Pictorial: 2022 Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance
Salon Privé is best known for its Concours d’Elégance, which is regarded as one of the most important such events on the planet, but over the 15 years since it began, it has grown into a week of automotive celebration that encompasses important car and luxury product launches and an upmarket lawn party. This pictorial begins with the Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance, then broadens into the wider highlights of the week.
A 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta by Zagato has taken out the "Best of Show" at this year’s Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance presented by Aviva. The V12-powered lightweight model features an elegant coachbuilt body with Zagato’s trademark double-bubble roof.
Yet another top level concours winner from the collection of David and Ginny Sydorick, the 250 GT TdF is one of just five Zagato-bodied Ferrari 250 GT long-wheelbase chassis cars ever built, and will now become one of the finalists in the Peninsula Classics "Best of the Best" Award, the world’s most prestigious concours award with its participants drawn from the winners of the world’s most important concours events each year.
This car (Chassis 0515GT) was originally built for one of Ferrari’s best customers, Vladimiro Galluzzi. Galluzzi raced the car extensively during the 1956 season, enjoying modest racing success and even showing the car at an early Concours d'Elegance held in Campione d'Italia in October 1956. The car’s competition potential was fully realized once it was driven by well known Italian racer Luigi Taramazzo with several major hill climb wins and a third outright in the Coppa InterEuropa.
It was retired from racing at the end of 1958, passing through the hands of a number of Italian owners before crossing the Atlantic in 1960 and becoming part of the collection of attorney and Ferrari enthusiast Edwin K Niles.
Niles passed away in 2021 at 96 years of age, having owned more than 140 Ferraris during his lifetime. There was a list of the cars Niles had owned that was on the internet at one stage but it is now deleted – from memory, it included some of the most important cars ever to wear the Prancing Horse logo.
Remarkably, Niles sold the car circa 1985 for a modest US$180,000, just before the Japanese asset price bubble which saw real estate, stock market and collectible automobile prices massively inflated. It was sold privately to a Japanese buyer for an undisclosed amount after failing to meet reserve price at an auction in Geneva in 1989 – the high bid was the equivalent of $2.1 million. Just a few short years later, it was purchased by Mexican businessman Lorenzo Zambrano who restored, raced and showed the car extensively throughout the 1990s, including numerous outings at the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca, and a class win at the 1996 Pebble Beach Concours. The car is no stranger to the limelight, having been driven in the 1999 Mille Miglia, and it went on display as part of the Petersen Museum’s “Ferrari at 50” Exhibition in 1997.
David Sydorick purchased the car from Zambrano in December 1999, and for the last 20 years has been regularly entering it in tours and events across the world, including the Ferrari Club of America National Concours, Amelia Island Concours, Mille Miglia, Goodwood Festival of Speed, The Quail, Italia Classica (Ferrari Grand Tour to Venezia), Louis Vuitton Classic Serenissima Run, and of course, the Pebble Beach Concours, plus others too numerous to mention. During that time, the 250 GT TdF took a class win at at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2012, a Best of Show at Uniques Special Ones Concours d'Elegance (Firenze), and Platinum Awards at the Cavallino Classic in 2003 and 2011.
Runner-up to the TdF, as well as taking a first in the Pre-War Open Class, was the 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B Mille Miglia by Graber, owned by Dr. Matthias Metz. One of only 107 Mille Miglia models built by the factory, chassis 815045 is now unique, being the sole survivor of four 6C 2300 B convertibles made by Graber, as well as the only one to wear the coveted "MM" designation against its engine number.
Produced between 1935-’38, the Vittorio Jano-designed 6C 2300 B employed a completely new chassis, incorporating independent suspension all round (among the first European cars to do so), and using what was effectively the front suspension from Alfa’s grand prix cars, with trailing arms and coil springs. Its advanced engine was a revelation, too: a six-cylinder cast iron block topped with an aluminum cylinder head and overhead valves and double-overhead camshafts.
But not all 6C 2300 Bs were the same. Alfa Romeo had enjoyed immense success in the Mille Miglia road race between 1935-’38, with numerous class wins and a bumper year in ’37, when it clinched first in class and fourth overall. Naturally, the company was keen for this success to spill over to its road cars, and thus introduced the 6C 2300 B Mille Miglia. With twin Solex 35-40 FH carburettors, versus the standard Gran Turismo model’s single item, power was boosted from 76 bhp to 95 bhp, with a commensurate lift in maximum speed to 90mph. All Mille Miglias were also based around the 6C’s 115-inch wheelbase short chassis for optimum agility.
Another Salon Privé entrant to collect two awards was The Gaskell Collection’s 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Saloon by Freestone & Webb, which came away with a third in the Concours d’Elégance, while also collecting overall honors in the Pre-War/Closed Class. Retaining its matching numbers, this car (chassis YR5089) was built on the shorter of the two 8 Litre chassis with a body that was designed specifically for the Concours circuit in period.
These days, this 1965 Ferrari 365 P Fantuzzi is just stunningly beautiful with a noise that calls to your soul, but it was built as a Scuderia Ferrari works racer, and it performed the task as expected. Its first outing was at the 1000km Monza, driven by John Surtees and Ludovico Scarfotti, where it took second place overall. In its second and third starts, it won the Targa Florio (powered by its original 3.3-litre 275 P2 unit) at an average speed of 63.73 mph, driven by Nino Vaccarella and Lorenzo Bandini. Its third start saw another Surtees/Scarfiotti win at the 1000 km Nürburgring setting a fastest lap of 8m 50.5s.
Like most works cars of the period, it then went into privateer-team service, enjoying success at Belgium's Team Ecurie Francorchamps and was then passed down through the hands of numerous high profile collectors, including Alberto Uderzo, the celebrated artist and creator of cartoon character Asterix. More recently, the car underwent a full restoration at the Ferrari factory and is now resplendent in its original Ecurie Francorchamps racing colors.
‘The Platinum Collection’
"The Platinum Collection" was comprised almost entirely of automotive gems, including the 2007 McLaren Mercedes SLR 722 GT prototype, a Porsche GT1 prototype racer, a Wiesmann GT MF5, a 2007 Lamborghini Reventón roadster, a 1992 Porsche 959, a 1962 Jaguar E-type Series-1 barn find that had been restored to new condition, a 1986 Lamborghini Diablo SE30, a Bugatti EB110 Super Sport (chassis SS01), a 1973 Lamborghini P400 Miura SVJ, an Aston Martin DB4, a “unicorn” Ferrari Testarossa Spider (produced in 1986 for the then-Fiat chairman, Gianni Agnelli), a couple of common garden variety McLaren F1s and the pick of the litter was a Rolls-Royce Phantom II Handlye Special.
The special is reminiscent of a P3 Alfa Romeo, but was produced far more recently as a homage to the achievements of Rolls-Royce on both land and in the air, and it was produced in the spirit of the period it is meant to convey. Starting with a standard Phantom II chassis, the custom drivetrain uses the marque’s most-celebrated engine, the 27-liter (1,650 cu in) V12 Merlin which powered both the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire.
Apart from the chassis and engine, everything else on this vehicle was created from scratch, including the twin gearboxes required to harness the 900 horsepower. Items normally thought of as “standard” become an engineering saga in their own right when constructing a behemoth vintage Grand Prix racer. The custom wheels required to carry and transmit the weight and power required plenty of time and money spent at elite custom manufacturing specialist Crosthwaite and Gardiner where the the existing Phantom wheel hubs were triple-laced onto alloy rims.
World Premiere of the Engler Desat SuperQuad
When the Engler F.F. Superquad was first shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, it produced 850 horsepower from its 5.2 liter V10 engine and could accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.5 seconds, on its way to a top speed around 350 km/h (217 mph). The new Engler Desat had its world premiere at Salon Prive and we're not quite sure if the Desat is the next incarnation of the Engler F.F. Superquad or the production version, but it now claims quite similar specifications except the power has been increased to 1100 hp (820 kW) with a curb weight of 1,100 kg, giving it the magical 1/1 power to weight ratio that all hypercar manufacturers aspire to but very few ever achieve.
Now power-to-weight ratios of that magnitude are not to be trifled with unless you are a naturally gifted sportsperson and have spent a few years of go-kart or open wheeler competition honing reflexes and your body actually knows what to do when the back suddenly skips sideways and the tires start to spin out of control while your foot is buried deep in the go-pedal. Getting that equation solved without torpedoing a six figure hole in your bank balance is not as simple as just lifting off the accelerator ... and that's if you are in a car, with your body supported by a well-designed racing seat, and strapped in with a full racing harness, and all you need to worry about are the G-forces making your head feel like it is trying to exit stage left, and your arms far more difficult to control with precision than usual.
Even if you can do all of the above, quad bikes are a very different animal entirely, mainly because instead of being strapped in, you are sitting on top of the vehicle.
The arms and legs used to control and balance the competing forces of traction and 1,000 horsepower in a car, are also used to cling onto a quad while you're trying to get it to go around the corner - and if your cornering is approaching 2G, your maybe not-so-muscular 90 kg physique becomes an ungainly 180 kg dead weight with momentum going in the wrong direction. Read what Loz Blain thought of the Engler F.F. Superquad when it was first shown here and you might understand what we're trying to convey. Loz has been testing motorcycles for going on 20 years. I've been racing and testing professionally for nearly 50 years and whenever I look at a quad of any configuration the immediate awareness of the fragility of my brain stem makes me want to turn away. If this sounds like fun to you, you have been warned, and if the Desat's home country of Slovakia is a little too distant, it is now available in downtown London.
Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster: the world's fastest convertible
The new $3-million Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster is an open-top version of the 1,817 bhp Venom F5 Coupe. It shares the same 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged ‘Fury’ engine as its Coupe sibling and the aim is for the car to exceed 300 mph, though to date, it has only ever gone at 271.6 mph. The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder has already been timed at 265.6 mph so the claims that this faster model is the world’s fastest and most powerful convertible seem more than plausible, at least until the first Koenigsegg Jesko is delivered - that's likely to be soon, and although it looks to have a hard top, the top is removable. Anyway, it's all theoretical, because there really are very few places where you can test a car at those speeds, so it's really only bragging rights that you're buying.
Texas-based Hennessey Special Vehicles naturally gave the Venom F5 Roadster its global debut at a number of events during Monterey Car Week, so Salon Privé was the European premiere of the open-air model.
The Viritech Apricale is the world's first hydrogen hypercar
One of the treats of the event for those who didn't make the Goodwood Festival of Speed, was the second appearance of the world's first hydrogen hypercar, the Viritech Apricale. Styled by Pininfarina , the FCEV hydrogen powertrain delivers 1,000 horsepower in a car weighing less than 1,000 kg. We recently took a much deeper look at the Apricale, which is the only hypercar with a zero-emissions powertrain whose weight is the same as a gasoline-powered equivalent. This means it’s half of the weight of some battery electric vehicle equivalents and represents excellent news for those who might have to push it to the nearest hydrogen station. There's a new Apricale microsite that has just been launched, with a view to limited production starting in 2024.
Nardone's $500,000 Retromod Porsche 928 to begin production
The Porsche 928 was always a bit of an oddball in the Porsche range, remaining quite different yet successful for a 17-year production run, and selling over 60,000 units. Recently shown for the first time at Milan Design Week was a modern day re-interpretation or retromod of the 928. The bodywork, with muscular fenders, is made almost entirely of composite materials. The interior has been completely revised and with Foglizzo leather and Alcantara, and the infotainment now incorporates the Porsche Classic Management system (PCCM) combined with a luxury Hi-Fi system and Apple CarPlay.
The Nardone Automotive 928 uses the original V8, now with a modern engine control unit and 50 more horses for a total 400 hp, coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission with a limited-slip differential. Finally, the chassis setup utilises redesigned front and rear axle and spindle, active controlled electronic suspension, increased brakes and adaptive electric power steering. The car will see production beginning in 2024.
As Radical Motorsport celebrated its 25th birthday at Salon Privé, it was billing itself as the world’s top selling racing car. We’re not sure if that claim would hold water if tested, given that the Porsche Club of America has 1800 licensed racers on its own, but Radical certainly offers outrageous bang-per-buck and has sold more than 2,800 cars in its 25 years, and the number of single marque racing series it has propagated around the world grows every year.
A full list of this year’s winners is listed below:
Best in Show – 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta by Zagato
Churchill Cup for Most Exceptional Design – 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Coupé by Freestone & Webb
People’s Choice – 1907 Lorraine Dietrich 130HP ‘Course’
Duke of Marlborough Award – 1965 Ferrari 365 P by Fantuzzi
Chairman’s Award – 1962 250 Ferrari GTO by Scaglietti
Class A: 1903 Berliet 20hp Closed Swing-Seat Tonneau
Class B: 1932 Aston Martin Lightweight ‘Le Mans Works Team Car LM9’
Class C: 1938 Alfa Romeo 6 C 2300 B Mille Miglia Cabriolet by Graber
Class D: 1931 Bentley 8 litre Saloon by Freestone & Webb
Class E: 1955 Fiat 8V Berlinetta by Vignale
Class F: 1954 HWM Cadillac
Class G: 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Class H: 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta by Zagato
Class I: 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC by Pininfarina
Class J: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C by Scaglietti
Class K: 1953 Chrysler GS-1 Special Coupé by Ghia
Class L: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser
Class M: 1971 Citroën SM Espace by Heuliez
Class N: 1961 Jaguar E-type Fixed Head Coupé
Class O: 1984 Lotus Turbo Esprit S3
Class P: 1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Class Q: 2005 Maserati MC12
Spirit Award/The Margaret Bagley Trophy – 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ by Scaglietti
Most Exceptional Coachwork - 1935 Hispano Suiza J12 Cabriolet by Vanvooren
Most Opulent – 1929 Rolls-Royce 20hp 3-position Cabriolet by Windovers
Coup de Coeur/The Matt Pearce Trophy – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante ‘7 Litre RSW’
Best Interior – 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupé
Most Elegant – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti
Most Iconic – 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti