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CONCOURS D’ETAT: THE FIRST TWO CLASSES UNVEILED

Three years after its last staging, Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille returns in 2022, on 24 and 25 September. If the general concept remains unchanged, all the Concours d’Etat classes of the will be new. To begin with, two classes will initiate the festivities for the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to be celebrated in 2023.

By creating this event in 2014, Peter Auto had set itself the ambition of resurrecting the Concours d’Elegance which France was the cradle of in the 1920s, as well as celebrating the ‘Art de Vivre à la Française’. The gamble paid off! It was rewarded from the outset, in 2014 and 2015, with the prize for the most beautiful historic automobile event of the year at the International Historic Motoring Awards. Recognition from the public, too, with attendance rising steadily to 19,000.

The 2022 edition will therefore have the same ingredients as the previous five, namely, for spectators

  • Access to the entire Chantilly Estate (park, château, Great Stables)
  • Activities for the whole family (games, workshops, concerts, etc.)
  • Exhibitions (automobile, art, culture, etc.)
  • A Concours, divided into three Challenges:
      • A Concours d’Elegance (manufacturers and their concept cars)
      • A State Competition (classic car collectors)
      • A Grand Prix des Clubs (witnesses of automobile history)

TWO CLASSES

On Sunday 25 September, the Le Nôtre lawns and the Château de Chantilly will provide an idyllic setting for a gathering that, for a few hours, will become the most beautiful of all automobile museums with 150 cars, from different worlds and all eras, gathered on this occasion. A committee of experts recently met to define the list of the Concours d’Etat 17 classes, two of which will be associated with the centenary the 24 Hours of Le Mans festivities, which will see various exhibitions held throughout the world:

    1. The cars that have contributed to the Mulsanne straight (‘Les Hunaudières’ in French)’s fame – The endless ribbon of straight tarmac that cuts through the forest for nearly six kilometres was for a long time the aerodynamicists’ obsession. As early as 1925, the Chenard & Walker ‘Tank’ laid the foundations for the quest for the best air penetration coefficient, which would give rise to iconoclastic vehicles such as Cadillac’s ‘Le Monstre’ in 1950 or the Porsche 917 “Lang Heck” (Long Tail) in 1970. From 200 km/h in the 1920s (Bentley Speed 6), the speeds would rise up to 300 km/h in 1964 (Maserati Tipo 151) and then 400 km/h in 1988 (WM P88).
    2. Cars competing on the Performance Index (and the energy index) – This classification, the result of a calculation combining ‘distance travelled’ and ‘engine capacity’, favoured ‘small’ cars with streamlined bodies and lightened thanks to the use of materials such as aluminium or polyester. A formula, ecological before its time, which promoted the know-how of the less wealthy teams and of which Panhard would remain the undisputed champion with ten victories between 1950 and 1962. Other firms would make their mark in this category before aiming higher, such as Porsche (1955), Lotus (1957) or Alpine (1968-1969).

 

MORE TO COME…

The other classes of the Concours d’Etat will be revealed on 1 February during the Retromobile show. The concept cars presented by the manufacturers at the Concours de Elegance will be announced during the summer.