The inaugural Salon Prive 2015 Prestige & Performance Concours will be of most interest to GTspirit readers, it includes the very best hypercars on the market today. It is a Saturday-only event so far and is separated from the main concours which takes place on the rear lawn of Blenheim Palace.
As with the regular concours, the entrants are divided into categories, with each category getting a winner and runner up. There are some exciting classes here featuring everything from the rare Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina to the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. Some of our favourites include models by Pagani and Koenigsegg
The first category honours the Ferrari 308 GTB. It has been 40 years since the first example rolled off the production line. With a production run between 1975 and 1985, the 308 GTB replaced the Dino 246 as a mid-engined, two-seater V8. Designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti, it is famed for its use of glass-reinforced plastic body panels.
As a result, the Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina was gifted a low 1,050 kg kerb weight, although models built after June 1977 received steel bodywork instead, lifting the weight by a further 150 kg. From 1982, the 308 quattrovalvole was produced with a four-valve per cylinder engine and 240 hp. The cars on display at Salon Prive are mostly early examples of the GTB and Vetroresina. Just 712 examples of the fibreglass bodied cars were produced.
The next category is named “Built for Speed” and gathers together some very special examples from the mainstream supercar brands. Included within this category is the Lamborghini Aventador, the Ferrari 599 GTO, the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale and the Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0. Our favourite is the tailor made Ferrari 458 Speciale which features Italian design flags in the side vents and down the middle.
“Feel the Breeze” celebrates open-top motoring with a collection of the very best supercars. This class includes the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, the Ferrari 550M Barchetta, the BMW Z8 and the Ferrari Superamerica. One of the most exclusive cars in this category is the Ferrari 599 SA Aperta, one of just 80 examples using the same engine as the GTO.
Next up is the Pre-Millennium Supercars. We’ve been walking past a few of these cars over the last two days. They include an incredible Bugatti EB110 SS and a Lamborghini Diablo GT. A BMW M1 has also been added to the line up, one of 453. Another notable entrant is the Jaguar XJ220 S, fettled by TWR. Almost every panel has been replaced with carbon fibre, it is one of six road-going examples.
10 years of Bugatti Veyron production is also celebrated this year with a three model category. The entrants include Lord Pembroke’s standard black Bugatti Veyron and another early Bugatti Veyron. A Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse was also listed as part of this category, it which has been sitting outside the palace for the weekend and was still sitting there today while the concours took place.
“Grace and Pace” celebrates the more affordable, entry-level supercars. This category is hotly contested by the Alfa Romeo 4C, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and the Jaguar F-Type Coupe. The VW XL1 is a surprise inclusion, as is the Cadillac Courier; we’ve never seen one before!
The penultimate class is names “Road & Race”. Four cars are included within this category, its pretty easy to guess the theme! The KTM X-Box is the first example, followed by the first customer Radical RXC 500, the BAC Mono and the Lotus 340R.
Finally, we have the big category; named “Blink and it’s Gone”, this includes all manner of hypercars from the biggest names. The headline entrants were due to be the current Hypercar trio; the Porsche 918 Spyder, the McLaren P1 and the LaFerrari. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, all three failed to show. Fortunately a stand-in white LaFerrari did its duty while a smattering of Porsche 918 Spyder’s stood in the parking outside.
Similarly, the Koenigsegg One:1 had been billed to take part in the concours but remained in the VIP section and therefore, didn’t form part of the competition. Still, the red Pagani Zonda Roadster was a welcome site.
For road-legal racing fans, there is a road-legal Ferrari Enzo FXX, a Maserati MC12 Stradale and a McLaren F1 GTR. The car that eventually won was a white LaFerrari (we think – it was difficult to hear the announcements), despite the fact that it turned up very late! The people’s choice award was won by the red Pagani Zonda Roadster. The award was accepted by the owner alongside Horacio Pagani!
The Concours competition wasn’t the only action today either. An entirely different motor show was available for all to see on the lawns outside the palace gates. Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s and Aston Martin’s gathered. Later on, a group of Pagani’s arrived fresh from yesterday’s Pagani UK launch together with a Porsche 918 Spyder and a Ferrari F40.
Man, you UK folks sure are lucky to have a show like this! Wish we had one here in the US!