In just a few days, the Concours of Elegance 2021 will start and again, we’ll be able to see the world’s rarest cars gathered together and displayed amidst celebration and revelry. The full list of cars that will be in attendance is now known and it shows the evolution of automotive luxury and innovation.
Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B
The Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B pushed boundaries as it was the first real single-seater racing car. Inside the real lightweight car of only 680kg carries a powerful supercharged V8 engine. Tazio Nuvolari drove it on its maiden race wherein they immediately claimed victory in 1932. In that same season Nuvolari and Rudolf Caracciola would each claim five wins.
In the following season, the Alfa Romeo ran into some money troubles so the P3s were not raced. Enzo Ferrari had to pull some strings and throw some weight around so that the cars would be released to Scuderia in the middle of the season. Scuderia Ferrari ordered chassis 50007 directly from Alfa Romeo in 1932.
An interesting part of its history is that after the 1935 season, the 19-year-old Count Jose de Villapadierna stole his aunt’s jewels to purchase the 50007 from Ferrari. Eventually, he tried to cross the border into Spain with the car, but he was taken into custody until his aunt decided to forgive him. He was eventually allowed to race the P3, but this time it was the Spanish Civil War that disrupted his racing plans. In 1938, the car was sold and brought to England.
The 50007 was acquired by Frank Griswold who had Louis Tomei drive the example during the 1939 Indianapolis 500 Classic. It finished 15th. In 1945, Griswold sold it to Tommy Lee in LA. He then dubbed it as the Don Lee Special and entered it at The Brickyard enjoying some success. The Lee Broadcasting team equipped the 50007 with the world’s first pits-to-car radio system. It was also the first car to be flown to a race.
When the Porsche 901 made its debut at the 1964 Paris Auto Salon, Peugeot took offense as they used a three-digit number and placed a 0 in the middle. Porsche would eventually rename it 911, but by then, they have made 82 pre-production cars with the 901 moniker. Although none of the 82 cars were supposedly sold to private customers, a few units eventually entered the market.
One of those 82 units is chassis 300078 and it has an interesting history. In March 1965, the example was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show launching it as the 911. Despite the change in name, the example is one of the six 901s that is believed to be left. It may seem very similar to the cars that were later released, but the first model was slightly different. The A- and B- pillars of the early examples are trimmed in the same perforated white vinyl that was used on the headlining, while the later cars used black vinyl. These cars have a different rear license-plate holder as well as the engine lid. The front wings have four-hole chrome horn grilles and the rear crossmember is also smooth and has no pressings.
Voisin Type C27 Aérosport
The Aérodyne is a provocative car that was made for the 1934 Paris Motor Show, but unfortunately, it fell short in terms of sales, and it is where the C27 Aérosport originated from. After the expo, they built two roadsters using the shortened chassis of the Aérodyne, and it eventually became known as the C27. It is equipped with a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that can produce 105bhp. What makes it stand out, however, is its Art Deco style. The basic outline of the Aérodyne was used as a starting point. They then lowered the body, added pentagon side windows, more luggage space, piano-hinged doors, and aluminum accents. It also has a sliding roof that is powered by its own motor that is connected to the main engine’s vacuum.
Marque expert Robert Saliot and the Saliot Garage offered the example up for sale in France in the mid-1950s. The garage owned all the Voisin’s spare parts and Robert’s son, who was a student at the time, used the C27 as his day-to-day car. By then, the coachwork was modified and had sloppy metal-sheet patch repairs on the roof. A scrap dealer acquired the Aérosport, and for a time, it disappeared.
A Voisin expert, Philip Moch, who was also a hoarder of spare parts of the marque, one day acquired a Voisin that had definitely seen better days and they realized it had a second body. When he removed the outer layer, he saw the unique underslung chassis and the remains of the C27 Aérosport.
Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost
The chassis and engine of the Rolls-Royce 40/50 has had a lot of names and roles. At some point, it even was the basis of a range of armored cars. It was only when Autocar christened it ‘Silver Ghost’ and called it “the best car in the world”, that a legend was finally born which is the car that will be displayed in the coming Concours of Elegance 2021.
Chassis 60551 was the 12th 40/50 that was produced, and it was meant to be a company demonstrator. It was registered as AX201, wrapped in a Roi-des-Belges body by Barker, and given an aluminum paint finish. In an era when majority of the cars were noisy and unreliable, the distinct look and seeming serenity in motion that chassis 60551 had made it worthy of the Silver Ghost moniker. The car would break a lot of records which includes driving from London and Glasgow 27 times in a distance of more than 15,000 miles. The reliability of the car became the marketing spiel of the newly established Rolls-Royce Motor Company, rightfully earning the title of “best car in the world” and it is a title that they use to this day.
From 1948-1951, it underwent a three-year restoration. Then AX 201 was used as a promotional tool as it traveled around the world. In 1984, while it was in storage, Franklin Mint took extensive photos of the example and proceeded to create a die-cast model that eventually became the best-selling model of the firm.
When Rolls-Royce Motors Ltd was sold in 1998, the stewardship of the AX 201 transferred to Bentley Motors as part of the Crewe Works purchase by Volkswagen Automotive Group. Before 2019 ended, Bentley Motors sold the AX 201 to a private entity in the UK.
Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2
Zagato is not famous for outlandish and challenging designs but they have always been faithful to their original mission of providing lightweight and slippery aerodynamics and the original TZ is the embodiment of this. The Ercole Spada designed all-aluminum body weights only 650kg and thanks to its innovative bodywork design specifically the coda tronca ‘Kamm’ tail design.
Zagato pushed things even further with the TZ2. They replaced the aluminum body with fiberglass to reduce weight by 30kg. Only eight units were made and all of them were racing cars. It was also equipped with an Autodelta-tuned 1.6-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine that can produce 170bhp, and can run up to 152mph due to its aerodynamic design.
The car that will be displayed at the Concours of Elegance is chassis AR750113 and it is the most successful TZ2 model. In 1966, under Autodelta, it won first in class in the Nürburgring 1000km, Circuito Del Mugello, Trento-Bondone, as well as the Corsa Della Mendola. At the Coppa del Chianti Classico, it claimed an overall win. Its most successful run was at the Targa Florio, still under Autodelta. Enrico Pinto and Nino Todaro drove the example to a fourth overall finish and another first in class.
Although the cars will definitely be great and impressive pieces at the Main Concours, there will also be almost 1,000 cars that will displayed during the course of the weekend. One of the main displays that is featured is the collection of 95 British cars that were gathered to celebrate the 95th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. There will so be a 30UNDER30 Concours that are designed to target and inspire the next generation of classic car enthusiast. Other special features are a group of Future Classics that represents potential stars of Concours d’Elegance in the coming 50 years, a Veteran Car Run display, and a celebration of the Jaguar E-Type 60-year anniversary. There will also be a display of pre-1905 motoring pioneers that makes their pilgrimage from London to Brighton annually.
Aside from celebrating automotive excellence, Concours of Elegance is an occasion of pure luxury. Jodie Kidd will be hosting the event, Charles Heidsieck will be providing champagne, Fortnum & Mason will be providing picnics, while Chubb Insurance will provide the stage interviews. There will also be a display of collection of art, jewelry, and fashion displays. Recently, presenting partner, A. Lange & Söhne announced that they will continue the partnership for the next three years and they will also continue to display their most intricate timepieces during the event.
Other new long-term partners that have joined Concours of Elegance include Gooding & Co., The Peninsula London Hotel and Residences, and McLaren.
Tickets to the Concours of Elegance 2021 can be bought at the Concours of Elegance website with a variety of tickets to choose from starting from standard entry tickets to full three-course hospitality packages.
The full list of vehicles that will be displayed in the Main Concours are:
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50 ‘The Silver Ghost’
Mercer Raceabout Type 35-J
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost VDP ’26RB’
Bamford & Martin Aston Martin A3
Lorraine-Dietrich B 3-6
Bentley Motors 3-Litre ‘Pick-Up’
Bentley 6 1/2-Litre DHC
Rolls-Royce 20 HP Tourer by Barker
Bentley 4.5-Litre Le Mans Sports Team Car
Bentley 4 1/2-Litre Supercharged Sports Tourer
Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B
Bentley 8-Litre Saloon by H.J Mulliner
Talbot London AV105 Brooklands
Lancia Dilambda 232
Voisin Type C-27 Aérosport
Bugatti Type 59
Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio
Jaguar SS100 2.5-Litre Open Two-Seater
Rolls-Royce Phantom III HJ Mulliner Saloon
Maybach SW38 Special Roadster
Delahaye 135M Fixed Head Coupe by Chapron
Bristol 401 Cabrolet Pinin farina
Bentley Mark VI Saloon by Hooper & Co
Ferrari 166 Inter Cabriolet Stabilimenti Farina
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS
Jaguar XK120 OTS
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith 4-Door DHC by Hooper
Delahaye 135 MS CL Spéciale Faget Varnet
Ferrari 250 GT Europa
Aston Martin DB3S Coupe
Bentley S1 Continental DHC Park Ward
Ferrari 250 GT ‘Tour de France’
BMW 503 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder
Bentley S1 ‘Honeymoon Express’ by Freestone & Webb
Bentley S1 Continental 2-Door Coupe
Porsche 356 B Roadster
Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina
Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
Jaguar E-Type 3.8-Litre FHC
Jaguar E-Type 3.8-Litre Roadster
Ferrari 250 GT ‘Berlinetta’
FMR Messerschmitt KR 200 De Lux
Aston Martin DB4 Series 5 Vantage
Porsche 901 Copue
Aston Martin DB6 Short Chassis Volante
Ferrari 275 GTB
Alfa Romeo TZ2
Ferrari 275 GTB/4
Iso Grifo 7-Litre Coupe
Porsche 917 K
Porsche 917 K
Citreon SM Mylord
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo
Gulf Mirage GR8
Rolls-Royce Phantom VI HJ Mulliner Park Ward Limousine