Sunday 29 September 2013

St James’s Concours of Elegance 2013 was a Stunning Success with in excess of £250,000 raised for charity

St James's Concours of Elegance at London's Marlborough House Gardens
Photo Credit Tim Scott @ Fluid Images

The UK’s Concours of Elegance took place on September 5-7, 2013 in St James’s, Central London. Sixty-one of the world’s rarest motor cars – many of them never seen before in this country – graced the gardens of 300-year old Royal palace Marlborough House.

Lead by Royal patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent driving the 1933 Napier-Railton 24 litre Special (see below), and with the oldest dating from 1907, nearly all of the cars in the Concours were driven - in a spectacular convoy from Buckingham Palace down The Mall - by their owners into the gardens on the opening morning.

Over 6000 visitors attended the Concours with thousands more lining The Mall to watch the ‘Grand Depart’ on the closing day.

Clive Beecham, owner of the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Pinifarina NART Spyder, commented:  
“I had a thoroughly enjoyable time and loved being able to talk cars for three days … the opportunity to drive down The Mall is something that will long live in my memory. The spectacle Thorough Events puts on is such a privilege for those of us fortunate enough to be invited.”

On the Saturday, visitors enjoyed the Royal Automobile Club’s ‘Spirit of Motoring' display of 35 cars, together with a line-up of Lamborghinis celebrating the marques 50th anniversary. Members of the Aston Martin Owners Club, Bentley Drivers Club, Jaguar Drivers Club, Ferrari Owners Club, Bristol Owners Club, Barkham and District Classic Car Club also joined in the celebrations.

HRH Prince Michael of Kent leads the convoy of
Concours cars - Photo Credit Tim Scott @ Fluid Images
Best in Show
As its name suggests, a traditional concours would normally include a judging panel briefed to scrutinise each entry and select a ‘winning’ car. Not so at the Concours of Elegance whose organisers – Thorough Events - maintained that if a car had been invited to the Concours, it was already a winner!

However, the owners of the Concours cars were asked to vote for the car they would ‘most like to drive home in’ and thereby selected the ‘Best of Show’. The winner of the St James’s Concours of Elegance Trophy 2013 is Mr Bruce McCaw with his 1930 Bentley Speed-Six Gurney Nutting Sportsman Coupé.

John Bentley, Chair of the Thorough Events Steering Committee, said: 
“The Pullman Trophy is chosen by the international owners who had each brought a world-class car, so winning is a real recognition of the Bentley’s historic significance and popular appeal. As a British Concours held in the grounds of a Royal palace, it was obviously satisfying that an English car won. We are extremely grateful to its owner, Mr Bruce McCaw who came from Seattle to attend the event.”

Commissioned by South African diamond heir Woolf Barnato (1895-1948), one of the finest drivers among the ‘Bentley Boys’ and three time Le Mans winner, the Speed Six is the model considered by many to be the peak of Bentley perfection: a driver’s car with superb handling, speed and reliability, and looks that perfectly expressed the gentleman sportsman.

Bruce McCaw added: 
“Receiving the Best of Show Award was beyond my wildest expectations. The Bentley 'Blue Train' Speed Six Gurney Nutting Coupé is indeed a special vehicle. While I can take no credit for its design, or even its restoration, I am proud to be its current custodian and to be able to bring it back for a rare appearance in its homeland. I am happy the car was so appreciated and well received.

“To depart the Concours with HRH Prince Michael of Kent at the wheel was a thrill and honour beyond description. His passion and motoring skills are legendary and I admired witnessing them first-hand.”

The 'Pullman Trophy' is based on the Concours’ Pegasus logo, made of highly polished aluminium mounted on a plinth of wood from a walnut tree from the Windsor Great Park.

A Major Fundraising Event
The key objective of the annual Concours of Elegance is to be a highly successful fundraising initiative and this year’s event supported charities working in the field of cancer care, research and support. Funds raised by the 2013 Concours of Elegance are again in excess of £250,000 and are being split between Marie Curie Cancer Care, Pilotlight, Rosetrees Trust and Action on Bladder Cancer.

Limited edition Concours of Elegance posters and St James’s Concours of Elegance Souvenir Catalogues are available.

Please visit to view the full image Gallery.

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