As far as tough Concours categories go, the Wind in Your Hair category at Salon Prive 2015 is up there with the best. Ferrari’s go head to head with a 300 SL Roadster and a stunning Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider. A Porsche 356 A T2 1500 Carrera GS Cabriolet was scheduled to make an appearance however, unfortunately, it did not turn up.
Ferrari built 200 Ferrari 275 GTS for the American market. Based upon the 275 GTB, it was intended to be more of a GT car than a flat out racer. It features the iconic 3.3 litre V12 engine with 260 bhp and a 150 mph top speed. It as launched alongside the 275 GTB at the Paris Motor Show 1964 as the replacement for the Ferrari’s Series II 250 GT PF Cabriolet.
The Jaguar E-Type Roadster is the iconic British convertible. A convertible class would be nothing without one! This particular example is a Series I car from late in the production run. It is a rare 1967 car without the headlight covers that the earlier cars used. It also features the uprated 4.2 litre engine fitted to the post 1964 cars.
Next is a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, owned by Brett Gage who won an award back in 2013 for his 1954 Bentley Type R Continental Fastback. The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster is the convertible version of the iconic Gullwing. Interestingly, the Roadster was never sold alongside the Gullwing, it essentially served as its replacement when it hit the market in 1957.
The 1963 Maserati 3500 GT Vignale Spyder is a car that is definitely ageing well. It was the first production Spyder to leave the Maserati production line with a shorter wheelbase than the Coupe version. Just 242 examples were produced with the design work carried out by legendary Italian coach builders Vignale.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé looks a little out of place in a class full of low slung sports cars. The opulence of the Silver Cloud definitely belongs at Blenheim Palace though! The Silver Cloud II was the first Rolls-Royce to feature a V8 engine, a 6.23 litre unit bolted to the ladder framed chassis. The factory never officially produced a convertible, this particular Drophead Coupe was adapted at the H.J. Mulliner coachworks in Chiswick as one of 107.
The Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Pininfarina Series II is one of around 212 Pininfarina-designed cars. The Series II featured a short nose and long rear overhang. Disc brakes helped to control the 240bhp V12 engine. The 250-series Ferrari was the company’s first mass production vehicle. Over 900 were sold, the Series II Cabriolet represents almost a quarter of the entire production run.
Based upon Fiat parts, the Cisitalia 202 SMM Nuvolari Spider is one of 20 similar cars. Cisitalia produced around 200 cars during its short-lived life time but the 202 SMM was by far the most successful. At the hands of Tazio Nuvolari, it led most of the 1947 Mille Miglia and narrowly missed out on the win after encountering problems in the rain towards to end. Its 1.1 litre Inline-4 produced around 60 bhp with a total weight of just 760 kg.
The Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider is one of our favourites in this class. Easily the most elegant Lancia badged car, the Aurelia B24 Spider is the first generation car. It features a 2.4 litre engine with 118 bhp. This particular example is one of 59 right hand drive cars, the ninth example built. It was recently subject to a restoration and features a tanned leather interior with a black exterior.
The Goldmanini is one of those obscure convertibles that really gets your heart racing. The Giovanni Michelotti design is stunning! It was constructed for the class G competition in SCCA races during the mid 1950’s although it never made it. It was taken off the road in 1956 and disassembled for storage. In 2011, the parts were purchased by a British owner and reconstructed by restoration specialists Thornley Kelham.
The final entrant in this class is a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California SWB which was recently restored by London specialists Joe Macari. We think this is the James Coburn car which Chris Evans bought for a record price at auction back in 2008. Even if it isn’t, it is a stunning highlight of the class. Rumours had been spreading that the car was sold during the show for a staggering £21 million.