I was delighted to attend the Midsummer Classic Concours d’Elegance at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire and participate as one of the panel of judges. I was joined by former England rugby star Will Greenwood, Aston Martin Racing Le Mans team driver Harold Primat, TV chef and car enthusiast James Martin, Jeremy Hackett of the clothing empire, and Michael van der Sande, chief commercial ofﬁcer of Aston Martin Lagonda. We had over 50 desirable Aston Martin cars spanning 80 years to view, marking points for each category from the car’s provenance to its style, where I offered my expertise.
The Astons on display on this sunny day included one of the DB5s which James Bond drove in the film Goldfinger, complete with machine guns and spiked hubcaps. It will be auctioned in RM’s London sale in October.
Best of Show went to VEV2, the 1961 DB4GT Zagato which once competed at Le Mans and was raced by Jim Clark. I chatted to its owner who told me he originally bought it for £3000 in 1971 and now it is worth over £4 million. The True Greats class went to the short-chassis 1930 Aston Martin International with its unique ﬁxed-head coupé coachwork. The Kings of the Road category was topped by a 1987 V8 Vantage Volante, while the State of the Art category went to a unique 2007 Vanquish S which had many special features including a glass-panel roof.
Guests were treated to Louis Roederer champagne and a barbecue lunch on the lawn of the famous clubhouse. The day ﬁnished with The Thunder Ball, a black-tie dinner and dance where the winners were announced.