9/25/2013 - Bruce McCaw's Bentley Speed Six Wins Best of Show at Concours of Elegance
Photo Tim Scott, Fluid Images
London - The UK's Concours of Elegance took place on September 5-7, 2013 in St. James, Central London. Sixty-one of the world's rarest motor cars many of them never seen before in this country graced the gardens of 300-year old Royal palace Marlborough House.
Lead by Royal patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent driving the 1933 Napier-Railton 24 litre Special, and with the oldest dating from 1907, nearly all of the cars in the Concours were driven - in a spectacular convoy from Buckingham Palace down The Mall - by their owners into the gardens on the opening morning.
More than 6000 visitors attended the Concours with thousands more lining The Mall to watch the "Grand Depart" on the closing day.
Clive Beecham, owner of the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Pinifarina NART Spyder, commented: "I had a thoroughly enjoyable time and loved being able to talk cars for three days. The opportunity to drive down The Mall is something that will long live in my memory."
On the Saturday, visitors enjoyed the Royal Automobile Club's "Spirit of Motoring" display of 35 cars, together with a lineup of Lamborghinis celebrating the marque's 50th anniversary. Members of the Aston Martin Owners Club, Bentley Drivers Club, Jaguar Drivers Club, Ferrari Owners Club, Bristol Owners Club, Barkham and District Classic Car Club also joined in the celebrations.
Best in Show
As its name suggests, a traditional concours would normally include a judging panel briefed to scrutinize each entry and select a winning car. Not so at the Concours of Elegance whose organizers - Thorough Events - maintained that if a car had been invited to the Concours, it was already a winner.
However, the owners of the Concours cars were asked to vote for the car they would "most like to drive home in" and thereby selected the "Best of Show" The winner of the St. James' Concours of Elegance Trophy for 2013 was Bruce McCaw with his 1930 Bentley Speed-Six Gurney Nutting Sportsman Coupe.
John Bentley, Chair of the Thorough Events Steering Committee, said: "The Pullman Trophy is chosen by the international owners who had each brought a world-class car, so winning is a real recognition of the Bentleys historic significance and popular appeal. As a British Concours held in the grounds of a Royal palace, it was obviously satisfying that an English car won. We are extremely grateful to its owner Bruce McCaw, who came from Seattle to attend the event."
Commissioned by South African diamond heir Woolf Barnato (1895-1948), one of the finest drivers among the Bentley Boys and three-time Le Mans winner, the Speed Six is the model considered by many to be the peak of Bentley perfection: a drivers car with superb handling, speed and reliability, and looks that perfectly expressed the gentleman sportsman.
Bruce McCaw added: "Receiving the Best of Show Award was beyond my wildest expectations. The Bentley 'Blue Train' Speed Six Gurney Nutting Coup is indeed a special vehicle. While I can take no credit for its design, or even its restoration, I am proud to be its current custodian and to be able to bring it back for a rare appearance in its homeland. I am happy the car was so appreciated and well received.
"To depart the Concours with HRH Prince Michael of Kent at the wheel was a thrill and honor beyond description. His passion and motoring skills are legendary and I admired witnessing them first-hand."
The "Pullman Trophy" is based on the Concour's Pegasus logo, made of highly polished aluminium mounted on a plinth of wood from a walnut tree from the Windsor Great Park.
The key objective of the annual Concours of Elegance is to be a highly successful fundraising initiative and this year's event supported charities working in the field of cancer care, research and support. Funds raised by the 2013 Concours of Elegance are again in excess of £250,000 and are being split between Marie Curie Cancer Care, Pilotlight, Rosetrees Trust and Action on Bladder Cancer.
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