Jaguar Enthusiasts bask in autumnal sunshine at Salon Privé

This year’s Salon Privé Week attracted some of the world’s greatest motor cars to the magnificent grounds of Blenheim Palace from 22-26 September, including a record number of entries for the prestigious Concours d’Elégance presented by AXA.

Saturday 26th September saw over 100 Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club members join the display within our own dedicated show field area, giving Jaguar fans a chance to experience a superb selection of cars whilst club members gained priority access to one of the only events able to proceed this year.

Adhering to the ethos of ‘Coming Together, Keeping apart’, safety was paramount – robust COVID-19 Secure systems were put in place that went beyond government guidelines to include the pioneering introduction of the CI Group’s Liber track and trace app.

Salon Privé was the first automotive event in the world to use Liber, which has been developed for major event organisers to ensure that everyone who attended was COVID-19 free before they entered and could be contacted if necessary afterwards.

The Jaguar Enthusiats' Club display on Saturday was a key part of the hotly anticipated Salon Privé Classic & Supercar day, tickets for which sold out within a record seven minutes of going on sale!

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Awards for JEC members

Every club present at Salon Privé had the opportunity to put forward two cars from their area towards the overall Salon Privé Club trophy. Each entrant received a trophy for their Club representation and Andy Webber (JEC Sponsorship & Events) who was the JEC judge for the day alongside Wayne Scott (JEC PR and Marketing), was on stage to present the Jaguars with their trophies.

The manufacturer's prize was won by a superb Lavender Blue Series 2 XJ12. The car is jointly owned by JEC members Patrick Gallagher and Phil Harris. Patrick was there on the day to take the car into the Salon Prive arena and then onto the stage to receive the prize. Co-incidentally Phil’s parents and also JEC members Peter & Sian Harris were in the back of the car as well!

But, top honours went to Tim De La Fosse, who took his freshly restored XK120 drop head onto the stage to receive the Club Trophy. Tim has only been a member for two weeks and was bowled over by the welcome he received on he Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club stand. The judges singled out the car because it was predominantly a home restoration and also that Tim had put in a lot of effort to maintain originality.

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My brother David and I would like to thank our Patron, His Grace The Duke of Marlborough, the Blenheim Palace Operations Team, our incredible sponsors, automotive exhibitors, caterers, suppliers and our superb Salon Privé team for staging a world-class event in the most difficult of times. With an event 45% larger in physical size than last year, and some 93 entries in the Concours d’Elégance by AXA versus 61 last year, Salon Privé was able to raise its game this year beyond our wildest dreams. We’re very much looking forward to returning to the lawns of Blenheim Palace in 2021 on our traditional earlier dates of 1-4 September. Andrew Bagley, Chairman of Salon Privé
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Elsewhere at Salon Privé

The show also featured a procession of over 1100 cars, with models new and old on display from Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren and Porsche.

The show attracted some of the world’s greatest brands who were seen choosing Salon Privé and Blenheim Palace as the perfect venue at which to unveil their latest models. Bentley hosted a trio of global premieres courtesy of its in-house bespoke and personal commissioning division – Bentley Mulliner. The Classic division unveiled its recently restored 1929 Blower, the Coachbuilt division gave its first car – the Bacalar – its public debut, and the Collections portfolio presented its brand-new Continental GT Mulliner coupé.

Other world debuts included fabled Italian styling house Touring Superleggera with its striking Aero3, Danish hypercar manufacturer Zenvo with its 1177bhp TSRS-1, and the eye-catching 1100kg, 1100bhp Engler Superquad.

The European debuts at Blenheim Palace covered a wide variety of performance cars, including the TDF1 from British brand Tour-de-Force, the all-electric Aspark Owl hypercar, and the remarkable PAL-V flying car.

Rolls-Royce gave UK enthusiasts their first sight of the Ghost – the most technologically advanced model ever built by the marque – and Koenigsegg did likewise with the Gemera, a four-seat hypercar that’s described as the world’s first ‘mega GT’. Bugatti’s Chiron Super Sport 300+ prototype made its first UK public appearance since Andy Wallace drove it to a new production-car speed record of 490.484kph (304.773mph), and Italian coachbuilder ARES DESIGN chose Salon Privé for the UK debut of no fewer than four hand-built vehicles. Its Bentley Mulsanne Coupé was joined by the Panther ProgettoUno and a pair of two-wheelers – the Café Racer and Scrambler. Morgan Motor Company presented a quartet of models which included the first UK showing of the new Plus Four and MAT (Manifattura Automobili Torino) proudly presented their Stratos, a modern-day homage to the fabled multi-Rally winning car of the 70s.

The Concours d’Elégance presented by AXA dominated proceedings on Wednesday and attracted a record number of entries. An ex-Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Spider by Zagato that was raced in period by Tazio Nuvolari claimed the coveted Best of Show Award, while Class Winners included a 1988 Porsche 962 and a 1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT12 in the new Milestones of Endurance Racing Classes.

Other highlights included the winner of the Most Exceptional Coachwork award – an ex-Sir Malcolm Campbell 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Touring Saloon that was making its final appearance in the UK before heading to India, where Yohan Poonawalla will house it in the prestigious YZP Collection & Museum. Campbell’s grandson, Don Wales, was at Blenheim Palace to meet its new owner and bid farewell to the car.

New for this year was an award for Most Exceptional Design. Named in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace, the ‘Churchill Cup’ was judged by some of the most respected automotive designers in the world and was presented to a 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina ‘Bocca’ Cabriolet.

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