Mussolini Alfa wins Salon Privé

| 27 Jun 2011

A 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500, once gifted by World War 2 military dictator Benito Mussolini to his lover, won Best of Show at this year's Salon Privé Concours d'Elégance on 22 - 24 June.The Touring-bodied Berlinetta (below) was given by the fascist leader to Claretta Petacci, who attempted to flee Italy in the car before being captured by partisans. "The car has quite a love story to it as Claretta resisted an offer for freedom so she could die with Mussolini," explained the 6C's current owner Gary Snell.

The Alfa also scooped Best in Class for The Thirties at the Syon Park, London event while the Best in Show accolade adds to the current enthusiasm for the famous Italian marque on the international Concours d'Elégance circuit, after Alfa Romeos took both public and judges' votes for Best of Show at Villa d'Este last month (see:…).

And the 6C wasn't the only Alfa to triumph at Salon Privé: Hugh Taylor's marvellously re-patinated ex-Scuderia Ferrari 'works' 1932 Tipo B (below, right) scooped the 'Grand Prix Racers Up To and Including the 1970s' class.

The event's other racing class - 'Road Racers of the 1950s and 1960s' - was won by a Jaguar after the judges, including ex-Bentley boss Franz-Josef Paefgen and five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell, fell for the ex-Peter Berry 1961 E-type Roadster (below, right).

Topping the Roll-Royce: 100 Years of The Spirit of Ecstasy class was Richard Raynsford's 1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25HP (below witth lake incident picture), which once spent time in Lake Geneva after its Afghan Prince owner overshot a corner.

The Graber-bodied Rolls was later tracked down in the US by Raynsford after he discovered it had been owned by his step father in the 1950s.

Other stars among the eight classes of cars on display included Ivan Margolius's superbly restored1949 Tatra T600 Tatraplan, which won the Oddballs: Unique Designs & Concepts with 3 Wheels or More class.

This year's Salon Privé also paid tribute to originality with award for the Most Original car at the show going to the Finburgh family's 1934 Morgan Super Sports, with the three-wheeler's 'May contain nuts' caution on it's spare wheel cover a source of much amusement.

Also impressing the judges was an historically significant Aston Martin: the 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato that picked up the 'Most Exciting Design' trophy.

Known after its 2 VEV registration, the Zagato-bodied DB4 GT was raced by Roy Salvadori and Jim Clark in period before being re-shelled to DP209 specification in '62 following a major smash at Spa. It was later returned to full GT Zagato specification by the factory.For more on Salon Privé see:….