from cheap models to battery power, and the world's fastest production car -- a six-wheeled 200-mile-an-hour (320 kilometres-an-hour) Panther P-6. The show, put on by a national daily newspaper, also unveiled the hopeful answer to the financially-ailing British Leyland state car company -- a smaller-engined version of the award-winning new Rover.
SYNOPSIS: The exhibition is a now-traditional showcase for manufacturers from all over the world to exhibit their products, both old and new. As usual, it's held in a colourful atmosphere of near-naked models, music, fashions, shows, and all the fun normally associated with a fair.
A touch of Gallic humour. The 2-CV -- meaning, literally, two horse-power -- is the smallest in the French Citroen range.
Although battery-weight and frequent re-charging is still a major problem, several manufacturers continue to experiment with electric cars for town running. Several prototypes, some already in limited service with specialised users to confined areas like airports, can travel up to fifty miles (80 kilometres) before needing a re-charge.
More expensive -- the British Panther de Ville -- modelled on the 1930's Italian Bugatti Royale. It costs more than GBP30,000 (51,000 U.S. dollars).
Old-fashioned morality? Unlike previous topless years, today's models are well-covered.
Once the fastest car in the world -- Donald Campbell's record-breaking Bluebird.
Another quick one -- Panther says its revolutionary P-6 is the world's fastest production car. Ironically, the company is one of Britain's smallest -- building mostly very fast, very expensive, cars modelled on old-fashioned lines. But the P-6 is revolutionary ever for them. And although futuristic in pure body-shape is still, according to motoring correspondents, mechanically very well-designed.
And for Leyland's Car of the Year -- a 2.6-litre option to the Rover 3.5.
The general trend, meanwhile, is towards economy cars. They're getting smaller every year, and with the rising price of oil could become even smaller.