The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Salon Privé: 250LM Takes ‘People’s Choice’


Report and pictures by Keith Bluemel


The 13th edition of the Salon Privé Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elegance was blessed with fine late summer weather throughout and plenty of warm sunshine. For the 4th running of the event at Blenheim Palace, the show field moved from its previous enclosure away from the Palace right up to the terrace fronting the columned facade of the architectural masterpiece, with the Water Garden to the left and the Italian Garden to the right. Apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and the home of His Grace The 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family, who is now Patron of the event.

It is a truly magnificent setting and backdrop to what is an impressive garden party in the heart of rural England, with a lobster lunch quaffed down with Pommery Champagne, followed by quintessentially English afternoon tea. This year the event started for entrants with a Concours Tour Dinner, which was held on the Tuesday evening at Raymond Blanc’s renowned 2 Michelin Star Restaurant and Hotel, where breakfast was also taken prior to the tour through the Cotswolds on the Wednesday. The scenic drive featured a coffee stop overlooking the famous White Horse Hill carving, followed by lunch at the picturesque “The Slaughters” country inn, before heading back to placement of the cars on the show field at Blenheim Palace in the late afternoon.

The premier part of the gathering is the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance on the Thursday, followed by Boodles Ladies Day on the Friday, with Concours Masters on the Saturday. On the Sunday the action moves to the Palace courtyard for the Blenheim Classic & Supercar show, which incorporated the 4th running of the Pirelli Prestige & Performance competition. Apart from all the cars and motorcycles in the main concours, there were also plenty of other examples on display on the manufacturer and dealer displays including the first UK public showing of the new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, the Brabham BT62 track only car, the Bugatti Chiron from H.R. Owen, and the new Wiesmann range.

Then there were Ferraris courtesy of official dealer Dick Lovett , including a 488 Challenge car and a 365 GTC as part of the Classiche programme, the Dendrobium all electric hypercar, the new Alpine A110, plus Honda NSXs old and new, Mclaren, Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce with a Dawn and the Cullinan SUV. On the dealer front both DK Engineering and Dyal Miles had impressive displays, and then there were all the impressive lifestyle booths around the perimeter of the show field if one tired of looking at cars.

The international judging team was headed by Derek Bell MBE, and included Louis De Fabribeckers, Head of Design at Touring Superleggera, Supermodel & Designer Yasmin Le Bon, and Giles Taylor, former Director of Design at Rolls Royce Motorcars, whilst the motorcycles had their own dedicated judging team.

There were a total of ten classes including three for motorcycles, A, B & C, whilst in the car classes class D was “Preservation at its Best”, class E was “Pre-War Bugattis”, class F was “Pre-War Luxury Tourers”, class G was for “Grand Tourers of the 50s & 60s, class H was “Wind in Your Hair”, whilst class I was “Best of British at Blenheim Palace”. The remaining classes were class J for “Streamlined Closed Sports Cars”, class K for “50 Years of The Dino”, class L for “Supercars of The Seventies” and class M for “Competition Cars”.

The whole entry ran to 20 motorcycles and 55 cars, encompassing a wide variety of motor transport history, from an in-line 4 cylinder 1910 Pierce 4 to a transverse 6 cylinder 1979 Honda CBX1000 in the motorcycle classes, and from a 1920 Bugatti Type 13 Brescia to a 1989 Ferrari F40 GT/LM in the car classes. With such a diverse array of  automobiles to choose from, the selection of the Best of Show award was an unenviable task for the judges, but at the end of the day it went to the 1933 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster, chassis # 55234, widely regarded as the most original example in existence due to it never having been restored, and given its age, low mileage of less than 50,000. The runner-up was a magnificent and opulent 1937 Chapron bodied Delage D8-120 Cabriolet, with a Lamborghini Polo Storico restored 1971 Miura S taking the final “podium” spot.

On the Friday evening the Chubb Concours cars were replaced on the lawn by the entrants in the Concours Masters Celebration – 70 Years of Porsche, which took place on the Saturday, with its team of specialist judges. There were a variety of awards on offer, and one of the largest award recipients was the 1955 550 RS model that had won class M “Competition Cars” and the “Most Unique Bodywork” award in the Chubb Concours on the Thursday, picking up another three awards on the Saturday.

The Blenheim Classic & Supercar Sunday saw a fine array of cars in eight classes presented in the courtyard, with a vast number of club and trade cars on the lawns around the perimeter of the Palace. There were too many Porsches to count, and at least 40 McLarens models plus a wide selection of other exotica on display. This part of the gathering attracts the public in droves, with over 15,000 visitors being recorded during the course of the day.

Apart from the individual class awards, there are two main awards, the Best of Show chosen by the jury, and the People’s Choicely Award based on votes cast by the public. The net result was a win for the truly spectacular Pagani Zonda Oliver Evolution, a One of One example, as Best of Show, whilst the People’s Choice award went to the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM.


Best of Show

Winner: 1933 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
Runner-up: 1937 Delage D8-120
Third Place: 1971 Lamborghini Miura S

People’s Choice

1964 Ferrari 250 LM

[ Click here for a list of the Ferraris present ]