Ferrari Dino, Brabham BT62 and Shelby Cobra will feature at Blenheim Palace concours on August 30-September 1
Salon Privé’s Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance will hold celebrations for the Dino’s 50th anniversary, plus host valuable Shelby and Ferrari supercars and pre-war machinery at Blenheim Palace at the end of this month. Brabham’s new supercar will be in attendance, too.
The Dino, often regarded as one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever made, turns 50 this year. It was named in honour of Enzo Ferrari’s son, who designed the V6 engine used in the car and died aged just 24. The model was pitched as a rival to the Porsche 911, and cost less than the usual Ferrari.
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Designed by Pininfarina, the car originally came about following Enzo’s desire to race in Formula 2, which required a V6 engine. Ferrari could not meet the required build of 500 production cars, and so asked Fiat to produce the V6 sports car. It was built between 1968–1976, but it originally lacked Ferrari branding due to its lack of V12 engine. A recent patent filed by Ferrari has prompted rumours that a new Dino may be on the cards.
The Ferrari celebration will take place on Blenheim Palace’s South Lawn, and will include a car previously owned by legendary guitarist Eric Clapton. Only 152 examples of the 1968 206 GT were built, and chassis 00152 was the first of five imported into the UK. Clapton crashed the car after a few months of having it, but it has since been fully restored and granted Ferrari Classiche certiﬁcation.
A metallic purple 1972 Dino 246 GT will also be present. It gained its colour after previous owner Peter Noon, front-man of Herman’s Hermits, decided to have the original colour changed almost immediately after purchase. It, too, has achieved Classiche certification, and it was handed the ‘The 100-point Dino’ title at Salon Privé two years ago.
Meanwhile, the Shelby Cobra Mk1 appeared heavily in 1964 film The Killers, and is the fifth Cobra ever made. After use in the movie it was returned to Shelby, which then used it as the ‘trainer car’ at the Shelby School of High Performance Driving. It was recently restored to period specification.
Joining it will be the Koenig-Ferrari 512BB, making a rare public appearance. Former publishing magnate and gentleman driver Willy Koenig became notorious during the 1970s and ’80s for his ‘reimagining’ of Ferraris and other exotica, this example being among the more extreme variations on the theme.
Based on a 1978 512BB, it was customised in 1982 with fuel-injection replacing carburettors, and not one but two Rajah turbochargers along with a full racing exhaust system. The body was also ‘massaged’ by designer Vittorio Strosek, with an extended front spoiler and rear wheelarch extensions.
The concours’ Pre-War Luxury Tourers Class will be fought over by a 1939 D8-120 Cabriolet and a Lancia Astura.
With a ‘Bustle-Back’ outline by legendary French coachbuilder Henri Chapron, the D8-120 has a remarkable history. Delivered new to Chapron as a rolling chassis, it was equipped with an elegant four-seater body, complete with a three-position top. The car was reputedly commandeered by a collaborating French general of the Vichy government during World War Two. In 1946, a year after the end of hostilities, he dispatched the car to California on the assumption that he would be reunited with it shortly thereafter.
However, he was unable to obtain a visa to enter the US, so he fled to Argentina instead. The general subsequently sold the Delage to RKO Pictures, one of the ‘Big Five’ studios during Hollywood’s Golden Age. The car’s styling earned it a role in the 1951 MGM production An American in Paris. It was modified for its film appearance, including new taillights and a green paintjob.
It will be vying for honours with the coachbuilt Astura. This streamlined machine is believed to be the lone survivor of only three fourth-series Asturas bodied by Carrozzeria Boneschi during the late 1930s. It features a narrow-angle, 3.0-litre V8, and acted as a blank canvas for Italian coachbuilders of the day.
Save for a repaint in its original dark grey hue, this elegant Lancia is completely original, including its plush black leather upholstery and grey convertible roof. This arrangement is electrically operated, too, which was highly unusual and innovative for its era.
From classics to the future, the 700bhp BT62 supercar will be marking Brabham’s first Salon Privé appearance. The first car of the manufacturer’s new era, it has a 5.4-litre V8 engine and produces 492lb ft of torque. It is also 70 years since Jack Brabham, the father of company managing director David, built and raced his first car. Brabham Sr went on to win three Formula 1 titles.
Salon Privé takes place at Oxfordshire’s Blenheim Palace from August 30–September 1, 2018. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.