We've just returned from the Concours of Elegance and the sublime setting of Hampton Court in London, the palace was the perfect backdrop for the automotive excellence event which ran for three days including the Friday which was owners day followed by two public days.
We attended the Friday, setting off from the Lake District at around 6am and headed up to London in our Volvo V40 review car whilst seeing how this executive hatchback coped on the motorway and the metropolis of London. Arriving at just before 11.00am we were directed to park on a field adjacent to the Palace, we made our way to Hampton Court Palace where we were met by the influence associates media team given our wristbands and headed into the Concours of elegance as soon as we entered the courtyard we were met by a vista of automotive beauty.
The 1st day in any type of event like this is a rather quiet affair, a day where one can smooze with the cars owners, and learn more about these wonderful works of art, in addition you meet some true enthusiasts of these rare magnificent automobiles.
With in moments of entering the Palace we were met by the rumble of five 1950's Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D Type models as they started their journey towards the court yard, rolling up the gravel you could smell the petroleum as it infused with racing oil and adrenalin, the D Types came to rest just in front of the fountain in a five car formation all primed ready for the media.
The Concours of Elegance caters for everything automotive from the modern day hypercars through to the early vintage models of old, with each area sporting a different theme, the Harry's garage, a display showcasing cars featured by Harry Metcalf the famous former owner of Evo magazine and Youtube channel Harry's Garage. We met with Harry and had a few words about the last time we met at JLR at FOS 2017 we also discussed JLR Classics, a service which caters in restoring classic vehicles - Range Rovers, Jags etc. Harry introduced us to Tim who showed us a white Range Rover which we mistakenly thought had been restored however and it turned out to be original. You couldn't tell through looking it was absolutely immaculate the only giveaway which Michael picked up on was the aroma from the interior, you could smell the velour.
Opposite Jaguar Land Rover, HR Owen were showcasing an array of cars, a place where you can purchase yourself a new Ferrari we met a lovely young lady who demo'd the 488 and the Ferrari Aperta a 2.1 million pound Italian hypercar. If you're a lover of cars this is the ideal place to visit the event oozes opulence and class, a place where you can experience the finer things in life including many a luxurious ware the including bespoke hats and garments.
However we were there to see the finest cars in Great Britain, and that wasn't a problem every where you looked were vehicles from Pagani, Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Mercedes, Bentley even the Jaguar CX 75 was on show. There were many highlights including two Zagato coachbuilt cars one being an Aston Martin DBZ the other being Bentley Continental, both stood out due to the bespoke designer Zagato and his unique radical deisgns, charismatic vintage era styling with Signature styles including the sweeping yet swooped roofline and coachbuilt modifications including bespoke wheel arches, lenses the infamous Z motif and luxury accents.
Whether your into German, French or even American cars there is something for everybody including rare models that include the Corvette Stingray, P1 GTR and Mercedes 300 SL we had the chance to speak to Stanley Morgan Bentley, Karen explained the origins of the cars and about the model that they had on display at Concours in which HRH Michael of Kent would be driving the car round the venue.