Concours of Elegance 2017 will mark a number of significant milestones for the automotive world, not least the 70th anniversary of the founding of Ferrari, quite possible the most evocative car firm in the world. It goes without saying that an array of Maranello’s finest will be there on the weekend, with some undoubted highlights being a Ferrari 342 America Pininfarina Speciale from 1952, an achingly pretty 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competitzione from 1960, and LaFerrari Aperta from 2016. Forza Ferrari indeed!
Of course Concours of Elegance isn’t just about Ferraris, and the show plays host to a bewildering array of machinery spanning the 1890s, right up to the modern era. With this in mind, here are 5 of the cars that we at Autoglym can’t wait to get our microfibers on. One of the most exciting cars slated to appear is also one of the oldest, an Aston Martin Cloverleaf. Most tend to think of the likes of the DB5 when asked to picture classic Astons, yet this pretty side-valve car was actually winning hillclimbs in the mid ‘20s, almost 40 years before Bond entered the picture.
Jumping forward a few years to 1934 we have the Tatra 77, a streamlined saloon powered by an air-cooled, rear-mounted 3.0 V8! This engine gave the Tatra unheard of performance for its time with a top speed of 90mph, helped by its aerodynamically efficient bodywork of course. It’s very hard to believe that the Tatra is as old as it is, certainly when you compare it to its more conservatively styled contemporaries.
Keeping with the aerodynamic theme, we can’t wait to get to grips with the striking Fiat 8V Supersonic, quite possible the coolest name for a car yet. Penned by Ghia in 1953, the Supersonic is quite clearly a product of the early jet age – squint, and you can see traces of F86 Sabre and MIG 15 in its swooping curves.
It isn’t all European exotica, not by a long chalk, and we can’t wait to get up close and personal with this Chevrolet Corvette 7 11 racer from 1963. Big, brash and ludicrously powerful, this generation of Corvette, the infamous Stingray, has gone down in automotive history as one of America’s finest. Any Stingray is a rare sight on this side of the pond, so the chance to get up close and personal with a race-spec example isn’t to be missed – we’ve already got the Rapid Detailer primed and ready.
Jaguar’s motorsport history is a long and glorious one, never more so than its Le Mans assaults. The most famous of these occurred in the late ‘80s under the fearsome Group C era, and one of the stars of the Jaguar race programme, the XJR-8, will be at Concours of Elegance. Powered by a screaming, 720bhp V12 with its roots in Jaguar’s famous road engine, the XJR-8 competed in the 1987 season, ultimately winning at Silverstone, Nurburgring and Spa, and scooping both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles – and depriving Porsche in the process.
Proving that Concours of Elegance is more than up to speed with the current trends of the hypercar world, the show will also host an example of the incredible McLaren P1 GTR, the spiritual successor to the mighty McLaren F1. A mere 40 examples of this 986bhp, £1.98million monster have been built, figures which well and truly assures its status as a bedroom wall icon of the highest order.
Concours of Elegance takes place at Hampton Court Palace from 1-3rd of September. Click through to learn more.