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Chantilly, 6th of September, 2015

An action packed classic car weekend came to an end with the third and final Concours d´Elegance, the second annual Arts & Elegance of Chantilly. After its sensational debut last year the concours was back in the park of the 16th century chateau just about 50 km north-east of Paris. With its spacious site the location is ideally suited for such an event giving enough room to have the cars lavishly set up and do not look crowded even when the amount of visitors clearly increased over last year. With about 100 cars in the Concours and several hundreds more on the club field the line-up had everything on offer one could expect from an international event of this caliber. Few other events could look back on such a prestigious premiere edition when Patrick Peter and his team brought back the Concours d´Elegance to France after the end of the Concours in Paris Parc Bagatelle by Louis Vuitton. But this year one could be curious whether the event could tie in with last year but to make things short most of the collectors were back and even more international ones joined in, especially in the US the beautiful setting seemed to impress as there were only positive voices from overseas. With an international jury the competition could also keep up with the established international concours so there was absolutely no reason to miss this one.

As said before about 100 cars competed in 15 different classes including the featured model, the Citroen DS and the SM. For those interested in these models Chantilly might have put together the most compete review of the rare Chapron bodied special editions one could imagine. Ranging from the elegant coupé and cabriolet to the spacious Presidentielle the display was very interesting as was the SM setup.

Further single marque classes included again Bugatti with cars ranging from the small Brescia models from the beginning of the Molsheim story to the 4-wheel drive GP car or the luxurious and sportive Type 57.

Mercedes on the other side of the field presented the story of their 6- and 8-cylinder supercharged cars ranging from the 680S as designed by Ferdinand Porsche to the 500/540 K both with factory bodies and coach build examples of Erdmann & Rossi and even Freestone & Webb as used by the German ambassador in London. The winner of this group also represented the Best of Show with the 500K Special Roadster from the Louwman Museum in Netherlands, the famous butcher’s car.

Other features included the cars of the ladies ranging from a GP Bugatti once raced by Helle Nice to the BMW 507 of Ursula Andress of James Bond fame or the Princess of Rethy Ferrari 250 Europa GT with Vignale coachwork that won the Cavallino Classic Best of Show not long ago.

Further highlights included several Ferrari including the iconic GTO (4153GT) just brought back to the original livery as used at the Le Mans in 1963 with French Tricolore before becoming an Ecurie Francorchamps car. Fresh from restoration was also one of two Ferrari 250 MM on show (0340MM) brought back to its original blue color scheme and MM race number as driven in the 1954 edition of the famous road race. As interesting was the other 250 MM (0338MM) intended as road car with Hermès Interior in the class “cars of the family Aga Khan” whose descendant Rahim Aga Khan is also member of the Chantilly Foundation today.

But not just the great selection of cars appealed to the numerous visitors (as one could see that elsewhere as well) but the great Atmosphere. Being one of few events with a clearly dress code the overall appearance of both entrants and visitors matches the luxurious setting, men dressed in suit and tie and the ladies with Sunday Dress and matching hat usually only seen on horse race days. With Chantilly not only famous for their art collection but also the stud farm this was just a logical step.

This is or final preview gallery from the weekend, over the next days and after the Goodwood Revival that is just around the corner we will take a closer look back on all of the three events this weekend including all the interesting cars and some atmosphere of the three locations.

Text & images: Peter Singhof