Anniversary-Marking Historic Bentleys and Bugattis Lead Record Entry At Concours d’Élégance Suisse
A record 90-plus cars are set to enter the fourth running of the Concours d’Élégance Suisse, which takes place later this month from June 21 to 23 in the gardens of the Château de Coppet in Switzerland. The Swiss concours event dates back to 2016, and revives the tradition of one of the oldest elegance competitions in Europe, the Concours d’Elégance de Genève which ran from 1927 to 1956. This year’s competition will have a host of new classes, many of which mark significant anniversaries, including 125 years of Delahaye, 110 years of Bugatti, 100 of Bentley and 60 of the Mini.
The concours’ line-up features a range of historic models, many of which reflect these landmarks, and is led by a 1951 Bentley Mark VI Cresta II Facel Métallon (above), one of the only two models in the world designed by Jean Daninos—who also designed the famous Facel Vega—and the car on show was made by the Facel Metallon workshops on a Bentley Mark VI. The car will be joined by a 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix, which finished third in the Monaco Grand Prix that year in the hands of Robert Benoist, who was a celebrated world champion driver and went onto become a resistance leader in the Second World War. There also will be the 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Open Tourer Vanden Plas that was the personal car of Woolf Barnato, financial sponsor of the Bentley brand. Barnato also was married in this very vehicle. It will be joined also be Barnato’s last personal car, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 C Stelvio Gangloff.
Continuing the Bugatti theme, there also will be a 1925 Bugatti Type 35A, which has never been restored and is being presented at a concours for the first time, as well as a 1939 Bugatti Type 64, the extraordinary prototype car with a profiled body, which will be presented by the Musée National de l’Automobile’s Collection Schlumpf. There also will be a 1947 Delahaye 135 M Convertible, exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show in 1947; a great-rarity 1936 Citroën Traction 11 coupé, which will be presented alongside a rare Worblaufen convertible; a 1935 SS 90 Jaguar which is a prototype of what was to become the legendary Jaguar SS 100; as well as a rare 1953 Lancia Aurelia B52 spider with bodywork by Vignale. Entrants even are encouraged to dress in period and each class will be awarded a special prize for the most elegant crew.
The Concours d’Elégance Suisse is distinguished particularly by its strict rules, and has been the first European competition to follow the rules for assessing the authenticity and state of origin of cars according to its own guidelines. While this year, its jury assessing traditional authenticity is joined for the first time by an additional jury assessing elegance.
The new Jury of Elegance will bring together influential personalities from automobile design, architecture, art and the high-end automobile media. It will be under the leadership of Bugatti’s design director Achim Anscheidt, who will be President of the Jury. “After spending many years immersed in the world of Automobile events, notably The Quail, which I was lucky to have an opportunity to develop across the Atlantic 10 years ago, I realized that elegance was not sufficiently emphasized, so we are putting it back in the spotlight today in a bet on the future!,” said Concours d’Élégance Suisse founder Mathias Doutreleau on the move to create its second jury.
Images courtesy of Concours d’Elégance Suisse. Aerial shots by Olivier Riethauser