Get ready to witness the most captivating event of the year: the Concours of Elegance! Held at the prestigious Hampton Court Palace near London, UK from September 1st-3rd, 2023, this year’s edition promises to be truly unforgettable.
We are thrilled to announce that one of Switzerland’s most renowned classic car enthusiasts, Fritz Burkard, will take the stage as ‘The Collector’. A name that exudes passion and expertise, Burkard’s Pearl Collection is a testament to his love for automotive masterpieces. Spanning across different eras, from the dawn of the automotive age to the cutting-edge hypercars of the 21st century, this Switzerland-based collection is a sight to behold.
Burkard’s approach to collecting cars is truly remarkable. He sees himself not merely as a collector, but as a custodian entrusted with showcasing the beauty and the history of each vehicle. His emotional connection to his cars is palpable, as he cherishes every detail, every scent that tells a story of their past.
But Burkard doesn’t stop at admiring his collection from a distance. No, he believes in truly experiencing the essence of each car. From racing to showcasing, every vehicle in the Pearl Collection is brought to life, their distinct aura felt by all who are fortunate enough to witness them in action.
This year, the Concours of Elegance will pay homage to Burkard’s exceptional mindset by featuring a selection of his cars, spanning from 1897 to 2022. Prepare to be amazed by the eclectic mix of history, design, and innovation that will grace the event.
So mark your calendars, because this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Get ready for a spectacular showcase of automotive excellence at the Concours of Elegance!
1897 Prinetti & Stucchi Tricycle
In 1883, in Milan, Italy, a company named Prinetti & Stucchi emerged as a major player in the world of sewing machines, bicycles, and, eventually, motorized vehicles with their production of licensed DeDion tricycles. Little did they know that they would also play a crucial role in shaping the future of automotive excellence and introducing us to a young apprentice named Ettore Bugatti.
Ettore Bugatti demonstrated exceptional innovation and mechanical skills at a remarkably young age. At the request of the Automobile Club of Italy, Bugatti set out to develop a two-engined racing version of the tricycle. The result? The legendary Bugatti Type 1. In 1899, this groundbreaking vehicle claimed its first victory in Reggio Emili, showcasing an extraordinary average speed of 64kp/h over a grueling distance of 90km. This remarkable achievement became a testament to Bugatti’s unparalleled talent and marked the beginning of an era filled with astounding cars and countless triumphs in the world of motor racing.
1933 Alfa Romeo 8C Monza
Let’s fast forward a few decades and dive into the world of vintage cars. Meet the 1933 8C 2300 Monza from the Pearl Collection. This beauty sports a powerful 2866cc straight-eight engine and was designed by the one and only Vittorio Jano. Back in the day, it was screaming on the race tracks as part of Scuderia Ferrari, driven by the legendary Tazio Nuvolari. Winning the Swedish GP and participating in iconic races like the Monaco Grand Prix, Mont Ventoux, and San Sebastian hill climbs, this competition machine was a force to be reckoned with. Over the years, it changed hands and underwent a magnificent restoration. Since then, it has been thrilling audiences in historic motorsport events, even conquering the legendary Goodwood Revival. Imagine the sight of this remarkable car, making its way from Germany to England to take part in the race and then cruising back home. Magnificent, isn’t it?
1934 Bugatti Type 59
Introducing the iconic 1934 Bugatti Type 59 from the Pearl Collection! This remarkable vehicle was born as a response to growing competition from Alfa Romeo and Mercedes-Benz. With its sleek design, enhanced performance, and limited production of just six units, the Type 59 is truly a technical masterpiece.
Originally built for Grand Prix racing, this car achieved remarkable feats, securing third place at the Monaco GP and taking home the victory in Belgium. The Type 59 holds a special place in Bugatti’s history as their final GP car. It’s elegance and timeless design make it one of the most captivating pre-war competition machines ever crafted.
But the story doesn’t end there! This exceptional vehicle was later transformed for sports car racing, undergoing modifications such as the removal of the supercharger and the installation of a dry-sump gearbox. It even had the privilege of gracing King Leopold III of Belgium’s ownership. This extraordinary journey truly captures the essence of the Bugatti marque, the pure-blooded epitome of automobiles.
Presented in its original condition, this historically significant machine mesmerizes as a testament to Bugatti’s enduring legacy. Prepare to be captivated by the incomparable charm and allure of the Bugatti Type 59, a true symbol of automotive excellence.
1939 Maserati 4CL Monoposto
The arrival of the 4CL in 1939 marked a significant milestone for the relatively new Maserati marque, already well-regarded in competition circles. With its impressive four-valves-per-cylinder straight-four engine, the model made its debut at the illustrious Tripoli GP. Only seven of these magnificent machines were crafted before the outbreak of World War Two. Among them, the esteemed 4CL Monoposto chassis 1564 served as the prototype, commanding the attention of legendary drivers like Carlo Felice Trossi, Franco Cortese, and Luigi Villoresi as part of the ‘Works’ team. Even after the war, it continued to race under the skilled hands of drivers like ‘Raph’ and Maurice Trintignant, before transitioning to a more leisurely existence as a hill climber, a VSCC trials machine, and a treasured museum exhibit. In a joyous turn of events at the turn of the millennium, it once again graced the circuits, ensuring its rightful place in automotive history. Now, as a valued addition to the prestigious Pearl Collection, it stands as a captivating testament to Maserati’s heritage.
1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental
The Phantom II Continental takes center stage in the Pearl Collection, shifting the spotlight from Europe to Britain. A true masterpiece, this Continental features exquisite wind-tunnel-honed Streamlined Saloon coachwork by Park Ward. With a 7,668cc engine, boosted compression ratio, and high-lift camshaft, it effortlessly reached an impressive 92mph.
After captivating audiences at the 1934 Olympia Motor Show, the Phantom II embarked on a remarkable journey, eventually finding its home across the Atlantic. Following a meticulous restoration in the early 2000s, it graced prestigious events like Pebble Beach and Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Joining the Pearl Collection at the 2023 Concours of Elegance are other compelling exhibits such as the stunning 1936 Bugatti T57S Atalante and the super-sleek Abarth 1000 record car ‘La Principessa’ from the 1960s, designed by Pininfarina. And to celebrate 110 years of exceptional design and performance, there’s the limited-edition 2022 Bugatti Centodieci.
James Brooks-Ward, the CEO of Concours of Elegance, shares his excitement about the diversity and quality of the Pearl Collection, as well as Fritz Burkard’s passion for classic cars. From Bugatti’s iconic racing machine to the modern Centodieci, these vehicles showcase the rich history of British and European motoring. The show will take place at Hampton Court Palace in September, promising a truly extravagant experience for guests from around the world.
In addition to the extraordinary automotive displays, Concours of Elegance 2023 will be an unparalleled celebration of luxury. Guests can indulge in Charles Heidsieck champagne, and delightful picnics by Fortnum & Mason, and explore captivating art, jewelry, and fashion exhibits. With further announcements to come, the event is set to exceed expectations and leave lasting memories for all who attend.
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