Concours of Elegance 2020

Hampton Court Palace


Tom Senior

Director Classic Car Finance

Following the success of the London Concours event in August, we decided to take some guests to the sister event: Concours of Elegance, at Hampton Court Palace.

An event hosted over 3 days, it's a car enthusiast's dream, as it boasts a library of rare classics from around the world

Like most of these events it is predominantly outside and as such the changeable British weather plays a part. As the day arrived, we were fortunate enough to have a pleasant day in the majestic gardens of the palace.

Of course, this year's event was a little different due to the ongoing pandemic, however, once inside it was pleasantly relaxed, and you would be hard pressed to know that anything was amiss.

There were some truly magnificent cars on display that you will rarely see in public:

The highlight of the show was the Porsche 917, an icon from endurance racing from the late 60's to early 70's and winner of the Le Mans 24hrs in the iconic Porsche Salzburg red and white livery. Worth many millions, and in my opinion, worth every penny from both a historical and aesthetic perspective. It duly ended up winning the car of the show award.

This was closely followed by an iconic and more modern race car, the 1991 Porsche GT1 Evo, whose contemporaries at the time were the equally poster friendly Ferrari F40 and McLaren F1, the difference being that both the Ferrari and McLaren race cars were based on road cars, the GT1 was created as a race car that could then be made into a road car (to meet the regulations). It is one of only two in the world in private hands. A truly fantastic car, parked at the Concours alongside two McLaren F1s.

Next on my list was the Ferrari 275 GTB/C, a Ferrari competition car also racing in Le Mans, the replacement for the 250 GTO (which has become one of the most expensive cars of all time) designed as a track car. The version on display had been raced at club meets in the mid-sixties and since 1974 has been regularly used for historic racing including Le Mans Classic and Goodwood Revival. A stunning thing, fresh from a five-year restoration, taking it back to its 1965 showroom condition.

Finally, the Aston Martin Victor made its debut. This was a car that harked back to the days of coachbuilding, being based on the carbon fibre tub of a One-77 (itself a rare car), including elements of the Vulcan (equally rare) and then basically built from the ground up. Named after the former chairman of Aston Martin, Victor Gauntlett, this was a bespoke car built solely for the owner and therefore would be the only one in the world. The Aston Martin representative I talked too rightly refused to divulge its value or cost, but you can bet it was well into seven figures. The old adage, if you have to ask you probably can't afford it.

These are just a tiny selection of the cars on display (there were 55 entered into the Concours alone), along with a number of car clubs and high end dealers it was a day that anyone with a passion for the automobile from 1900 to 2020 would have enjoyed, and I highly recommend you come next year to see for yourself. All things being equal we will be there again.