Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace 2017

Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace 2017

Some say the Motoring Team has a knack of arranging for the sun to shine at Club events, and it certainly appeared that way for the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace last weekend (1 to 3 September).

Held within the stunning grounds of the Palace, against the backdrop of the Baroque East Front, the event saw more than 20 Club members display their prides of joy at what is regarded as one of the most prestigious international events.

Friday presented a challenging morning for the judges of the Royal Automobile Club’s Club Trophy, awarded every year to the vehicle that catches the eyes and imaginations of those holding the clipboards, who, between them, sought out one worthy winner.

Chairman of the Judges for the Club Trophy was our own Club Chairman, Tom Purves, who led the judging team, which included HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Peter Read (Chairman of the Club’s Motoring Committee), Justine Picardie (Editor of Harper’s Bazaar), Lord Astor, Nicki Shields (TV Presenter), Marino Franchitti (sportscar racing driver), Peter Horbury (Volvo Cars Head of Design) and Glen Waddington (Octane Magazine).

Tom said: ‘It’s always a challenge to choose a winner out of such a vast selection of splendid vehicles but, somehow, we always do.’

Two ‘Highly Commended’ vehicles were recognised by the judges in the Club Trophy, one of which was Club member Paul Gregory in his 1955 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint. However, it was the glorious 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, also known as Nellie, owned by Katie Forrest who was awarded the Club Trophy by Royal Automobile Club President, HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

Katie said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this honour. Nellie has been in our family for more than 25 years and I have so many wonderful memories to share. I named her Nellie because, when she first arrived with us, she was painted in a grey colour and, being large, reminded me of Nellie the Elephant!’

Nellie will be making an appearance in the Club’s rotunda before the end of the year and, having won the Club Trophy, is automatically entered into the main Concours display in 2018.

On Saturday, Club members lined the outer circle of the Palace gardens with an array of stunning machinery – old and new – including the wondrous 1956 Mercedes 300SC owned by Johanna White, a 1973 Aston Martin AM Vantage owned by Alexander Morgan-Hughes with the more modern vehicle representation coming from a McLaren 540C owned by Gareth Williams and a Porsche 911 GT3 owned by David Manchester.

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