For lovers of the rarest and most desirable cars and motorcycles in the world, there are two words which always ensure something wonderful about the first week in September: Salon Privé. And this year’s event promises to be even better as it will host live rally action involving many of the sport’s iconic Group A and B cars.
When and where is Salon Prive 2021 held?
This year the five-day event, held on the hallowed South Lawn at Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancestral home of Winston Churchill, takes place from Wednesday, September 1, to Sunday, September 5.
In many ways, for car lovers it’s the ultimate end-of-summer party. This year the organisers are promising more than 100 of the world’s rarest cars and motorcycles will be displayed.
How much are Salon Prive tickets?
That depends on which day you attend.
Tickets for the exclusive concours d’elégance and concours awards as well as Ladie’s Day are £325 per person, so not for the causal attendee.
Sunday’s classic and supercar show is a more attainable £45 per person (£21 for children aged five to 16).
What is happening at the Salon Prive?
Well, as well as treasures from the Edwardian era, some of the rarest and most valuable grand tourers, classic sports racers, era-defining icons and racing legends, alongside the world’s latest and greatest supercars and concepts from the present and future will be on display.
McLaren Automotive will unveil its new high-performance hybrid Artura, the windscreen variant of the company’s open-top Elva; plus it will have the 765LT Spider and the McLaren GT all on display. Prospective owners will be able to get behind the wheel and experience the GT and 720S Spider.
In complete contrast in terms of age, there will also be two iconic Ferrari 250 GTO models on display.
Introduced in 1962, the GTO was the ultimate development of Ferrari’s 250 GT Berlinetta series, which stretched back to 1956 and helped to lay the foundation of the Ferrari legend. The 250 GT Berlinettas dominated motorsport’s GT class and were particularly successful in the Tour de France, winning this most gruelling of events no fewer than nine years in a row.
But for the paying public, perhaps the biggest attraction on Super Sunday will be the grand finale which will include a display acknowledging Colin McRae who won his World Rally Championship 25 years ago last year. Due to Covid, any 2020 celebration was not possible, but the Salon Prive organisers are delighted to be displaying a selection of his cars on the Croquet Lawn at Blenheim Palace to mark the occasion.
Worth mentioning, of course, that up until the late 1990s, Blenheim Palace regularly hosted a stage of the RAC Rally. Those sights and sounds are set to return thanks to a magnificent collection of Group A, Group B and WRC machinery that will tackle a course running from the North Gates down to the Great Vanbrugh Bridge.
Sunday will also feature a curated display of Richard Burn’s rally cars celebrating the 20th anniversary of the late Englishman’s WRC triumph which, co-driven by Robert Reid, he dramatically won in a final-round showdown.
And for the first time, the event will also host Salon Privé TIME; limited to just 10 brands famous for their luxury watches, including IWC, Montblanc, Panerai and Piaget. Located in the main emporium, guests will have the opportunity to browse, try on and — if they can afford it — purchase all the magnificent pieces on display.
What is the Salon Prive 2021 schedule?
The opening Wednesday is the Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance, with the Thursday given over to the coveted Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance Awards. Friday is Salon Privé Ladies’ Day presented by Boodles.
Supercar Saturday sees the premium Car Clubs invited to take centre stage on the South Lawn at the largest club-only event in the UK, presenting over 1000 supercars. This one though is a closed-shop: only Club members can attend.
So, that leaves the Sunday, the grand finale to Salon Privé Week, the Salon Privé Classic & Supercar. And in addition to all the rally action, and the South Lawn continuing to display many of the best super and hyper cars in existence, the North Lawn promises to come alive with displays from the UK’s most astonishing and eclectic super and performance clubs, special model anniversary celebrations, food concessions, bars and live entertainment. Tickets for the Sunday are £45 ((£21 for children aged 5-16yrs).