Pre-war Brits join Concours of Elegance line-up

| 19 Jul 2022
Classic & Sports Car - Pre-war classics join Concours of Elegance lineup

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A selection of pre-war classic cars, including a pair of dramatic Rolls-Royces, a striking Vauxhall and more, are heading to Hampton Court Palace for this year’s Concours of Elegance.

Almost 1000 vehicles will be on display to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary on 2-4 September, with many of them vying for the coveted Best of Show award.

The newly announced pre-war cars will join a 30th-birthday display of McLaren F1s, plus a one-of-11 Ferrari and an eye-catching Aston Martin in west London.

Classic & Sports Car - Pre-war classics join Concours of Elegance lineup
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost chassis 2092 left the factory on 30 August 1912

A pair of very special Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts will be reunited 110 years after leaving the factory.

The first, chassis 2092, is fitted with a seven-seat cabriolet body and dates from 1912.

The car underwent a full restoration in 2001 and since then has been used for road trips throughout America and Europe.

This Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost has had previous success at both the Pebble Beach and Amelia Island concours.

Classic & Sports Car - Pre-war classics join Concours of Elegance lineup
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is powered by a 7.4-litre straight-six

The second Silver Ghost on display was also manufactured in 1912.

It is an identical copy of chassis 1710, the car famous for winning the 1911 400-mile London to Edinburgh rally.

The effortless grunt afforded by the 7.4-litre straight-six engine allowed the car to complete the trip in top gear, without breaking a sweat.

Today, the car is fitted with a Hooper Tourer body, rather than its original Arthur Mulliner Tourer body.

Classic & Sports Car - Pre-war classics join Concours of Elegance lineup
The Vauxhall 30/98 Wensum Tourer was influenced by speedboat design of the ’20s

Joining the Rolls-Royces will be an eye-catching 1925 Vauxhall 30/98 Wensum Tourer.

Capable of over 100mph, the Vauxhall became a rival to Bentley’s fearsome 4½ Litre

Just 12 of the Wensum-bodied cars were produced and only six are believed to remain.

The car’s striking lines and V-shaped windscreen were influenced by speedboat design of the day.

Classic & Sports Car - Pre-war classics join Concours of Elegance lineup
The Bentley 4½ Litre heading to Concours of Elegance still has its original toolkit and owner’s handbook

Fittingly, the Vauxhall’s period rival, a Bentley 4½ Litre, will also be on display at Concours of Elegance on 2-4 September.

Introduced in 1927 to replace Bentley’s 3 Litre, the 4½ Litre proved itself to be a successful racer by winning the 24 hours of Le Mans on its first attempt in 1928.

The example coming to Hampton Court Palace will be a 1929 Vanden Plas Tourer which has been recently restored by the owner, and even retains its original toolkit and owner’s handbook.

Classic & Sports Car - Pre-war classics join Concours of Elegance lineup
A racing version of the Lagonda V12 Rapide finished third at Le Mans in 1939

Completing the display of fantastic pre-war cars is a 1939 Lagonda V12 Rapide drophead coupé.

With a design inspired by the streamliners of the ’30s and a 180bhp 4.5-litre V12 courtesy of WO Bentley, the Lagonda proved itself to be an impressive road car.

Third- and fourth-place finishes for examples with lighter bodies at Le Mans in 1939 cemented the model’s reputation.

However, because of the Second World War, production ceased in 1940 after only 17 cars were produced.

Classic & Sports Car - Pre-war classics join Concours of Elegance lineup
Almost 1000 vehicles will be on display at Concours of Elegance on 2-4 September

“We’re delighted to reveal the fabulous array of highly significant, pre-war British motor cars that will star at Hampton Court Palace in under two months’ time, adding to our already sensational line-up,” said James Brooks-Ward, Concours of Elegance CEO.

“The hand-picked selection will highlight the ingenuity, flair and irrepressible spirit that underpinned Britain’s automotive industry during the pre-war period.”

Tickets to Concours of Elegance 2022 are available now – and as a Classic & Sports Car reader, you can enjoy our exclusive 2-for-1 ticket offer.

Images: Concours of Elegance/Paul Gould


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