The fourth Concours d’Élégance Suisse (CES) award ceremony – held on Sunday June 23rdin Coppet, near Geneva – saw an international multi-disciplinary Jury award 42 prizes including its highest distinction, the Best of Show prize. The latter went to the 1953 Ferrari 250 GT Europa de 1953, chassis No. 0295EU with coachwork by Vignale, which also won the Jury The President’s Choice Award (Prize of Exception)
Aesthetics in the spotlight at the CES
The magnificent setting of the Château de Coppet, former residence of the famous French-Swiss author Germaine de Staël, hosted a fourth edition that was all about sunshine, prestige and variety, with more than 90 vintage cars spread over 17 classes of excellence. The vehicles vied with each other in terms of both technical and aesthetic attributes in order to win over a rigorous and committed jury – composed this year of 28 members representing 10 different nationalities and chaired by Mr Achim Anscheidt, Design Director at Bugatti. The latter’s presence notably reinforced the competition’s new mission of giving greater importance to aesthetic aspects and deliberately incorporating them within the adjudication process, thereby making it even fairer and comprehensive.
This important choice was explained in more detail by the founder of the Concours, Mathias Doutreleau, former director of the Californian Concours The Quail : “It is a real joy to see that the orientation chosen for our Competition, and the importance we have decided to devote to aesthetic elegance, are recognised by the most eminent personalities in the world of vintage cars and prestigious automotive design. We are particularly pleased to see the enthusiasm of the participants, the jury and even the public for the new Best of Sound award implemented by BOSE. Let’s hit the road toward a fifth amazing edition!”
2019 Jury President Mr Achim Anscheidt added: “With my first participation at the CES as the President of the Jury, I was honoured and thrilled to find a new balance between the fascinating knowledge of the automotive heritage specialists and the experienced eye for expression and style shown by my fellow designers. Together with the marvellous setting by Lake Geneva, the event is developing into a delightful highlight within the culture of automotive elegance.”
Swiss collections emerge from the shadows and scoop up awards
The Swiss collections distinguished themselves by winning more than half of the prizes awarded by the Concours, all classes and prizes combined. The 1938 Delahaye 135 convertible with coachwork by Tüscher won the first prize in the Delahaye class, 125 d’élégance et de portivité.
On the other hand, it was a 1938 Bugatti Type 57 C Stelvio that won first prize in the class: 110 ans de la Marque, L’élégance sportive, while the 1933 Bugatti Type 54 Grand Prix won first prize in the class: 110 ans de la Marque, L’âge d’or des Grands Prix.
Bentley’s 100thanniversary was marked by the victory of the eagerly awaited 1951 Bentley Mark VI Cresta II, with bodywork by the French workshops Facel Metallon, winner of its class: Bentley since 1919, The cars from Crewe. Another famous Bentley, the 1932 8-litre Drop Head Coupe Thrupp & Maberly, won first prize in its class: Bentley, since 1919, From Cricklewood to Derby. For Citroën’s 100thanniversary, a stunning 1965 Citroën DS19 M convertible won first prize in the class: Le centenaire de Citroën, La Déesse d’André Lefèvbre – a talented engineer who began his professional life alongside Gabriel Voisin, and who spent the rest of his long career with André Citroën.
One should also note the excellent result of the 1935 Hispano Suiza K6 cabriolet by Brandone, which won the second Best of Show award, as well as the first prize in its class: Automobiles d’avant-guerre, les grandes routières.
The irresistible and rare Ferrari 250 GT Europa by Vignale, presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1953, was unanimously awarded not only the highest distinction of the Concours, the Best of Show 2019, but also the President’s Choice Award. On this occasion, the qualities highlighted naturally included authenticity and history, but also pure aesthetics.
Best of Sound by BOSE
The Concours also witnessed a brand-new and unusual adjudication process, since the CES has created and developed a new trophy, Best of Sound, which rewards the most outstanding engine sound. Wearing BOSE headphones, Jury members in turn listened to the symphonies of the engines of all the vehicles presented, before finally agreeing on that of the 1961 Ferrari GT 250 Berlinetta from the Modena Cars Collection. The recorded sounds will be archived, creating an extremely important audio archive.
Fotos: Amy Shore mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Concours d’Elégance Suisse