The Seventh Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace took place this September in the glorious sunshine of England’s finest summer on record. HRH Prince Michael of Kent in fine style with the Patron powering past Buckingham Palace in the 1933 24-litre Napier-Railton Special on his way to open the event, which featured sixty of the finest cars in the world, many of which had not been seen in England before.
Modern supercars also featured in the Concours of Future Classics, curated by Harry Metcalfe. This group was filled with future classics such as the McLaren Senna with stunning MSO paint, the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster, and the Rolls-Royce Sweptail.
It wasn’t all Best of British though, as this year debuted new event sponsor A. Lange & Sohn who brought a pop-up boutique with craftsmen at work from their Glashütte factory.
We chatted with Robert Coucher, founder of Octane, who was on the Concours Steering Committee this year along with Martin and Sandra Button (Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance) so it was no surprise to see last year’s Pebble Beach Best in Show 1929 Mercedes-Bez S Barker Tourer on the lawn at the Palace. This car was built for Francis Curzon, the fifth Earl Howe, finished in his signature peacock blue.
Other sponsors and partners included Historic Royal Palaces, Aston Martin Lagonda, Alpine, Ferrari, McLaren MSO, Autoglym, Taittinger and Octane. We met up with a number of new Alpine A110 owners who were at the event to pick up their new cars. The enthusiasm for the brand is huge and the split was about 50/50 between fans of the older cars and petrolhead who were just attracted to the car because of it’s design and particularly it’s light weight. It’s a deeply impressive piece of kit in the flesh and at roughly 3/4 of the weight of a Cayman the drive is so different from anything else on the road.
Harry’s Garage was also there to promote his youtube channel, with a display of super saloons, from a V10 BMW M5 to the track focussed Jaguar XE SV PROJECT 8. This were joined by the Aston Martin Rapide AMR, on elf the first of a new breed of even more focused Aston Martin models.
Simon Kidston showed his remarkable 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Two-Seater which was ordered new by his uncle Glen Kidston. Perhaps better known for racing Benlteys, Commander Kidston also owned several Bugattis. He collected this one from the factory in Molsheim and raced it in the Grand Prix de Provence.
Also on display were an impressive group of McLaren F1s, including the original demonstrator and a 1997 F1 GTR Long Tail, one of five built.
Our favorite car of the event was probably 62 EMU, the 1954 Aston Martin DB3S Team Car, which came second at Le Mans in both 1955 and 1958.
For details of next year’s event, visit concoursofelegance.co.uk