The Auto Royale team has now declared the first of its headline classes in its inaugural British International Concours d’Elegance from July 16 – 18 2021…
Originally scheduled for 2020 and now two years in the making, Auto Royale describes itself as an ‘exciting new concept where modern British culture meets world-class automotive machinery in a luxurious yet accessible setting with a feast of fine food, exciting entertainment and engaging retailing‘.
The Maharaja Cars
The Maharaja Cars will celebrate the epitome of colonial elegance by showcasing no less than 10 eye-catching vintage vehicles, some of which have never ventured from their Indian surroundings ever before.
In the first half of the 20th century, wealthy Indian regional rulers competed with each other to acquire some of the finest automobiles of the time, resulting in opulent collections which ranged from the exotic to eccentric. While those Maharajas might have lost their official powers when India gained its independence in 1947, the glorious vehicles that marked the days of the Raj have achieved royal status in the concours world, and have been celebrated at events from California to Paris.
UAE-based author and motoring historian, Mohammed Luqman Ali Khan has curated the class and is excited with the line-up saying:
“It is an honour to bring together such a fine display of automobiles from esteemed collectors both in India and the UK and to feature cars that have been previously celebrated at Pebble Beach, Retromobile and 21 Gun Salute.
“I have selected a plethora of Rolls-Royce to pay my personal tribute to the ‘Flying Lady’ – the most recognisable automotive emblem in the world. 2021 sees the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ celebrate its 110th birthday and vehicles with that hood ornament will outnumber other marques in the class. For those who have not before experienced the opulence and whimsy of the Maharaja cars, they are certainly in for a treat.”
Headlining the non-Royce members of the class is the 1930 Delage D8 Sports Tourer, resplendent in its bright orange, Figoni coachwork, originally owned by the Maharaja Holkar of Indore. The young king was a true petrolhead in his day, and his cars were famous for not only their quality but their personalised embellishments, including his trademark black on orange paintwork. Now part of a famously large collection, the Delage was most recently seen in the Maharaja Class at Pebble Beach Concours in 2012.
Joining the Delage is the 2020 21 Gun Salute, Best In Show-winning 1949 Bentley Mk VI Light Touring Saloon by Hooper, formerly owned by the Maharaja of Mysore. Nicknamed “the rhubarb & custard car” it is now part of the famous YZP Collection and will make its UK debut at Auto Royale.
Event Director, Paul Mathers said:
“In leading with The Maharaja Cars, Auto Royale really has sprinted of the barriers with a line-up of truly world-standard vintage and pre-war cars. In more than 10 years of directing concours, this is literally one of the finest displays I’ve ever had the privilege to assist in curating. To think that this is only one of the many highlights we have to offer, I really look forward to our fellow concours enthusiasts embracing this newest event on their calendar.”
The Maharaja Cars
- 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost “Taj Mahal” Tourer
- 1923 Rolls-Royce 20HP Cabriolet by Barker
- 1923 Rolls-Royce 20HP Barrell-sided Tourer by Barker
- 1926 Rolls-Royce New Phantom Limousine by Maythorn & Sons
- 1927 Rolls-Royce 20HP Tourer by Barker
- 1927 Rolls-Royce New Phantom Saloon by Gurney Nutting
- 1930 Delage D8 Cabriolet by Figoni
- 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Tourer by Barker
- 1934 Invicta 4 ½ Litre Low-Chassis Tourer
- 1949 Bentley Mk VI Light Touring Saloon by Hooper
Other Auto Royale Attractions
Joining the celebrations will be none other than the beautiful 1960 CEGGA Ferrari 250TR which is making its Concours debut in the Scaglietti Class, owned by Harlequins and England rugby star, David Cooke who in 1997, after 14 long hard years of playing the tough role in the forward pack as an openside flanker, decided it was time to follow his love of fast cars and Historic Car Racing.
Auto Royale will be hosted by ex-racer, raconteur and Concours aficionado, Alain de Cadenet, and looks to become a firm contender in the prestige event calendar. Tickets can be purchased via this link.