Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance 2012
Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance 2012

Windsor Castle Concours 2012 – Report and Photos

The Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance was staged September 7-9, 2012 on the grounds of historic Windsor Castle in England. With full permission of Her Majesty The Queen, sixty of the world’s rarest motor cars – many of them never seen before in England – were displayed on the Upper Ward of the Castle in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee.

With the oldest dating from 1896, nearly all of the cars in the Concours were driven — in convoy — by their owners into, and then two days later back out of, the Castle grounds. This is the first time in the Castle’s history that any such event has been given permission to take place in grounds never normally accessible by the public.

One of the Concours car owners, Victor Muller, said, “As a seasoned collector for over 30 years, I thought I had seen it all — Villa d’Este, Pebble Beach…but nothing prepared me for this event. It was overwhelming. The organisation was flawless, the location to die for and the quality of the cars the best possible. In all, it’s the best event we have ever attended and we are so grateful to Her Majesty for allowing us access to her domain.”

Muller owns the Rolls-Royce Phantom I Barker Open Tourer built in 1929. The model was then later exported to Kenya and it served as official transport for Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, on her State Visit to the country in 1952. It was while there she learned of her Accession to the Throne.

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 first ever winner of the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance Trophy is Jon Shirley with his 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta.

Shirley bought the car in 2005 and drove it in the 2006 Mille Miglia. In 2008 it won Best in Show, the Elegance in Motion Trophy and the Most Elegant Closed Car at the Pebble Beach Concours. In 2009 it won the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este, Trofeo BMW Group and Trofeo BMW Group Italia. It was the first car to have won these three Best in Show awards.

In addition to Shirley’s Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, also on display were two other Pebble Beach Concours “Best of Show” winners: 1931 Daimler Double-Six 50 Corsica Drophead Coupe (Best of Show 2006) and 1933 Delage D8S de Villars Roadster (Best of Show 2010).

Several significant cars made their public debut at the 2012 Windsor Castle Concours, headlined by the No. 9 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 LM Spyder that won the 1934 24 Hours of Le Mans as driven by Philippe ‘Phi Phi’ Etancelin and Luigi Chinetti. This car had not been seen in public for 50 years.

Over the weekend, visitors were also able to enjoy displays by numerous car clubs. The Royal Automobile Club brought 60 British Classics on their “Best of British” Tour telling the story of British motoring, while the Aston Martin Owners Club also brought 60 cars which were displayed in a timeline to represent each year of HM The Queen’s reign. Members of the Bentley Drivers Club, Jaguar Drivers Club, Ferrari Owners Club, Marcos Owners Club and TVR Car Club also joined in the celebrations on Saturday and Sunday, giving visitors the chance to see over 800 cars.

The charitable focus of the inaugural Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance was to support charities that provide palliative care for children and young people with life-limiting illnesses, and those that undertake research to fight cancer. Funds raised by the Concours are being split equally between Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. It is expected that more than £250,000 will be raised.

Senior Photographer Tim Scott served on the event’s Steering Committee and as Official Photographer, stating that it was “one of the proudest moments of [his] life.” In addition to our Preparation Day Gallery, Tim offers the following gallery of pictures from the 2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance that show the wonderful selection of automobiles and the unique setting provided by the otherworldly Royal Castle. To see more from Tim, visit fluidimages.co.uk.

Windsor Castle Concours 2012 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)

Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance 2012 – List of Entrants by Class

St. George’s Class – Pioneering Automobiles
1896 Panhard-Levassor 6 hp Private Omnibus
1904 Lenawee Rear-Entrance Touring Tonneau
1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer
1914 Sunbeam Tourist Trophy
1918 Straker-Squire X/2 Prototype

Thames Class – Grand Carriages
1924 Vauxhall 30-98 Type OE Wensum Tourer
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Barker Open Tourer
1930 Bentley Speed Six Gurney-Nutting
1931 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged Blower Bentley
1934 Avions-Voisin C-25 Berline Aerodyne

Frogmore Class – Aristocratic Behemoths
1925 Rolls Royce Phantom I Jonckheere Coupe
1931 Daimler Double-Six 50 Corsica Drophead Coupe
1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale ‘Kellner’ Coupe
1930 Bentley 8 Litre Tourer
1933 Duesenberg Model SJ Beverly Berline by Murphy
1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Gurney Nutting Sedanca Drophead Coupe
1958 Bentley Continental S Type H J Mulliner

Brunswick Class – Pre-War Sporting Heritage
1929 Mercedes-Benz SSK Corsica Drophead Coupe
1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider
1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 LM Spider ‘Le Mans Winner’
1935 Frazer Nash Twin Supercharged ‘Shelsley’

Winchester Class – Grand Tourers of the 1930s
1932 Cadillac V-16 Fisher Convertible Coupe
1933 Delage D8S de Villars Roadster
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Corto Touring Spider
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta
1938 Delahaye V12 Type 145
1938 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante

Chancellor’s Class – Magnificent Machines
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster
1937 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Vesters and Neirinck Fixed Head Coupe
1938 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Embiricos Pourtout Coupe
1935 Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet

Saxon Class – The Thrilling Thirties
1935 Squire 1500 Markham Roadster Short Chassis ‘Skimpy’
1937 Delahaye 135S
1937 Lagonda LG45 Rapide Tourer
1939 SS100 Jaguar Two-Seater Sports
1939 AC 16/90

Consort Class – Legends of Style
1947 Bristol 400 Farina Drophead
1950 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
1954 Maserati A6GCS Pinin Farina Berlinetta
1954 Lancia Aurelia B24 Pinin Farina Spider
1957 Ferrari 250 GT Zagato Berlinetta

Gunners’ Class – Built to Win
1953 Jaguar XK C Type 053 Lightweight
1954 Austin-Healey 100S Works
1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
1956 Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti Spider 0626
1956 Aston Martin DB3S/9
1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa TR58 Scaglietti
1959 Maserati Tipo 60 Birdcage

Ensign Class – Sporting Thoroughbreds
1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe
1957 Jaguar XKSS
1957 BMW 507
1961 Jaguar E-Type Roadster ’77 RW’
1963 AC Cobra 289
1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Berlinetta

Lancaster Class – Mythical Masterpieces
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO Series I
1968 Ford GT40 MK III
1972 Lamborghini Miura SV

Knight’s Class – Historic Motorcycles
1927 Scott Tourist Trophy Works
1948 Vincent Black Shadow ‘John Edgar Lightning’ Prototype
1954 Norton F-Type Experimental Prototype
1954 BMW 500 Rennsport
1966 Triumph Tiger 100
1990 Ducati 851 SBK ‘Raymond Roche’