Warm April sunshine, champagne, a picturesque setting and exotic cars. What more could you want for the first day of the inaugural Salon Privé London, which took place in the beautiful gardens of the Royal Hospital Chelsea between Thursday 21st and Saturday 23rd April.
Over the three days of the show, some 16,000 visitors came to see the fantastic mix of classic, modern and electric cars that were on display and included both European and global debuts from some of the world’s most famous car manufacturers, such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Pininfarina and Genesis, who unveiled their brand-new all electric GV60.
Leading technology company Everrati Automotive Limited, who specialise in redefining and futureproofing automotive icons by integrating of the latest electric vehicle powertrains, showcased their electrified Porsche 911 (964) Gulf Signature Edition.
This was a show of both tradition and innovation, as manufacturers showcased the future of motoring, whilst also managing to raise £120,000 for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
There were also plenty of pristine classic cars on display from pretty much every previous decade, with the centrepiece Concours de Vente being won by an immaculate 1954 OSCA MT4 driving away with the Prix d’Honneur.
This year’s event opened on the Thursday morning with 12 automotive reveals from some of the world’s best known motoring marques. For example, H.R. Owen Ferrari debuted the Ferrari 296 GTB 819bhp plug-in hybrid supercar and the gorgeous looking Daytona SP3.
Aston Martin Mayfair had some beautiful new cars on display including the UK event debut of their new DBX707, the world’s most powerful luxury SUV, as did Jaguar Land Rover with their new flagship Range Rover SV. Rolls-Royce also premiered their new V12-engined Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost.
Salon Privé London was also where Caton did the global launch of its first car, a rather special and exclusive reincarnation of the Austin-Healey 100, a sports car that blends traditional craftsmanship with OEM-grade design and engineering.
Looking to preserve classic cars for the future, there was a hand-built, zero-emissions electric Mustang by Charge Cars, which utilises cutting-edge technology to redefine this iconic 1967 Fastback model.
There was also an array of Porsches going back to the 1980s, all in immaculate condition as was the gleaming reincarnated Jensen Interceptor that looked as if it had just come out of the showroom.
Aljosa Tushek, founder of the Tushek TS900 Apex, which is currently the lightest hybrid hypercar on the market, revealed his new car at the show, whilst Alpine unveiled their new A110S along with the rest of their range. Morgan Motor Company debuted their new Super 3 and the Alfa Romeo 12C Prototipo made its debut some 80 years after it was first conceived.
Lamborghini showcased the exciting 770bhp Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae as well as the new Huracán STO and Urus Super SUV.
The innovative format of the first-ever Concours de Vente attracted many of the world’s leading specialists, in which each of the 50 cars entered was also being offered for sale. The winner of the Prix d’Honneur was the Classic Motor Hub’s 1954 OSCA MT4, which had competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Mille Miglia, where it won its class in 1956, and the Targa Florio.
A beautifully restored Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’, which won the 1956 European Rally Championship in the hands of Walter Schock and Rolf Moll, picked up third place and is believed to be the only matching-numbers factory competition ‘Gullwing’ in existence.
The success of the Concours de Vente was underlined by the fact that over a third of the cars presented were ‘under offer’ by the time the show drew to a close on the Saturday.
Andrew Bagley, the Event Chairman commented:
“The atmosphere has been unforgettable throughout the event, and everyone has agreed that it’s great to be back in the capital. Salon Privé London has delivered everything that you’d expect – superb cars, first-class hospitality and a prestigious location – but with the added innovation of the Concours de Vente. The fact that more than £120,000 has been raised for the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal makes it particularly special.”
The good news is that this was not a one-off event in London, as it has now been confirmed that Salon Privé London will return to Royal Hospital Chelsea next year, between 20th and 22nd April 2023.
Salon Privé’s traditional late summer fixture will be taking place between 31st August and 3rd September at Blenheim Palace, opening with the prestigious Concours d’Elégance.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs by Gary Harman