Fashionably Late = Perfectly Timed
19 October 2020
Hendon Way Motors at Hampton Court
Text and Photography by Rhiannon Hughes-Boatman
Sometimes things just work out, and in this case, they couldn't have worked out better. What could have been tardiness turned out to be perfect timing.
The funny thing is, we weren’t even supposed to be bringing a car to Hampton Court Concours of Elegance, but as the fates would have it, a conversation at the London Concours resulted in our submitting the newest member of our Ferrari stock. We were invited to bring our 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, a stunningly restored low-miles vehicle, that due to its colour combination, is an unparalleled head turner. Its rare “Grigio Ferro Metallizzato” exterior paint is a special colour that is strangely magnetic, enticing even from afar. Under grey skies, the colour is a silky and matte warm gunmetal, but when the sun comes out it becomes a glowing golden metallic grey that is something to behold. As one nears the car, the Bordeaux leather interior comes into view and the synchronicity of the colours truly make it sing. Overall both interior and exterior colours really do justice to the spectacular design and hand-formed curves.
10am Friday morning we lined up for the parade into Hampton Court. The sun was shining and the car was running beautifully, once it finally arrived.
I’m sure we’re preaching to the choir here, but traffic wise, South West London is a total mess right now. This meant our lovely little 275 got slightly lost en-route to Hampton Court and thus arrived after our designated section had already departed for the parade. However, this change of timing put us in the best company possible, because the final four cars to parade in were as follows: a 1965 Ford GT40 MK1, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, a 1964 AC Cobra, and us in our 275.
We meandered through the grounds to a symphony of sonorous engine sounds and were met at the gates by a bevvy of eager photographers who were so excited by the front three cars that we got a lot of air time as well. (Check out our Instagram Highlights for footage of the drive in!) Upon arrival, we were placed next to the equally head-turning peacock blue 1962 Facel Vega Facel II that was restored by our friends at Rust and Glory. It was good fortune that we were parked there because the affable father and son duo of Lance and Algernon were brilliant comic relief between all the serious networking chat. Throughout the day we caught up with friends, clients and the seller of the featured 275 who brought his car-obsessed son. At 5, the son knows everything and joyfully rattled off the complicated names of all his favourite cars on display. It is truly heart-warming to see such passion in one so young, the classic car industry won’t be dying any time soon so long as he has any say in the matter. His day was made when he and his father rode shotgun as the 275 participated in the Grand Parade. Throughout the day compliments poured in; I cannot count the number of times we were asked what the name of the “special colour” was.
Saturday saw the sunshine return and the crowds flesh out with passionate members of the public. But the most exciting part of the day was the rescheduled debut auction from Gooding and Company, of one of the most hotly anticipated sales of the year. Gooding and Co. are one of the main facets of the American Concours Auction circuit but had never held a European Sale before. In April, they were scheduled auction of a significant number of blue-chip vehicles (all from the same notable collection) at Somerset House. Spectacular cars, spectacular location, quite the way to burst onto the European scene. Jane Eyre couldn’t have scripted a better debutante than that, but as in all fairytales, there was a villain waiting in the wings: Covid-19. “The Passion of a Lifetime” instead took place with the sun setting over magical Hampton Court. The stunning cars on offer were displayed throughout the weekend in the foyer as guests entered the Concours and attracted nearly as much attention as the Concours entrants did. The first car sold well, a little under asking but still a good price for the car. The second, a 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale climbed and climbed and just kept climbing. It sold for a world record £2,850,000. Four other cars would go on to set individual records and by the time the auction ended, to thunderous applause I might add, they had sold all but one of their cars, with three going over the high estimates.
The idyllic parade out of the grounds on Sunday was a perfect reflection of the weekend. The Hampton Court Concours of Elegance had been the first and only Concours style event of the year in the UK. Guidelines were met but it was put on so expertly that none of the fun was lost. We’re proud to have displayed our amazing 275 and enthused by the number of smiles it prompted. It was amazing to connect with friends and clients, old and new. We’re eternally grateful to the amazing staff and sponsors that made the event happen and kept the British classic car industry’s engine turning over for another year.