Big but dusty garden party
Text and photography: Robbert Moree
With over 25.000 visitors, the fourteenth edition of the Concours d 'Élégance Paleis Het Loo is a great success. These visitors arrived in large numbers with their classic car and if they were older than 40, they could be parked in the classic car park. That parking was in itself an attractive exhibition of beautiful classics. After a tour of the classic car park, a nice program with the most beautiful classics, exciting new cars and lots of action was waiting. And that for three days. The beautiful weather contributed to a wonderful outdoor feeling, but as Johan Cruijff always said: 'every advantage has its disadvantage'. The disadvantage in this case was the substantial amount of dust.
The International Competition yielded a winner, already tipped by many. The organizers were also not completely surprised when the international professional jury from a field of 70 chose beautiful world class classics for the beautiful Fiat 8V Vignale Coupé from 1955 by Jan de Reu, participant in the Special Italian Coach Work Post War category. A rare and in good condition car with an interesting history, including a unfortunately not fully completed participation in the Mille Miglia.
There was also a Junior Jury, consisting of IVA and Delft Design students, who selected the only remaining 812 Beverly Saloon from 1937 as the winner. Nice to see how young people are involved in the traditional car world in this way.
As usual, the Dunlop Classic Sprint on Koningslaan was the living element of the days. The prewar cars sprinted down the avenue, had to brake on time and accelerate again. It was not about the fastest time, but the most constant average speed. It therefore makes no difference whether the driver is driving a fast or slower car, if the time he needs to complete the sprint is as precise as possible in a number of runs. Like a regularity during a rally so. Klaas Blankevoort with his Singer 9 LeMans Special succeeded the best and became the winner of the spectacle.
Legends Harm Lagaaij and Gijs van Lennep presented their knowledge of 911 years of Porsche to the public during the Porsche 70 lecture, which was prepared to miss nothing of the experiences of these men in the warm sun.
Now that the event is annual, the organizers of the fourteenth Concours d'Élégance Paleis Het Loo cannot rest on their laurels for long: they are already looking ahead and are now busy with the 2019 edition of the event. Themes will include 100 years Citroën, 70 year Abarth and the rich history of Aston Martin.