2013 Concours of Elegance – London September 2013
What better time to visit London than early September when the weather can be anything. The Owners’ Day of the Concours of Elegance (yes, Concours OF Elegance – it is England, after all) was held on a blisteringly hot day. Blazing sunshine. Temperatures near 90-degrees. The owners and their ladies or gents were hard put to keep a dry upper lip. This was a three day event and the weather was different on each day. Following the hot, hot, hot Thursday, it rained on Friday. Not downpours exactly, but enough to keep the car polishers busy keeping the 60 or so vehicles as pristine as possible. Saturday was the public day and the weather dried and was overcast. The cooler weather made the public day better without the blazing heat of the Owners’ Day.
Luckily or unluckily, AutoPacific attended the Owners’ Day reserved for Owners, guests, Owners’ Day Ticket Holders and Media. Luckily, because we could attend. Unluckily, because it was so, soooooo HOT.
Having just been to the Pebble Beach Coucours de Elegance in August, the contrast was striking. Pebble is so over the top that it overwhelms the senses. The St. James Coucours of Elegance is much less flamboyant, much less overwhelming, but still provides an opportunity to view outstanding vehicles and have a chat with their owners.
It was a day of Royalty. The owners were first feted at Buckingham Palace and then drove their cars down The Mall to Marlborough House located in St. James where the cars were displayed in the back garden. The royal patron was HRH Prince Michael of Kent. The vehicles on display varied widely from old Rolls-Royces to a modern Bentley GTZ Zagato custom coupe. Here are a few examples: