But Ferrari already fought Carroll Shelby earlier in the GT class when the GTO raced against the Cobra. On
one side the Italian racer with the legendary 3 litre V12 and on the other the British AC chassis carrying the
Ford small block engine. Having a GTO on an event certainly always is a highlight in itself as the car
combines the racing legend and the current status as the most expensive car on the market. Fresh from a
restoration was the second GTO ever built, the car was imported into the US in the American racing color
blue with a white central stripe and driven to a second place at Sebring by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien in
Moving a little further in the Le Mans history soon leads to Porsche, as the marque from Zuffenhausen
should become the most successful manufacturer in the 24h classic. It took until 1970 when the
legendary 917 in the Porsche Salzburg colors and driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood
should give them their maiden victory. For many years the first question when seeing the red-white 917
was, whether it was the actual winner or Porsche´s own press car that was given the same livery shortly
after the victory. But now as the first chassis is restored back to the configuration of the presentation and a
further replica is repainted the most important works racer is finally unmistakable.
As the Hampton Court concours does not have an international jury to judge the cars by set standards it
remains to the vote of the entrants themselves what car they think should represent the concours as a Best
of Show winner and obviously the race history of the Porsche was more important than the elegant lines of
a Bugatti or Delahaye and so the 917 was wearing proudly the badge for the overall winner from
Saturday after being announced at the dinner on Friday.
So what else could be seen in the gardens of Hampton Court? Just a few cars up the alley from the 917
was a very special Alfa Romeo, a 6C 1750 Super Sport coming from the same stable as the Porsche. This
very car won the 1929 Mille Miglia in the hands of Campari and Ramponi and today is one of the most
original survivors of the pre-war history of Alfa Romeo. Bought right after the MM by a wealthy businessman
the car was spared from further race entries and modifications in the hands of privateers.
Further up was one of the crowd pullers, the aero engined Leyat Hélica. Although the propeller driven car
on display is “only” a very accurate replica of the sole surviving car in a Paris Museum, the Hélica was
surrounded by people throughout the weekend and not only HRH Prince Michael of Kent took a closer look
at the unique set-up.
Just next to the Leyat was an early survivor of the Aston Martin History. For many the story of Aston Martin
is limited to the David Brown era and the James Bond link but the British marque started to fabricate their
cars in London as early as 1913. One of the last cars built under the name giving Lionel Martin was the
1924 side-valve long chassis tourer nicknamed “Cloverleaf”. Just two years later AM should go through its
first take over as the Bertelli era started with the 1.5 Litre International of which a very nice example could
be seen in the club display.
More on the luxurious side was Bentley at that time. Despite their success at Le Mans the 4 and 6 cylinder
cars were better known for their comfortable and powerful chassis and engine carrying lots of different luxury
coachwork. 4 cars from the Cricklewood era were on display from a 3 Litre Speed Model, a Salmons bodied
DHC Sports on the 4 ½ Litre chassis and two of the Blower Bentleys, one a typical VdP Tourer and the
ex-Woolf Barnato Gurney Nutting 2+1 seater.
One the other end of the spectrum was the more recent Le Mans history, namely the display of two
McLaren F1 GTR and a Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution. Originally no less than 4 of the center seated
McLaren were announced earlier this year but still two of them made it to Hampton Court that day, the Fina
livered car drove in the BPR Global GT series with Piquet and Soper at the wheel, the Jacadi livered car
finished 5th at Le Mans. Both F1 GTRs are now converted for road use.
The Porsche on the other hand is one of only two factory 911 GT1s in private hands and was formerly part
of the Drendel collection in the US. Why the Ferrari 550 GT1 was not set up next to them but was
presented in the “future classic” class remains a mystery.
Leaves us to the secret star of the event, the Jaguar XK150S coach built by Bertone. The XK150 was the
third variation of the XK design following the XK120 and XK140 and by 1957 its exterior looked a little bit
dated although the chassis still was up-to-date. So at this time Jaguar was looking for a possible
replacement of the coupe and three (some say only two) chassis were sent to Bertone in Torino to get a
new design by Franco Scaglione, who was also responsible for the legendary B.A.T. Cars and the Alfa
Romeo T33 Stradale. Looking at the Italian design compared to the original Jaguar body the car easily
could compete with other designs of its era but unfortunately the body was way too expensive to be put into
production and so the Bertone XK150 remained a side-note in the history of Jaguar. The car in Hampton
Court was the sole survivor and once on display in the Blackhawk collection that features the BAT cars
today. It had its outing in Pebble Beach almost 30 years ago and was not seen in recent years. Now after a
fresh restoration it was a highlight of the concours and certainly will be seen on numerous events in near
Adding to the about 50 cars on the lawn was the Gooding & Company “Passion of a Lifetime” auction
featuring part of the Fabri-collection. Originally intended to be held as a separate auction in London
earlier this year the American auction company had to postpone their first ever European sale to the late
summer and the 15 cars in the court yard of the castle were a very welcome addition to the concours. The
sale was very much anticipated and several world records were achieved leaving only one car unsold, the
Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. Especially the Bugatti went very well with the 59 setting a new record for the
marque on auction and the 35 C a new record for the Type 35 range.