This prestigious celebration of all things automotive takes place at the beginning of September. Blenheim Palace is the perfect setting for this glorious display of top-end cars.
It’s not often that you get to see the first Ferrari that was ever made 70 years ago, but there it sat, glistened in glory for all to admire. Also, the great thing with Salon Privé as an event is that you are never quite sure what you’re going to have the pleasure of seeing as you stroll around the open displays. The Ferrari was a prime example and seemed at home with all the latest supercars from the top manufacturers including: Lamborghini, Jaguar and Porsche etc.
Another joy to see close up was the McMurtry that had just come off the back of winning the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb. It smashed the record in the process by several seconds and left all the competition in the dust, literally. If I’m honest, electric cars generally leave me cold and I lack any form of emotional involvement with them. That being said, watching the McMurtry, I must admit that’s the first time I’ve ever watched an electric car doing anything that I would describe as having a wow moment. However, I found it was magical to watch, just the sheer pace, speed and even grip were amazing. I don’t know how it works yet, but what an achievement from all concerned in its design and production.
Turning up to the event, with its usual sunny and magical atmosphere. I met up with some good friends including Chris Randall, the power behind the new Ecurie Ecosse C-Type Jaguar reincarnation in all its magnificence. I had the honour of driving one of the first, if not the first, Ecurie Ecosse C-Types and can assure you, it really is a splendid vehicle. Sometimes, a modern recreation can really impress and every part of the driving experience is wonderful, including the amazing sound track. I’m sure Chris has a winner on his hands there.
I also bumped into Ian Barkaway and his son, Ben. They won the coveted top prize of ‘Best Club Car’ award for their restoration of a Ferrari 308 GTS. Having seen the amount of work that has gone into this car during its restoration, it was great to see it win a Salon Privé award.
During the day, I was lucky enough to enjoy a very special lunch with friends in The Glass House restaurant. The food was really exceptional and the hosts that were looking after us were extremely friendly and simply first class. A must-repeat experience, already in the diary for next year!