This week, the 16th edition of one of the UK’s most prestigious automotive events, the Salon Prive Concours d’Elégance, is being held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Designed by brothers Andrew and David Bagley, Salon Prive is inspired by the extravagant competitions held in the United States and Italy, which bring together rare and exotic cars from around the world to be judged by experts for their originality, historical provenance and quality of their restoration.
This year’s event brings together an eclectic range of cars in the palace grounds, from pre-war luxury Mercedes models to unique vintage Ferraris to the latest hypercars from contemporary brands. The event has grown in popularity in recent years, inviting brands such as Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and McLaren to take to the pitch and showcase their latest metal. Other “boutique” style hypercar makers such as Hispano Suiza, Pininfarina and Touring Superleggera have also appeared this year.
After spending hours at the show looking at some of the best cars around, we’ve narrowed down our favorites. From meticulously restored classics to concept cars and resto-mods, here are the flagship cars of Salon Prive 2021.
It takes a brave builder to attempt to recreate, and better yet, a historic rally hero, but with the EVO37 Kimera did just that. In 1983, the Lancia 037 edged out the dreaded Audi Quattro to become the last two-wheel drive car to win the World Rally Championship, and cemented its place in rally folklore. The Kimera EVO37 is a tribute to the ’80s icon, with 500bhp, an even more muscular look and a price tag of £ 414,000.
Aston Martin Project Vantage
Most will recognize the Vantage moniker from Aston Martin’s entry-level sports car and a series of brutal V8-powered models from the 1970s. However, the name is also attached to one of the most important cars. in the history of the firm: the Aston Martin Project Vantage, which appeared in 1998.
The concept car was a glimpse into the brand’s future, featuring an F1-style paddle-shift gearbox, aluminum chassis, and a design that finally found its place with the Vanquish flagship three years later. Project Vantage planted the seed for the Aston Martins VH platform series that ran until 2019 and arguably saved the company.
Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Cliente
With only 10 copies, the Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti is one of the rarest and most sought-after models of the Italian brand. Built to replace the mid-engined 250 LM, which was banned from the GT sports car category in 1965, the Competizione Cliente is an alloy-bodied racing car that has stayed close to the standard car to ensure entry. in the racing class. The Competizione Clienti treatment included a lighter tubular frame, additional cooling fins and a more powerful Columbo V12 engine powered by six Weber carburetors.
McLaren F1 GTR
One of the hallmarks of the McLaren F1 is that it was first and foremost a road car. It was never designed to ride on the racetrack and so it was a pleasure to drive on the road. How then, did he achieve victory at Le Mans in 1995? With this: the McLaren F1 GTR. A more aggressive aerodynamic package, a stripped-down interior and a new suspension setup increased performance, despite FIA restrictions setting power below 600bhp. It was enough to cement F1’s place in motorsport history.
The Jaguar XJR 15 is somewhat of an unsung hero among the exotics of the ’90s, but it’s a model with all the hallmarks of a supercar icon. Only 53 examples of the XJR 15 were built by the company’s motorsport subsidiary, JaguarSport, and it is the first production road car made entirely of carbon fiber. Taking the Le Mans victorious XJR-9 as its base, the XJR 15 was designed as a road racing car, powered by a naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V12 engine and weighing just over a tonne.
In 1967, the Italian brand DeTomaso combined an exquisite bodywork designed by Giugaro and a thundering Ford V8 to a spectacular effect. Sitting motionless, the Mangusta (Italian for mongoose, a cobra-killer animal) is a symbol of contained aggression, with a wide, low stance, bulging hips, and a distinctive hinged engine hood. When turned on, the noise is the rage of the pure V8. The restoration of this particular car was completed a few hours before the start of the competition – the drive shafts were installed on the morning of the event.
Pagani Zonda F Clubsport
The arrival of the Pagani Zonda in 1999 sent shockwaves all the way to Maranello and Sant’Agata, and over its 18-year lifespan, the supercar competitor has been continuously tweaked and improved, to the point where it produced an incredible 750 hp in limited edition. form 760. However, the Zonda F Clubsport, released in 2005, is arguably the place to be.
The F Clubsport retains the clean lines of the original car, with a low rear spoiler and exposed carbon panels providing additional function. The main draw is the engine – the 7.3-liter V12 built by AMG produces 641 hp and goes through a six-speed manual gearbox, as opposed to the paddle unit found on newer cars.
Among the motorsport icons on display at this year’s Salon Privé is Derek Bell’s Porsche 962C, which he drove to victory at Le Mans in 1987. The 962, here painted in Rothman’s colors, was a pioneering car in terms of ground effect aerodynamics. , and remained competitive in the sports car racing scene a decade after its conception in 1984.
Ferrari 250 GTO
The Ferrari 250 GTO is arguably the pinnacle of classic sports car racing. Only 36 were built, and the front-engined V12 challenger won the FIA International GT Championship three years after the rebound, between 1962 and 1964. Two 250 GTOs are on display at Blenheim Palace this year, one of which is painted in a unique solid green paint color. Previously owned and flown by British privateer David Piper, chassis number 3767GT was reunited with its former driver at the show.
In creating the Speedster, renowned Jaguar E-Type specialist Eagle set out to improve on the British icon, while retaining its defining character. To that end, distinctive details such as the long hood, low waist, and streamlined headlights remain, but there is bespoke metal to emphasize the E-Type’s curvaceous body.
Under the skin, the Speedster uses a 4.7-liter straight-six producing 330 hp, with revised brakes and suspension – the blend of classic styling and premium modernization makes this one of the most desirable cars available. .
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