Now in its eleventh year and despite competition, Salon Privé is still a class act.
I have been attending Salon Privé since the early days, when it was very much a garden party in the grounds of the Hurlingham Club in Fulham. While the event has grown and changed venue several times over the years, the original DNA that has proved so popular still flourishes.
The three day event is slightly different each day. Thursday sees the Chubb Insurance Concours d’elegance – my personal favourite day, Friday is Boodles Ladies’ Day and Saturday the Salon Privé Supercar Show.
For the first time there was also a chance to embark on test drives in cars from marques such as Bentley and BMW. A neat touch that has helped to set Salon Privé apart from its rivals.
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Miura so it was only right to celebrate this with a dedicated class to themselves. On the day eight Miuras lined up to compete for victory.
The concours proved to be a great day for the Italians with the stunning 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa winning Best of Show. The Ferrari also topped its Racing Improves the Breed class, narrowly beating the dreamy 1954 Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta. The Maserati also received the People’s Choice award and rightly so.
The ex Sultan of Brunei, RHD Ferrari 288 GTO really caught our eye. It was immaculate but ultimately pipped to the post by a Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Contach 5000QV.
Porsche were also very well represented with the freshly restored 924 GTP that competed at Le Mans in 1980. After over 35 years in storage the car has been lovingly restored back to its former glory by the four UK Porsche Classic Partner Centres. It’s a particularly special car being the only Porsche Factory owned race car to have competed under a British flag.
Strangely it didn’t take the class win, that went to a equally immaculate and lairy looking 1974 911 3.0RS.
The show was pleasingly quiet to walk round, i hope that this wasn’t a sign of poor ticket sales, more careful control so that one can enjoy the day without the crowds of Goodwood. It did mean access to the cars and owners was easy and as it’s such a social event people will chat for hours about their cars.
It’s easy to become a bit blasé about classic Ferraris, especially when so many are on display. This year there really were some lovely variants other than the ‘usual’ 250 GTO, Lusso and GTE’s we come to expect.
The boom in the classic and super car market shows no sign of relenting and as such the showroom area had some cars that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the concours. One notable car was a lovely Bugatti EB110 finished in Racing Blue, surely still an undervalued car?
Ferrari Tour de France old and new looked perfect together, but which would you choose?
What’s so great about seeing all these cars out to play is that you get to appreciate the life they have had and all the little details that make them so special. That’s what is so great about the automobile, every car has a unique story.
In the trade area the Lamborghini Centenario really stood out. Trying to look at a car under the bright lights of the Geneva Motor Show is tricky, the relative calm of Salon Privé allowed me to take a good look around. Built to honour the 100th birthday of Ferruccio Lamborghini it has already sold out, those 40 owners are very lucky people.
2016’s Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance results
Best in show
1956 – Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa
1954 – Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta
CLASS A – Exceptional Motorcycles 1900-1939
Winner: 1938 – BSA Gold Star
Runner up: 1932 – Brough Superior SS100
CLASS B – Exceptional Motorcycles 1940-1975 – Competition
Winner: 1966 – BSA 500 MX GP Titanium
Runner up: 1953 – Matchless G45
CLASS C – Exceptional Motorcycles 1940-1975 – Highway
Winner: 1969 – Honda CB750
Runner up: 1958 – Velocette Venom
CLASS D – Pre-war Coachwork
Winner: 1934 – Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental
Runner up: 1933 – Aston Martin Le Mans Short Chassis
CLASS E – Racing Improves the Breed
Winner: 1956 – Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa
Runner up: 1954 – Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta
CLASS F – The Great V12 Ferraris
Winner: 1953 – Ferrari 250 Europa Short Chassis Prototype
Runner up: 1971 – Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
CLASS G – Porsche Racing Pedigree
Winner: 1974 Porsche 911 3.0RS
Runner up: 1969 – Porsche 911
CLASS H – European Grand Tourers
Winner: 1972 – Dino 246 GT
Runner up: 1971 – Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
CLASS I – Gone With The Wind
Winner: 1971 – Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider
Runner up: 1961 – Bentley S2 Drophead Coupé
CLASS J – Dream Machines
Winner: 1992 – Ferrari F40
Runner up: 1987 – Lamborghini Countach 5000QV
CLASS K – 50 years of the Lamborghini Miura
Winner: Lamborghini Miura P400 SV (Adrian Labi A&A Premier Classic)
Runner up: Lamborghini Miura P400 SV (William Heinecke)
Most Original pre-war: 1933 Aston Martin Le Mans Short Chassis
Most Original Post-war: 1992 Ferrari F40
Most Sensitive Restoration: 1966 Iso Grifo
Most Elegant: 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Park Ward Drophead Coupé
Most Iconic: 1973 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 Periscopio
Most Exciting Design: 1957 Jaguar XKSS
Best Interior: 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Most Exciting Recreation: 1922 Voisin C3 Strasbourg
Most Original Motorcycle: 1936 Norton Model 50
Most Superlative Motorcycle: 1936 Moto Guzzi 500S
Most Interesting Motorcycle: 1917 Matchless-Vickers 8B2/M Russian Military Motorcycle Combination