American collector Jon Shirley collected another prestigious award with his fabulous Alfa Romeo 8C2900B at the first Windsor Concours of Elegance.
The former Pebble Beach winning beauty took ‘Best of Show’ among an outstanding 60-car group presented in the beautiful Upper Ward Quadrangle. This is the first time ever that cars - and the public - have been given access within the walls of the famous Royal castle.
Judging is refreshingly different at the Windsor event with ‘Best of Show’ decided by the entrants who voted Shirley’s dark blue Touring bodied coupé the car they’d most want to take home.
The 1938 Latin beauty faced tough competition including two other former Pebble Beach winners; the fabulous 1931 Daimler Double Six Corsica Coupé of Reno collector Bob Lee, and the Delage D8S de Villars Roadster.
The new event attracted the World’s foremost collectors and museums, which resulted in one of the greatest displays ever at a British event.
Fittingly for such a regal location, the display included a magnificent Bugatti Type 41 ‘Royale.’ “A car built for kings in a castle built for a king. Just the perfect setting,” said top dealer Simon Kidston. “My uncle is rumoured to have had one on order to replace his Hispano before he was killed in a flying accident. I drove this once in Japan, and it’s still the ultimate in my book.”
Other stunning cars making a rare appearance in the UK included the beautiful 1938 Bentley 41/4-litre Embiricos Coupé of Arturo Keller; and the exotic Delahaye V12 Type 145 of Peter Mullin from California.
Among the post-war group was the BMW 507 of John Surtees while centre stage among the Royal cars and carriages was Prince Charles’ famous ’69 Aston Martin DB6 Volante.
As well as the stunning group of road cars, the event presented several very historic sports racing cars headed by Eric Heerema’s highly original Ferrari 250 TR58 Scaglietti, and guitar maestro Mark Knopfler’s Austin Healey 100S.
Not all the cars were concours queens, and Nick Benwell’s superbly patinated ex-A.F.P. Fane 1935 Frazer Nash ‘Shelsley’ provoked lots of comments from confused Americans.
The prestigious 3-day event saw several restoration debuts of famous cars not seen for decades. Patrick Blakeney Edwards’ team were rightly proud of their work on the 1934 Le Mans-winning Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 of Craig McCaw, while Mercedes S-Type specialist Markus Kern unveiled his newly completed 1928 SSK Corsica Drophead.
Kern will race the black supercharged thoroughbred at the Goodwood Revival next weekend.
When local Dr Arthur Pickering heard about the new event he rushed off an entry for his 1939 AC 16/90 but sadly the long-term owner died prior to the concours. In Pickering’s honour his daughter, Jeni Kelly, presented the beautiful supercharged English roadster - “My father would have been very proud to see his car in such a famous location.”
The Bentley Embiricos making a welcome return to the UK, see it at Goodwood.
Bill Pope's superb ex-Kurt Ahrens Porsche 550 Spyder was a favourite with C&SC.
Mrs Beecham with friend an the gorgeous ex-Gianni Agnelli Ferrari 166MM Barchetta
John Surtees, BMW 507 with Willy Loughram Aston DB4 GT Zagato and Paul Stewart's Gullwing
Another exotic visitor from California was David Sydorick's fabulous Ferrari 250GT Zagato