Salon Privé: A look at some of the stars from this exclusive show

One of the UK’s most prestigious car events always brings some surprise sights, as Ted Welford explores.

Salon Prive
Salon Prive

It’s been a busy time of year for automotive events in the past few weeks.

There has been the Munich Motor Show taking place as the largest European motor show since the Covid-19 pandemic started, as well as the Concours of Elegance held at Hampton Court Palace, and also one of the most well-respected events in the car calendar – Salon Privé.

Taking place in the wonderful grounds of Blenheim Palace, near Oxford, this event is spread out over five days, with a range of models – varying from pre-war classics through to the latest hypercars – gracing the perfectly manicured gardens each day.

We headed along on Saturday and Sunday last weekend to take a look at some of the best vehicles on show.

The Red Collection

Salon Prive
The Red Collection had a starring role in the day

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If only for its connections with Ferrari, red is an iconic colour in the car world, and that was celebrated this year with a ‘Red Collection’. A perfectly assembled circle of cars all painted in this shade, models ranged from a legendary Ferrari 166MM (seen at the front) through to a McLaren F1 (seen at the rear).

Considering both of these on their own could be worth upwards of £10m each, it’s hardly worth thinking about what the combined value of this collection could be…

Ferrari Enzo and F50

Salon Prive
An F50 and Enzo line up together

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It’s a rather rare sight to see a Ferrari F50 or an Enzo together – the latter named after the Italian supercar firm’s founder – and even rarer to see them both together. Rarer still? For them to be painted in the same shade of Giallo Modena (or yellow in non-Ferrari speak).

Both on show at independent Ferrari specialists DK Engineering’s stand at Salon Prive, the two models are some of the finest models made by the Italian marque in more recent years.

Ford GT

Salon Prive
The modern Ford GT wore classic Gulf colours

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To many, the Ford GT40 is one of the most iconic racing cars ever made, and given the number of replicas made of them, it certainly puts the original in good stead.

That hasn’t stopped Ford from making the GT into a modern-day supercar, though, with the latest version being a perfect execution in aerodynamic performance. The car you see here wasn’t even in the main event itself – but rather in the car park – and is an even rarer Heritage Edition model that features the iconic Gulf livery.

Lamborghini Countach

Salon Prive
Lamborghini recently announced that it would be building a modern Countach

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The Lamborghini Countach has recently been cast into the spotlight in dramatic fashion as the Italian marque shocked the car world by announcing it was going to reimagine it to mark its 50th birthday in 2021.

And the iconic wedge-shaped supercar also featured prominently at Salon Privé this year to celebrate its anniversary, with six original examples all lined up together. If you look closely there’s even one on a stand in the background…

Jaguar Project 7 and 8

Salon Prive
High-performance Jaguars turned plenty of heads

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Jaguar doesn’t make its extreme limited-run models very often, and when it does they’re always produced in rather limited numbers. Its F-Type-based Project 7 and XE-based Project 8 are some of its most recent works, and could be seen together in the brand’s club displays on Sunday.

With both versions parked next to each other in matching red with black wheels and interior, we reckon one lucky owner gets to have them both sat in their garage.

Honda NSX

Salon Prive
Senna’s NSX caught our attention

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This Honda NSX might look rather unremarkable next to other cars in this gallery, but is important not for the car itself, but for its history. That’s because it was racing driver Ayrton Senna’s personal car, which was gifted to him by Honda when he was racing for them in the early 1990s.

Senna is widely acknowledged for his instrumental role in making the NSX – Honda’s first true supercar – drive the way it did, and with the racing driver sadly being killed in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, makes this car all the more poignant.

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Salon Prive
This SVJ was hard to miss

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The standard of cars just on show at Salon Privé is truly remarkable, as shown with this incredible Aventador SVJ – the most extreme version of the marque’s legendary V12 supercar.

Painted in the bold Viola shade that first adorned the brand’s Diablo from the ‘90s, this example is just as shouty as a Lamborghini should be. To add to the extravagance, the car you see here is also registered in Abu Dhabi.

Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

Salon Prive
The Silver Wraith won one of the day’s best trophies

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At the complete opposite end of the spectrum we have this 1953 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, which is notable because of the trophies standing in front of it – as it won the Club Trophy on the Saturday, essentially making it the car of the show from the hundreds of vehicles that descended on the palace.

The Silver Wraith was the first Rolls-Royce to be launched following the war, with this example being presented in immaculate condition.

McLarens

Salon Prive
A variety of McLaren models stand proud

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Moving back to the more modern end of the spectrum, we have this selection of McLarens. Again, you’re normally lucky to see one, never mind lines upon lines of the vehicles as far as the eye can see.

Ranging from the brand’s 12C – its first supercar launched by Mclaren Automotive in 2011 – to its latest 765LT, there were very few of the firm’s models not on display on its club stand.

Ferrari showcase

Salon Prive
The Ferrari club brought all manner of cars

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And in a similar fashion to McLaren, the Ferrari Owners Club UK were also on hand with close to a hundred of the brand’s members descending on Blenheim Palace’s courtyard. You might even recognise the backdrop as it featured in the James Bond film Spectre.

There was a huge display of Ferraris on display, with the vast majority of the brand’s modern and classic vehicles somewhere to be seen.

A brown Ferrari

Salon Prive
A brown Ferrari might not be traditional but it’s eye-catching

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Red is the typical Ferrari colour, but often the brand’s models stand out more in other colours. But it’s not often you see a brown Ferrari, that’s for sure, which made this 488 GTB all the more special. Dare we say it, it looks even better than it would red…

The car you see here is a one-off example designed to mark Ferrari’s 70th anniversary in 2018, with the brand creating 70 bespoke cars in past liveries for the anniversary. This car you see here even had a slightly crazy Tartan interior!

Cars by the river?

Salon Prive
The yellow SVJ raises its doors

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While we might have featured an Aventador SVJ in this gallery already, we couldn’t help but include this dramatic yellow example of this supercar, if only for the incredible backdrop…

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