After the Concours d’Elegance at Hampton Court in September, one of the most anticipated events of the year, Salon Prive, returned with force to the British calendar.
Organised by Andrew and David Bagley, Salon Prive has slowly emerged as one of the most prestigious and respected competitions in the panorama of great car collectors. Despite relentless pressure from the Covid-19 emergency, which is currently putting the British population in great difficulty, the organisers were still able to create a truly spectacular event.
The selection of cars, coming not only from all over Europe but also from the United States, was of the highest level. Around 80 vehicles, divided into different classes, coloured the gardens of the wonderful Blenheim Palace near Woodstock, in the Cotswolds. Among the many novelties this year, the class dedicated to the legendary McLaren F1, featuring 7 of the most significant cars of this model and a class dedicated to the magnificent cars that competed in Endurance races, including the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33TT12 from 1974 or the Jaguar XJR9 from 1988.
The jury, despite the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, was of the highest level. As for the official ICJAG jury, here we saw personalities of the calibre of Keith Bluemel, the famous Ferrari expert alongside Chris Kramer, the famous international judge. In addition, Ed Gilbertson, President of the Jury, Adolfo Orsi, Chief Judge, Paul Russell and other important personalities were virtually connected to the event. As a novelty, this year the organisers, together with ICJAG, experimented with a virtual/real hybrid jury system, which proved to work flawlessly and showed that technology can indeed help Concourses, too. An absolute novelty in elegance competitions. In addition to the official class judges, there were also honorary judges, who awarded special prizes for certain categories, such as the most elegant or the best preserved car of the show.
Below is the list of the most important awards of the show, starting form the most coveted award, the “Best of Show”.
Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance presented by AXA - Best of Show Winner
1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider
Ian Livingstone’s 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Monza Spider by Zagato. The 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Monza Spider was one of the Alfa Romeo works racing team cars. At that time, no one other than Enzo Ferrari was responsible for the Alfa Romeo factory race team and development of the cars. The team was known as the Scuderia Ferrari and that explains the Cavallino Rampante found on the bonnet. The very characteristic roar comes from a supercharged 2.3 litre engine with almost 180 bhp that combines two 4 cylinder blocks into an inline 8 Cylinder engine for better reliability. The Alfa Romeo received its Zagato Spider body in 1932 and when race ace Tazio Nuvolari took it out for its first race he didn’t like the shape of the driver’s door and had it cut out. The Alfa Romeo which is still in full Monza configuration scored several race wins with Tazio Nuvolari at the wheel, and is one of the most important racing Alfa Romeos ever.
Runner-Up to Best of Show
1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta
Anne Lee’s spectacular Ferrari 166 Touring Barchetta is one of the most significant Ferraris ever produced. Built for the works team, 166 MM Touring Barchetta chassis 0008M was driven to a debut victory in the 1949 Mille Miglia by Clemente Biondetti and Ettore Salani. It was subsequently sold to Lord Selsdon, who with Luigi Chinetti doing most of the driving, won that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, scoring the first of Ferrari's nine wins at the legendary endurance race. Later in the year, the Le Mans winner was displayed at the Paris Auto Salon. Truly, one of the world’s most historically significant vehicles.
Third Place to Best of Show 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
Churchill Cup 1933 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet ‘Bocca’
Duke of Marlborough Award 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT
People's Choice 1997 McLaren F1 GTR (28R)
Chairman's Award 1960 Ford GT40 Mk I
Preservation Award 1955 Jaguar D-Type