UK-Events slipstream Pebble Beach Concours
It was one of the most crowded weekends in the classic car calendar: Just a few days after Monterey Car Week, three top-events rivalled each other: London’s Salon Privé, the Concours of Elegance (UK), and “Arts & Elegances” in France. With French promoter Peter Auto deciding to host their event on the castle of Chantilly biennially, things straightened a little bit for 2018.
Very British – Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court
This year, the relatively young Concours of Elegance will take place from 31. August to 2. September at Hampton Court Palace west of London. Having been started in 2012 the event has managed to gather a respectful number of high caliber classic cars from notable collectors from around the world. At the same time, it has managed to stay British in an amicable way: The location is always a majestic castle in Scotland or England. Prince Michael of Kent’s patronage creates a royal touch, the enthusiasm of a real classic car aficionado included.
The organisers also appreciate UKs vivid classic car scene. They traditionally invite the winners of club Concours from all over the country to compete in the Club Trophy. Even better, the way of finding the Best of Show is the result of true sportsmanship. The participating classic car collectors vote for the winner of the Best of Show award, which is unique for such a top Concours. Up until now, the award went to respected collectors like Jon Shirley, Bruce McCaw and The Keller Collection.
60 cars are invited to compete in the 2018 Concours ranging from a 1903 Panhard et Levassor to a custom version of a 2018 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso. There are several cars of historical relevance on the list. The Alfa Romeo RL TF is an early attestor of Alfa Romeo’s successful motorsports tradition. It was this rare model that won Targa Florio in 1923 with Ugo Sivocci behind the steering wheel. Another Italian race icon at Hampton court is the 1950 Ferrari 166MM/212 Export Coupé “Uovo” that has changed hands in 2017 for a relatively modest price. Giannino Marzotto won the 1950 Mille Miglia with this characteristically shaped Coupé, designed by Franco Reggiani.
An exciting scene will be the comparison of three cars from 1965. While both the Aston Martin DB5 Convertible and the Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy Long Nose are more traditional designs, the flat, wedgy Ford GT40 Mk I in Gulf livery looks like vehicles from another era. In addition to this, the Concours celebrates the 70th birthday of the Aston Martin DB series. Aside from the convertible mentioned above, a 1950 DB2, and a DB3S team car from 1954 are confirmed.
Private by name – exclusive by concept
Just about the same time in nearby London Salon Privé shows everything luxurious – and this also means a Concours with cars that we’d mainly describe as “blue chips.” In other words, these are the top collector cars that have steadily developed their value no matter the ups and downs in the market. Looking at the list of past winners underlines how much judges at Salon Privé appreciate the rare and the famous. The 1960 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM “Superflow” for example is based on a 1953 Mille Miglia car, but it caught the attention at Salon Privé most likely because of its stunning Pininfarina body that was attached to the car later. At Salon Privé a year before, a 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa brought home victory, underlining that a Ferrari racecar of this era is always good for winning such a competition. So you should enter an Italian car to win? Not necessarily. Swiss-based collector Kurt A. Engelhorn won Best-of-Show with his record-breaking 1952 Jaguar XK120 Jabbeke in 2015.
Looking at the classes, the Concours at Salon Privé features some standards but also pays tribute to a remarkable anniversary in automotive history this year. Out of the 13 classes, three are for motorbikes from 1900 to 1979 and for competition bikes. The preservation class is not further specified while GT class concentrates on vehicles of the 50ies and 60ies. Following the rising interest in the market, Salon Privé Concours also features a class for supercars of the 70ies. For judging the class “50 years of Dino” the Concours organizers have won German Dino expert Matthias Bartz as a judge as well as Ferrari Historian Keith Bluemel. The other judges are also well-known personalities in motorsports and the classic car scene. Chaired by Le Mans icon Derek Bell, judges will be, amongst others, Marco Makaus (Mille Miglia, Bernina Gran Turismo, …), designers Louis de Fabribeckers and Giles Taylor, car collectors Yasmin Le Bon and Hugo Modderman as well as race driver Cecilia Muldoon.
A bold move for Porsche
For another significant automotive anniversary, Salon Privé went big. There are no specific classes to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Porsche but a Concours of its own. The Concours Masters Celebration will be held on 1. September. In 2017, the Concours organisers have already done a comparable move to pay tribute to Ferrari. The German sportscar maker now receives similar accolades. Lots of collectors have already agreed on bringing testimonials of the Porsche history. As of today, the oldest is a 1955 Porsche 550 RS Spyder. It is one of these Spyder versions with a huge wing mounted above the middle of the car. This striking model has already participated at this year’s Festival of Speed and is a guaranteed eye-catcher at every classic car event. Without surprise, the 356s and the various versions of the 911s dominate the list of entrants. The ladder covers cars from 1967 up until 2018s versions.
Two successful events of this caliber in the same week demonstrates the strong position of the UK in the classic car scene. We’re curious, which cars will be successful.