The Hampton Court Palace Concours 2017 was staged 1-3 September at the historic Hampton Court Palace, a royal palace situated on the Thames in London. The sixth annual Concours of Elegance event featured more than 60 automobiles from around the world displayed in the Fountain Gardens on the East side of the historic Hampton Court Palace.
Nearly 12,500 motoring enthusiasts flocked to the gardens of Hampton Court Palace for the largest Concours of Elegance yet. The quality of the cars on the show field was so impressive that to even be invited to attend was a triumph. Among them was the first car ever to emerge from coachbuilders, Frua, the Fiat 1100 Frua Spider and the Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Rollback.
Friday at the Palace saw the arrival of a selection of Jaguar’s D-Type Le Mans legends, finishing the 24 Hours race 60 years ago in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th. All podium-finishing cars arrived in convoy alongside D-type XKD 504, which went to Le Mans in 1955 and 1958, and XKD 605 which finished 6th at Le Mans in 1956. They will remain parked in the Palace for the duration of the Concours.
Best of Show at the Hampton Court Palace Concours 2017 was awarded to the Lancia Astura Aerodinamico Castagna. Its stunning aerodynamic body by the Italian coachbuilder, Castagna, was originally crafted for an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Lungo and was shown at the 1934 Milan Motor Show. In 1935, on instructions from Vittorio and Bruno Mussolini, sons of the Italian dictator, it was transferred to the shortened chassis of a V8-engined Lancia Astura Series II. The Mussolini brothers briefly raced the car under the banner of Scuderia Parioli.
The Royal Automobile Club also presented Prince Michael of Kent with the Spirit of Motoring Award this year for all he has done for the world of classic cars and motorsport, including his role as patron of Concours of Elegance. Winner of the ‘Spirit of the Tour’ — contested by cars on the pre-Concours Tour of Wessex — was Peter Briggs and the Bentley 3-Litre Le Mans, the first ever Bentley to race at Le Mans in 1923.
Outside of the main Concours of Elegance cars, nearly 1,000 other models parked at Hampton Court Palace for the weekend. A panel of judges, including HRH Prince Michael of Kent, chose a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Taj Mahal, originally owned by the Maharaja of Nabha. It features a larger fuel tank, a louvered bonnet and a special tropical electrical system, all specified for its first role in life as a demonstrator for the Bombay Rolls-Royce sales office. The Silver Ghost will now compete in the main Concours display at Concours of Elegance 2018.
Nearly 80 Jaguars were on display on Saturday, competing for the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Trophy. Led by Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, Tim Hannig, a panel of judges decided the car they would most want to take home, was a 1938 SS Jaguar 2.5-litre Drophead Coupe.
As ever with the Concours of Elegance, money was raised for the event’s chosen charity; this year Marie Curie. With this year’s donations of almost £200,000, the Concours of Elegance has now raised more than £1.2m for charity.
Similar to the 2012 Windsor Castle, 2013 St. James’s, 2014 Hampton Court, 2015 Holyroodhouse and 2016 Windsor Castle events, Sports Car Digest also documented the UK Concours of Elegance 2017, with Julien Mahiels producing the following images that show the wonderful cars and unique Palace setting.
Hampton Court Palace Concours 2017 – Photo Gallery (photos: Julien Mahiels)
The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from SportsCarDigest.com without express and written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SportsCarDigest.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
[Source: Concours of Elegance; photos: Julien Mahiels]