The quality of cars at this year’s Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace was more spectacular than ever. Greeting visitors as they emerged from Henry VIII’s former home and into the Fountain Gardens was a special Ford vs. Ferrari display, paying homage to some of Le Mans 24 Hours’ most famous racers. Among them was a Ford GT40, a Ferrari 250 LM, 365 P2 and a stunning Ferrari 250 GTO, captured by our photographer Gary Harman.
Outside of the main Concours of Elegance cars, around 1000 other cars were parked at Hampton Court Palace for the weekend, including a collection of Future Classics, from a Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer to a Bentley Continental GT No.1 Edition. However, the winner was undoubtedly the Aston Martin Victor, which is a one-off commission and most powerful road-legal naturally aspirated car Aston Martin has ever produced, boasting 836bhp. Its styling was inspired by the 1980s Vantage, but the mechanicals are all modern, comprised of race-ready powertrain and chassis components and lightweight carbon fibre.
Awards were also given out for different classes and eras, judged by the owners of the Main Concours cars. This year’s winners included the very first production Land Rover, which made its debut following a huge restoration project and an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750, famous for its Mille Miglia win in the 1920s.
On Sunday 6th September, the Concours of Elegance had a line-up of Bentley models throughout the decades, each car competing for the event’s Bentley Trophy. The judges picked out a Bentley 4.25-Litre Streamlined Drophead Coupé, which was first owned by Bentley Boy and one-time Bentley Chairman Woolf Barnato. Shown off in near-perfect condition, the body is said to be finished in the colour of Barnato’s wife’s favourite dress!
New to this year’s event was the Bridge of Weir Leather Design Award, picked by a committee of automotive designers gathered by the Scottish company. The stunning 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupe by Gangloff, with its unique body and black over purple paintwork was chosen by the judges for its outstanding design and innovation.
There was also an auction at this year’s Concours of Elegance, hosted for the first time outside the USA by Gooding & Company. In a record-breaking sale, a Bugatti Type 59 from 1934, previously owned by King Leopold, set the highest price ever for a Bugatti at auction, achieving £9,535,000. A Type 35C sold for £3,935,000 and a Type 57S Atalante for £7,855,000, setting respective records for these models.
As well as the main vehicle features at the event, there were also line-ups from many of the world’s greatest classic car specialists and car manufacturers, many of whom were displaying cars at the event for the first time. Aston Martin showcased its latest range, while Jaguar Classic presented its continuation D-type in a bespoke two-tone colour scheme. Lotus had on display its new all-electric EVIJA hypercar and Brabham showcased the BT62R as we mentioned in our previous article.
The full list of awards at this year’s Concours Of Elegance are as follows:
Best in Show – 1969 Porsche 917 KH
Pre-1915s – 1904 Fiat Type 24/32
1920s – 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750
1930s – 1930 Bentley 4.5-Litre ‘Blower’ by Gurney Nutting
1940s – 1948 Land Rover Model 80 #001
1950s – 1958 BMW 507
1960s – 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti
Post-1970s –1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
The Royal Automobile Club Trophy – Messerschmitt KR200
Jaguar Trophy – 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
Bentley Trophy – 1926 Bentley 4.25-Litre by Mulliner
The Junior Concours – Porsche 917
The Bridge of Weir Design Award – Bugatti Type 57 Atalante by Gangloff
Future Classics – Aston Martin Victor
Classic & Sports Car Club Display Award – Saturday: Jaguar XK120 Roadster
Classic & Sports Car Club Display Award – Sunday: Lotus Eclat
Classic & Sports Car Pre-90 Car Park Award – Saturday: Iso Grifo
Classic & Sports Car Pre-90 Car Park Award – Sunday: Mercedes 230 SL ‘Pagoda’
The 2021 Concours of Elegance is scheduled to take place from 3rd to 5th September 2021 as part of a special tenth running of the event and for more information please visit: https://concoursofelegance.co.uk
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs by Gary Harman