Patrick Peter hosted a concours d'elegance at the lovely Chantilly castle for the third time and again with the help of watchmaker and noted car collector Richard Mille. As a nod to the period events of this type, the actually 'Concours d'Elegance' was held for contemporary concept and show cars, while the classic machinery competed in the 'Concours d'Etat.' This most literally translates into a competition of condition, which is an apt description as not only the cars' beauty but also the presentation and history are placed under scrutiny by the specialist judges. In good Peter Auto tradition, there was also ample space for the various clubs, who brought out a diverse mix of often very interesting cars. The best of these was also called forward during the award ceremony. On the day before the actual event, participants were invited to take part in a tour, and Bonhams staged a small auction.
We were at the Chateau de Chantilly for the better part of two days with this 160-shot gallery
as the result.
A set fixture at events this year is the celebration of BMW's centenary and the third annual Chantilly Arts & Elegance was certainly no exception. A fine selection of BMWs from both the BMW Museum and private owners were assembled to mark the occasion. Another great anniversary celebrated this year was the 50th of the Lamborghini Miura. Chantilly featured just three Miura P400s in the dedicated class but one of them was a very early prototype. Finished in white with silver rocker panels, it could be easily identified through the small vent in the roof, which did not make it onto the production models. Of the other special classes, no fewer than three were reserved for famous Italian coach-builder Zagato. One of these was for Alfa Romeo's and featured such iconic models as the TZ1, 1900C SS and Giulietta Sprint Zagato. Other Zagato bodied cars on display included a Fiat 8V Coupe with a double-bubble roof and an Aston Martin DB4 GT.
French racing heroes
Taking centre stage at Chantilly were two iconic figures in French motorsport. The best known and most successful of the pair is Jean Todt, the current president of the FIA. He started his career as a navigator in rallies during the 1970s but really came to the fore as team manager of Peugeot's competition program. He scored successes in rally events and also oversaw Peugeot's back-to-back Le Mans wins during the early 1990s. Todt then joined Ferrari as team manager and was instrumental in turning the Italian company's fortunes around in Formula 1 with the help of driver Michael Schumacher and chief engineer Ross Brawn. The long and diverse career was celebrated a fabulous and colourful line-up of cars he was involved with. It was unfortunate though, that all three Ferrari F1 cars on display were show cars with no actual racing history.
The second Frenchman that received a tribute was Charles Pozzi, who was the French Ferrari importer and fielded Ferrari sports cars in road races and rallies often with great success.
During the afternoon, the class and overall winners were announced with a parade in the yard in front of the castle. The winning cars were driven around the large fountain before receiving their prize on a stage. Each class had a winner while the runner up received a special prize. At the end of the day, the best of show winners were announced. The winning car in the Concours d'Elegance was the DS E-Tense show car, which had debuted earlier in 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show. The striking two-door coupe is powered by an all-electric drivetrain capable of producing 402hp and 516Nm of torque. Taking top honours in the Concours d'Etat was the fabulous Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B brought by American collector Jon Shirley. Restored several years ago by Butch Dennison, this Touring Coupe bodied machine had already taken the 'Best of Show' awards at Pebble Beach and Villa d'Este. Regularly driven on the road today, it was also raced extensively when it first arrived in North America in the late 1940s.
Despite the changeable weather conditions, the third Chantilly Arts & Elegance managed to once again attract 13,500 enthusiasts. They were treated to a superb array of historic and modern machinery, which underlined why the Chantilly Arts & Elegance has already become a set fixture so early in its life. All this, and much more can be found in our class-by-class 160-shot gallery