These Are The Things That Bring People To A Concours Like Salon Privé
Photography by Jayson Fong
Now in its 11th year, The Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance is an event that continues to grow its reputation among some of the best events of its kind in the world. With some jaw-dropping gems on display at the magical Blenheim Palace, it’s certainly an enviable setting. But with events like Pebble Beach and Villa D’Este boasting incredible natural views, I couldn’t help but think there must be more just the sights that brings people to Salon Privé—and it turns out I’m right.
It doesn’t take long chatting with the owners of some of these wonderful machines to figure out that the cars and location are only a part of the Salon Privé experience. The true attraction for many being the ability to share a weekend out with friends and like-minded enthusiasts whilst at an event where you can take the time to share the passion for outstanding motor vehicles.
Perhaps what I enjoyed most from speaking to the owners was hearing how incredibly important the driving experience was to them as part of the passion they shared with others—many having toured the countryside before arriving at the palace. Evident almost immediately, the owners exhibiting were not just custodians of their vehicles, but serious enthusiasts who were very keen to take up the offer of driving to a palace to meet for a garden party and social weekend.
During judging, visitors to Salon Privé were introduced to an array of beautiful cars that are certainly used. From a Porsche 356 more accustomed to rallying than concours, an eye catching Ferrari 500 TR on its way to race at the Goodwood Revival this weekend, and a Bentley S2 Drophead Coupé often seen touring in South Africa, many of the cars exhibited were merely catching their breath before being driven somewhere new.
Although more garden party than motor show, it’s the mention of the personal and community element that continually brought about smiles during my conversations. Even without a large size compared to other events around the world, Salon Privé has taken advantage of its position to create a unique atmosphere.
What brings you to Salon Privé, and smaller Concours events like it?