Dear Friends and Family,
The last weekend in August marks the Salon Prive, the largest gathering of supercars and vintage racers in Europe. For the past five years it’s been held here, in Blenheim Palace’s front yard. Okay, ‘yard’ probably isn’t the right word, since the distance from the front door to the end of the drive is just over two miles. But still.
That’s me leaning against the wheel of this year’s Renault Formula One racer. I snuck in at daybreak for this shot. Before they cordoned off the machine, and also before I had to go back and put on a jacket and tie. I got in free because I live here, but I still had to dress up like I actually belonged.
This past weekend was broken into four segments. Thursday was a sort of ‘show up and get your bearings day’. Cost to enter was three hundred dollars. Friday was ‘hat day’. As in, ladies must wear one, and first prize for the weirdest hat was ten thousand dollars. Cost to enter, four hundred dollars. Saturday was ‘Porsche day’. Each year, the Saturday is given over to one car club or another. Cost was three hundred bucks. One car is judged the best from each production year, going back to the nineteen thirties. Owners spend months pimping their rides. The winners get a decal for their rear window and the chance to drive in a circle around the other people who stand and watch and wish their car had won.
All this is true.
Sunday is ‘peasant’s day’. Okay, that’s not what it’s actually called. But still. The price drops to twenty dollars and the place is just jammed. Eleven thousand people came this year. There were so many supercars on display, they directed all the Rolls Royces and the Maybachs – we’re talking four hundred thousand dollars for the base models – to the general parking area.
A lot of these vintage super cars would be expensive if you bought them by the pound. Last week, a sixties-era Ferrari sold for, wait for it…
Twenty-eight million dollars. Read more