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Why this year’s Salon Privé has been the best edition yet

A relaxed automotive garden party set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Salon Privé is an event which keeps getting better and better. We’re proud to play an integral part…

Full credit to Andrew and David Bagley and their talented team – we reckon this year’s Salon Privé (which, by the way, is far from over) is the best edition yet. Our very own Max Girardo was once again invited to compere the Concours d’Elegance, which comprises a wonderfully diverse selection of more than 100 top-tier collector cars.

Standout entrants for us include the Lindner Nocker 1963 Jaguar E-type Lightweight, which we were honoured to source for one of our clients late last year, the beautifully opulent Mercedes-Benz 540Ks, and the beguilingly original Aston Martin DB2/4. The latter was entered by its original owner in the Monte-Carlo Rally in the 1960s. Decades later, the owner’s son tracked the car down, bought it back and entered it in the historic Monte-Carlo Rally. That’s what it’s all about!

In what was a fantastic moment on Wednesday afternoon, the famous privateer racing driver David Piper was reunited with the striking green Ferrari 250 GTO he raced so extensively in the 1960s. Max interviewed David on stage and we were rewarded with some fantastic anecdotes about his time with the incredibly special car.

Unbelievably, there was a second Ferrari 250 GTO present – Lord Anthony Bamford’s ex-Maranello Concessionaires 1964 model. In the metal this car is utterly glorious. There are so many small details that are so easy to miss – take the discreet spoiler integrated into the rear aerofoil, for example.

This second GTO formed part of what was arguably the most impressive display of the event – a large circle of exceptional cars all painted red. From the Scuderia Filipinetti Porsche 904 to the McLaren F1 road car ordered new by racing legend Mario Andretti, it was an assembly we could spend several days ogling on its own.

That said, the Concours d’Elegance is just the beginning. Max and Alex contested Tour Privé on Tuesday. A 90-mile jaunt through the heart of the Cotswolds, it was an opportunity to give the 1963 Porsche 356 B Carrera 2 we’re currently offering for sale a solid run out – what a magnificent little car, with far more grunt than its dainty looks would lead you to believe.

New to Salon Privé this year is the addition of rally cars, a feature with which we were naturally only too happy to help. It’s a fitting move from the organisers given Blenheim Palace once hosted a stage of the RAC Rally.

We are exhibiting ‘W25 SRT’, the Subaru Impreza WRC 2000 in which Richard Burns won the 2000 Network Q Rally of Great Britain, as part of the line-up celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Brit’s World Rally Championship victory. Coincidentally, it’s parked alongside the ex-Burns 2001 Peugeot 206 WRC Evo 2 we recently sold to its current owner.

On Sunday, Max will be tearing from Blenheim’s North Gate to the Great Vanbrugh Bridge in our 1992 Citroën ZX Rallye-Raid, as part of the inaugural ‘Hill Sprint’. Sunday is the only day of Salon Privé completely open to the public, so if you’re available and in the vicinity, this is a very rare opportunity to see a glorious assembly of Group B, Group A and WRC machinery in action. Come and say hi!

Photos: Robert Cooper for Girardo & Co.

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