Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance

| 6 Sep 2020
Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance

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The Porsche 917K in which Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood won the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours was crowned Best of Show at this weekend’s Concours of Elegance.

This was the car that secured Porsche’s maiden overall victory at La Sarthe, and half a century on it left Hampton Court Palace with the event's most prestigious trophy at the first major Peninsula Best of the Best-qualifying concours since pandemic-enforced lockdown.

And while it’s doubtless a very deserving winner, for a post-war car – and a competition one at that – to claim Best of Show is a bold, unusual choice from the judges.

Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance
KR200 with proud owner and restorer Dave Watson

Battle was fierce for the Club Trophy, in association with the Royal Automobile Club, sponsored by Classic & Sports Car, for which our editor in chief Alastair Clements was on the judging panel with others including Prince Michael of Kent.

Scooping Pre-1960 class spoils was the 1937 ex-Woolf Barnato Bentley Disappearing Top by Mulliner, with a dinky Messerschmitt KR200 claiming the 1960s award and a Ferrari 458 the post-1960 glory.

And we’re delighted to say that of these three, it was the Messerschmitt that won the Club Trophy.

Think that name rings a bell? This car’s epic restoration was featured in our November 2017 issue, in which, despite it being Watson’s second microcar rebuild, he described it as ‘an absolute pig to restore’ – all is forgiven now, no doubt.

Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance
This Messerschmitt KR200 was a labour of love

C&SC also sponsored the very well-supported Car Club displays, and the car which went home with the award for the best from this showcase was the 1950 Jaguar XK120 of Chris Lackner from Twickenham, of the XK Club.

The car rolled off the production line on 11 December 1950, and the bronze finish with a biscuit and tan interior is how it left the factory.

An encounter with a cow on a rally the following year prompted some significant repairs – indeed, in 1952, it had to have a replacement body.

The first owner, Peter Taylor, took it with him to Paris when he moved there, and current owner Lackner has been the proud custodian for a little more than three years.

He says he’s gradually returning the XK to its original specification or as near as possible, a process he describes as ‘ongoing and rewarding’.

Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance
Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance
Iso (left) and Jaguar were winners on Saturday, too

In C&SC’s pre-1990 car park there was a fantastically diverse array of cars – alongside familiar faces from the Our classics fleet.

From a Datsun 240Z, a Ford Mustang droptop and a brace of Mercedes-Benz 190SLs to a Renault 5 and an Aston Martin DB6, it was an impressive showing from our readers.

Saturday’s car park champion was a lovely looking Iso Grifo, while on Sunday a pretty Mercedes-Benz 230SL Pagoda prevailed.

Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance
Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance
Lotus (left) and Mercedes picked up wins on Sunday
Classic & Sports Car – Porsche and Messerschmitt on top at Concours of Elegance
Yes, that’s a small-scale replica…

There was more competition in the massed ranks of car club attendees on the event’s closing day, but none could beat Doug Cullingford’s stunning Lotus Eclat. He’s been the lucky owner for 30 years and restored it himself.

And in a serendipitous turn of events, the winner of the first ever Junior Concours, a contest for half-scale petrol-, pedal- and electric-powered cars of all ages, was won by a scaled-down replica of the 917K that achieved overall concours glory.


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