Salon Privé Concours d'Elegance 2021

Under the late summer sun and set in the exquisite grounds of Blenheim Palace, Salon Privé put on its annual show of elegance and luxury. The exclusive car show had visitors reveling in the showcase that exhibitors laid out for 2021. The Salon Privé Concours d'Elegance Classic Car Motor Show once again lived up to its name. As usual, elegance and class were in abundance. But there were still some surprises to delight petrolheads traveling to the Oxfordshire country house.

Exhibitors included Aston Martin, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Roll's Royce, and Porsche, to name but a few. The Palace's South Lawn played host to exhibitors looking to entice guests with deep pockets to add to their collections. Although automotive manufacturers, specialist garages, watchmakers, and fine dining were available here, the South Lawn's centerpiece display drew all attention.

The Red Collection featured a selection of simply stunning works of engineering from past and present on Blenheim Palace's cricket pitch. Brought together by, you guessed it, the color red, there were no manufacturer limitations here. Just twelve stand-out machines that collectors would dream of owning.

Two Alfa Romeo examples represented the oldest wheels on display. A Ferrari-badged 1931 8C Zagato and a restored 1927 Amilcar C6 sat spotless, despite their near-century ages. As one would expect with a brand so synonymous with the scarlet color, Ferrari did not take a back seat. The Prancing Horse adorned four classics of their own, including the Le Mans-winning 1949 Ferrari 166 MM and, on the more contemporary end, an ultra-low mileage 1989 F40. The latter's odometer sits at under 2,400km, which undoubtedly explains its faultless condition.

Also on display, and quite contrary to the F40's odometer, were a couple of endurance racing competition beasts from Porsche and Maserati. The 1964 Porsche 904 here had a history of hill climbs, road rallying, and the ADAC 1000km at Nurburgring. In its heyday racing at Sebring and Buenos Aires, the Maserati 250 S had been helmed by Juan Manual Fangio and Sir Stirling Moss.

For fans of more dramatic modern design, Salon Privé's Red Collection covered all bases thanks to a pair of Paganis. The Zonda F Clubsport and Huayra Roadster brought some 21st-century styling to the display. Considering other cars here included a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing and a 1995 McLaren F1, that's not bad company for the Italian manufacturer to keep.

Away from the South Lawn is where visitors could find a rather different but equally captivating car collection. The impressive history of British WRC legends Colin McRae and Richard Burns was celebrated with many rally and championship-winning entries on display. Yet the iconic 555-liveried Subaru Impreza and McCrae's Ford Focus RS WRC didn't sit still on Blenheim's finely cut lawn.

At the closing Classic and Supercar day, spectators enjoyed a show as loud as it was beautiful. A short "Hill Sprint" across Blenheim Palace's Vanbrugh Bridge took place to send off the year's proceedings. Rally engines blaring and spinning tires may not be what many would associate with Salon Privé, but it was oddly beautiful to watch. A fitting end for five days of spectacle with cars on show for thousands of car lovers from the world over.

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