Pictorial: Salon Privé
One of two major automotive Concours d'Elegance and supercar shows held in London this past weekend (the other being the Hampton Court Palace Concours of Elegance - see our pictorial) but unlike any other similar event, Salon Privé ran two completely separate Concours d'Elegance: the traditional Chubb Insurance Concours d'Elegance saw Best of Show awarded to a very original, unrestored 1933 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster, while the second, 2018 Concours Masters Celebration, was dedicated to the 70th year of the Porsche marque and saw a 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup take out the most prestigious award of Best in Show (chosen by the owners of the competing cars), with a 2018 911 (991.2) GT2 RS being the People's Choice.
Salon Privé was begun by brothers, Andrew & David Bagley in 2006 at the Hurlingham Club in London. After five years of growth, Salon Privé was relocated to the even larger grounds of Syon Park for a further four years, then expanded further to the magnificent 300-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Not surprisingly, after running for 13 years, it is quite a weekend, and the cars and automotive displays it curates have become an important event on the British automotive calendar.
Chubb Insurance Concours d'Elegance Best of Show
This year the Chubb Insurance Concours d'Elegance at Salon Privé drew another field of world class cars, with Best of Show awarded to a remarkable 1933 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster.
The 85-year-old Type 55 that won the major prize is the only known unrestored example in the world, and was presented to the judges in extraordinary condition with less than 50,000 miles on the odometer. Only 38 Type 55 Bugattis were ever built, with just 16 bodied by the Bugatti factory in the two-seat roadster form designed by Jean Bugatti - the configuration as displayed in the Best of Show car.
As was often the custom prior to WW2, when racing and road cars were quite similar, the Type 55 road car was based on Bugatti's Type 51 Grand Prix car, though its supercharged 2.3 liter, DOHC straight-8 engine had been detuned from the 160 hp (119 kW) Grand Prix powerplant that won the 1931 French Grand Prix.
The Type 55 roadster still produced a healthy 130 hp (96 kW) at 5000 rpm, and the bare-bones two-seater made no pretences to be anything but a wickedly fast racing car for the road. Look closely and you'll see there are no doors.
Concours d'Elegance Best of Show Runner-up
Just how special the above Bugatti is can be judged by the car it beat into second place, a 1939 Delage D8-120 Cabriolet, styled by legendary French coachbuilder Henri Chapron.
As was the case with cars created by automotive couturiers such as Chapron, the rolling chassis was delivered new by Delage to Chapron, who then styled and built an exceptionally elegant four-seater body, complete with a three-position top.
Legend has it that the car was commandeered by a collaborating French general of the Vichy government during WW2. In 1946, a year after the end of hostilities, the General sent the car to California, expecting to follow it shortly after. When he was unable to obtain a visa to enter the United States, he fled to Argentina
The General subsequently sold the Delage to RKO Pictures, one of the major movie studios and it subsequently had a makeover and was used in the 1951 MGM production, An American in Paris (1951) alongside Gene Kelly. The car is listed in the Internet Movie Car Database, which also lists it as having been used in the Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, where it starred alongside James Cagney. There's even talk that the car was at one stage owned by movie producer turned aviation pioneer, Howard Hughes.
The Delage was sold at auction to Peter Mullin in 1987, and Mullin has since returned it to the original magnificent specification in which it emerged from Chapron's Levallois-Perret workshop in Paris.
The extraordinarily beautiful car is now one of the star exhibits at the Mullin Automotive Museum in California.
Under Mullin's custodianship, the Delage has subsequently won many awards at concours events stretching from Italy to India, and it most recently fronted the judging panel at 2018 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2018 (pictured above), where it featured in the movie car class alongside James Bond's Aston martin DB5 from Goldfinger. You can find more images of the car in our coverage of that event, entitled The spectacular winning cars of Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2018.
Concours d'Elegance Best of Show - third place
Third place in the Best of Show category at the concours went to the 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 S above, a car with a history equally as fascinating as the Delage above, but going one step further, it is an even more interesting proposition in that entering the car in the concours was designed to help it sell at RM-Sothebys Battersea Evolution London Auction on September 5, 2018, where it has an estimate of £1,200,000 to £1,400,000 (US$1.54 million to $1.8 million).
Coming home third behind two such spectacular cars and being exposed to such a large audience of potential owners attending Salon Privé will certainly help sell the car, but it is making the car's celebrity provenance known that will make the difference and perhaps even begin a trend of entering very special cars in concours events to publicize them.
The reason for the rather unique and ingenious sales strategy is that the Muira was purchased new by Sir Roderick David Stewart, better known as rock star Rod Stewart, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with 100 million record sales to his credit. Rod liked blondes and Lamborghinis, owning several at different times. That's a picture taken during Rod's ownership of this car, along with another of his Lamborghinis and his girlfriend at the time, model Dee Harrington. Just for the record, Rod's former Lamborghini took out Class L of the concours (Supercars of the 1970s) and also took out the the special "The Most Iconic Car" prize.
Concours d'Elegance: People's Choice
The People's Choice Award at Salon Prive was won by this 1964 Ferrari 250 LM.
Other fascinating displays and supercars
After an international introduction at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2017 and subsequent presentations throughout Europe and the Far East, the Dendrobium D-1 electric hypercar was presented in public for the first time in the UK at Salon Privé
First shown at 'The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering" on August 24, the Lamborghini SVJ (Super Veloce Jota) made its European debut at Salon Privé. The 770 hp, 720 Nm Aventador SVJ is the most powerful, naturally-aspirated series production V12 that Lamborghini has ever produced and has a dry weight of 1,525 kg, giving it a 0-100 km/h time of 2.8 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 8.6 seconds and a top speed of more than 350 km/h. The Aventador SVJ has already taken the production car lap record at Nürburgring.
The Brabham BT62 weighs 972 kg, runs a 5.4 liter V8 producing 700 hp and boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 730 ps per tonne! The iconic Brabham name will once again represent blistering on-track performance.
Willy Koenig became well known during the 1970s and '80s for his Koenig Specials, with this reimagined 1978 Ferrari 512BB being a prime example, with fuel-injection replacing the original carburetors, and two Rajah turbochargers helping the breathing. The body was modified by designer Vittorio Strosek.
This 356A RHD Carrera Speedster made its British concours debut at Salon Privé during the Concours Masters Celebration of 70 Years of Porsche. Only 152 of these quad-cam, competition-orientated sports cars were made in period, with this being the last of only four right-hand drive cars ever made. Restored in 2014, the ruby red Speedster has already won several concours awards overseas, picking up the Duke of Marlborough Award, the Best Engine Award and the Best Open Car Award.
The best of show award at the 2018 Concours Masters Celebration of 70 Years of Porsche went to this 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup.
Class winners: Chubb Insurance Concours d'Elegance
CLASS D: Preservation at its Best: 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
CLASS E: Pre-War Bugatti: 1933 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
CLASS F: Pre-War Luxury Tourers: 1937 Delage D8-120
CLASS G: Grand Tourers of the 1950s and 60s: 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
CLASS H: Wind In Your Hair: 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4
CLASS I: Best of British at Blenheim Palace: 1965 Aston Martin DB5
CLASS J: Streamlined Closed Sports Cars: 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB
CLASS K: 50 Years of the Dino: 1970 Dino 246 GT
CLASS L: Supercars of the 70s: 1971 Lamborghini Miura S
CLASS M: Competition Cars: 1955 Porsche 550 RS
Duke of Marlborough's Award (Car): 1964 Ferrari 250 LM
Chairman's Award: 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet Series IV
Most Sensitive Restoration: 1939 Steyr 220
Most Elegant: 1969 Ferrari 365 GTC
Most Iconic: 1971 Lamborghini Miura S
Best Restored: 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE
Most Unique Bodywork: 1955 Porsche 550 RS
Most Original Post-War: 1994 Jaguar XJ220
Best Interior: 1967 Rolls-Royce Phantom V
Spirit Award: 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Tipo Le Mans
Most Opulent: 1937 Delage D8-120
Coup de Coeur: 1968 Dino 206 GT
Endeavour Award: 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Lightweight
Duke of Marlborough's Award (Bike): 1962 Triumph TR6 R
Most Original Pre-War Motorbike: 1938 Moto Guzzi GTC Leggera
Most Original Post-War Motorbike: 1952 BSA Gold Rocket
Most Distinguished Motorbike: 1967 Millyard RC374
CLASS A: Exceptional Motorbikes 1900 – 1939
Winner: 1938 Brough Superior SS100
CLASS B: Exceptional Motorbikes 1940 – 1979
Winner: 1962 Triumph TR6 R
CLASS C: Exceptional Competition Motorbikes
Winner: 1958 Triumph TR10
2018 Concours Masters Celebration of 70 Years of Porsche
Owner's Choice: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup
Owner's Choice Runner-up: 1956 Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe
Ladies' Choice: 1957 Porsche 356A Carrera GS Speedster
Chairman's Award: 1968 Porsche 912
Duke of Marlborough Award: 1957 Porsche 356A Carrera Speedster
People's Choice: 2018 Porsche 911 (991.2) GT2 R
Best Air-Cooled Race Car: 1955 Porsche 550 RS Spyder
Most Historical: 1955 Porsche 550 RS Spyder
Most Technically Interesting: 1955 Porsche 550 RS Spyder
Best Carrera: 1956 Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe
Best Engine: 1957 Porsche 356A Carrera Speedster
Best Open Car: 1957 Porsche 356A Carrera Speedster
Best Interior pre-1974: 1967 Porsche 911S
Best Presented: 1967 Porsche 911S
Best Interior pre-1998: 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7
Best Water-Cooled Race Car: 1980 Porsche 924 Carrera GT
Best Restoration: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2
Best Limited Edition/Bespoke: 1988 Porsche 911 3.2 ClubSport
Most Original: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster
Best Air-Cooled Road Car: 1991 Porsche 964 Carrera RS
Best Lightweight: 1992 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Lightweight
Best Turbo:1998 Porsche 993 GT2 Limited Edition
Used as Porsche Intended:1998 Porsche 993 Turbo S
Best Water-Cooled Road Car:2004 Porsche Carrera GT
Most Desirable Specification: 2010 Porsche 997.2 Sport Classic
Best Interior post-1998:2010 Porsche 997.2 Sport Classic
Best Sounding:2016 Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup
Most Evocative: 2018 Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS
Best Hypercar: 2018 Porsche 991.2 GT2 RS