I’ll take two, please.
After Thursday’s 29C heat, we could have been forgiven for thinking Friday would be sultry and hot. Unfortunately not. Emily and I splished and splashed our down St James’s to Marlborough House, to attend the second day of The St James’s Concours of Elegance in the gardens of Marlborough House.
Marlborough House is a 300 year-old Royal Palace designed by Sir Christopher Wren with a large high-walled garden set to lawn. (Apart from nearby Buckingham Palace, it is one of the largest gardens in Central London.) It’s a glorious setting in which to see sixty concours standard classic cars.
Concours d’Elégance date from 17th Century France where the aristocracy paraded their highly ornate horse-drawn carriages through the parks of Paris. In time, the carriages became horseless and the gatherings became a competitive ‘beauty pageant’ for automobile owners.
The success of a concours ultimately comes down to the excellence of the cars entered. The rarer and more significant the examples on show, the better the concours. A car’s history and provenance will not only make it more collectable but also make it more exciting to see on show.
In reality a concours is an exhibition of priceless art. Automotive sculptures that stand as a lasting testament to the brilliance of pioneering engineers, innovative designers and skilled coachbuilders.
If you are in London today, Saturday 7th September, the Concours is open to the public from 9.30am – 5.00pm. Attendees will be able to see the arrival of The Royal Automobile Club’s “Spirit of Motoring Tour”, and the arrival of 50 Lamborghinis in a Time-Line representing the 50th anniversary of the marque’s production. At 5pm, the ‘Grand Depart’ will take place, when all the cars will leave St James’s in convoy.
And then we splashed our way home in the rain, past St James’s Palace.