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Concours of Elegance returns home for Queen’s 90th birthday

March 30, 2016

Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle


Britain's Concours of Elegance is making changes and highlighting national heritage as it prepares to celebrate more than a homecoming.

The event will take place in Windsor Castle for the first since the event’s inauguration in 2012 and will also celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday. A homecoming, a national tie-in and of course a large and diverse selection of automobiles will ensure the event maintains its status as one of the world’s premiere classic car events.

"We will have vehicles from across the history of the motor car – all extremely rare or significant – and from the world's most legendary brands and coach builders including Ferrari, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Touring Superleggera and Pininfarina," said Luke Madden, account manager, influence associates at Concours of Elegance. "Cars will be coming from all corners of the globe and many will be on display in the UK for the very first time.

"Outside of the 60 main Concours cars we will have special features, including a showcase of a significant car from each decade of Her Majesty The Queen's 90 years," he said. "We will also have an exhibit of all the latest supercars and hypercars, and we're planning a special exhibit of cars from 1926 – the year of the very first British GP and the year of Her Majesty's birth."

Initiated to mark 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, Concours of Elegance was originally held in Windsor Castle. It quickly became a renowned classic car event and has grown each year while maintaining its distinction via careful selection, but its venue has changed repeatedly.

Concours of Elegance Windsor Castle 2012

Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle

Over the course of the homecoming weekend, almost 1,000 cars will be on display, the largest crop yet. A selection of cars from 1926, the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s birth, will be on display, and a new lawn feature will highlight the latest supercars by brands including Ferrari, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Aston Martin.

Furthering the celebration of Her Majesty The Queen, some of the top car clubs in the UK will make an appearance, each bringing 90 of their finest vehicles, and a spotlight an important car from each decade of the past 90 years.

Other vehicles will have direct ties to the Royal Family. A six-horsepower 1900 Daimler, originally purchased by King Edward VII, the first member of the family to ride in an automobile, will be on display.

A national tie-in such as the diamond jubilee celebration will help Concours of Elegance stand out from other car shows and will also reflect positively on many of the brands showing.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO

In addition to the royal celebration, highlights include the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that Graham Hill raced at the Goodwood Tourist Trophy and a Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Spyder, a hand-crafted Alfa Romeo 8C. In addition to the Ferrari, Spyder and 1900 Daimler, 57 vehicles will have the spotlight shone on them.

The event will also host the RAC Club Trophy, Jaguar Trophy and Bentley Trophy, with those brands joining the other luxury automakers on display at the show.

This year’s event will take place Sept. 2-4 and offer a Friday “Members” ticket Sept. 2, including VIP parking, a souvenir catalogue, Champagne, refreshments and access to the Member’s Marquee. In the past, the first day of the event has been closed to the public.

Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Spyder

Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Spyder

Tickets begin at only £25, or $36, meaning that car enthusiasts of all ages will be able to attend.

New cars in town
It is common for British brands to celebrate Her Majesty’s The Queen’s anniversaries or other landmark events.

British heritage brands joined in the festivities as Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in the United Kingdom’s history in 2015.

Queen Elizabeth accessed the British throne on Feb. 6, 1952 after the death of her father, became the longest-lived British monarch in 2007 and today has surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning British monarch. Due to longstanding cultural ties as well as business connections through the appointment of royal warrants, British heritage brands often celebrate the royal family’s personal milestones such as weddings and births (see story).

Concours of Elegance is only one of the car shows to crop up in London in recent years.

In January 2015, London Classic Car Show inaugurated its first classic car event ever as a kick-off to the New Year and London automotive events in 2015.

The London show hoped to add dimension to the static car show by showcasing a Grand Prix race car indoors during the event. Along with other activities, showcases and celebrities, the first London Classic Car Show drew a lot of attention from automotive enthusiasts (see story).

"Concours of Elegance is the only event in the world with such incredible access to Her Majesty's Royal Palaces," Mr. Madden said. "We consistently attract world-class cars and we place them within the glorious, exclusive surroundings of Britain's finest Royal households.

"We are the only event of our kind, for example, to use the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle, and have held our event at St James's Palace, Hampton Court Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse," he said. "This year, our Steering Committee have seen record numbers of applications to display cars at the event.

"Despite a focus on classic cars, we are supported by a number of leading manufacturers, including Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Ferrari, who will all be showcasing their latest models. We try to represent all aspects of the automotive sector, and there is undoubtedly a trend towards hybrid and electric vehicles, and Concours of Elegance intends to showcase the latest and greatest of these at Windsor Castle."