E-Mail E-Mail

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

® ®
Made with StudioLine Made with StudioLine
Made with StudioLine

Chantilly, 7th of September, 2014

It is more than ten years ago that the last international concours was held in Paris after the Louis Vuitton Classique did a last attempt to keep the former annual event alive in the gardens of Saint Cloud. Formerly held in Parc de Bagatelle the LV Classique was the counterpart to the concours in Hurlington Club in the UK and the Villa d´Este Concorso d´Elegance at Lake Como but without a proper main sponsor this kind of events are not feasible anymore and so few concours are remaining in Europe.

... MediaCenter Gallery Index >>>

... MediaCenter Gallery with 540 Peter Singhof images >>>

Now, more than a decade later, Patrick Peter and his team brought back the international concours scene to the country of the grands carrossiers with the inaugural Chantilly Arts & Elegance Concours at the eponymous chateau just about 40 km north of the French capitol. There are few places more suitable to this kind of event as Chantilly does not just have an international reputation for its art collection and the nearby horse breeding, it also makes a perfect background for the cars set up in the splendid gardens designed by Le Notre who was also responsible for the gardens of Versailles. With its water ditch and the lavish green areas it also had enough space for the entire supporting program as Peter Auto cleverly involved the French Car Clubs into the event like they already did at the Le Mans Classic. With hundreds of cars brought over by the spectators themselves the event did not just add more attractions to the concours Sunday but also avoided the impression of being elitist although the spectators were encouraged to dress according to the venue in style. As most visitors might have come from the surroundings of the fashion capitol Paris this was very well adopted giving the event a great ambience.

Being an important part of the classic car scene Patrick Peter (although more known for racing and touring events like Le Mans Classique and the Tour Auto) could recourse to a large address book and so not just a lot of French but also several international collectors could be thrilled to bring their car to an entire new event. The prospect of the programme, the location and the international esteemed jury was just too good to be missed even when the date clashed with the Hampton Court Concours in London.

In ten different classes about 100 high profile cars were set up in the gardens on Saturday afternoon and unlike other events they had a lot of space around them to be admired by the public. Without the limited space of the Villa D´Este or the sheer amount of cars as known of the American Concours their set-up gave every single car a very special appearance. When looking over the classes one could see a tendency to French pre-war coachwork and it Italian counterpart after the war.

In two special classes the French Coachwork was celebrated were one was purely reserved to the most famous French marque Bugatti. With the Bugatti Type 41 Royale Coupé Napoleon of the Schlumpf Collection displayed just in front of the castle the display ranged from the early grand prix cars to the last attempts after the war, the Type 101. One of the most interesting cars in the Bugatti history was the Type 40 Fiacre (40623) called Lidia after its first owner, Lidia Bugatti. Being one of the first designs of Jean Bugatti this could be designated as the starting point of Jeans career as designer that should also include the Coach Profilee as seen on the Type 50 or the Super Sport in the Type 55. Sometimes in the shadow of the Atlantic but without doubt one of the best looking design on the Type 57 was the Atalante, both available on the normal Type 57 chassis and the later lower Type 57S chassis. No less than three Atalante could be seen in Chantilly that day, a normal aspired and a supercharged example on the Type 57 and the famous ex Earl Howe Type 57S. The car originally owned by the British gentleman racer was sold in 2009 at the Bonhams auction at the Retromobile in Paris and is since sympathically restored to running order and shown on various concours both on the continent and in the UK. This was also runner up in the class behind the sensational Type 55 that came all the way from the famous Collier Collection in Florida to take the top laurels in this class.

The main pre-war class was reserved to the French Coachwork of the likes of Saoutchik, Figoni&Falaschi and Pourtout on the various manufacturers of the pre-war era. Although also several foreign manufacturer were bodied by the Grand Carrossiers on behalf of their first owners like the duo of Hispano-Suiza from Gallé and Saoutchik it were mainly the French cars that presented the elegant and sometimes flamboyant coachwork. Unlike the other manufacturers Gabriel Voisin was responsible for his very own design with elements from the aviation making his creations very special as the C25 Aerodyne, the sister model of the car that won Pebble Beach in 2011 in the hands of American Collector Peter Mullin. Mullin was present in Chantilly as well with one of his favourite cars, the Delahaye 135M Figoni&Falaschi Spider. The two-tone blue car is very well known in the concours scene as it was shown on various events in the past but with its striking looks it is still a strong contender for the Best of Show award wherever it appears. This opinion was also shared by the international jury as the Delahaye did not just win its class but also the top laurels at the end of the day with the first overall victory in Chantilly. This again left the sensational Talbot Lago T150C SS Pourtout Coupé of Sir Michael Kadoorie on the second place. Commissioned just before the war this car was not completed before the liberation of France and with its streamlined body by Pourtout this became a very successful racer. Even rarer than the Figoni&Falaschi Teardrop the design of Georges Paulin survived in unrestored condition until 2008 when it was acquired by Kadoorie and following a five year restoration the car was one of the favourites at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours where it won its class. Even when the car had to give both the class and the BoS award to Mullins Delahaye it made more than a spectacular concours debut in the country of its origin that Sunday afternoon. The class was rounded of by a Peugeot 402 Eclipse, the car that invented the disappearing metal roof about 70 year before it was resurrected by the current manufacturers as novelty.

Unfortunately after WWII the tradition of coach built cars started to disappear and the mass production or small exclusive series took over, but unlike today where every manufacturer has an own in house design department still a lot of design was commissioned at design houses. After the French design before the war it became more and more the Italian design that found its way to the concept cars and even the production. Designers like Pininfarina, Bertone, Frua and Vignale were responsible for some of the most exciting concept cars of their era like the Lamborghini Flying Star of several Alfa Romeo as could be seen in an own class off concepts of the 1960s and 1970s.

A special class was even dedicated to the Italian design on British cars. In a time when most of the cars from the Island looked a little bit dated Aston Martin and Jaguar took some help from the Italian designers. Especially Aston Martin took over the Touring Design for the successor of the DB2/4 to use the base of this design up to the DB6. Not few think that the original design on the DB4 is the purest and taking the James Bond hype aside the DB4 might even be the prettier car compared to the DB5. Even more elegant might be the design of Zagato on the DB4 GT, the car in Chantilly was even coloured in rad rather than the typical Aston Martin racing green and presented the British and Italian flags as sign for a successful cooperation.

But a few Aston Martin even found their way to Italian design before as Wacky Arnolt did not just commission Bertone to build the Arnolt Bristol Bolide but also a small series of special bodied DB2/4 spiders. Originally also intended as a race car the Bertone DB2/4 in its final version had the handicap of a steel body making it heavier than intended. The class was won by the DB4 GT followed by two Ghia designs on Jaguar; the superb Supersonic whose design could be found on Jaguar, Fiat 8V and even on one Aston Martin, followed by a little known Ghia bodied Jaguar XK140 Coupé.

But certainly the Italian design also found its way on Italian marques and this year jubilee is Maserati. Celebrating its centenary even two classes were dedicated to the marque with the trident, a racing and a coach built street car class. The later featured no less than three Zagato bodied A6, an early 1.5 litre dating from 1949 and the very different looking A6G54. Whereas the first featured an atypical large cockpit the later was presented with a low roof, either available with the Zagato typical double bubble (although just one of the A6G54 was built with this design element) or without. Competitor for the best design in this era was without doubt the Pininfarina A6GCS; the car from the Panini collection had several outings this year at the Villa D´Este and at the Museo Enzo Ferrari for the centenary exhibition.

Following the small series of the A6 was the 3500 GT that was either available as convertible and coupé. The coupé was designed by Touring of Milan but Maserati opted for the Vignale design for the Convertible although Touring has also built a prototype of a possible open version that was presented at Chantilly aside the Vignale design. In the 1960s Maserati worked with Ghia and Frua for the larger capacity 5 litre version, in the 1970s finally ItalDesign created some splendid prototypes for them like the Boomerang.

But long before Maserati started to produce road cars the brothers Maserati started building racing cars. In an own class the racers with the trident were presented from the V4 Sport Spider with its 16 cylinder engine as already seen at Amelia Island and Villa D´Este to the latest MC12 that was entered in the FIA-GT Championship by Michael Bartels. In between these 70 years Maserati has built some of the most exciting racers both as single seaters like the famous 250 F that gave Fangio on of his five Formula 1 championships as well as sports cars like the A6 GCS Barchetta, the 200S or the 300S followed by the first mid-engined racer, the Tipo 63 Birdcage.

This also leads to the sportiest class of the weekend, the mid-engined GT cars. Ferrari, the local opponent and arch rival on the track made this step from the famous 250 GTO to the 250 LM. In Chantilly one of the rare street conversions of this Le Mans racer was presented in silver livery with its tricolore in the middle. After Enzo Ferrari refused to sell his company to Ford Motors the Americans built the GT40 to beat Ferrari in Le Mans and one of the original cars entered in the 1966 race was the golden GT40 MKII on display with its huge 7.4 litre Engine. In a total different class was the Porsche 904 GTS that featured a smaller 2 litre unit but consequent lightweight with the first plastic body in the history of Porsche, followed by the prototypes that should become dominant in the following years, the first step in this direction to the overall victory at the Sarthe was the 907. Ferrari on the other hand had to face the new opponent from Zuffenhausen in the early 1970s when the 512 S/M raced against the Porsche 917. In Chantilly on of the long tail 512 S (Coda Lunga) was presented but the class award was given to the David Piper raced Lola T70 MKIII-B GT.

When looking back at this weekend with all the concours both in London and the one in Chantilly it was a worthy end of the concours season. Unfortunately Hampton Court and Chantilly were competing for the same collectors and a crash of the event dates was the downside. For the visitors able to attend both concours a lot of great cars could be seen. So what was the better event at the end? Certainly the setting at Chantilly was more spectacular and for those interested in the typical coach built concours cars the French Concours was the choice but Hampton Court also featured some great cars, especially those with the prancing horse. Most likely none of the two organizers will give up this date in early September as with Goodwood just around the corner just few dates remain in this late season. Next years British Concours is said to be held in Edinburgh and one can be curious whether all of the collectors will go with them or whether even more will join in Patrick Peter on the second edition in Chantilly. For all those who decided to wait and see how the concours in Chantilly will turn out there are few reasons not to join in next year in this spectacular setting. We have now uploaded an extensive photo gallery from both events and one can judge himself what he prefers, we look forward to both event next September although the distance might make a visit of both shows more complicated.

Text & images … Peter Singhof

Chantilly Arts & Elegance
1891 Panhard&Levassor Type P2C „L´Antoinette“
1897 Panhard&Levassor Type M2F Phaéton
1901 Isotta Fraschini 24HP
1901 Stirling-Clément Tourer
1902 De Dion-Bouton Type K1 Tonneau
1903 Cadillac Model A Tonneau
1904 Delaugère&Clayette 24/40 HP Type 4A Phaeton
1924 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix s/n 4449
1926 Bugatti Type 23 Roadster s/n 1607
1928 Bentley 4 ½ Litre VdP Tourer s/n RN3050
1928 Bugatti Type 40 Fiacre „Lidia“ s/n 40623
1930 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged VdP Tourer s/n MS3950
1930 Bentley Speed Six Tourer „Old Number 2“ s/n HM2868
1930 Bugatti Type 41 Royale Coupé Napoleon s/n 41100
1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Pinin Farina Spider s/n 2311217
1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza s/n 2211077
1932 Bugatti Type 50T Conduite Intérieure s/n 50157
1933 Bugatti Type 55 Sport s/n 55211
1933 Delage D8S Cabriolet Pourtout
1933 Maserati 8CM
1933 Mercedes-Benz 380 Erdmann&Rossi Roadster
1934 Maserati V4 Sport Spider Zagato
1934 Riley Imp
1935 Voisin C25 Aérodyne
1936 Hispano-Suiza J12 Conduite Intérieure Transformable Saoutchik
1936 Talbot Lago T150 C Competition
1937 Bugatti Type 57 C Atalante s/n 57570
1937 Bugatti Type 57 S Atalante ex. Earl Howe s/n 57502
1937 Delahaye 135M Phaeton Grand Sport Figoni&Falaschi
1937 Peugeot 420 Darl´Mat Special Sport Roadser Pourtout
1938 Bugatti 57 C Special s/n 57335
1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante s/n 57767
1938 Delahaye 135 Special Competition Pourtout
1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Torpédo Sport Gallé
1938 Peugeot 402 Décapotable Métallique
1939 Talbot Lago T150 C SS Coupé Aérodynamique Pourtout
1939 Talbot Lago T150 C SS Teardrop Figoni&Falaschi
1947 Maserati A6 GCS Biposto Corsa s/n 2002
1948 Bentley Mark IV Cresta Pininfarina / Facel Metallon
1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
1948 OSCA MT4 Biposto Corsa „Siluro“
1949 Maserati A6 G Zagato Aerodinamica
1952 Jaguar XK120 Ghia Supersonic s/n 679768
1952 Maserati A6 GCM Formula 2 s/n 2033
1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Competition Spider s/n LML/507
1953 Jaguar XK120 DHC
1953 Maserati A6 GCS Pininfarina Berlinatta s/n 2056
1954 Arnolt Bristol Bolide Bertone
1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon H.J.Mulliner
1954 Bugatti Type 101 Antem s/n 101504
1954 Maserati 250 F s/n 2511
1954 Maserati A6 GCS/53 Fantuzzi
1955 Jaguar XK140 Ghia Coupé Special
1955 Maserati 300S s/n 3058
1955 Maserati A6 G54 Zagato Double Bubble s/n 2121
1955 Maserati A6 GCS Fantuzzi
1956 Maserati 200 SI s/n 2405
1956 Maserati A6 G54 Zagato s/n 2186
1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Abarth Colani
1958 Maserati 250 F Piccolo
1958 Maserati 420M/58 Eldorado
1958 OSCA Tipo S-187 Morelli
1959 Buick Special „Old Yeller II“
1959 Fiat 600 Coupe Viotti
1959 Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato
1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Touring
1960 Alfa Romeo 2000 Praho Touring
1960 Facel Vega HK500
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Coupé Speciale Bertone s/n 1739GT
1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale
1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato s/n DB4GT/0176/R
1961 Maserati Tipo 63 s/n 008
1961 OSCA 1600 GT Touring
1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Zagato
1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Coupé Speciale Pininfarina
1963 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible Touring
1963 Jaguar D-Type Coupé Special Michelotti s/n XKD513
1963 Porsche 904 GTS Carrera
1964/69 Ferrari 250 LM Stradale s/n 5995
1966 Ford GT40 MKII s/n 1016
1966 Lamborghini 350 GT Flying Star II by Touring
1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Coupe Speciale Pininfarina
1967 Nomad Mark I
1967 Porsche 907
1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2
1968 Maserati Mexico Prototipo Frua
1968 Maserati Mistral Frua
1968 Maserati Simun Ghia
1968 Matra 530 Coupé Special Vignale
1969 AC 428 Frua Convertible
1969 Lola T70 MK III-B GT
1969/72 McLaren M12 GT
1970 Ferrari 512 S Coda Lunga s/n 1016
1970 Mercedes-Benz C111/II
1972 Maserati Boomerang Ital Design
1973 Maserati Bora Competizione Group IV
1974 Maserati Coupé Ital Design s/n AM124.0002
1993 Maserati Barchetta
2003 Maserati Coupé Trofeo
Chantilly Arts & Elegance 2014
Class 1 - Hommage à Bugatti
Class 10 – Voitures de Course Maserati – Maserati Race Cars
Class 2 - État D´Origine – Preservation Class
Class 3 – Anglais en Italie – British cars with Italian Coachwork
Class 4 – Les Sport et Corse 1919-1939 – Sports and Race Cars 1919-1939
Class 5 – Le Ancetres (Avant 1905) – Before 1905
Class 6 – Grand Carrossieres Francais – French Coachwork
Class 7 – Concept Cars 1960/70
Class 8 – Les Voitures Sport à Moteur Central, pre 1976 – Mid Engined Sports Cars pre 1976
Class 9 – Les Grandes Carrossieries Maserati – Coachbuilt Maserati