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Salon Privé Concours 2024 at Blenheim Palace to be held on 28-31 August

Excitement is building for the 2024 edition of the famous Salon Privé Concours presented by Aviva at Blenheim Palace on 28-31 August – with the organisers delighted to confirm yet more international entries flocking to the world-class concours event.

Some of the biggest entries so far will arrive on Blenheim’s lawns from North America this August. With a Class-based concours system, professional judging by the International Chief Judge Advisory Group (ICJAG) and the world’s finest entertainment programme, this year’s Salon Privé Concours is set to eclipse any before it.

As ever, the 30-strong judging team, led by Chairman Nigel Matthews, will judge the 75 carefully curated entries over the course of two days, ensuring the Best of Show car is simply that, the most perfectly presented and authentic motor car among its peers.

Some headline cars have already been confirmed, one such being a remarkable US-built 1923 Springfield Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall, which will travel from North America to Blenheim Palace, fresh from receiving Best-in-Class honours at the 2024 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Following its most recent restoration which commenced in 2022, it made its debut at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was named second in class and winner of the Ansel Adams Special Award for the Most Desirable Touring Car in its Era.

1923 Rolls Royce Springfield Silver Ghost Pall Mall

The Springfield Silver Ghosts were assembled from kits shipped from England to the plant in Massachusetts. However, by adding American vendors and expanding its manufacturing capabilities, the facility grew in stature – even managers from Derby rated Springfield cars the equal of those from the UK. A few even said they were superior.

This car was delivered in 1924 to Penn Motors of Philadelphia, which used it for two years as demonstrator and ‘trials’ car. It was sold to its first owner in 1926, who returned it in 1928 for recommissioning with Pall Mall Tourer livery. By chance, a 1921 Pall Mall body was available, and the car has existed in this configuration ever since. It has had several restorations from the 1960s onwards and retains its exact original specification for the highest level of technical accuracy.

1926 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8AS Fleetwood Roadster

Another motor car making its journey to Salon Privé Concours from the US is a striking Isotta Fraschini 8AS Fleetwood Roadster built for 1920s Hollywood heartthrob Rudolph Valentino. A keen automobile aficionado, he commissioned it through New York distributor Ugo d’Annunzio’s Isotta Motors, but sadly never got to see it – he died suddenly aged 31 from a misdiagnosed perforated ulcer. His car was nevertheless shown at the 1926 New York Auto Salon, and then put on display in the front window of Isotta Motors, to be admired by crowds of mourning fans.

Since then, the Fleetwood Roadster has been treasured and has won numerous Best of Show competitions across North America. It is a two-time Best-in-Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and won Best of Show at the 2019 Audrain Newport Concours. Enjoying an exceptional and thoroughly researched restoration by RM Auto Restoration, it is described as the most iconic and significant surviving Isotta Fraschini.

1952 Jaguar XK120 Supersonic by Ghia

This is followed by a one-of-three 1952 Jaguar XK120 ‘Supersonic’ Coupe with coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia. A rare Jaguar XK120 supplied in bare chassis guise, it was one of two originally ordered by the French Jaguar importer, Royal-Elysees, for a Lyonnaise businessman, a Monsieur Malpelli. This red Supersonic’s blue sister car resides in France, while the whereabouts of the third car are unknown.

This striking car was exhibited at the Paris and London Motor Shows in 1954, and then took part in the Concours d’Elegance competitions in Montreux and Cannes. Following the mysterious disappearance of Monsieur Malpelli, it was retrieved by Royal-Elysees and remained with the company until 1969. The car was later displayed in a French museum dedicated to special-bodied Jaguars. In 1994, it was sold, restored, and won first prize at the 1996 Louise Vuitton Concours in Paris.

The current owner commissioned Strada e Corsa in The Netherlands for a painstaking mechanical and cosmetic restoration, with panels and paintwork completed by Cremonini in Cremona, Italy. It was then presented at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza and is described by the owner as “an impressive piece of art in automotive design” that Salon Privé Concours guests will be able to inspect this August in the fitting surroundings of Blenheim Palace.

“The global collector interest in our Salon Privé Concours is at an all-time high” said Concours Chairman Andrew Bagley. “With a concours experience like no other, including our new jet centre kick-off MotorAvia at London Oxford Airport, 2024 entrants are in for an amazing three-day extravaganza at Blenheim Palace.”

“With our 13 car classes now confirmed, the final rare and exciting entries will be announced over the coming month.”

We have pleasure in confirming the Salon Privé Concours classes for the 19th edition as follows:

  • Pre-War Open
  • Pre-War Closed/Elegance
  • Post-War Open
  • Post-War Closed International
  • Post-War Closed British
  • Sports Racer
  • Ferrari Classiche
  • Ferrari – Celebration of 60th Anniversary of Ferrari 275
  • Bugatti – From Grand Prix to Grand Touring
  • Porsche ‘Rennsport’
  • Inspiring Greatness – 120 Years of Rolls-Royce
  • Legendary Liveries
  • Supercar Icons pre-2004

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