If you’ve been to as many classic car events as we have, when an invitation to one arrives in the post it triggers a flurry of diary checking and soul searching as to whether we should go – even when it includes a good lunch.
The Concours of Elegance began at Windsor Castle in 2012, before moving to St James’s Palace in 2013, Hampton Court Palace in 2014 and last year the concours took place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. It brings together a selection of the rarest cars from around the world many of which have never been seen before in the UK – and even the most battle-hardened and cynical classic car show veteran will admit that these cars are not your typical concours fodder. Many of the concours cars also take part in a 2 day driving tour in the days running up to the main concours event.
It’s a format that seems to work well with an array of beautiful cars in a stunning location accompanied by their enthusiastic, cheery – and let’s face it – very lucky owners ready and willing to chat with the throngs of admirers.
Throng is probably not quite the right word – where the organisers have really got it right (on Friday at least) is that there is plenty of breathing space to view and even photograph the cars without the sort of melee you can expect at other events. Very civilised.
We were lucky enough to be invited by one of the private banks we work with and had a splendid lunch in Windsor Castle with guests of Bentley and other sponsors. All were enthused by the location, the concours and in many cases the other guests which included Prince Michael of Kent (the event’s Patron), many familiar faces from the classic car world and of course the owners of the cars themselves (Ross Brawn was displaying his lovely RHD Ferrari 250 GT SWB).
The Concours of Elegance winner isn’t selected by a panel of judges but by the owners of the cars themselves to decide which car is considered to be the ‘Best of Show’ and voting for your own car isn’t permitted… The Club Trophy sees some of the UK’s most prestigious car clubs offering up their finest examples to an independent panel of judges and it was fantastic to see our friend Harry Metcalfe working hard on the judging panel.
It was fantastic to see so many customers and friends there and we would wholeheartedly recommend the event.
What did we like?
Relaxed and uncrowded.
Fantastic line-up of cars.