Preview: Concours of Elegance, Hampton Court Palace

Want to visit one of the most prestigious events in the world, the UK’s Concours of Elegance? Here’s how – and there’s a two-for-one ticket offer as well

In just six years, the UK’s Concours of Elegance has become one of the most important events in the classic car world, recognised by the prestigious ‘Best of the Best Award’ for the best car in the world – which takes winners from eight of the most important concours events on the planet, including the Concours of Elegance.

Having started at Windsor Castle in 2012 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, the concours then visited London’s Royal Palace of St James in 2013, Hampton Court Palace in 2014, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh in 2015 and back to Windsor in 2016.

Last year it returned to Hampton Court Palace, and will continue there for another five years. For 2018, the three-day event takes place from Friday August 31 to Sunday September 2. AutoClassics readers can buy two tickets for the price of one here by quoting AUTOCLASSICSVIP.

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The centrepiece of the event, as ever, will be the display of 60 of the most important cars ever made, this year including Figoni et Falaschi Rolls-Royces, rare vintage Bugatti prototypes and Ferraris once owned by icons of Hollywood. All this takes place in the historic gardens of the former residence of King Henry VIII, on the outskirts of west London.

Other highlights confirmed so far include the following:

1913 Renault Type DP Coupé Chauffeur

Every body panel and piece of interior trim is as it was when this 105-year-old car was built, and it’s been owned by the same family for its entire life. It feature three types of lighting: gas for the headlights, electric for the interior and oil for the rear red lamp.

1920 Ballot 3/8 LC

Four of these 3-litre eight-cylinder cars Ballot cars were produced for Grand Prix racing in the 1920s. This example won the first-ever Italian Grand Prix, in 1921, and was also owned by Sir Malcolm Campbell, who raced it at Brooklands in 1923.

1929 Mercedes S-type Barker Tourer Boat Tail

Many refer to this car as the finest in the world. Based on a 1927 Mercedes S-type, the unique Boat Tail was one of the most powerful road-going automobiles in the world in period. It was originally owned by racing enthusiast and British Racing Drivers’ Club co-founder Earl Howe, and moved to the USA in 1958. It’s returning to the UK for the first time for the Concours of Elegance.

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1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Brewster ‘Golden Riviera’

This example is one of ten Riviera Phantom I cars built, and the only one specified by its owner with gold-plated exterior trim, It was bought by Irene Schoelkopf Carman in 1929, and also comes with a few of her ‘optional extras’, including a Dunhill lighter, an intercom for communicating with the driver and a mirror pad.

1954 Jaguar XK120 Pininfarina

This Jaguar XK120 is the only one ever to have been bodied by Pininfarina. In 1954 it was shipped from the Jaguar factory in Coventry to Italy for its new bodywork, before being shown at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show. It’s recently been the subject of a 6750-hour restoration by Classic Motor Cars.

1957 Ferrari 500 TRC by Scaglietti

The ‘Testa Rossa C’, is one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever built, and this is the last TRC produced – as well as the marque’s last-ever four-cylinder car. It achieved class wins at both the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring and Le Mans 24-hours.

1992 Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar’s first 200mph car was famously initially designed with a V12 and all-wheel drive in mind, but was eventually delivered with a twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel drive. However, performance was still exhilarating. At the time it was the fastest car in the world, setting a speed of 212.3mph at the Nardo test track. Only 281 were ever built.

Special Ferrari display

This collection of important Ferraris will include the one-off 166MM/ 212 Export ‘Uovo’ (above), created for Count Giannino Marzotto as the ultimate sports racing car of its day. Its styling was inspired by the aeronautical training of the car’s designer, Franco Reggiani, and it was around 150kg lighter than similar Ferraris of the time.

The Ferrari display will also include the 500 TRC by Scaglietti, which achieved class wins at both the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring and Le Mans 24-hours, plus one of just 14,365 California Spyders ever made, a 1962 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Scaglietti – one of 165 built – and one of 80 alloy-bodied Long Nose 275 GTBs made.

Then there’s a Dino 246 GT, a 1983 288 GTO prototype – known simply as the Ferrari GTO – one of only six built (and one of just three that still exist), and a 2018 GTC4 Lusso ‘Tailor Made’.

More on the Ferrari display here.

Aston Martin display

Over 100 Aston Martins will be displayed at the Concours of Elegance, including four very special models in the main concours area.

The quartet consists of the only road-going 1967 DBSC by Touring (above), a 1937 15/98 Long Chassis Tourer by Bertelli – probably the best of the 24 made – one of the first six DB2 DHCs, produced in 1950 and bought by Prince Bertil of Sweden, and a DB5 Convertible.

In addition, there will be a celebration of 60 years of the DB4 celebration, which will include the many variants of the DB4, including the rare DB4 GT Zagato. The display will be organised by the Aston Martin Owners' Club.

The main concours cars so far

  • 1903 Panhard et Levassor
  • 1909 Isotta Fraschini FENC Tipo A
  • 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost ‘Nellie’
  • 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost A Mulliner Tourer
  • 1913 Renault Type DP Coupé Chauffeur 22/24HP Par Renaudin et Besson
  • 1920 Ballot 3/8 LC
  • 1924 Alfa Romeo RL TF
  • 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Two-Seater
  • 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer
  • 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Brewster Riviera Town Car
  • 1931 Bugatti Type 54 Delage D8
  • 1932 Alfa 8C 2300 Spider Zagato
  • 1935 Tatra 77
  • 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Boat Tail Speedster
  • 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet ‘Tipo Bocca’
  • 1937 Aston Martin 15/98 Tourer
  • 1937 Alvis 3-Litre Vanden Plas Concealed Hood DHC
  • 1938 Erdman & Rossi Bentley 4¼ Litre
  • 1939 Lagonda V12 Rapide Drophead Coupé
  • 1949 Bentley Mk V1 Special Lightweight J Mulliner Fixed-Head Coupé Prototype
  • 1950 Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’
  • 1950 Aston Martin DB2
  • 1952 Alfa Romeo ‘Pre-series’ 1900 Sprint Touring Coupé
  • 1952 Bentley R-Type DHC
  • 1953 Austin-Healey 100 Special Test Car
  • 1954 Fiat 8V Vignale Berlinetta
  • 1954 Jaguar XK120 Pinin Farina Coupé
  • 1954 Aston Martin DB3S Team Car ‘62 EMU’
  • 1955 Bentley S1 Continental Coupé by Park Ward
  • 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Coupé by Park Ward
  • 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC
  • 1957 Fiat 1200 Vignale ‘Wonderful’
  • 1958 Maserati 300S
  • 1961 Intermeccanica IMP 700GT
  • 1962 Ferrari 250 SWB Berlinetta Scaglietti #3367GT
  • 1964 Ferrari 365 California Spyder
  • 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible
  • 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy Long Nose
  • 1966 Lamborghini 400 GT Touring 2+2
  • 1968 Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada
  • 1965 Ford GT40 Mk1 Gulf #GT40P/1004/1084
  • 1968 Jaguar XJ6 Series I ex-Sir William Lyons
  • 1970 Ferrari Dino 246 GTB
  • 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400S
  • 1983 Prototype Ferrari 288 GTO
  • 1997 Jaguar XJ220
  • 2018 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso ‘Tailor Made’ Arancia

Get tickets here

The 2018 Concours of Elegance takes place at Hampton Court Palace, from Friday August 31 to Sunday September 2.

AutoClassics readers can buy two tickets for the price of one here by quoting AUTOCLASSICSVIP.

More information on the Concours of Elegance website.

Pictures courtesy of Tim Scott and Thorough Events.

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