The 2020 Concours of Elegance celebrated its most significant running yet, being the first international concours d’elegance event to be held in over six months. The ‘Best in Show’ award, voted by the owners, went to the Porsche 917 KH driven in the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1970 to victory – Porsche’s inaugural win at the event.
This year saw the quality of cars raising the bar for future events, thanks to the devotion of the event’s Steering Committee and car curation crew. A special Ford vs. Ferrari display greeted guests as they emerged from Henry VIII’s former home and into the Fountain Gardens, giving tribute to some of Le Mans 24 Hours’ most legendary racers. Some cars that caught the eye of many were a Ferrari 250 LM, a Ford GT40, Ferrari 365 P2 and a remarkable Ferrari 250 GTO.
Throughout the event, the crowd favorite was the Best in Show-winning 1969 Porsche 917 KH. In 1970, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood raced this 917 KH (short-tail) in the world-famous red-white Salzburg design to the first of 19 overall victories for Porsche at the circuit.
The 917 was Porsche’s initial shot in the league of immensely powerful, large-capacity racing cars. Its 580bhp 4.5-litre 12-cylinder engine set new standards in racing, and remain legendary even today. In a chance coincidence, the winner of the event’s all-new ‘Junior Concours’, Best in Show prize went to a petrol-powered three-quarter scale replica of the exact car.
Awards were also given out for various classes and eras during the 2020 Concours of Elegance. Being judged by the owners of the Main Concours vehicles, the winners included the initial production Land Rover – making its debut following an extensive restoration. An owner’s favorite was also an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750, famous for its Mille Miglia win in the 1920s.
Nearly 1000 other models parked at Hampton Court Palace for the weekend were located outside of the main Concours of Elegance cars. These included a collection of Future Classics, from a Bentley Continental GT No.1 Edition to a Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer. Despite the strong competition in quality cars, the winner was the Aston Martin Victor.
This one-off Aston Martin commission boasts 836bhp and is the most powerful road-legal naturally aspirated ever produced. The styling is inspired by the 1980s Vantage with the mechanicals thoroughly modern. It is composed of a race-ready powertrain and chassis components with lightweight carbon fiber.
UK’s most prestigious car clubs were also displaying some of the finest examples in pursuit of the Club Trophy. A panel of skillful judges, including HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Alastair Clements, regarded a Messerschmitt KR200 to be the finest displayed.
Powered by a two stroke 191cc Fichtel & Sachs engine that produces a humble 9bhp, the Messerschmitt wasn’t the most powerful car in the Concours, but its elegant design and fine condition impressed the judges. It will now take its place among the main concours vehicles for the Concours of Elegance 2021, taking place from 3-5 September.
A beautiful bronzed Jaguar XK120 attracted the attention of the Jaguar Trophy judges, obtaining the first prize from a line-up of gathered E-types, XKs and more.
On Sunday, a line-up of unique Bentley models throughout the ages was received at the event, each striving for the event’s Bentley Trophy. The top prize was handed out to a Bentley 4.25-Litre Streamlined Drophead Coupé, originally owned by Bentley Boy and one-time Bentley Chairman Woolf Barnato. It was presented in mint condition, with the body said to be finished in the color of Barnato’s wife’s beloved dress.
A new award introduced for this year’s event was the Bridge of Weir Leather Design Award. The award was chosen by a committee of automotive designers assembled by the Scottish company. A beautiful 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupe by Gangloff, with its unique body and black over purple paintwork was awarded by the judges for its outstanding design and innovation.
Gooding & Company also hosted its first sale outside of the USA at the Concours of Elegance, with the lots displayed within the Tudor Courtyard of the Palace. The collection was one of the most significant ever gathered for sale. A Bugatti Type 59 from 1934 topped the sale, setting the highest price ever for a Bugatti at auction, achieving £9,535,000. Also of note was a Type 35C selling for £3,935,000 and a Type 57S Atalante for £7,855,000.
During the course of the event, our photographer, Tim Scott, captured many photos of the unique vehicles on display. More photos of the event may be seen inthe gallery pages.
The full list of awards at the 2020 Concours of Elegance were as follows:
Best in Show – 1969 Porsche 917 KH Pre-1915s – 1904 Fiat Type 24/32 1920s – 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 1930s – 1930 Bentley 4.5-Litre ‘Blower’ by Gurney Nutting 1940s – 1948 Land Rover Model 80 #001 1950s – 1958 BMW 507 1960s – 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti Post-1970s –1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona The Royal Automobile Club Trophy – Messerschmitt KR200 Jaguar Trophy – 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster Bentley Trophy – 1926 Bentley 4.25-Litre by Mulliner The Junior Concours – Porsche 917 The Bridge of Weir Design Award – Bugatti Type 57 Atalante by Gangloff Future Classics – Aston Martin Victor Classic & Sports Car Club Display Award – Saturday: Jaguar XK120 Roadster Classic & Sports Car Club Display Award – Sunday: Lotus Eclat Classic & Sports Car Pre-90 Car Park Award – Saturday:Iso Grifo Classic & Sports Car Pre-90 Car Park Award – Sunday: Mercedes 230 SL ‘Pagoda’
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