Report and photos by Dirk de Jager
The Antwerp Concours d’Elegance 2011 was held Sunday, September 11th at Castle Belvedere in Wijnegem, Belgium, on the outskirts of Antwerp. Now in its 7th edition, the Antwerp Concours d’Elegance is becoming as a must-attend on the Belgian Classic Car scene.
Event organizer Nicolas Van Frausum has managed every year to steadily let the Concours grow in size but more importantly in the quality of cars shown. The Concours itself has “only” three classes divided into a Prewar group, a Postwar group and then a themed group. This year that honour fell upon Lotus who was featured marque.
The rest of the show field was filled with a modern supercar display that is not judged but only for the viewing pleasure of the visitors. This year at the front porch of the Castle the supercar display stood out with a gorgeous line-up of a blood-red Porsche Carrera GT, a silver 1993 Jaguar XJ220 followed with a silver 1998 Porsche GT1 and a red 1990 Ferrari F40. Following the building you would stumble along a Ferrari 575 Superamerica, Lamborghini Countach and Diablo to name a few.
The Lotus display was immensely impressive and managed to show a clear lineage of the street and race cars from the Hethel-based iconic British manufacturer. A field of 20 cars were on display, plus Steve Crijns, one of the top designers at Lotus Cars, was one of the judges of the Concours. There were a wide range of Lotus cars starting with a 1962 Lotus 23B, (Lotus was only founded in 1952) to a 1963 Elite, or to some of the most-known designs such as 1965 Seven or 1971 Elan, 1990 Esprit Turbo and 1998 Elise. But also some more “obscure” models of the brand could be found, such as a 1979 Eclat 521 or 1989 Excel SA or even a 1991 Omega.
There were 17 cars on display in the 2011 Antwerp Concours d’Elegance Prewar category, as three couldn’t make it in the end and four of them would not be judged as they had been there before. One of the most notable cars present was the 1932 Ballot RH3 Brandone Coupe Aerosport that deservedly won Best of Show. Some of the other rare gems present were the 1897 Delahaye O -Type 4,5PK, a 1923 American Lafrance Brockway Fire Truck, the American-built 1927 Auto Red Bug, a re-bodied 1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 into one of the most famous designs of on this model: ‘Flying Star’. From that design only three variations were ever built. One on the Alfa Romeo and its design is perfect on the car, then one smaller on a 1931 Fiat 522 Roadster and then a “bigger: version on a 1930 Isotta Fraschini 8A. Also present the 1940 Jaguar SS100 3.5 Litre that was previously owned by Bernie Ecclestone, plus a welcome surprise was a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Touring Le Mans that briefly showed up as a visitor.
For the Postwar group there was fierce competition expected as this class had still 30 cars present even though nine had to cancel and six were display only. Some of the rare ones present were the 1948 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet Antem and the one-off 1951 Jaguar XK 120 Oblin. If you never had heard of Oblin before, they were a tiny Belgian coachbuilder from Brussels. Only three cars are known to be bodied by them. Besides the Jaguar present at Antwerp, the two others are a 1953 Ferrari 166MM and a 1948 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport that was re-bodied in 1952.
In addition to the Oblin, there was a one-off two-builder 1955 Jaguar XK 140 by Ghia, an unrestored 1956 Fiat 1900 B Granluce and another unrestored masterpiece, a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Volante.
One of the rarest cars on display was the 1966 Toyota S800 since they were made only for four years solely for the Japanese market and only a bit over 3,000 were built. It was one of the most sought after LHD versions, one of only 300 especially built for the American army personnel based in Japan. Another notable was a 1980 Ferrari 512 BB in black, fresh from a 1.5 year restoration, better than new and a beautiful sight to behold.
At the end of the day only one car could win per class and for the Prewar cars this went to the 1933 MG L2 Magna, while a 1962 Jaguar E-Type Coupe won the Postwar class.
With such a strong showing in quality cars we are already looking forward to what surprises will be waiting at the 2012 Antwerp Concours d’Elegance next September.
Antwerp Concours d’Elegance 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
Antwerp Concours d’Elegance 2011 – Results
Prix Meguiars One – 1959 Triumph TR3A
Prix Meguiars Two – 1980 Ferrari 512BB
Prijs ‘Geco’ Outfit One – 1966 Toytoa S800 Sports
Prijs ‘Geco’ Outfit Two – 1937 Delage D6-75 University Coachwork
Prijs ‘Steve Crijns’ – 1963 Lotus Elite Type 14
Best Prewar – 1933 MG L2 Magna
Best Postwar – 1962 Jaguar E-Type Coupe 3.8
Best of Show – 1932 Ballot RH3 Brandone Coupe Aerosport
[Source: Dirk de Jager]