Eight of the world’s top classics to gather in Paris

| 19 Dec 2017

The winners of eight of the world’s top concours competitions will gather in Paris next year as nominees for the prestigious Peninsula Classics Best of the Best award.

Peninsula Classics will make its official international debut on 8 February 2018, with the overall winner to be announced at a private dinner at The Peninsula Paris – the only five-star hotel in the city with an underground car park.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award to Paris in 2018, which I trust will further promote this distinguished honour on the concours circuit,” said co-founder of the award and Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie. “Concours d’Elegance originated in Paris in the 17th century as a gathering of horse-drawn carriages, and we are delighted to bring the modern-day equivalent back to this beautiful city; a fitting venue for such a distinct honour. The award recognises excellence in masterful craftsmanship, attention to detail, tradition and ingenuity, and we look forward to celebrating the world’s most exceptional motor car at this prestigious event.”


The nominees

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spider by Touring: Amelia Island Concours de Sport

One of the most technologically advanced cars of its time, this impeccably restored vehicle belongs to the most sought-after Alfa models of the 1930s. Closely derived from the dominating racing version, with coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, the elegant grand tourer is one of just seven Touring Spiders built on the long-wheelbase 2.9-litre chassis.


1951 Ferrari 212 Export Cabriolet by Vignale, design by Giovanni Michelotti: The Gran Turismo Ferrari Cup, Cavallino Classic

Based on a model constructed primarily for competition, this small-bodied, right-hand-drive, open-top Ferrari was built for the Portuguese Ambassador in France, Jorge da Cunha d’Almeida Araujo. Its simple charm and elegance was brought to fruition by Vignale, after a sketch drawn by consultant stylist Giovanni Michelotti.


1936 Bugatti Type 57 SC Coupé Atlantic, design by Jean Bugatti: Chantilly Arts & Elégance Richard Mille

Powered by a supercharged engine and considered by many to be the first supercar ever made, the iconic rivets on this automobile penned by Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son, are a result of the inability of the magnesium-alloy body panels to be welded for fear of them catching fire. Under the care of the Mullin Automotive Museum, this car, of which three were made, remains one of the most elegant crown jewels on the automotive circuit.


1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale Prototipo by Bertone, design by Franco Scaglione: Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

The extraordinary dark red streamlined prototype was shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1957. Its historical calibre lies in its famous place as a link between Franco Scaglione’s legendary Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica design studies and the production version of the Giulietta Sprint Speciale models that followed. Complementing the fluid body lines was a highly-tuned lightweight aluminium 1.3-litre engine delivering 100 horsepower.


1933/35 Lancia Astura Aerodinamica Coupé by Castagna: Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace

Lancias were brilliantly engineered cars and Vittorio Mussolini, son of Benito, wanted to enter their latest model, the V8-engined Astura, in racing. He ordered a body built by Castagna, initially planned for an Alfa Romeo, to replace the original body fitted on this car after having suitably modified its chassis. This true one-off is now fresh from a seven-year restoration and has recently won several awards on the concours circuit.


1957 Ferrari 250GT Cabriolet by Pinin Farina: Goodwood Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance

The 250 series established the Ferrari legend. Berlinettas and spiders dominated racing, whilst coupés and cabriolets were sold to prominent clients who enjoyed their Gran Turismo capabilities and did not mind displaying their wealth. Pinin Farina had become Ferrari’s favourite coachbuilder and penned this supremely elegant open two seater that was a perfect match for the music of its 3-litre, V12 engine.


1929 Mercedes-Benz S Roadster by Barker: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

This stunning car is the result of German engineering combined with British craftsmanship. Built with lightweight tourer coachwork by Barker of London clothing a Ferdinand Porsche designed 7-litre supercharged engine, it is the vision of the British race car driver Lord Howe; which explains the striking Curzon Blue hue, the Howe family colour. It has since been restored by the current owner to the exact specifications of the noble family.


1964 ATS 2500 GTS Coupé by Allemano, design by Franco Scaglione: The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

The ATS is a landmark insofar as it was the first Italian GT mid-engined car. It was developed by ex-Ferrari engineers who had left after a row with Mrs Ferrari. In parallel they ran a Formula One team but results were not up to the expectations and backers soon retired. Between seven and ten road cars had been produced, all sporting tasteful Allemano coachwork, of which this is an even rarer lightweight version with a 2.5-litre, V8 engine.