London’s Concours Of Elegance Is One Of The Best In The World

Concours of Elegance 2020
Concours of Elegance 2020

Under the most difficult conditions ever known, the Concours of Elegance took place on the gardens of Hampton Court Palace once again and welcomed some of the most exclusive automotive classics to an event that will be remembered by all lucky enough to attend.

Presented by A. Lange & Söhne, this year’s ‘COVID compliant’ Concours of Elegance proved it’s up there with the best in the world, as the London based event played host to some of the rarest and most astonishing vehicles ever assembled in one location.

Adding even more elegance, style and excitement to the occassion was Gooding & Company’s Passion of a Lifetime sale, which saw over £34,000,000 change hands with an incredible 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports hitting a record sale of £9,535,000.

Best In Show

The ‘Best in Show’ award at the Concours of Elegance 2020 went to the amazing Porsche 917 KH (Kurzheck) which was driven to victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1970 – Porsche’s first win at the event.

The German superstar was a head-turner throughout the event with its imposing design and incredible pedigree. In 1970, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood drove this very same 917 KH (short-tail) with start number 23 and in the world-famous red-white Salzburg design to the first of (so far) 19 overall wins for Porsche at the circuit. The 917 was Porsche’s first time in the league of immensely powerful, large-capacity racing cars. Its 580bhp 4.5-litre 12-cylinder engine set new standards and remains legendary today.

Concours of Elegance Variation

Boasting everything from the latest 836bhp Aston Martin Victor to a propeller-driven 1921 Leyat Hélica, the Concours of Elegance had something for everyone to enjoy.

We picked out some of the shining examples of classic brilliance on our travels around the wonderful event…

1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupé by Gangloff

Originally built under the direction of Jean Bugatti, this particular and stunning Bugatti Type 57 (no. ‘57633’), was ordered by one Fernand Crouzet who specified unique rear coachwork, special bumpers, wheel discs and is believed to be the only Type 57 known have these unusual features. Beautifully Finished in two-tone black over blue, the amazing car was registered on 7th April 1938.

Concours of Elegance - Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupé by Gangloff
1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupé by Gangloff ©CCC

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

The factory test car and only the second Ferrari 250 GTO ever produced of the Iconic Series, this prototype is unique as the only GTO with the early pot riveted rear spoiler. Chassis 3387GT was shipped to Luigi Chinetti and was soon raced at 12 Hours of Sebring where it finished 1st in class and 2nd overall in the hands of NART drivers Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien.

Having raced on both sides of the Atlantic, including Le Mans 24 hours, Nassau and Daytona, this remarkable Ferrari GTO is now in pristine condition, having been totally restored by Joe Macari and Ferrari Classiche to as exactly as it left the factory in 1962.

Ferrari 250 GTO
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO ©CCC

1921 Leyat Hélica

First revealed at the 1921 Paris Auto Show, it was the eccentric Marcel Leyat who decided it was time to design and build a ‘propeller-driven’ car. While the theory behind the Leyat Hélica is both simple and economical, the innovative aeroplane-like streamlined monocoque construction failed to gain enough momentum to produce in large numbers.

Ferrari 275 P2/ 365 P2

Rarely spotted in the wild, the tenacious Ferrari P Series was a lineage of Italian sports prototype racing cars produced by Ferrari during the 1960s and early 1970s. The 275 P2 was released in 1965, destined to battle Ford at the Le Mans 24 Hours. It wasn’t victorious there, but this example did win the Targa Florio and 1000km Nurburgring in ’65, racing for the Ferrari factory team. Later in its life, it was raced by the Ecurie Francorchamps team and converted to 365 P2 configuration, which is how it is presented here following a full Ferrari Classiche restoration.

1955 HWM Jaguar ‘HWM 1’

A private British operation spearheaded by George Abecassis and John Heath, HWM was a famous racing name in the 50s and gained success single-seater formulas. HWM became the first proper marque to create a Jaguar-engined sports racing car, often beating their Jaguar and Aston Martin Works competitors.

HWM Jaguar 'HWM 1'
HWM Jaguar ‘HWM 1’ ©CCC

1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750

The wonderful Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 is virtually identical to its younger brother, 6C 1500 and was prepared for the 1929 Mille Miglia and successfully piloted by Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi.

Concours of Elegance - Alfa Romeo 6C 1750
Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 ©CCC

Ferrari 250 GT Ellena

Following on from the first Ferrari 250 GT series cars in 1954, Pininfarina introduced the second series, a 250-based prototype, at the 1956 Geneva Motor Show. This was known as the 250 GT Boano, after Mario Boano to whom Pininfarina turned for assistance in order to meet the demand for construction.

Pininfarina had recently become Ferrari’s coachbuilder of choice, but his new production plant outside Turin was still under construction. With the old one working to capacity, he handed the build of the 250 GT to Mario Boano, who was previously with Farina and was now working independently.

Concours of Elegance - Ferrari 250 GT Ellena
Ferrari 250 GT Ellena ©CCC

After building 80 examples, Boana handed over production to his son-in-law Ezio Ellena, at Carrozzeria Ellena. Ezio built only 50 Ellenas, although the first eight were identical to the Boano models – this car is the 17th Ellena, featuring elegant, high-roof bodywork.

The full list of awards:

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’

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