Vauxhall 30-98 wins RAC Club Trophy at Concours of Elegance

| 9 Sep 2019
Classic & Sports Car – Vauxhall 30-98 wins RAC Club Trophy at Concours of Elegance

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A fabulous Vauxhall 30-98 took the Classic & Sports Car-backed RAC Club Trophy at the Concours of Elegance on Saturday (7 September), while a stunning Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was named Best of Show.

The dual contests meant the Hampton Court Palace-based event encompassed the complete classic car spectrum, with 75 wonderful vehicles shortlisted in the main Concours and hundreds more competing for the Club Trophy classes. 

Classic & Sports Car had a particular stake in the latter, with Editor in Chief Alastair Clements among the judges casting their eyes over the entrants.

And the 30-98 (above) was certainly a deserving winner, triumphing first in the earliest age category before going on to claim the overall prize.

Fittingly for what is a grassroots award, it was driven to Hampton Court from its Leicestershire home that morning, setting off at 5am.

But then this car is no stranger to long journeys, having originally been exported to South America where it was sold by Harrods through its Buenos Aires outlet. Well-known car hunter Colin Crabbe brought it back to the UK; it’s had three owners from new.

Classic & Sports Car – Vauxhall 30-98 wins RAC Club Trophy at Concours of Elegance
Immaculate Lotus Turbo Esprit

At the other end of the spectrum, the winner of the youngest Club Trophy class was an astonishing and completely original Lotus Turbo Esprit. Still with its first owner, it has done just 3000 miles and even retains its tyre-pressure stickers.

Coming out on top in the pre-’60 division was a Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica first owned and raced by Tony Crook – its current owner’s father bought it in 1980 and competed in it extensively.

Indeed, it was in this car that, in 1983, his father passed away, with the family then rebuilding the car and selling it. But unable to shake the fondly held memories of his father’s exploits in it, the current keeper sold his father’s Nash coupé in order to release the funds to buy it back.

Also taking home a class prize from the Club Trophy was a Jensen C-V8 that had been superbly restored by its Dutch owner and driven from The Netherlands for the Concours of Elegance.

Classic & Sports Car – Vauxhall 30-98 wins RAC Club Trophy at Concours of Elegance
History-rich Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica

On the Concours side of things, 2019’s Best of Show was John Fasal’s wonderful 1919 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, with its amazing polished-aluminium body.

The most dramatic-looking of the 25 such cars ordered by Lieutenant General His Highness the Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, its lines were inspired by French coachbuilder Henri Labourdette, although British coachbuilder Barker built this body on chassis 11 PD. Work was suspended due to WW1, with the car completed in 1919 as the first of the J Series with a new chassis number, 32 PP.

The car spent many years in north-west India and was the Maharaja’s 16th Silver Ghost, used for bird-shooting – hence the prominent guns – and when the Prince of Wales visited Patiala State in February 1922, he rode in it.

Classic & Sports Car – Vauxhall 30-98 wins RAC Club Trophy at Concours of Elegance
Glistening Indian Rolls-Royce was crowned 2019 Best of Show

Following an accident in 1932 in which one of the Princesses of Patiala was killed, the Maharajah gave the car to friend Rustom Boga of the Ice Factories in Patiala and Amritsar, with the condition that it never returned to the State in his lifetime.

Three years on and having been involved in another accident, the Rolls-Royce was in need of some serious TLC.

The car returned to the UK in 1969 first with Silver Ghost connoisseur Jeremy Bacon. Current owner and marque historian Fasal took ownership in 2001.

In the last four years he’s restored the chassis and, along with a team of specialists, has worked to bring the car back to its original magnificence, with these efforts recognised by the Best of Show accolade as the car celebrates its 100th birthday.

The full list of winners is:

  • Best in Show – 1919 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost by Barker
  • Pre-1920s – 1904 Napier L49
  • 1920s – 1929 Bentley Speed Six Old No.1
  • 1930s – 1938 Stout Scarab
  • 1940s – 1949 Ferrari 166MM #0008
  • 1950s – 1951 Pegaso Z102
  • 1960s –  1965 Ford GT40
  • The Club Trophy – Vauxhall 30-98
  • The Bridge of Weir Jaguar Trophy – Jaguar C-Type
  • Future Classics – Aston Martin Vulcan

Images: Tim Scott


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