... Galleries >>>
The event started on Friday morning with the optional Tour d´Elegance up the lake to the lunch stop north of
Lausanne. After driving lakeside for the first miles the cars went into the local vineyards to enjoy some
splendid views over the lake to arrive at the restaurant overlooking the area. Although the route and the road
book was very straight forward several crews were lost on their way and arrived from different directions. After
enjoying a good buffet lunch the tour led back to the castle were the cars were lined up. Unlike last year with
a lot of rain the concours this year enjoyed superb weather and for some the weekend was even to hot.
Fortunately both the garden and the tents spend some well-deserved shadow, only the judges had to stay in
the sun for most of the day to inspect the different classes to find the cars that stood out. It was certainly not
an easy choice and although all the judges were quit experienced this did not ruled out discussions,
especially when talking about the special prices selected out of all cars.
Beside the American classics mentioned above their European counterparts were included in the so-called
Juke Box era ranging from 1945 to 1960. Unlike the big American engines this time brought up a marque with
small engines that took America by storm: Porsche. Starting with just over a litre displacement the famous
Speedster built for the overseas market only had 1600ccm that seemed rather small in comparison but
brought immense pleasure to drive in the agile cars that should also impress on numerous occasions on the
race track building up the sportive image of the marque from Zuffenhausen. Not less than 3 Porsche 356 were
on display including one of the more powerful Carrera version. In comparison to the easy design the
Mercedes-Benz 190 looked rather baroque in the time but still the small brother of the legendary Gullwing was
Three marques had a separate class and certainly one of the most common this year was Ferrari. Although
there are not few great cars from Maranello are located in Switzerland the display was rather small. After 3
major cars did not show up as intended in the program the selection was reduced to a duo of 250 GTE, one of
the ultra-rare 365 California Spyder as well as a 365 GTC/4. They were joined by a 288 GTO from the future
classic class and just a few meters away one of the 250 GT LWB California Spyders was parked.
Not seen on many other shows this year was the 50th anniversary of AMG. The tuner of Mercedes-Benz was
starting as an independent company long before they became the sportive line of the marque from
Untertürkheim as well as the official racing team. The display ranged from early examples to the latest SLS
as well as a Pagani using the tuned engine from Affalterbach.
Maybe the most interesting single-marque class was the class of Hispano-Suiza. One of the most expensive
and refined marques in its days the Spanish cars ever exceeded Rolls-Royce both in built quality and price.
Coppet showed no less than 5 examples ranging from the oldest Torpedo built by Kellner over a Saoutchik
bodied roadster to a Coupé de Ville and a duo of limousines by Vanvooren. The early Torpedo was one of the
judges’ favorites and a close contender for the Best of Show award.
Other BoS nominees came out of the “usual suspects” from the European Coach built classes pre-war. Both
open and closed showed some great cars and especially the Mercedes-Bent 380 K Erdmann&Rossi from the
Karosas Collection faced tough competition on the way to the class win. One of the lesser known cars was
one of the most admired, the rare Belgium Minerva Skiff. Less known than most of the other marques the
helmed mascot of the Roman goddess was not familiar to everyone. One of the most elegant cars on the field
and winner of the FIA trophy for an unrestored car was the sister car of last year’s Pebble Beach winning
Lancia Astura Bocca Pinin Farina Cabriolet, finished in black with brown interior. Also a regular entrant on the
international concours was the Talbot-Lago T120 Baby from the Netherland.
In the class of the closed pre-war cars the winner was easily spotted. Again of the same type as a former
Pebble Beach winner the Avions Voisin Aerodyne was certainly one of the highlights of the weekend. Joined
by a Type C23 with Swiss Graber body not many concours can feature two Voisin at the same time. The
Aerodyne was finally parted next to the Mercedes-Benz 380 as the nominee for the BoS and finally it was the
Voisin that took the ramp to get the prestigious Lalique trophy.
Another interesting design was featured on the Delahaye 135 M with a Figoni&Falaschi roadster. Originally a
concours entrant both in Paris and Biarritz the Delahaye lost its body after been neglected by one of its
owners after his speedy departure from France after non-conform comments about the liberation of Algeria in
the time. Today the car has a reconstructed body and although the car shares this with a lot of other
interesting cars this certainly was a reason not to be awarded by the Jury.
Another birthday was celebrated with the 90th jubilee of the Mille Miglia. For many Ferraristi the highlight of
the show was the very rare outing of the Ferrari 735S with the serial number 0556MD. As many Ferrari it
exchanged numbers with another car, this time a 500 Mondial and started live as 0446M. Interestingly both
cars stayed in long-term ownership and unlike the 500 Mondial the 735S was rarely displayed in the last
At the end of the day the summary is easy: the Concours is on a good way. Certainly the increase in cars
also brings the pressure of repeating the selection both in number an quality next year but after proving for two
years that the event meets international standard one can hope that it attracts more entrants from further
away as both Swiss and the French and German neighbors are sometimes difficult to convince to share their
prices treasures with the public on a concours. We certainly look forward to next year for the third edition of
the Swiss Concours in Coppet.
Report & images … Peter Singhof