Salon Privé 2021: The best yet
Less than 12 months after a battle against the elements and stricter Covid measures in 2021, last week Blenheim Palace hosted by far and away the best edition of Salon Privé yet.
If rival event the Concours of Elegance, held later that week at Hampton Court Palace, is the UK’s own ‘Pebble Beach’, surely Salon Privé can now tilt at the title ‘The British Quail’. It’s a mix of quality hospitality with a backdrop of interesting things happening on stage and around the venue throughout the day.
And the cars on show this year were of a consistently high quality. Yes, some were associated with one sponsoring or exhibiting dealer or another. And for those of us fortunate enough to attend such events, there were few genuinely ‘fresh’ ones on show.
But for the casual observer with a passion for cars, out for a day’s entertainment in the most beautiful setting possible, a visit to Salon Privé this year was worth the money. As usual, Max Girardo (above, with David Piper and green GTO) was the man with the mic, maintaining a lively running commentary on the mechanical treasures on show.
A highlight of the first day was the interview with quintessential British privateer, who was reunited with his first Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3767 GT. The car’s owner, Lord Bamford, had also brought along his ’64-rebodied GTO chassis 4399 GT (pictured, top). ‘Pipes' had driven the latter in period, sharing the car with Swiss Jo Siffert on the 1964 Tour de France Automobile.
The famous ex-Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari formed part of the centrepiece ‘Red Collection’. Other scarlet cars included the 1949 Mille Miglia and Le Mans winning Ferrari 166 MM, and the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Spider Zagato, last year’s Salon Privé Best of Show winner.
Victory this year went to the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen. The E-type class was won by the Lindner/Nöcker Lightweight streamliner.The charismatic ex-Monte Carlo Rally Aston Martin DB2 complete with luggage scooped both the Preservation Class and People’s Choice.
All in all, a grand day out. Next year’s Salon Privé will take place from 31 August to 4 September 2022. See salonpriveconcours.com
Photos by K500