A partially restored Spitfire plane will be displayed in central London next month as part of a two-day display of sports vehicles on Savile Row.

The only known photograph of Spitfire PR.IV AA810 taken as it taxies in at RAF Wick on the 29th January 1942 with Robert Tomlinson at the controls – source: Concours on Savile Row

The street, more famous for tailors than planes, will be taken over by the Concours on Savile Row, an event that will feature a variety of historic and interesting vehicles.

One of the more unusual vehicles will be a partially restored Supermarine Spitfire — and the only surviving aircraft linked to any of the airmen involved in the real-life Great Escape from Stalag Luft III in March 1944.

As one of only 240 Spitfire aeroplanes still in existence worldwide, AA810 also has a racing heritage fitting for the Concours display, as it was flown operationally by one of the most famous pre-war racing drivers of all time, AFP Fane.

The plane was shot down in March 1942, and the wreckage was rediscovered in July 2018. The aim is to restore the plane, using as much of the original as possible, and return it to the skies again.

During the Concours, to show off the restoration that’s been completed so far, the plane’s fuselage and replica engine will be on display inside the Gieves & Hawkes store on the corner of Savile Row.

Spitfire AA810 in the fuselage jig – source: Concours on Savile Row

Elsewhere along Savile Row, more than 40 world-class cars will be on display, from pre-war thoroughbreds to the latest electric hypercars. Many of the tailors, shoemakers and art galleries will be open to visitors and there will also be a central stage for talks and live music.

The Concours on Savile Row is free to visit and will take place on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd May 2024. It will be open from 10am to 8pm on both days.

Entry to the event is free, but VIP tickets are available to partners and sponsors allowing special access to exclusive displays within the tailors and galleries on Savile Row.

Concours 2023

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9 comments
  1. Peewee says:

    Hey Ian, probably an unintentional typo in paragraph 3 – it should be a Supermarine Spitfire, not a submarine Spitfire.

  2. Chris Rogers says:

    “only 240 Spitfire aeroplanes still in existence worldwide” Only?? That’s probably more than any other model of Ww2 aircraft save perhaps a Harvard, though i assume that includes the many new builds. Most are in single figures. The sole surviving Typhoon is in the RAF museum.

    • Michael White says:

      Hi, apart from the two typhoons under rebuild to fly, one in Canada and one here in the UK

    • Mg says:

      They made over 20,000, and there are American models with more extant examples. Plus, not like they’re making any more of them.

  3. Mark Frankel says:

    Spitfire PR.IV AA810 was a photo reconnaissance plane. You can see in the photo no sign of armaments.

    • Tim says:

      Yes it was a photo reconnaissance spitfire. The pilot in this photo, Robert Tomlinson, was a South African who lost his life flying another spitfire from Wick which was lost at sea (maybe returning from photographing the Tirpitz). He was at the time the fiancée of a WAAF officer who was later my mother, it’s rather moving seeing this.

  4. KC Ogilvie says:

    Not the only surviving Spitfire linked to the Great Escape. X4590, PRF Mk I Spit in the RAF museum at Hendon was flown in combat by my father, “Skeets” Ogilvie with 609 Sqn. He was the second last man out of the tunnel and one of the 23 lucky survivors who were recaptured.

  5. Bev says:

    What a shame-my husband and a friend have gone up specially to see the spitfire and there’s a private viewing and they can’t see it!

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