An astounding selection of ‘cars of tomorrow’ heralded an excellent showing at this year’s Concours of Elegance with Bentley, Aston Martin and Ferrari among the automotive gems, writes Arun Kakar
An ‘astonishing’ 911 Porsche-based sportscar from the German bespoke manufacturer RUF Automobile that can claim to be one of the fastest production cars in the world, led the display at this year’s Concours of Elegance future classics class at Hampton Court.
Only the rarest and ‘astonishing’ cars make the cut in this class, shown last week, and this year’s display proved no exception: the 700 horsepower RUF CTR – one of just 50 worldwide – topped the selection. Totally crafted by hand, the model is built on a totally bespoke aluminium platform and is wrapped in lightweight carbon fibre. It is the successor to the classic RUF CTR ‘Yellowbird’ a Porsche 911-based model and one-time holder of the world’s fastest car. The new model is even faster, with a top speed of 224 mph, and both models were on display over the weekend.
The RUF was joined by a limited edition Bentley, constructed this year to commemorate the British firm’s centenary. Paying homage to Bentley’s founder WO Bentley, the Mulsanne WO Edition pays tribute to the original 1930 8-Litre that was used as Bentley’s personal transport. It features a part of the original cars crankshaft, set inside a veneered surface with in an art deco style, fostered over a ‘painstaking’ eight-day period.
‘There’s no doubt that the Concours of Elegance celebrates motoring heritage; after all, it’s often the stories behind some of these rare cars that makes them so special,’ said Andrew Evans, director of the Concours. ‘But the stories being written in the modern automotive world deserve to be told, too, which is why we wanted to showcase this range of “Future Classics”. Each is a celebration of bespoke craftsmanship, performance and luxury; they’re the automotive rarities that you’d be astonished to see on a Concours lawn 50 years from now.’
Other outstanding models included Aston Martin’s Vulcan, another rare gem that is limited to 24 units worldwide. Propelled by a 7.0-litre V12 engine, the track-only two-seater produces an impressive 820 bhp.
Hailed by the Concours organisers as ‘the ultimate trackday car’, the Vulcan is a haven of cutting-edge engineering: it employs an F1-style pushrod suspension, adjustable dampers, adjustable anti-roll bars and variable traction control.
Other highlights included the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé, the last ever handcrafted Drophead Coupé to come off the line at the Rolls-Royce facility Goodwood, taking more than 800 hours to complete.
The show is built around 60 of the rarest cars ever created from 1904 to 2019, and the future classics showcase was one of four ‘superlative features’ at this year’s Concours. The event also featured a world-first Aston Martin Zagato display as well as a 70th anniversary display of five Ferrari 166MM models. These included the 1949 Le Mans and Mille Miglia-winning marque – seen by many as the most significant Ferrari in the world.
Image credit: Tim Scott