Syon Park Concours d’Elegance draw an estimated £65 million in classic and supercars
Now in its eighth year, the UK’s premiere boutique luxury automotive event, Salon Privé (4th to 6th September), is established as one of the world’s leading automotive shows, ranked with Pebble Beach in California and Italy’s Villa d’Este. Based for the third year at Syon House on the outskirts of London, the city residence of the Duke of Northumberland, it was the most successful yet.
Blessed with good weather, the sun shone on the parade of Concours and Supercars taking part in the Tour d’Elégance on Tuesday ahead of the official opening. Hundreds of spectators turned up at Mercedes-Benz World at historic Brooklands to greet the convoy of 50 stunning cars from 1928 to the present, valued at £25 million, as they stopped off their on their 30-mile tour. Starting from the Royal Automobile Club at Woodcote Park, the tour also visited Hampton Court and Bushey Park before arriving at Syon Park.
Wednesday was the first day of the event, kicking off the Concours d’Elégance, which drew £65 million worth of vehicles, 22 percent from abroad, such is the event’s draw. The concours was followed by Boodles Ladies’ Day on Thursday, along with The Royal College of Art’s new ‘Concours of the Future’ design exhibition, and ended with the Audemars Piguet British Super Car Day on Friday. These headline events were supported daily by the EFG Private Bank Art & Memorabilia Fair and the Luxury Retail Village, with 300 luxury brands, motor manufacturers, designers, artists and retailers.
Several new products appeared along with a number of one-offs, such as the Royal College of Art’s Jaguar-inspired sculpture. There were also world product debuts from BMW with the 2014 X5 M50d and Clark Abel for the ‘Dakar’ Evoque, along with European debuts from Spyker for the B6 Venator Spyder and Icona for the one-off Vulcano.
A brand new British motorcycle was launched at the Salon. Called the Gladstone, it was aimed at the supercar market, with a staggering price tag of £28,950, despite being minimalist in style and execution. It was launched by TV presenter Henry Cole, who is apparently the great-great-nephew of Gladstone, British Prime Minister, hence the name. The badge was a vesrion the Gladstone crest.
According to Cole, the company aims to manufacture the finest hand-built British motorcycles for “Discerning Hooligans”. Each will come with a brass plaque, and only nine will be built. Assembled might be a better term, however, as the bike is basically a rigid Metisse-designed nickel-plated frame powered by a blue-printed Meriden T140 750cc Triumph engine. At the front are conventional Ceriani Triumph-style front forks while the bike rolls along on a 19- inch front and 16- inch spoked wheel shod with old-style British Avon tyres. A four-leading shoe Grimica drum brake, with a milled out Triumph Conical hub at the rear, slows things dow.
It didn’t compare to other excellent machines on display, like the Flying Millyard Board Racer created by Allen Millyard. Well known for his outrageous designs, he confined himself to just two cylinders, albeit given a capacity of five litres between them. The V-twin, a large-scale tribute to early board racers, is based on two Pratt and Witney cylinders and heads from an aeroplane engine. The machine won ‘Best OTT’ machine as well as winning its class.
On the car front, ‘Best of Show’ went to a 1959 Ferrari 250 California Spyder LWB entered by Sarah Allen and praised by Sandra Button, guest Concours d’Elégance judge and chair of the Pebble Beach Concours. Thursday’s Boodles Ladies’ Day winner, Helena Tepley, was presented with Boodles diamond-set Blossom pendant in white gold by Michael Wainwright, Boodles Managing Director.
On the same day, the Concours of the Future exhibition was judged by some renowned car designers, including Marek Reichman from Aston Martin. Eleven students from the Royal College of Art’s Vehicle Design programme competed for a trip to Milan for a behind-the-scenes tour and design master-class with Andrea Zagato.
The last day saw the Audemars Piguet British Super Car Show, which attracted more than 50 new cars from all over the world. The show concluded with a final parade and the ‘People’s Choice’ prize. As a backdrop to all this activity, visitors enjoyed Pommery champagne and a lobster luncheon, followed by English afternoon tea on the manicured grounds.
Concours d’Elégance prize-winners for 2013, by class, were as follows:
Class A: Graceful Pre-War Motoring
- 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Tourer, entered by Roger Willbanks
- 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540k Sport Cabriolet A, entered by Ken Sterne
- 1936 Bentley 4 1/4 litre Coupé, entered by William Heinecke
Class B: 100 Years of Aston Martin
- 1978 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, entered by Tim Butcher
- 1932 Aston Martin Le Mans (also ‘Most Original Pre-War Car special prize winner), entered by Carlos Sielecki
- 1970 Aston Martin Lagonda DBS, entered by Edward Stratton
Class C: 50 Years of the Legendary Lamborghini
- 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400, entered by Padma & Jurgen Wilms
- 1972 Lamborghini Miura 400 SV (also ‘Most Exciting Design’ special prize winner), entered by Joe Macari
- 1974 Lamborghini Espada S3, entered by Lynne Bull
Class D: Post-War Competition Greats
- 1963 Jaguar E-Type Linder Nocker (also ‘Most Sensitive Restoration’ special prize winner), entered by Peter Neumark
- 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB4C Daytona, entered by Sally and Dudley Mason
- 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II, entered by Kevin Wood
Class E: Sporting Motorcycles, presented Steve Parrish
- 1974 Ducati 750 SS, entered by Peter Bullard
- 1960 Triumph TR6 Trophy, entered by London Motorcycle Museum
- 1949 Triumph TR5 Trophy, entered by Dick Shepherd
Class F: One-offs and Oddball Motorcycles
- 2013 Flying Millyard Board Racer (also ‘Most OTT Machine’ special prize winner), entered and manufactured by Allen Millyard
- 1953 Norton Tom Tom Special, entered by George Cohen
- 1953 Royal Enfield ISDT Bullet & sidecar, entered by John Ely
Class G: The Beauty of Streamlining
- 1954 Bentley Type R Continental Fastback (also ‘Most Elegant Car’ special prize winner, entered by Brett Gage
- 1935 SS Airline Coupé, entered by James Hull
- 1947 Cisitalia 202 MM Nuvolari Spider, entered by Ian Dalglish
Class H: Wind In Your Hair
- 1959 Ferrari 250 California Spyder LWB (also ‘Best of Show’), entered by Sarah Allen
- 1949 Jaguar Alloy XK120 OTS, entered by David Saunderson
- 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300Sc (also ‘Most Original Post-War Car special prize winner), entered by Johanna White
Class I: Little Saloons – Birth of the Berlinetta
- 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, entered by David Moores
- 1967 ISO Grifo, entered by James Hull
- 1971 Maserati Indy 4700 America, entered by Andrew McGrath
Class J: The Art of Design – Pininfarina
- 1970 Ferrari 246 Dino GT Series 2 Type L, entered by James Needham
- 1963 Lancia Flaminia 3C 2.8 Speciale, entered by Corrado Lopresto
- 1976 Ferrari 308 GTB, entered by Harry Metcalfe
Class K: The Iconic Porsche 911 at Fifty Years
- 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.8 RSR, entered by Philip Basil
- 1973 Porsche Carrera RS M471 Lightweight, entered by Mike Jopp
- 1973 Porsche 911 2.7RS Touring, entered by The Fica Frio Collection
Other special awards:
Best Concept Car – Ford EVOS
Peoples Choice – 1933 Jaguar SS1
Best of Show – Ferrari 250 California Spyder LWB
‘Concours of the Future’ at Salon Privé
1st Prize – The Nardi Bisiluro by Francesco Binaggia
2nd Prize – The Ferrari P2045 by Jiyeong ‘Vera’ Park
3rd Prize – The Bugatti Type 35 by Jannis Carius
‘People’s Choice’ prize-winners
Grace and Pace Award – Rolls-Royce Wraith
Most Stylish Hyper Car – Pagani Huayra
Most Sensational Super Car – Vencer Sarthe