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Exemplary cars hold court at Concours of Elegance

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photos: Concours of Elegance

Hampton Court Palace near London, UK played host to the 12th Concours of Elegance on September 1-3, 2023, with more than 15,000 visitors enjoying the sights and sounds of some of the rarest and most exclusive automobiles on the planet. They witnessed the best line-up of cars ever seen at a concours in the UK, making the event arguably second in status only to Pebble Beach worldwide.

Best in Show was won by a 1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Frua Spider that was making its UK concours debut – we have more on that car here – but wherever you looked among the perfectly manicured Palace gardens, there was beauty and history aplenty. Aside from the concours classes (arranged from Pre-1920s to 1970s, with a Future Classics section for cars from the 1980s onwards), there was a separate section dedicated to 100 years of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Four of the five double-Le Mans-winning cars were in attendance, and there were plenty of other storied machines from the French endurance classic to take in.

The Chairman’s Award winner – a 1937 Peugeot 302 DS Darl’Mat.

The Pre-1920 class was won by a 1913 Hispano-Suiza 14/45HP ‘Alfonso XIII’, while victor in the 1920s class was the double Le Mans-winning 1929 Bentley Speed Six ‘Old Number One. A 1934 Bugatti Type 59 from the featured Pearl Collection of Fritz Burkard, which took a podium at Monaco and victory at the Belgium GP in period, won the 1930s class.

A 1956 Jaguar XKSS, the 16th and final D-type to be converted, won the 1950s class, while the former Paris Auto Salon 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spyder, which formerly belonged to Alain Delon, took the 1960s class. The 1970s class, meanwhile, was won by the ex-Jacques Dembiermont Lamborghini Miura P400 SV on its public debut after a three-year restoration (pictured below). The Future Classics class was won by a 2023 Aston Martin Valkyrie.

In honour of the 100th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours, 24 cars competed across three different classes. The 1929 Bentley Speed Six ‘Old Number One’ won the 1920s and 1930s section, while the 1964 Ferrari 250LM/275LM won the 1950s and 1960s section. This particular car was driven by the likes of John Surtees, Jochen Rindt, David Piper and Umberto Maglioli in period, with its best result being a second place at the Reims 12 Hours with Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini behind the wheel. A 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Group 4 won the 1970s to Present Day section.

The Chairman’s Award went to a 1937 Peugeot 302 DS Darl’Mat, while the Prince Michael of Kent Award was won by CSX 2001 – the first production AC Shelby Cobra and the first to be entered into races. The Club Trophy went to a 1968 Aston Martin DBS, and the Levitt Concours, which honours female collectors, was won by a 1955 Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé (pictured below). The 30 Under 30 prize, for entrants younger than 30 years old, went to a 1981 Porsche 924, while a Bentley Type 13 Brescia took the Junior Concours. 

The total of 90 cars were selected by the hard-working Concours of Elegance Steering Committee, headed up by collector and racing car specialists Flavien and Vanessa Marçais

This year’s Concours also saw the announcement of a new event from the organisers – the Concours of Elegance Germany. To be held on the shores of Lake Tegernsee in July 2024, it will incorporate a week-long tour and concours.

The Concours of Elegance, however, will return to Hampton Court Palace from August 30-September 1 2024. More details are available here.

Concours of Elegance 2023

Best in Show: 1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Frua Spider
Pre-1920: 1913 Hispano-Suiza 14/45HP ‘Alfonso XIII’
1920s: 1929 Bentley Speed Six ‘Old Number One’
1930s: 1934 Bugatti Type 59
1950s: 1956 Jaguar XKSS
1960s: 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spyder
1970s: 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV
Future Classics: 2023 Aston Martin Valkyrie
Le Mans – 1920s and 1930s: 1929 Bentley Speed Six ‘Old Number One’
Le Mans – 1950s and 1960s: 1964 Ferrari 250LM
Le Mans – 1970s to Present Day: 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Group 4 Competition
Club Trophy: 1968 Aston Martin DBS
Classic & Sports Car Trophy Saturday: 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
Classic & Sports Car Trophy Sunday: 1972 Marcos Mantis M70
Junior Concours: Bugatti Type 13 Brescia
Levitt Concours: 1955 Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé
30 Under 30: 1981 Porsche 924
Prince Michael of Kent Award: 1962 AC Shelby Cobra ‘CSX 2001’
Chairman’s Award: 1937 Peugeot 302 DS Darl’Mat

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