2019 Salon Privé reaffirmed its place as the UK’s premier Concours d’Elégance, show casing some of the world’s rarest and most spectacular classic cars and motorcycles all weekend all in the breath-taking backdrop of Blenheim Palace.
For 2019, some 57 cars – 16 of them international entries – plus 18 motorcycles, were judged by an expert team during the Salon Privé. The star-studded Concours comprised of three motorcycle and 13 car classes, ‘Pre-War Touring (open)’; ‘Pre-War Touring (closed); ‘Pre-War Sports Racers’; ‘Competition Cars’; ‘Ferrari GTs’; ‘Post-War British Coachbuilt’: ‘Ferrari Americas’; ‘Post-War Touring (open)’; ‘Post-War Touring (closed); ‘60 Years of Ferrari 250 GT SWB (road)’; ’60 Years of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB (competition); ‘Classics of the Future pre-2000; ‘Classics of the Future post-2000’, all competing for the prestigious Best of Show, Best of Show Runners-up and Honorary Awards.
Amongst our favourites were the 1935 Avions Voison C-25 Aerodyne -(below) Built by Coachbuilder Gabriel Voisin who unveiled this revolutionary design with its sliding glass roof at Paris Salon in 1934 as a ‘vision of the future’ combining his unique interest in aviation and aerodynamics and art deco design. The car originally sold for an ambitious 88,000 francs during a time of economic hardship needless to say just six were built and only 4 are thought to survive today. The Avions Voison won the closed wheel Pre War Touring Car class.
We have a strong pull towards competition cars and it was the ‘Million-Franc’ Delahaye Type 145 which was drawing in everyone’s attention at the show. The car was the first of four 4 1/2 litre V12 race cars built for the Ecurie Bleue Racing Team. It was entered into the Million Franc Prize on Aug 27th 1937 and legendary driver Rene Dreyfus drove 200 kilometers in the Type 145 for a record 1 hr 21 minutes, 49 1/2 seconds at an average speed of 91.3 miles per hour on the banked Montlrey circuit winning the Million Franc prize pot. It ltest competed in the Grand Prix de Pau in 1938 and finished first beating the Mercedes silver arrows. The victory was repeated at the Grand Prix de Cork and fourth place in the Mille Miglia. Both cars were shipped to the UK and prepped for show by the highly experienced Hadleigh Group from the amazing Mullin Museum collection. The Delahaye received the Honorary Duke of Marlborough Award and was winner of the Competition Class.
Taking home top honours, with the prestigious Best of Show Trophy, was the stunning 1948 Talbot Lago T26 GS Fastback Coupé with Figoni coachwork, entered by Robert and Petra Kudela. Commissioned in 1948 by a Mr. Fayolle, commonly known as the ‘Zipper King’ of France (hence the string of horizontal chrome strips above the main central headlamp), the Talbot-Lago made its public debut at the 1949 Paris Salon. This flamboyant motor car was relocated to California in the late-1950s, where it spent almost 50 years in storage. The T26 returned to Europe in 2015 when a full restoration was undertaken to return the car to the precise specification ordered by M. Fayolle back in 1948.
The 1934 Bentley Barnato Hassan was runner up in the competition class an important Bentley of the Pre-War era. Commissioned by Captain Woolf Barnato in 1934, built by Wally Hassan, the car was raced extensively at Brooklands by Oliver Bertram taking the circuit record of 143.11mph in 1938. It raced extensively all through its life but was recently recommissioned appearing at Goodwood in 2007 and at Silverstone Classic this summer in the Motor Racing Legends Bentley Trophy.
The 2019 Best in Show runner-up was a Barker-bodied 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost owned by Katie Forrest, with the unique Aprile-bodied 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider of Corrado Lopresto placed third.
I was delighted to present each car and owner with their award, particularly of course the Best of Show Figoni-bodied Talbot Lago,” said Salon Privé Concours Chairman, Andrew Bagley. “The owners of the superb Talbot Lago, Robert and Petra Kudela were absolutely thrilled; so much so that, in true Formula 1 podium style, Robert proceeded to spray his Pommery Champagne over the concours’ judges and guests; a first for Salon Privé! It was an honour and a privilege to display the T26 on the Blenheim Palace lawns, among some of the most important cars and collectors in the world” he added.
The concours celebrations didn’t stop there however, as following a memorable prize-giving, the inaugural Salon Privé LIVE saw more than 120 classic, super and hypercars headed out through the imposing Blenheim Palace Town Gates and out onto the streets of Woodstock to an appreciative and smiling crowd of thousands of Woodstock residents.
Salon Privé remains the UK’s only concours to organise a whole host of week-long activities, fast becoming known as ‘Salon Privé Week’. Tour Privé kicked off the automotive celebrations on Wednesday 4th September, followed by Salon Privé Concours on 5th, Salon Privé LIVE on 6th, Salon Privé Bentley Masters on 7th, finally rounding of the event with Salon Privé GT Tour and Salon Privé Classic & Supercar on Sunday 8th September.
The full results for the 2019 Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance by Chubb Insurance were:-
Best of Show
Winner: 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 GS Fastback Coupé (entered by Robert and Petra Kudela)
Runner-up: 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost by Barker (Katie Forrest)
1930 Bentley 4.5 Litre Supercharged by Gurney Nutting (Anne Brockinton-Lee)
Duke of Marlborough Award: 1937 Delahaye 145 ‘Million Franc’ (Peter Mullin)
Chairman’s Award: 1935 Hispano Suiza K6 Cabriolet by Brandone (Richard Magides)
Class A: 100 Years of Brough Superior
Winner: 1936 Brough Superior SS100 (Howard Wilcox)
Runner-up: 1930 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe (Dominic Jude)
Class B: Exceptional Motorcycles
Winner: 1972 Ducati 750S (Ian Clayton)
Runner-up: 1924 Norton Model 2 (Brian Glover)
Class C: Exceptional Competition Motorbikes
Winner: 1937 Triumph 5T Speed Twin Record Holder (Dick Shepherd)
Runner-up: 1968 BSA Ex Works Motocross (Mick Beech)
CLASS D: Pre-War Touring (open)
Winner: 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (Katie Forrest)
Runner-up: 1925 Bentley 3 Litre (Lawrence Moore)
CLASS E: Pre-War Touring (closed)
Winner: 1935 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne (Peter Mullin)
Runner-up: 1932 Bentley 8 Litre (Mihai Negrescu)
CLASS F: Pre-War Sports Racers
Winner: 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider (Corrado Lopresto)
Runner-up: 1930 Bentley 4.5 Litre Supercharged (Anne Brockinton Lee)
CLASS G: Competition Cars
Winner: 1937 Delahaye 145 ‘Million Franc’ (Peter Mullin)
Runner-up: 1934 Bentley Barnato Hassan Special (Jorg Lemberg)
CLASS H: Ferrari GTs
Winner: 1954 Ferrari 250 GT Europa Vignale Coupé (Jaime Muldoon)
Runner-up: 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 (Mark Holmes)
CLASS I: Post-War British Coachbuilt
Winner: 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental (Jonathan Lyons)
Runner-up: 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Coupe by Mulliner Park Ward (Robert Gaines-Cooper)
CLASS J: Ferrari Americas
Winner: 1952 Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet by Vignale (Dennis Garrity)
Runner-up: 1966 Ferrari 500 Supersport by Pininfarina (David Moores)
CLASS K: Post-War Touring (open motor cars)
Winner: 1957 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Prototype (Bob Bishop)
Runner-up: 1950 Jaguar XK120 Drop Head Coupé (David Alston)
CLASS L: Post-War Touring (closed motor cars)
Winner: 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 GS Fastback Coupé (Robert and Petra Kudela)
Runner-up: 1953 Fiat 8V Rapi Corsa (Jan de Reu)
CLASS M: 60 Years of the Ferrari 250GT SWB (road)
Winner: 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta (Nigel Allen)
CLASS N: 60 Years of the Ferrari 250GT SWB (competition)
Winner: 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Passo Corto Competizione SEFAC (Private Collector)
CLASS O: Classics of the Future; Pre-2000
Winner: 1990 Lamborghini Countach Anniversary (Steve Casha)
Runner-up: 1992 Lamborghini Diablo (Mark Bogard)
CLASS P: Classics of the Future; Post-2000
Winner: 2016 McLaren 650S Le Mans (John Day)
Runner-up: 2019 Ferrari SP3JC (John Collins)
Photos by John Retter Photography