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Syon Park, London, 3rd - 5th of September, 2014

After a long and exhausting classic car season with more events than ever before the last beautiful weekends of the year are taken by several events at the same time. Since three years now the first weekend of September became the days of the different concours both on the island and the continental Europe with the Salon Privé and the Hampton Court Concours in London and new the Chantilly Concours in France before the final race meetings at Goodwood, Spa and Paul Ricard.

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For the 9th year the Salon Privé opened its doors in London after a start in the Hurlingham Club to be held in the Syon Park for the last years. Unlike the other concours this is much more a garden party with programme for three days than the usual one day concours as known from the US or the Villa D´Este. With the judging taking part at the first day this leaves enough time to enjoy the beautiful settings both for the owners and the visitors on the following days. With a changed timetable at Hampton Court compared to its predecessors in Windsor and St. James it is possible again to visit the Salon Privé on the Boodles Ladies day. Being one of the sponsors (Chubb Insurance is the main sponsor) of the event the jeweller Boodles donates a prize for the best dressed woman at the event and so this is one of the highlight days with a lot of elegant woman walking between the exhibited cars, drinking champagne or enjoying the traditional lobster during the lunch time. Unfortunately the weather was not as good as in the last days with the tour and the prize-giving as the sun was rarely seen this day but despite dark clouds in the morning it stayed dry so none of the ladies had to worry about their dresses and extensive hats.

But certainly not just the ladies drew attention but a great selection of cars in different classes. As at almost every event this year Salon Privé had a Maserati Class for the centenary with cars ranging from an early Tipo 26 to the post-war street cars like the 3500 GT, the Ghibli or the Khamsin.

Also another pair of anniversaries were anniversary was celebrated by the Ferrari 275 GTB/GTS that became 50! this year with a nice line-up including alloy competition versions and the Spyder. 10 years older is the Jaguar D-Type with its innovative monocoque structure and its disc brakes being a revolution in long distance racing. Introduced in 1954 the D-Type became Jaguars most successful Le Mans racers with no less than 3 successive wins at La Sarthe. Highlight in this class and even Best of Show at the end of the day became the 1954 factory team car driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt to a second place in its debut behind the winning Ferrari.

Certainly Ferrari played again a big role on the field and most interesting was the line-up of the Gran Turismo class were two models with successive chassis number were standing side-by-side for the first time in years, the 250 GT LWB California Spyder (0923GT) and its racing cousin, the Tour de France (0925GT).

Apart from these a lot more cars could be admired on the show field but not just classic cars are shown but also modern supercars attracting the visitors to the Salon Privé. Several local dealers from the capitol of the high finance showed cars like the new LaFerrari, Koenigsegg or Pagani alongside special customized Range Rovers and others. These will be also the theme of the last day of the meeting as Friday is known as the Supercars Friday.

Tomorrow the Hampton Court Concours will join in to this London Concours weekend before we head over the channel for the first Chantilly concours just north of Paris.

In the next days there will be a more detailed review on these events with all the interesting cars and impressions in detail.

Report & Images ... Peter Singhof