Set within the glorious 5,000-acre Georgian estate, the Heveningham Hall Concours d’Elegance has become one of the most talked about Concours events in the automotive calendar which is hugely impressive given that this year is only its third. Set in the private garden of the Hall on a meticulously maintained tiered lawn sat 54 of the finest cars the world has ever seen. Ranging from present-day exotics like the Aston Martin Vulcan and Pagani Huayra to pre-war masterpieces like the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S and even an 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen. Nick Mason’s utterly stunning Ferrari 250 GTO was also on show and he even drove it (flat out, I must add) up the newly introduced “Horsepower Hill” on the Saturday of the event – a 1/4-mile sprint uphill into the estate woodland. The (estimated) £50m Ferrari may not have won the hillclimb race, but it certainly stole the show. In the end, Max Hunt won in a 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse – no surprises there really…
There was also a special guest display this year courtesy of McLaren with an exhibition of 7 Formula 1 cars which added an extra element to the lawn, especially at the garden party on the Saturday evening when they were all lit up creating the perfect backdrop to a wonderful summer soiree.
Judges for the Concours event were world-renowned vehicle designer J Mays, Bentley interior design chief Romulus Rost and pilot, Dakar Rally driver and all-round adrenaline junkie Max Hunt, who also chaired the judging panel. The prizes were split into three categories, Pre-war, Post-war and Supercar and the winners were as follows:
Pre-war went to a meticulously restored 1939 Delage D8-120 Cabriolet which I think stole the hearts of just about everyone who laid eyes on it. Special commendations also went to the Bugatti T37 Grand Prix and the Bugatti Type 57S.
Post-war was very much an open and shut case going to Nick Mason’s 1962 Ferrari 250GTO – not just because of the value and unicorn status of the car, but also due to the way Nick was the first entrant of the day in the Horsepower Hill sprint. Special commendations for this category went to a 1953 Jaguar C-Type and a 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast.
The final Supercar category was a very German affair with the prize going to a fabulous 1987 Porsche 962 wearing full Rothmans livery and the commendations went to my personal favourite of the weekend, a 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution and the 2010 Porsche 918 Spyder.
I think the reason the Heveningham Hall Concours d’Elegance is such a great event is because of the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that is created by the beautiful surroundings and the outstanding quality of the automobiles on display. I think it also helps that outside the confines of the back lawn, there is a wonderful country fair taking place with everything from a dog show to aerobatics. It’s a small intimate event inside a large family event that just works so well. It really is the perfect weekend for the whole family.
The Heveningham Hall Country Fair and Concours d’Elegance will return in 2019 and promises to be bigger and better with the organisers aiming to add something new to it each time. All information on both events will is available via their websites which are listed below:
*A special mention must go to Will at Kitchener PR, all the staff at Heveningham Hall and Wilderness Resorts and of course the hosts, Jon and Lois Hunt for their incredible hospitality.