Mercedes tops Silverstone concours

| 24 Jul 2011

A highly original Mercedes-Benz SL picked up Best of Show at the Silverstone Classic, despite the surrounding sea of E-types.

Barry Walker's immaculate 1987 420SL beat off fierce competition at the show's Concours d'Elegance on Saturday 22 July with the judges ultimately taken with the car's incredible originality, despite its 40,000miles.

C&SC, Equity Insurance and the AA were on the judging panel, along with Silverstone Classic's Simon de Mille who declared the standard: "exceptionally high, making the final decision very difficult."

The final shortlist impressed for it's diversit, too, with the earliest car Dave Sapp's 1939 Morgan Series 4/4 - fresh out of an amazing restoration of a forlorn, barn find wreck that Sapp spotted for sale by chance in a classic motorcycle magazine.

Other contenders included John Newlyn's 1971 Datsun 240Z which was the Autocar test car after the model was launched in the UK. Newlyn - who chairs the Classic Z Register - undertook a full restoration in the late 1990s to return it to A1 condition. 

Also impressive was the rather fitting entry - given this year's E-type theme - of the 1962 Jaguar E-type Roadster belonging to Brian Ekin (below).

The Jaguar Driver's Club member has spent the last four years bringing his Carmen Red E-type back to factory spec - right down to the dark grey dampers ex-RAF stock, apparently), cadmium plated wishbones and triple screw jack.

"I did a lot of research into what the car should have as Jaguar were changing things from month to month when they first came out," explained Ekin who was particularly proud of the toolkit he managed to assemble after months of trawling bay. "I've been offered a £1000 just for the set of spanners!"

Other notable entries included a smart Porsche 993 RS but it was the 420SL that took home the silver, thanks to owner Walker's amazing attention to detail, down to the fitting instruction label attached to the spare wheel and unopened set of factory-supplied spare fuses.

"I bought the car when it was just eight months old and have just kept it in the same condition - even the engine (below)," explained Walker who's not scared to use it. "It's never been on a trailer and the only items I've replaced are the tyres. I did buy an exhaust once but it's been in my loft for the last 10 years."

Leeds based Walker received his trophy from Steve Hiskett of Equity Insurance (below).