This year’s Concours of Elegance show at Hampton Court Palace saw the 1904 Napier L49 win the ‘Pre-1920s’ award in the Presentation of the Decade Classes.
An Inline 6-cylinder engine with mechanical overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves, the car’s semi-limousine coachwork was crafted by H. J. Mulliner & Co.
Though built at D. Napier & Son’s works in Acton Vale, West London, the Napier L49 was bought by the Nizam of Hyderabad. At the time, the Nizam was the ‘richest man in the world’.
During a 37-year-long reign, he was a force for positive change, with the introduction of electricity and development of roads and railways in Hyderabad, among his many achievements.
However, cars were also one of the Nizam’s greatest loves. In total, he bought 6 Napiers. The story is that S. F. Edge, a racing car driver and Napier agent, managed to convince him to buy all 6 over lunch! Of these, 5 were shipped to India, while this one (the L49) remained in the UK.
Recent years have seen the car acquired by an Indian owner, who sent it out to India for restoration. The work was completed alongside a number of other Napier cars, which were also undergoing restoration.
Since the car’s return to the UK, we have been delighted to carry out improvements and prepare the car for the Concours of Elegance show.
Congratulations to John Fasal for winning Best of Show with his stunning 1919 Silver Ghost, supplied new to the Maharaja of Patiala.
In 2020, Hampton Court Palace will be home to the Concours of Elegance show once again, with the competition entering its 9th year.
A spectacular display of some of the world’s rarest and most unique cars, spanning over a century of automotive history, you can find further information on the event on their website: https://concoursofelegance.co.uk.