There may not be an Olympic sport involving automobiles (yet), but cars were featured prominently in the closing ceremonies of the 30th Olympic games in London last night. The event was more of a rock concert than a ceremony, with musical performances by everyone from chart-topping boy band One Direction to pop veteran George Michael to The Who. The stage on which the first batch of artists performed, however, was set with small scale versions of London's architectural landmarks, and to make the mini city look and feel more like the real thing, organizers filled the empty spaces in between with enough cars, lorries and mopeds to recreate one of London's infamous traffic jams.
The vehicles began the show wrapped in what appeared to be newspaper clippings, but when the cameras zoomed in, the paper turned out to be printed with passages from famous English literary figures. As the show went on, the wrappings were ripped off to reveal a motley mix of automobiles including Britain's most iconic machines from Mini, MG, Austin-Healey, Lotus and even a three-wheeled Reliant Robin, as well as Italian and German metal and an even a classic American car or two. The Spice Girls even reunited on the tops of five British black taxis.
Later on, a trio of Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II Drophead Coupes drove British pop artists Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz around the Olympic stadium like Mustangs in a parade. More interesting (to us, at least) than the performers in their backseats, these Rollers were each decked out with various trim pieces that commemorate the games in London, including a specially designed badge on their grilles that features the brand's iconic Spirit of Ecstasy flowing into the home country's flag. R-R claims this is the first time its cars have sported a new badge in the company's 108-year history.
Unfortunately, unless you DVR'd the ceremonies, there's no way to rewatch them quite yet until NBC and the International Olympic Committee say it's OK, so we've assembled a gallery of images above that you can peruse to see how cars played a part in the closing ceremonies of the 30th Olympiad.