With the gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen, the Windsor Castle opened its gates to some of the world’s rarest cars for the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance 2016, held 1-4 September on the grounds of one of the UK’s most incredible Royal Palaces.
Established in 2012, the inaugural Concours of Elegance was also held within Windsor Castle to mark the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign. The Concours of Elegance has continued to grow, with the exceptional settings of St James’s Palace in 2013, Hampton Court Palace in 2014 and Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse in 2015. The sixty automobiles competing in the 2016 UK Concours of Elegance arrived after completing the final leg of the Great West Tour from Guards Polo Club to the picturesque castle quadrangle — led by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent.
Notable entries at this year’s event included the following:
- Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione — Stirling Moss won three times in this car, chassis number 2119 GT, including at the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in 1960 where he famously switched on the radio to the listen to the live race commentary
- Audi Front UW Roadster — The first Audi to be launched after the formation of the Auto Union group, which brought together Audi, Horch, Wanderer and DKW in 1932. It features an all-aluminium six-cylinder engine, while its roadster body is a unique creation of Berlin coachbuilders Erdmann and Rossi
- Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Seater Sports Tourer — Only three roadsters were built on the Phantom III chassis, and this unique Thrupp and Maberley designed model is one of them, originally commissioned for the Shal of Bopal in 1936
- Ferrari 250 GTO — The only 250 GTO finished in white, this particular car, chassis 3729 GT, was driven to second place in the 1962 and 1963 Goodwood Tourist Trophy by Graham Hill and Mike Parkes, respectively
- Mercedes-Benz 300SC Pinin Farina Coupe — Based on the 300SC two-door, Pinin Farina crafted a more contemporary pillarless coupe body
- Hispano-Suiza Dubonnet Xenia — One-off masterpiece is fitted with stunning art deco, aircraft-inspired bodywork and clever parallel sliding doors by coahcbuilders, Saoutchik.
As its name suggests, a traditional Concours would normally include a judging panel briefed to scrutinise each entry and select a ‘winning’ car. Not so at the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance whose organisers maintained that if a car had been invited to Windsor, it was already a winner. However, the owners of the sixty Concours cars were asked to vote for the car they would ‘Most Like To Drive Home In’ and thereby selected the ‘Best In Show’. The winner of the 2016 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance Trophy was Peter Mullin with his 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia. The Hispano-Suiza was also a favourite with the public, having won the Public Choice award as well.
In addition to the headline 2016 Concours of Elegance entrants parked in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle, hundreds more cars were on display within the grounds of Windsor Castle over the weekend. The free-to-view area on the Long Walk leading up to the Cambridge Gate consisted of more than 800 models from the UK car clubs, including the Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Bentley owners’ clubs.
A truly exceptional classic car show. Arguably our favourite of the year, due to it’s relaxed atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and exquisite cars. Cannot wait for next year.