Salon Privé 2020

This year’s Salon Privé, the UK’s most exclusive Concours d’Elégance event, returned to the magnificent grounds of Blenheim Palace for its 15th edition from Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 September. We were delighted to attend with four cars:

  • A highly impressive 1904 Napier L49 having ‘Semi Limousine’ coachwork by  H.J. Mulliner.
  • A 1904 MMC 9HP with side entry tonneau coachwork, fully restored by ourselves.
  • A delightful 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with two seat coachwork by Rippon Bros.
  • A stunning 1936 Lancia Astura with ‘Bocca’ coachwork by Pinin Farina.

The event attracted some of the world’s most impressive cars, with all eras of cars and motorcycles being represented. It included road and competition cars and must be one of the few events where you will see a 1904 Napier alongside a 2020 McLaren Senna GTR LM! The event was a truly special occasion, impeccably organised by Salon Privé, the Blenheim Palace team, the sponsors, caterers and automotive exhibitors.

Tuesday’s pre-show Tour Privé saw two of the cars we were supporting – the 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost two-seat open tourer and the 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina ‘Bocca’ Cabriolet, participate in a most enjoyable run through the beautifully scenic countryside of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Following this, Wednesday saw the prestigious Concours d’Elégance event get underway and a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost scooping the runner-up award in the Veterans At The Palace class.

A trio of successes on the Thursday topped off a really delightful event. The 1936 Lancia Astura was awarded two prizes, most notably winning the newly introduced ‘Churchill Cup’ for Most Exceptional Design, named in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace.

The panel of judges, which consisted of some of the world’s most distinguished automotive designers including Stefan Sielaff of Bentley, Russell Carr of Lotus, Julian Thompson of Jaguar and Marek Reichman of Aston Martin, was captivated by the Lancia’s sweeping wings and sculpted tail section. It was no wonder then that the stunning car also scooped the ‘Most Elegant’ award at the show.

Alongside this, the 1904 Napier was awarded the ‘Most Opulent’ prize, which seemed very appropriate given this historic vehicle was once owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad, widely believed to be the richest man in the world at the time.

We thoroughly enjoyed everything about this year’s Salon Privé. It is a superbly organised event well worth attending and we would love to showcase more of our customers’ cars there next year, particularly in the pre-war classes.

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