Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance – September 2012

With all the excitement of recent weeks focused on the Olympics and Paralympics, it is hard perhaps to remember that just a few short weeks ago, the nation was celebrating something else, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Although the main events in Her honour were focused around early June there have been others timed for the rest of the year, and the special one with a motoring theme has only just taken place in early September. Called the Windsor Castle Concours, this proved to be a splendid addition to an already rather congested calendar for the motoring enthusiast. Taking place over three days, the highlight was a special assembly of 60 particularly lovely cars, many of which had were shipped in specially for the event and several of which had not been seen before in the UK. These cars were housed in the Upper Ward Quadrangle, the first time that cars and indeed the public had been given access to this area. This was just the start, though, with displays then coming out of the castle and along the Long Mile, there was lots to see. Tickets were £35, which is a lot by the standards of most events even these days, but trust me, it was well worth the money as there were some truly awesome machines on show.


Although there had been an idea that 60 special machines would be chosen, each from a different year of the Queen’s reign, in the end, I think an even more stunning display was achieved by simply coming up with a list of cars and getting them to the venue. Not all the cars were in Concours condition, which seemed to puzzle a few of the visitors, but many were and quite a few were making their first appearance after lengthy and costly restoration work. In the true spirit of a Concours, there was an overall winner. Study these cars and see if you can decide which it might be.

When compiling the report, I found the official list of entrants, but that – slightly surprisingly – I did not have photos of everything in the Concours. I have pesented the complete list here, so you can see the quality of the event.
1896 Panhard et Levassor Private Omnibus
1904 Lenawee Rear-Entrance Touring Tonneau

1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Tourer
1914 Sunbeam Tourist Trophy
1918 Straker-Squire X/2 Prototype
1924 Vauxhall 30-98 Type OE Boattail Wensum Tourer
1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Jonckheere Coupé – normally resident in the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, this car created a huge amount of interest, thanks in no small part to those unique round doors
1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK Corsica Drophead Coupé
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Barker Open Tourer
1930 Bentley Gurney-Nutting Speed Six Tourer
1931 Bentley 4½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower Bentley’
1931 Daimler Double-Six 50 Sport Corsica Drophead Coupé
1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale ‘Kellner’ Coupé
1932 Bentley 8 Litre Tourer
1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider
1932 Cadillac V-16 Fisher Convertible Coupe
1933 Delage D8S de Villars Roadster
1933 Duesenberg Model SJ Beverly Berline by Murphy
1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Gurney Nutting Sedanca Drophead Coupé
1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 LM Spyder Le Mans
1935 Frazer Nash Twin Supercharged ‘Shelsley’
1935 Avions Voisin C-25 Berline Aérodyne
1935 Squire 1500 Markham Roadster Short Chassis ‘Skimpy’
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster
1936 Delahaye 135S
1937 Lagonda LG45 Rapide Tourer
1937 Bentley 4¼ Litre Vesters & Neirinck Fixed Head Coupé
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Corto Touring Spider
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta
1938 Delahaye V12 Type 145 – shipped over by Peter Mullin, from his collection of fabulous pre-war French cars
1938 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
1938 Bentley 4¼ Litre ‘Embiricos’ Pourtout Coupé
1939 Horch 853A Cabriolet
1939 SS100 Jaguar
1939 AC 16/90
1947 Bristol 400 Pinin Farina Drophead
1950 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta
1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic
1953 Maserati A6GCS Pinin Farina Berlinetta

1953 Jaguar XK ‘C Type’ 053 Lightweight
1954 Austin-Healey ‘Works’ 100S
1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé ‘Gullwing’
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Pinin Farina Spider
1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
1956 Ferrari 250GT Zagato Berlinetta
1956 Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti Spider 0626
1956 Aston Martin DB3S/9
1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa TR58 Scaglietti
1957 Jaguar XKSS
1957 BMW 507 – this one is the property of John Surtees
1958 Bentley Continental S Type H J Mulliner
1959 Maserati Tipo 60 ‘Birdcage’
1961 Jaguar E-Type Roadster ‘77 RW’
1961 Ferrari SWB Berlinetta
1963 AC Cobra 289
1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Berlinetta
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO Series 1
1968 Ford GT40 MKIII – an almost unique car, one of very few Mark III made, and although the owner is American, he said that it has never yet left the UK
1972 Lamborghini Miura SV
The Concours winner? Almost invidious to have to pick an overall winner, but the judges did and the prize went to the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta.
Centrepiece of the Concours area were a number of vehicles from the Royal Collection, which included a couple of Rolls Royce Phantom, an Alvis that belonged to HRH Prince Philip and the famous Aston Martin DB6 Volante of Prince Charles.

Approaching the Upper Ward Quadrangle, there was a splendid assembly of British cars from the beginnings of motoring, to a few recent models,, with several really rare machines included among the collection.


The owner of this lovely 4.3 litre car said that he bought it for £5. It was quite a long time ago, but even so, the prescience of his purchase now must look rather good as these cars are worth around £200,000. It was joined by a Speed 20.


Several Astons including the recent Vanquish and one of its antecedents, the V8 Vantage


No display of significant British cars would be complete without an Austin Seven or two, and sure enough, they were represented.


Among the display were a Derby model from the 1930s, an R Type, a “chinese eye” Silver Cloud 3 Convertible, and a Brooklands.

Bentley also had a showing of cars from the current range, and these were joined by one of the 2003 Le Mans Speed 8 racing cars.

This is a one off 406S Zagato which was used by Tony Crook for many years, during which time he exceeded 100,000 miles.

Other Bristol models included a 410 and a 401

The Sovereign was Daimler’s version of the Jaguar 420, and lived on until the replacement car with the same name based on the XJ6 was launched. This is one of the last cars made. .


An original GT40


Looking like a BMW 319, this was the UK importer, Frazer Nash’s version of the car.


There were examples of the current range on show, with the bright blue XKR-S attracting particular attention.

Lots of lovely Jaguars including a C Type, both an XK120 and XK150 and various E types.
This splendid Mark VII is from the Royal Collection.

An early 110 model, this one was the property of Her Majesty.


A couple of Elan and an early Elise accompanied an early Seven.


A duo of the latest MP4-12C cars were joined by a Formula 1 machine.


Luckily, there was an information plaque to enlighten as to what this car is. Called the Transformable, it was built in 1949 on a Riley 2.5 litre chassis by Walter Koeng, who had ideas of making a small series of these cars. This is the only one produced and it has been in Switzerland all its life until very recently. If you spot a link to the styling of the first Corvette, with the curves on the front wings and doors, then this is no accident and the same stylist was engaged on both designs.


The modern Phantom Drophead really is a massive machine indeed. It dwarfed pretty much everything else in this display.




A duo of early cars


This is a very rare example of the last car badged Wolseley, the short lived version of the 18-22 Series that had no model name in Wolseley guise, and which morphed into the Princess just 6 months after launch. This is believed to be the youngest Wolseley in the world.


Parked up along both sides of the Long Mile were an array of other interesting vehicles, thanks for the sterling efforts of a number of Owners Clubs. These could be browsed for free, as they were outside the ticket and security point, and indeed were a welcome diversion when the gates opened and a long queue formed of people waiting to get into the main event.


The Aston Martin display started with a 2012 V12 Zagato model, and then had one car for each year dating all the way back to the 1960s, before accepting that there were more cars to show than years to represent, so towards the end of the line, many years were more than duplicated.

Modern generation
Virage generation
Sole example of the 1980s V8 Zagato was this very rare convertible.
Among the DBS and V8 cars were a couple of very special vehicles indeed. The ochre coloured 1970 DBS starred in “The Persuaders” and the stars have signed the underside of the bootlid. The car was privately owned by someone who took good care of it, and took a lot of persuading (!) to sell it, but the current owner was finally able to acquire it a few years ago, with the promise that he would also preserve this special vehicle. Also among the more commonly seen V8 coupes, Volantes and Vantages was an example of the 4 door Lagonda model which Aston premiered in 1974 of which only a few were made before the company went into administration and had to be rescued.

Pre-war cars

R Type
The first Continental
Among the Silver Cloud cars were examples of the “standard” saloon bodies in S1 and S3 guise as well as some the coachbuilt Flying Spur and some Coupes.
T Type
The Mulsanne generation
The modern Bentley


There were plenty of E Types of every generation in both Roadster and Coupe format.
There were examples of most saloon type Jaguars from the popular Mark 2, to the gigantic 420G and XJ cars of every generation from the 1968 model through the more XJ8 and XJ cars.
The XJS is now appreciated for what it is, a modern classic and there were several models, mostly Convertibles at this event.

275 GTB

330 GTC and GTS
246GT Dino
308 Dino
308/328 GTB/GTS
There were a good number of 360/430 as you would expect, since this is the most numerous Ferrari on our roads these days. The display included a couple of the 16M cars.
Among the various 550/575 cars was an example of both the SuperAmerica and the Barchetta.
612 Scaglietti
458 Italia

Not affiliated with a large car club gathering as such were also these lovely machines


A 3.0CSL and a lovely 3.0Si E3 car were the highlights from this Bavarian marque.


A duo of Cortina (Mark 1 and 2) were joined by a small selection of Capri models.


There were only a couple of Lamborghinis, including this Diablo.


This MP4-12C was parked up among the Ferraris.



An example of the slightly gawky Scimitar SST


Surprisingly few Royces at the event, though there were a couple of Silver Shadows.



I know that the Queen will not have a Jubilee every year, but I really do hope that she will graciously allow an event like this to be staged again at Windsor Castle. A combination of the setting, the cars and the weather (as you can see from the amount of stay glare in the photos for which I apologise now!) meant that this was one of the highlights of the year.
2012-09-30 13:28:22

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