Held at the stunning setting of Blenheim Palace, Salon Privé is positioned as "the UK's most exclusive automotive garden party." Picture fascinators and stripy jackets, lobster and champagne lunches and a special car-park for guests who arrive in supercars. Naturally, New Atlas forwent all of that, though, and made a beeline for the event's prestigious concours.
The Chubb Insurance Concours d'Elégance is a display of rare and special vehicles from around the world, and includes a parade around the palace grounds. Salon Privé reckons it now ranks among the top three in the world alongside Pebble Beach and Villa d'Este. Each year, judges award prizes to an overall overall "Best in Show," as well as "Class Winners," a "People's Choice Winner" and a number of other "Special Winners."
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The overall winner at Blenheim Palace yesterday, and the winner of the Racing Improves the Breed class, was a 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa owned by Bruce Lavachek and David Cottingham. The car was recently located and restored by Lavachek and Cottingham, having won the 1956 and 1957 Nassau Speed weeks and finishing second in its class at the 1957 Cuba GP.
A 1954 Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta, meanwhile, won the People's Choice award. Also picked from the Racing Improves the Breed class, the Berlinetta was the third of only four A6 "Berlinetta Pininfarina" closed coachwork models produced and is said to be the only one remaining in its original condition. It also won Best in Show at Villa d'Este earlier this year.
The remaining individual winners of their classes were:
- Exceptional Motorcycles 1900-1939: 1938 BSA Gold Star
- Exceptional Motorcycles 1940-1975 - Competition: 1966 BSA 500 MX GP Titanium
- Exceptional Motorcycles 1940-1975 - Highway: 1969 Honda CB750
- Pre-war Coachwork: 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental
- The Great V12 Ferraris: 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Short Chassis Prototype
- Porsche Racing Pedigree: 1974 Porsche 911 3.0RS
- European Grand Tourers: 1972 Dino 246 GT
- Gone With The Wind: 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider
- Dream Machines: 1992 Ferrari F40
- 50 years of the Lamborghini Miura: 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV (Adrian Labi A&A Premier Classic)
And special awards went to:
- Most Original pre-war: 1933 Aston Martin Le Mans Short Chassis
- Most Original Post-war: 1992 Ferrari F40
- Most Sensitive Restoration: 1966 Iso Grifo
- Most Elegant: 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Park Ward Drophead Coupé
- Most Iconic: 1973 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 Periscopio
- Most Exciting Design: 1957 Jaguar XKSS
- Best Interior: 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
- Most Exciting Recreation: 1922 Voisin C3 Strasbourg
- Most Original Motorcycle: 1936 Norton Model 50
- Most Superlative Motorcycle: 1936 Moto Guzzi 500S
- Most Interesting Motorcycle: 1917 Matchless-Vickers 8B2/M Russian Military Motorcycle Combination
In addition to the concours, there were a number of cars debuting to some extent or other. The Bristol Bullet, which marks the rebirth and 70th anniversary of of British marque Bristol caught our eye, as well as a special "Selfridges Edition" of Morgan's EV3. Other new arrivals included the Icona Vulcano, Lamborghini Centenario and Lexus LC 500h.
Salon Privé 2016 runs from September 1st to 3rd. It is Boodles Ladies' Day today, while tomorrow is the Salon Privé Supercar Show.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery, for a more extensive look at some of the vehicles on display.Website: Salon Privé View gallery - 117 images