This year’s Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance in the stunning grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, attracted a record 93 entries, which encompassed over a century of automotive history with some of the most beautiful and coveted cars from around the world, including a 1904 Napier right the way through to a 2020 McLaren Senna GTR LM. There were 17 classes comprising a total of 77 cars and 16 motorbikes.
An Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Zagato that was raced by Scuderia Ferrari during the 1930s won the coveted Best of Show award at this year’s Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance presented by AXA. The car has an enviable competition history, having won the Coppa Principe di Piemonte in July 1932 in the hands of Tazio Nuvolari. The ‘Flying Mantuan’ also drove the car in the prestigious Klausenrennen hillclimb that year.
Andrew Bagley, Salon Privé Concours Chairman, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have awarded this year’s Best of Show at the Concours d’Elégance presented by AXA to Ian Livingstone’s 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Spider by Zagato. It acted as one of the Alfa Romeo works racing team cars, and at that time none other than Enzo Ferrari was responsible for the factory race team and development of the cars. The team was known as Scuderia Ferrari and that explains the Cavallino Rampante on the bonnet.
“The very characteristic roar comes from a supercharged 2.3-litre engine with almost 180bhp that combines two four-cylinder blocks into an inline eight-cylinder engine for better reliability. The Alfa Romeo had received the Zagato Spider body in 1932, but when Tazio Nuvolari took it out for the first race he didn’t like the shape of the driver’s door and had it cut out.
“The car, which is still in full Monza configuration, scored several race wins with Nuvolari at the wheel and is one of the most important racing Alfa Romeos. It is a true supercar of its era and we were thrilled the ICJAG judges bestowed this hugely important racing car with the overall Best of Show.”
The Best of Show Winner, Ian Livingstone commented “It’s an amazing honour to able be the latest custodian of this amazing machine and now to win such an important prize is further testament to the history of a special and important car “.
This wasn’t the only Alfa Romeo to be recognised by the judges. The Milestones of Endurance Racing class was new for this year, and the 12-cylinder category was won by an ex-works Tipo 33 TT12. Chassis 008 began its racing career at the 1974 Monza 1000km and took victory on home turf in the hands of Arturo Merzario and Mario Andretti. It then successfully raced on into 1975 with Brian Redman, Jacky Ickx and Vittorio Brambilla.
A new award this year was the Churchill Cup, for Most Exceptional Design, named in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, who was of course born at Blenheim Palace. This new award was judged by some of the most respected automotive designers in the world, including Marek Reichman of Aston Martin, Stefan Sielaff of Bentley, Russell Carr of Lotus, Louis de Fabribeckers of Touring Superleggera and Julian Thompson of Jaguar to name just a few. And together they selected a 1933 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet ‘Bocca’, which is one of only a handful of cars that were styled by Mario Revelli di Beaumont for Lancia dealer Ernesto Bocca. With its sweeping wings and sculpted tail section, it was also presented with the Most Elegant award.
Salon Privé Chairman Andrew Bagley presented the Chairman’s Award to a Ford GT40. Chassis number 1034 is the fourth of only 31 MkI road cars built, and the first to be delivered to a private owner. The three previous examples were retained by Ford. This particular car has recently been carefully restored to its unique period-correct specification.
There were two legendary sports racing cars from the 1950s that were honoured with two of the judges’ special prizes. An ex-Equipe Nationale Belge Ferrari 500 TRC that won its class at Le Mans in 1957, which won the Passione Corsa Award, while the Preservation Award was presented to the most original Jaguar D-type in existence today. Chassis number XKD509 was raced in America when it was new and is today a remarkably original ‘time warp’ survivor.
Some other award highlights included the winner of the Most Exceptional Coachwork award, which went to an ex-Sir Malcolm Campbell 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Touring Saloon that was making its final appearance in the UK before being shipped to India, where it will be housed in the prestigious YZP Collection & Museum.
2020 Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance Award Winners
Best of Show – 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider
Best of Show Runner-up – 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta
Best of Show Third Place – 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
Duke of Marlborough Award – 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT
Churchill Cup for Most Exceptional Design – 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina ‘Bocca’ Cabriolet
Chairman’s Award– 1966 Ford GT40 MkI
People’s Choice – 1997 McLaren F1 GTR #28R
Veterans at the Palace – 1919 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Pre-War Touring – 1936 SS Jaguar 100 2.5 Litre
Celebrating 110 Years of Alfa Romeo – 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider by Zagato
Post-War Sports Racers – 1949 Ferrari 166MM Touring Barchetta
Post-War Touring (Open) – 1973 Dino 246 GTS
Post-War Touring (Closed, Two-Seater) – 1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series II
Post-War Touring (Closed, Four-Seater) – 1960 Citroen ID19 LeParis
Passione Ferrari – 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
Milestones of Endurance Racing – 1988 Porsche 962
Milestones of Endurance Racing (12-cylinder) – 1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT12
Celebrating the McLaren F1 (Road) – 1995 McLaren F1 #037
Classics of the Future (Pre-2000) – 1991 Ferrari F40
Classics of the Future (Post-2000) – 2006 Pagani Zonda Roadster F
Most Opulent – 1904 Napier L49
Most Exceptional Coachwork – 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Touring Saloon
Most Elegant – 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina ‘Bocca’ Cabriolet
Spirit Award – 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet
Coup de Coeur – 1943 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Cabriolet
Best Interior – 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Vignale Barchetta
Passione Corsa – 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC
Most Iconic – 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400S
Preservation Award – 1955 Jaguar D-type
Ducati Icons – 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport
Exceptional Street Motorcycles – 1965 Norton Unified Twin
Exceptional Competition Motorcycles – 1980 Suzuki RG500
Duke of Marlborough Award (Motorcycle) – 1939 AJS 2A
Please click here to read about Salon Privé Week and click here to find out more about next year’s event and Concours d’Elégance, which will be held once again at Blenheim Palace between 1st and 4th September 2021.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs by Gary Harman