Concours Of Elegance Celebrates Weekend Of Motoring Royalty at Hampton Court Palace
• Incredible Lancia Astura Aerodinamico Castagna won Best in Show, voted for by the Owners of the cars themselves
• The RAC Club Trophy – celebrating the best of the nation’s car clubs – was awarded to the pristine Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost ‘Taj Mahal’
•An impeccable 1938 SS Jaguar 2.5-litre Drophead Coupe was awarded the Jaguar Trophy and the Bentley Trophy went to a Bentley Mk6 James Young
More than sixty of the world’s rarest cars were parked in the spectacular gardens of Hampton Court Palace vying for the honour of Best in Show, and the incredible Pullman Trophy. The quality of the cars this year was so impressive that to even be invited to attend was a triumph. Among them was the first car ever to emerge from coachbuilders, Frua, the Fiat 1100 Frua Spider and the Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Rollback.
The Best in Show-winning Lancia Astura Aerodinamico Castagna wears a stunning aerodynamic body by the Italian coachbuilder, Castagna, which was in fact originally crafted for an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Lungo and was shown at the 1934 Milan Motor Show. In 1935, on instructions from Vittorio and Bruno Mussolini, sons of the Italian dictator, it was transferred to the shortened chassis of a V8-engined Lancia Astura Series 2. The Mussolini brothers briefly raced the car under the banner of Scuderia Parioli,
The Royal Automobile Club also presented Prince Michael of Kent with the Spirit of Motoring Award this year for all he has done for the world of classic cars and motorsport, including his role as patron of Concours of Elegance. Winner of the ‘Spirit of the Tour’ – contested by cars on the pre-Concours Tour of Wessex – was Peter Briggs and the Bentley 3-Litre Le Mans, the first ever Bentley to race at Le Mans in 1923.
On Sunday more than 60 Bentleys arrived in the gardens, ranging from the pre-war grand prix cars to some of Bentley’s very latest Continental models. A judging team of Bentley experts carefully assessed each and ever model on display before deciding that the Bentley Trophy be awarded to a Bentley Mk6 James Young, recently the subject of a full restoration.
Bridge of Weir Leather Company’s ‘Cars of our Years’ Award had a shortlist of nominees from automotive industry famous faces, including Giles Taylor’s choice of the Ferrari Daytona and Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer’s pick of a 1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. However, the public voted that the ‘Cars of our Years’ Award should go to the Jaguar E-Type, which was shortlisted by Sir Jackie Stewart.
As ever with the Concours of Elegance, a huge amount of money was raised for the event’s chosen charity; this year Marie Curie. With this year’s donations of almost £200,000, the Concours of Elegance has now raised more than £1.2m for charity.
The venue for the Concours of Elegance 2017 will be the subject of an announcement in the coming week.