A Jaguar XK140 beat off a Villa d’Este winner to take Best of Show at this year’s Concours D'Elegance London at the city’s Hurlingham Club.
The upmarket 27-29 July event was the inaugural replacement for the Hurlingham’s previous Louis Vuitton and Salon Privé fixtures - although the displays lacked the volume of cars and classes to which visitors were accustomed.
The manicured lawns did, however, host some quality variety, from a couple of Alfa 6Cs to an Iso Grifo, Jensen 541R and the 1955 Indianapolis 500 Mile pace car – with two McLaren F1s and a Ford GT40 on display in the clubhouse.
Star attraction was the amazing – if somewhat dominating – line-up of Jaguars with noted marque collector Dr James Hull supplying 15 of the 18 cats on display, including the show topping XK Roadster.
The 140 – a serial national concours circuit winner – beat off Gary Snell’s magnificent Touring-bodied Alfa 6C 2500, despite the Milanese beauty having scooped Salon Privé last month and Villa D’Este in 2006. Snell did, however, take home the award for best in the Pre 1956 class.
Steve Grimsley of Phoenix Restorations – which restored the140 for Dr Hull – was on hand to accept the Best of Show award. “It’s the icing on the cake for all the hard work,” remarked a delighted Grimsley.
Dr Hull’s cars included a 1974 Jaguar V12 Roadster – one of the 50 Commemorative editions in the in black with cinnamon trim. It was, ironically, up against one of Snell’s other entries: a Jaguar 4.2-litre Roadster (below).
One of three E-types Snell owns - all in correct, factory-supplied black – it racked up over 200,000 miles in Snell’s hands back in his native America before he had the car restored.
Hull also provided a couple of Bentley R-type Continentals – one fantastically patinated and another fully restored – while other 1950s highlights included another concours regular: Leonard Bolton’s superb, two-tone Jensen 541R (below).
“It was the 1959 Earls Court show car, finished in Dusk Rose over Primrose,” explained Bolton. “I bought it 30 years ago from its first owner, who bought the car off the show stand because his wife ‘liked the colour’.”
Also wowing the crowds were a couple of former CS&C cars: Hugh James’ Bizzarrini Strada GT and Marek Letowt’s Rolls-Royce Camargue, with the latter a highlight of the Pininfarina class – instigated by event organiser Michael Scott’s ambition to repay Sergio Pininfarina for the superb restoration on his Lancia Astura nearly 30 years ago.