In less than a month, The Concours of Elegance, presented by A. Lange & Söhne will return for 2022 with a sensational collection of ultra-rare and highly significant Ferraris. The display was designed to also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the marque and it will showcase what is arguably the most exceptional group of Ferraris ever put together in the UK. From September 2-4, the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace will host a fabulous line up of Ferrari vehicles for the event’s 10th anniversary show. The road and competition Ferraris will be joining more than 70 other Concours cars, proving yet again why the Concours of Elegance is the leading Concours in the UK and one of the top events internationally.
The main feature in the Hampton Court Display is what is considered by many as the ultimate Ferrari, if not the ultimate car; the legendary 250 GTO. It is the perfect combination of striking, gorgeous design, optimized V12 performance, and scarcity. With only 36 units built, through the years it has become one of the most coveted machines by collectors, and what is considered the ‘holy grail’ for Ferrari collectors.
In 1962, Ferrari revealed the homologation special GTO which was the successor of the 250 GT SWB. Young engineer Giotto Bizzarrini added upgrades to the car. Scaglietti reworked the body as part of the revisions, using wind tunnel testing to mold the iconic GTO shape. To improve top end speed, they lengthened the car and gave it an elongated and lowered nose. They also stretched the rear and gave the tail an upwards kick to improve high-speed stability.
Powering the iconic model is a single-cam 3.0-liter version of the Colombo V12 that was the same engine used on the Testa Rossa racing car. Producing 300 bhp, almost 100 bhp per liter which is quite an engineering feat in 1962. It was equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox with the long aluminum gear level dramatically rising from the iconic open-gate, close to the wooden rimmed steering wheel, ideally placed for quick shifts while in a race.
Compared to its competitors, the GTO was lightweight at roughly 1,000 kg. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds. The 250 GTO was not just powerful, it also stood out in terms of reliability and mechanical resilience. These seemingly perfect combination made the 250 GTO the legendary car it is now.
This September, the GTO that will be displayed at Hampton Court is chassis number 4219GT. In 1963, it was delivered new to a young American heiress Mamie Spears Reynolds. Reynolds was an intriguing character. Her father was a senator while her mother came from a successful gold mining family, and her godfather was former FBI director J Edgar Hoover. Reynolds was also a car and racing enthusiast, being the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500.
In early 1963 at only 20 years old, she visited New York City looking for a suitable Ferrari to campaign for the upcoming racing season. It was then that she purchased the 250 GTO. She also met her future husband in the same trip, Luigi Chinetti Jr. the son of three-time Le Mans winner Chinetti Sr. At the time, they were the exclusive US importer for Ferrari and were the owner of NART (North American Racing Team).
By February 1963, the GTO was at the iconic banking of Daytona for the 3-hour Continental driven by Pedro Rodriguez. The GTO was able to beat the powerful V8 Corvettes and Cobras and claimed victory. In spring, it competed at the 12 Hours of Sebring before Reynolds sold it to Beverly Spencer who was a Buick dealer owner in California which also sold Ferrari. 4219GT stayed in the west coast until the early 1990s when it was brought to the UK. Since then, its enthusiast owner has used the 250 GTO as it was intended.
Given a deep, dark blue finish, 4219GT is truly a great example of the ultimate Ferrari. The Concours of Elegance this September is a great chance for any automotive enthusiast to see a genuine automotive legend which is also considered to be one of the most valuable cars in the world.
Aside from the 250 GTO, there will also be a very early Ferrari road car to be showcased at Hampton Court, a 1950 Ferrari 195 Inter. It is a glamorous Grand Touring model which was introduced by Ferrari at the Paris Motor Show back in 1950.
The 195 was a very elegant coupe which was designed for Europe’s moneyed elite to compete with other recently launched models like the Aston Martin DB2. Only 28 examples were produced with a range of distinguished, flowing bodies from the leading coachbuilders at the time. 13 out of the 28 opted for a Vignale body, 11 were bodied by Ghia, 3 were bodied by Touring, and a lone example was bodied by Motto. Powered by a 130 bhp, 2.3-liter Colombo V12, the 195 really set itself apart in the early 1950s.
The successor to the 195 Inter, the 250 GT Europa will also be on display. Ferrari launched this model in Paris in the late 1953. The Europa was the start of the famed 250 lineage, which includes the GT SWB, California Spyder, and the legendary GTO. It is powered by a Colombo V12 that can produce 220 bhp. Only 34 units were produced making it one of the move coveted Ferraris by collectors.
Another exceptional car will also be featured in September’s event, a 250 GT SWB SEFAC. Only 20 SEFAC ‘Hotrod’ 250 Berlinettas were produced by Scuderia Enzo Ferrari Auto Corse (SEFAC) and they were all optimized to dominate the track. They will display a short-wheelbase 250 which was given a considerable upgrade compared to the standard SWB. It can produce 300 bhp almost instantaneously and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 5 seconds which was a pretty impressive feat in 1961. This example, chassis 2735 was extensively raced in period by none other than Sir Stirling Moss himself. The example was able to claim victory at Goodwood in the Tourist Trophy in August 1961. With Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel, it was definitely the fastest GT racing car in the world.
They will also be displaying the almost mythical Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale which is more commonly known as the ‘Tre Posti’. The 365 P was wide, low, and gorgeously sleek, and was originally designed as the base of a Le Mans racer. It was unveiled at the 1966 Paris Motor Show and then toured the globe, impressing audiences everywhere with its futuristic Pininfarina body, unusual three-seater cabin, and mid-mounted V12 engine. It was the first Ferrari road car configured in that way. Only two units was produced making this Ferrari one of the rarest and most valuable. This September will give guests the chance to see this truly rare and exceptional car up close.
These are only some of the fantastic Ferraris that will be displayed in the upcoming Concours of Elegance, joining 70 other exceptional Concours cars this September. Other cars that will be showcased will be announced in the coming weeks. Aside from the main display of vehicles, the Concours of Elegance will also be gathering around 1,000 more cars in a variety of special features and displays. Gooding & Co will also be hosting a live collector car auction.
Concours of Elegance CEO James Brooks-Ward shared, “We are immensely proud to have assembled such a remarkable line-up to celebrate Ferrari’s 75th birthday, to sit at the centre of our 10th anniversary show. With such a fabulous selection of highly-significant motor cars from his most evocative and storied of marques – all sourced from world leading private collections – it will likely be the greatest display of Ferraris ever assembled in the UK. We cannot wait to welcome guests to Hampton Court Palace in just over a month’s time for what is set to be a truly unmissable occasion, the UK’s ultimate automotive extravaganza.”
Aside from the automotive display, the Concours of Elegance is an event that celebrates pure luxury. Charles Heidsieck will be providing the champagne, Fortnum & Mason will provide the picnics, and there will also be displays of art, jewelry, and fashion. Presenting Partner A. Lange & Söhne will also be displaying their most intricate timepieces.
Tickets to the Concours of Elegance 2022 are now available at their website. Ticket prices starts at £35 for a half-day entry, while full three-course hospitality packages start at £320.