Top 10 classic cars of the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance

Here are our favourites – which would you choose from the UK’s most prestigious concours? Or maybe you’d prefer our appealing extra choice at number 11…

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1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 S

Even if you’ve seen 100 Miuras over the years, this one still stands out for the quality of its recent restoration and that colour, surely the best colour for any Miura. Just 338 of the 400S were built, and this one was originally ordered by a Singapore customer in 1971.

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1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Superleggera

Reckoned to be the earlier Ferrari currently in the UK, and almost certainly the oldest Ferrari still driven regularly on the road. It's the 17th Ferrari built and only the ninth road car. We’re not sure everyone understood its great significance but, as its owners say, ‘this is the grandfather of them all’. A pleasure to see.

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1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer

An absolutely stunning car that all visitors flocked to – and the 2017 Pebble Beach concours Best of Show winner, which gives an idea of the quality of its most recent restoration. In its day it was one of the most powerful cars in the world.

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1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail

Just out of restoration at McLaren Special Operations, this is one of the three 1997 Le Mans Longtails, now back in its original 24 Hours specification – though hopefully without the split oil line that tragically ended its Le Mans battle with just two hours left to go.

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1958 Fiat 1200 Vignale ‘Wonderful’

Yes, it’s wonderful. It almost smells of Italian summer, and no-one walked past it without a big smile. One of the least powerful, least thoroughbred cars in the main concours line-up, but undoubtedly one of the favourites. It has a then-innovative lift-off targa roof, as is one of just five Wonderfuls built.

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1936 Lancia Astura Bocca Cabriolet

So graceful, so elegant, from the sweeping curves to the tiny hand-painted ‘ROMA’ front number plate. It speaks volumes that its relaxed owner was reclined gently in the passenger seat, reading the paper, while all around others were buzzing between the cars, overheating in the sun. It's one of six made, this one originally ordered by one of Mussolini's generals.

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1992 Jaguar XJ220

For that numberplate alone, given that the XJ220 was developed by TWR (Tom Walkinshaw racing). Well, and also for the sheer presence an XJ220 has at a show like this, when once it was an almost overlooked model. This car was bought from the Belgian Jaguar importer in 2015 with just 1080km on the clock.

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1950 Aston Martin DB2 DHC 1st Sanction

Stunning condition, stunning colour – and, as it turns out, stunning history too. In Sweden it's known as 'the royal Aston', having been bought new by Prince Bertil of Sweden. It's still on the same A29 registration plate that it received when bought by the prince.

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1935 Tatra 77

Such a striking machine, and incredibly advanced for a 1930s car. It was the world's first aerodynamic production car, powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled V8. This is the only 77 shown in two-tone paintwork contemporary pictures.

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1924 Alfa Romeo RL Targa Florio #2

If you’re wondering which of all these cars would be the most exciting to drive, here’s your answer. It achieved a 94mph lap at bumpy Brooklands but more importantly it's one of only two known original survivors of Alfa Romeo's 1924 Targa Florio cars.

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Austin A35 van

Number 11 in our top ten. But come on, who can resist a signwritten A35 van? OK it wasn't in the concours as such, but it was parked in the display outside the palace – and we like it!

More concours gloss...

Concours of Elgance at Hampton Court, Surrey, UK is on Saturday September 1 and Sunday September 2. Don't miss it! More information on the concours website.

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