To The Manor Born - October, 2012 (text below)
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To The Manor Born
In the quadrangle Windsor Castle, with the gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen of England, an select group of sixty of the world's best cars were recently gathered as part of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. This event, a three-day affair beginning on Friday, September 7 and lasting through Sunday, September 9, 2012, showcased cars from all over the world. The celebration commenced with a convoy, as the owners drove the three-mile driveway to the castle's inner courtyard. There, they enjoyed an owners-only day, visiting among themselves and viewing each other's cars without the hassle of a crowd. The organizers of this event decided to dispense with judging—the invitation itself was the prize, and all who attended received a trophy. Many of the vehicles were former winners of major shows, such as those at Pebble Beach, California, and Villa d 'Este, Italy.
The cars ranged in age and condition, from original to pristinely restored. The oldest was a 1896 Panhard et Levassor Private Omnibus with coachwork in the grand carriage style; its wonderful patina had developed over the 100+ years since its debut, and it could still manage a top speed of 12 mph. The newest car was a 1972 Lamborghini Mura SV. Also present were some for the finest sports cars in history: Ferraris, Bugattis, and Bentleys, to name a few marques. This authors' favorite was a 1933 Delage D8S with custom roadster coachwork by De Villars—one of the most expensive cars of its day. The powerful straight-eight cylinder engine could achieve speeds of 90 mph, while carrying the occupant in style and elegance.
The Best of Show was determined by the owners, who voted for the car "they would most like to drive home in." The count was very close, but in the end, a lovely new Best of Show trophy was awarded to the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Touring Berlinetta owned by Jon and Mary Shirley of Medina, Washington, a former Best of Show winner at Pebble Beach in 2009. The announcement was made during the formal dinner Friday night in the Queen's Dining Room.
On Saturday and Sunday, car clubs lined the drive outside of the castle, featuring Lotuses, Jaguars, Rolls-Royces, Aston Martins, Bentleys, and other wonderful marques.
The show was and greatly admired by all who attended—it was a triumphant debut for this historic venue. The charitable aim of the Windsor Castle Concours d'Elegance was to support organizations that provide palliative care for children and young people with life-limiting illness, and those that undertake research to fight cancer.
Based on the success of its inaugural event, the Windsor Castle Concours d'Elegance will become one of the major events of the show season.