by Simon Haldy
The sight of all these automotive jewels coming from the past, with the beautiful XVIIIth century castle as a backdrop, was incredible. I allowed myself to have a nice walk among all these beauties, admiring their wonderful shapes handcrafted by the best craftsmen from the 1930-1960 era. The Pourtout bodied Talbot Lago was so sporty and elegant and at the same time la crème de la crème of Pourtout styling, while the unusual Thrupp & Maberly bodied Hispano H6C was looking perfect in all aspects.
A bit further there was a Swiss UFO, a 1920 PIC PIC R2 which has retained its original Parisian torpedo body. This car is powered by a patented sleeve valve engine and fitted with a 14 disc clutch (yes 14!), anyway it’s exotic specifications is too complex to cite here. Next to the Pic Pic, Jaap Braam Ruben‘s early Bugatti Stelvio looked deliciously patinated. This Bugatti seemed so pleasant to drive “even easier to drive than a modern car“, as Braam Ruben told me.
All the cars were parked according to their era and provenance, the ultimate big boys toy store. I went to the Italian corner, where I couldn‘t stop myself from admiring a navy blue Ferrari 250 Lusso which to me embodied everything of Italian 60s coachbuilding at its best. Next to it a competition SWB 250 wasn’t looking bad at all, the Daytonas are gorgeous beasts too, although not as elegant as their GTC sisters, but look way more wild, a kind of Italian muscle car.
The spot dedicated to English cars was filled with numerous beauties such as an unique Sedanca de Ville Bentley Mark VI, bodied by Swiss coachbuilder Köng. Several special Bentleys and Rolls-Royces were also presented, among them a very rare Mulliner Park Ward bodied Silver Cloud III coupé, better known as the “Chinese Eyes“ model, which drew my attention. This particular car featured many unique specifications, like special dark chocolate leather and light Scandinavian wood trim.
The supercars were standing just nearby, two silver lacquered Gullwings opened their wings to the sky, allowing me to have a look at their interior. The Gullwing really looks ahead of its time, almost like a modern supercar, the first supercar ever? Could be. Next to these Gullwings two Paganis were basking in the sun, showing to everyone their beautiful carbon fibre bodies.
All these cars had a well deserved rest in this magnificent landscape, since many of them came a long way to take part in this event. A kind of calm before the storm since the following day 10 judges were going to inspect every one of them, looking carefully at every single detail of their body, engine and interior, stating then which one would become the Best of Show….