Skip to content

Spitfire fuselage to go on show in Savile Row

The fuselage of one of the most historic Spitfires, AA810, will be exhibited at the latest edition of the Concours on Savile Row in central London on 22-23 May. The historic  aircraft will be displayed at Gieves and Hawkes tailors along with a replica of the Merlin engine that will go into the restored plane.

Launched in 2022, the Concours on Savile Row features some of the greatest vehicles ever made, matched with specific tailors to continue a long tradition of car manufacturers pairing with the craftsmanship of Savile Row. More than 12,000 people visited the bespoke tailoring street for the event in 2023 when it showcased more than 35 cars and motorcycles.

This year there will be 40-plus cars and motorbikes, including Rolling Stones drummer the late Charlie Watts’s Lagonda LG45 Rapide and Zero Motorcycles SRX Concept electric motorbike.

There will also be two seminars in the Royal Academy of Arts Lecture Theatre: Restoration and Preservation – How Tailors, the Automotive Market, and the Art World Approach Sustainability on 22 May and the following day The Future of Fuels: The Road to Zero Emissions.

The is no question the celebrated Spitfire fuselage will be one of the star attractions, though. Spitfire AA810 is the world’s oldest unarmed military reconnaissance aircraft and the only surviving aircraft linked to any of those involved in the ‘Great Escape’, as well as having the highest operational hours flown (52) of any surviving Mk1 Spitfire. 

One of its pilots was pre-war racing driver and Frazer Nash devotee AFP Fane. Another was Scot Sandy Gunn (above), who, as part of an unarmed RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, was shot down over the Trollheimen mountains of Norway and captured. Gunn was one of 76 men who escaped the Stalag Luft III prison camp in March 1944 but was caught and killed.

The wreck was discovered in July 2018 and it is hoped that it could take to the air again in 2025, making it one of fewer than 60 airworthy Spitfires.

Thomas Muers-Raby, Chief Marketing Officer of Gieves & Hawkes, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to showcase Project Spitfire AA810’s fuselage and replica engine to our guests and visitors during Concours on Savile Row. Our very foundation over 250 years ago was the result of two famous military tailors coming together. Gieves as a celebrated supplier to the Navy and Hawkes of the British Army. Today, the services we offer all branches of the British Armed Forces remain equally important to us, and we are immensely proud of this.

‘Maintaining our reputation and the continued trust of our military customers is earnt only through years of training, dedication, and meticulous attention to detail. The same level of craftsmanship and dedication clearly visible in the AA810 Restoration Project demonstrates a tangible connection between one another, and we are honoured to pay tribute to the story behind this Spitfire and the bravery of her pilot, Sandy Gunn.’

Get Octane Magazine straight from publication to your door with a subscription

Print + Digital 12 months single payment £72 Print + Digital 12 months £70 Print + Digital 6 months £36 Digital 12 issues £40