The 2018 Salon Privé Opens Its Gates To A Wealth Of The World’s Finest Motor Vehicles
Blenheim Palace 30 August: Salon Privé, firmly established as one of the longest-running and most successful motoring events in the UK, opened its doors today – Thursday 30 August – for the first of three days as Britain’s most exclusive automotive Garden Party. This year’s prestigious event marks a particularly special milestone as Salon Privé relocates to the foot of Blenheim Palace to become the first event ever to be located on the Palace’s famous Cricket Pitch.
Visitors to the first day of the 13th edition of Salon Privé were able to savour an exceptional world-class collection of automotive glamour and royalty adorning the stunning Blenheim Palace lawns, the long-term home to Salon Privé, following the announcement earlier this year that His Grace, The 12th Duke of Marlborough, has become the event’s official Patron. After just one day, the 2018 Salon Privé is already proving once again to be an automotive garden party like no other; a must-attend event where the best of the best reside for three days of high-brow shoulder rubbing and car-talk.
First day Salon Privé guests were able to soak-up the event’s unique, relaxed atmosphere and stunning Palace backdrop, whilst admiring many of the finest motor cars and bikes in the world. More than 50 cars, 17 of them international entries, and 20 motorcycles were judged during the day in the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance by an expert panel of 17 judges, the Concours committee was chaired by the distinguished five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE.
The exceptional Concours comprised of three motorcycle and ten car classes, including ‘Preservation at its Best’; ‘Pre-war Bugattis’; ‘Pre-war Luxury Tourers’; ‘Grand Tourers of the 1950s & ’60s’; ‘Wind in Your Hair’; ‘Best of British at Blenheim Palace’; ‘Streamlined Closed Sports Cars’; ’50 Years of the Dino’; ‘Supercars of the ’70s’ and ‘Competition Cars’, with the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance winners set to be announced tomorrow; Friday 31st August.
In addition to the prestigious Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance, Salon Privé visitors could admire many of the finest, and fastest, modern supercars and hypercars, some being seen in public on British shores for the very first time, just as they will be able to over the coming days of the event.
These included the new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, making its European debut at the Blenheim Palace event. With 770 bhp and 720 Nm of torque at 6,750 rpm, the Aventador SVJ is Lamborghini’s most powerful, naturally-aspirated V12 ever produced: SV standing for ‘super veloce’ meaning superfast, and the ‘Jota’ suffice referencing the car’s potency on both track and road. The Santa Agata marque’s new Urus SUV was also on display to admire.
A UK debut on the first day of the 2018 Salon Privé was the extreme Dendrobium D-1 electric hypercar, officially presented in public for the first time, with headline specification targets of 1,800 bhp; 2,000 NM and a weight of just 1,750 kgs. Salon Privé was chosen for the D-1’s debut because of the sheer prestige of the event and the ability to engage one-to-one with potential clients, key industry figures and business people.
Brabham Automotive also joined Salon Privé for the first time this year to proudly present its new high-performance Brabham BT62 supercar. Central to the impressive Aston Martin Works display at Blenheim Palace was the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, combining British heritage and engineering with Italian coachbuilding expertise and style.
Rolls-Royce Motors Cars also chose Salon Privé, the UK’s most exclusive automotive event, to showcase in person its first SUV model, the imposing new Rolls-Royce Cullinan. H.R. Owen Bugatti, the UK’s official Bugatti dealership presented the spectacular Bugatti Chiron in fully exposed black carbon fibre with a tangerine interior.
After a gap of a few years, and now under new ownership, the German sports car Wiesmann marked its return to bespoke sports car manufacturing at Salon Privé with a display of two of its V8 powered Heritage Editions, a GTMF5 Coupe and an MF4 Roadster.
Bentley Motors returned to Blenheim for the third year with a spectacular bespoke display featuring three of its latest models, a special Continental GT with Mulliner Driving specification, a Mulsanne Speed and a Bentayga W12 in Dragon Red II with Black specification. Across the lawn, The Bentley Drivers’ Club presented five very special models in a pre-emptive celebration of next year’s 100 Year Bentley Centenary milestone, including a 1929 4 ½-litre “The Grey Lady” saloon, a 1930 4 ½-litre Blower Bentley and a 2015 GT3-R, the road-going version of Bentley’s winning GT car and rare, with only 300 ever built.
First day Salon Privé guests were also able to admire a unique heritage display of Honda NSX models, from the marque’s earliest mid-engined supercar, through to the current model, both in static and active forms, with the Hondas lapping the pristine Blenheim Palace grounds.
The first product of Group Renault’s revived sporting Alpine marque, the new Alpine A110 in its comfort-orientated ‘Légende’ format was not only presented for Salon Privé guests be able to admire, but also experience first-hand, with Alpine offering test-drives throughout all three days of the event. All of the other supercars and hypercars already highlighted will also be present at Blenheim Palace throughout the remaining two days of the 2018 Salon Privé.