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The Hurlingham Club, London, 21 - 23 July 2010

The fifth annual Salon Privé gathering was held at its regular venue, the exclusive Hurlingham Club, on the banks of the River Thames in South West London. The event is a high end outdoor motor show, with the addition of a classic car concours, “Beautiful People”, headed this year by Miss Great Britain, plus lifestyle brands like Audemars Piguet, Boodles, Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Ventura (UK) agents for Riva powerboats, Vertu and Vranken-Pommery Monopole, whose Pommery Champagne flowed freely for the duration of the event.

This year the major manufacturers present were headed by Jaguar, who in celebration of their 75th Anniversary had an expansive array of cars on display, not only from their current range, but also of iconic models from their glorious history. There was also a strong presence from Aston Martin, whose display included the 4 door Rapide model, first shown a t the Geneva Salon earlier this year, whilst Audi displayed an R8 V10 Spyder amonst there offerings, Bugatti showed the Veron 16.4 Grand Sport, Lamborghini had the LP570-4 Superleggera on display through their British importer H.R. Owen, whilst Bentley, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Morgan and Rolls Royce were other major names in attendance. There were also international niche and low volume specialists like Atomik Cars from France, with a Fiat 500 based concept, the Atomik 500, Sportec from Switzerland with their Porsche based SPR1R, Vermot AG from Germany with their Veritas RS III, Techart with a modified Porsche Panamera Turbo, and the better known Tesla electric powered roadster.

In the concours there was quite naturally a class for Jaguars to celebrate the anniversary, and within this group there was a fine selection of the company’s products over the years, which ranged from a 1938 SS 100, through the groundbreaking XK 120, which really put the Jaguar name on the world map, which spawned the legendary “C” and “D” Type sports racing models from the fifties, examples of which were also entered, which led to the XK SS, then into the iconic sixties sports car the “E” Type. Another class was for Maseratis from the Orsi era, with a nice selection of predominantly road cars, mainly from the sixties, whilst in celebration of Alfa Romeo’s centenary there was a class for pre- 1940 Race cars, with other classes featuring Bugatti pre-war Touring Cars, Hypercars: 200mph pre-2000, The Hollywood Era: Big Fins from the Fifties, and a special motorcycle class. The Overall Best of Show Award went to the spectacular blue and white 1932 Alfa Romeo Monza of Hugh Taylor, which is a regular Mille Miglia contender, and gets regular exercise in many other events during the course of the season.

Keith Bluemel