“Otto Vu”-laying on the golf green in Zoute

For seven years, the small Belgian Seebadort Knokke-Heist the venue for the Zoute Concours D rally is ´ elegance and the Zoute. The large jury under the direction of Philip Kantor had to judge the most beautiful among 70 Concours vehicles. The international jury joined a number of renowned experts, including Lorenzo Ramaciotti, Chairman of the Concorso D’eleganza Villa d’Este, Andrea Zagato, ownr of the coachbuilding and design company Zagato, Louis de Fabribeckers, head of design at Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, Adolfo Orsi, historian and President of Historica Selecta and Quirina Louwman, Dutch collector and historic race car driver. The Organizing Committee divided the cars into a pre-and post-war categories.
The decisions for the awards wasn´t easy, because the field was full of genuine rarities. Including highlights such as the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Prototipo 1968, Aston Martin Tickford DHC of 1951, Mercedes Benz 300SL prototype “Airbrake” of 1952 or the OSCA 1600 GT Coupé Zagato, which received the special prize of the jury “Coup de Coeur”.
The Japanese sports car legend Toyota 2000 GT was awarded with the Special Prize for technical innovation, the “Engineering Award” and the Lamborghini Miura achieved the prize for the “best design”. The Mercedes Benz 300 SL clinched against the special prizes as an automobile style icon.
A “gem” were the Fiat 8V models with different bodies, for example by Zagato, Ghia and Vignale. In total only 114 vehicles of the 8V models were built by the Fiat and most of the vehicles were conceived as a pure racing cars, as for example the Fiat 8V Berlinetta RAPI from 1953 exhibited in Zoute, which in the same year participated at the Mille Miglia and ranked the 18th. At the Zoute Concours D´elegance the owner received the prize “Best of Show”. But also the Fiat 8V Supersonic, manufactured in Ghia, received an award. He was selected for the Special Prize for the particularly sensitive restoration. The Fiat 8V sports cars were introduced at the 1952 Geneva Motor Show and build up to 1954. Despite the differential, the models had no technical relationship to any other Fiat models. Almost all mechanical parts have been specially designed for these race cars. But also many parts by Siata found their function in the vehicles, therefore two impressive Siata models, a 208 S spider 8V and a 208 CS Coupé joined the special field of the “Otto Vu” vehicles in Zoute.
In the class of Mercedes-Benz cars, the Mercedes Benz 300SL Prototype “Air brake” of 1952 received two awards, the class victory, and also the Special Prize for prototypes. Six stylish Ferraris were in the class of the Ferrari 275 GTB and 365 GTB/4. Including four Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona models, crowned by the Daytona prototype, which was sold in 1968 by Enzo Ferrari to Vincenzo Balestrieri. The vehicle had the same “Grigio Argento” color it still has today, and the elegant black leather interior is still original. This prototype was later the design template for the Ferrari 250 GTO. The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Prototipo was awarded with the price of the class winner.
Unrestored vehicles are gaining more and more acception at the Concours D´ elegance events. Therefore a prize for the best preserved vehicle in its original State at the Zoute Concours D ´ elegance was awarded to the Bugatti type 35, which has never been restored, despite repeated changing of the owner in the last 80 years.
The Lancia Astura convertible from 1938, with a body designed by Pininfarina received the price for the unique special body. The Talbot-Lago T120 convertible from 1939 was the winner in the class “prewar cars”.
A special prize for the longest journey on axis was presented to the owner of the Bentley Mark VI Drophead with a Worblaufen Coupé body.
Also a vintage and classic car auction of the British auction house of Bonhams was held during the Zoute Concours D´elegance . The highlight of the auction was the Club Sport model of the 1987 Porsche 928 from the prior possession of the former Le Mans winner Derek Bell. Only five prototypes were built for factory test drivers. This Porsche received a bid worth 253,000 Euros. The 1958 Porsche 356 pre-A, from the prior possession of the Belgian racing driver Yves Tassin (awarded 2015 in Zoute on the Concours ´ elegance for its sensitive restoration) transferred the ownership with incredible 586.500 euro. The brand with the star on the hood also set a new record. A Mercedes Benz 280SL pagoda reached a price of 230,000 euros.