On Sunday, September 10, supercars, classics, and all manners of modified vehicles drove into the capital to protest against the latest ULEZ expansion. If you're thinking that this sounds stupid because these people are protesting a scheme that aims to make London's air healthier and thus reduce the number of deaths and illnesses caused by pollution, you're wrong.
ULEZ stands for Ultra-Low Emission Zone and bans all gas and diesel vehicles that fail to comply with minimal emissions standards. The goal of the initiative isn't to fight climate change but to improve air quality in London and thus lighten the burden on the NHS (National Health System).
Introduced in 2015, it was implemented in 2019 and got its first expansion in 2021. With the latest expansion, the area doubled in size and added another 5 million Londoners. Roughly speaking, this means gas cars older than 2006 and diesel vehicles older than 2016, and an estimated total of 200,000 vehicles, have been rendered obsolete.
That's how the Superconvoy protest came to be. Drivers gathered by Ciro Ciampi, the founder of Petrolheadonism Club (and the owner of Viola Ophelia, the only Lamborghini Aventador Huber ERA in the world at the time of her death by self-combustion) and Keith Steers, rolled from Regents Park to Downing Street to protest the hypocrisy of the ULEZ scheme.
They protested, but they also celebrated the awesomeness of the cars, as Ciampi says. This was the petrolheads' way of showing solidarity with the average working person, who will be the most impacted by the ULEZ expansion. Previous protests have also called the expansion a "bogus war on the motorist," paving the way to banners like "Stop the clean air lie," also used at Sunday's protest.
"I've got a V12 in the garage or my mate's got this 8-liter litre V8 supercharged monster that is Ulez free. It's not about clean air," Ciampi told The Brown Car Guy during the Superconvoy. "It's absolutely somebody being a narcissist, jumped up, bloody-minded egotistical, arrogant mayor that just won't listen to anybody."
Sadiq Khan, that egotistical and arrogant man Ciampi is talking about, has previously doubled down on criticism that the ULEZ expansion is hitting the average working Londoner the hardest during an already difficult moment. He's yet to address the latest round of protests.