The world-famous Concours of Elegance is coming to Hampton Court Palace in September – and we've a ticket offer for Country Life readers.
The most astonishing cars ever produced, a line-up of world-famous luxury brands, and one of the UK’s most beautiful historic settings. That’s the very successful recipe for the world-famous Concours of Elegance, which is coming to Hampton Court Palace from 6th-8th September.
Presented by luxury watchmakers, A. Lange & Söhne, the Concours of Elegance first began at Windsor Castle in 2012, as the only motoring event ever to have been granted access to the secretive and idyllic Quadrangle.
Since then, the event has grown, hosted at St James’s Palace in 2013, Hampton Court Palace in 2014, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 2015, back to Windsor in 2016 and then finding itself a semi-permanent home at Hampton Court Palace in 2017, where it returns this year. As the Concours of Elegance has evolved over the years – always with a stunning collection of cars at its heart – it has morphed into a celebration of luxury goods, fine food and drink, wonderful music and superb displays of art.
But it’s worth spending a bit of time focusing on the cars: the line-up is a veritable feast of the most famous brands in the world; Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Bugatti and Lamborghini all feature. But each car in the Concours must be invited to attend, and in order to get an invitation, your car must be extremely special. An expert Concours of Elegance Steering Committee of motoring aficionados pick one-offs, rarities and models with incredible backstories to invite to Hampton Court Palace to create a truly special line-up of vehicles.
On display is an impeccable and highly original Ballot 3/8 LC, hidden away for many years in England and only recently rediscovered. The incredible discovery turned out to be more momentous than anyone had realised, as it came to light this Ballot was the exact car that won the very first Italian Grand Prix back in 1921. It’s an impeccable piece of motorsport history, and one that’ll be proudly on display at Hampton Court Palace.
The line-up continues into the more modern era, too, with a collection of fine Italian supercars from Pagani. In celebration of 20 years since it burst onto the performance car scene with the Zonda, the Concours of Elegance will gather six examples, spanning its near-20-year production run, valued at around £5m each. With an advanced carbon fibre body, fine Italian craftsmanship and up to 800hp, the Zonda is perhaps the ultimate expression of a supercar.
In total, nearly 1000 cars will gather in the Palace grounds for a number of other features, including the sixth annual Royal Automobile Club Trophy. The UK’s finest car clubs, from Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Aston Martin, enter their finest vehicles for an opportunity to win a much-vaunted place among the Main Concours collection of cars in the 2020 event.
A special feature this year will gather together a number of Ferrari 166 models – the only car to ever have won the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Mille Miglia and the Spa 24 Hours races. In the year that legendary design house Zagato celebrates its Centenary, visitors to the Concours of Elegance will also be able to browse some of its finest automotive masterpieces, from Aston Martin, Bentley, Lancia and more.
All of these cars provide a unique atmosphere for a whole host of luxury experiences at Concours of Elegance, including three-course luxury picnics and an on-site fine-dining restaurant. Visitors also have a range of other hospitality choices, including three-course silver service lunch, afternoon tea and a champagne reception.
There’s the opportunity for a bit of luxury shopping, too, with pop-up boutiques from the likes of fine horologists A. Lange & Söhne and their intricately crafted German timepieces. This year, A. Lange & Söhne is celebrating 25 years of its iconic Lange 1, typified by a unique combination of classic style elements and technical innovations.
Visitors to Hampton Court Palace will be treated to the highlights of the A. Lange & Söhne collection, crowned by the Lange 1 ‘25th Anniversary’ edition in white gold, limited to 250 timepieces. Its special features include a deep-blue printed argenté dial with a recess, blue date numerals, a hinged cuvette with an engraving of Lange’s headquarters and a hand-engraved balance cock with blued lines.
You’ll also find fashion brands, including Mason and Sons and arthouses like Collier Dobson, providing a raft of places to while away your time among perhaps the finest collection of automobiles ever gathered in the United Kingdom.
As if all of that’s not enough, your entry ticket to the Concours of Elegance also guarantees you access to Hampton Court Palace, the State Rooms and the Maze.