The Concours of Elegance returns to Windsor Castle, featuring some of the world’s rarest historic cars and a special royal-themed selection of classics. Our motoring expert Chris Walsh discovers this year’s highlights…
Celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, the Concours of Elegance 2016 at Windsor Castle is set to be the biggest yet and will feature a range of cars linked to the Royal Family, including a 1900 Daimler 6hp first bought by King Edward VII.
He became the very first Royal to ride in an automobile, and this Daimler was the very first Royal motorcar, so it has an unrivalled history. As ever, the Concours of Elegance (2-4 September) will tell the story of the motorcar from its very beginnings through to the modern day, taking in incredible icons along the way, including a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.
An extremely special model in its own right, this particular GTO has the additional heritage of having been raced by Graham Hill at the Goodwood Tourist Trophy of 1962. From the modern day, the Concours of Elegance will be hosting the UK debut of a one-of-seven Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Spyder. Using an Alfa Romeo 8C as its base, this handcrafted model is finished with a dramatic and retro-inspired body.
These are just three of the 60 world-class cars that will be on show in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle, an area that has only been used for an event like this once before, in 2012. Elsewhere in the Castle grounds, more than 1,000 cars will be on display as part of the biggest Concours of Elegance event yet.
A spectacular array of Ferraris, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Jaguars and other luxury cars will be parked up along the incredible four-mile Long Walk that leads up to the Castle. Special features, including a display of innovative cars from each decade of Her Majesty’s reign and a selection of the world’s most exclusive supercars, will also be on show.
For the first time, Concours of Elegance is offering members of the public the opportunity to attend on Friday 2 September, a day normally reserved for the owners of the 60 main Concours cars. This special ‘Members’ ticket includes VIP parking, a souvenir catalogue, champagne, refreshments and access to the Members’ Marquee.
One of the primary aims of Concours of Elegance is to raise money for charity, and this year’s event will be generating funds for The Queen’s Choral Foundation, The Household Cavalry Foundation and Springfield Youth Club Hackney. So far Concours of Elegance has raised more than £800,000 for its charities.