Marc Sonnery

Volume 43 Issue 14

Jul 7, 2018

  Serenely set at the western end of Lake Geneva where the Rhone River heads into nearby France, prosperous, genteel Geneva has a long tradition of concours dating back to 1927 in the Parc de La Grange right on the shore.

    Serenely set at the western end of Lake Geneva where the Rhone River heads into nearby France, prosperous, genteel Geneva has a long tradition of concours dating back to 1927 in the Parc de La Grange right on the shore.

    Interrupted in 1955 the event has found a worthy successor in the Concours d’Elegance Suisse (Swiss Concours d’Elegance) thanks to the vision and hard work of organizer Mathias Doutreleau.

    The third edition of this event took place June 22-24 at the 18th century Château de Coppet, 20 minutes east of Geneva on the north shore of the lake.

    With its numerous private banks, countless diplomats, wealthy Swiss and foreign residents, Switzerland in general, and the Geneva area in particular, has many fine collections.

    There is, therefore, a vast reservoir of potential entries in this event, along with excellent organization; the potential for it to grow is clearly there.

    The weekend, sunny and warm throughout, started on Friday with a touring rally in the foothills and vineyards of the nearby Jura Mountains. After lunch the cars were placed on the lawn in the enclosed park of the chateau before an inaugural cocktail.

    Saturday judging took place while access was reserved to participants, guests and media; a gala dinner at Geneva’s Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues ensued.

    Sunday saw the event open to the public as well as the awards ceremony at 1 PM.

    Beyond the usual luxury watch, clothing displays and champagne bars, the Swiss premiere of the new Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV set tongues wagging. Let us say that with its rear hatch swiveling seats to watch polo matches it takes the cake; the Beverly Hillbillies would have loved it.

    Amidst the over 80 cars entered there were 18 classic Ferraris taking part. The most important Prancing Horse present was the 1960 250 GT SWB Spyder California S/N 1883 GT, sold new to Italy and 19th in the 1962 Targa Florio, its single race before spending most of its life in the USA in the hands of Everett Anton Singer and others.

                                  250 GT SWB Spyder California S/N 1883 GT

    In 2012 it was bought by German Hubert Haupt, who put it back to the original non-covered headlight nose and painted black. It is now owned in an anonymous Swiss collection. Privacy is very much cherished in Switzerland, which is fair enough hence along with anonymous owners not all chassis numbers were available.

    Always a treat to see, the 342 America S/N 0246 AL, owned by American Bruce Vanyo, was a Geneva show car, then sold new in Genoa, Italy, before spending most of its life on the US show circuit.

                                                   342 America S/N 0246 AL

    Another rare sight was the 1953 250 Europa Pinin Farina Coupe S/N 0297 EU repainted in its original dark blue with quaint ivory top. A 250 GT/L S/N 5187 GT sat near two 275 GTB/4s; one silver, one black.

    Last seen at Retromobile, the shark nosed 250 GT Bertone S/N 3269 GT had viewers in awe as usual. Three 330 GTCs, one 365 GTC, one fly yellow Daytona and one 250 SWB could be seen.

    Four 250 GT PF Coupes had their own class in honor of the model’s sixtieth anniversary. Doutreleau explained he had great difficulty gathering four.  They included 250 GT PF Coupes S/N 1621 GT and S/N 1205 GT.

    S/N 1621 GT had a huge restoration album presented on a pedestal near the car, giving the public a chance to peruse the hundreds of photos and hours needed; a worthy idea.

                                                   250 GT PF Coupe S/N 1621GT

    A 330 GT 2+2 4-headlight, gorgeous in Verde Pino, a red 246 GT and a silver 206 GT with the rare bath-towel like seat coverings, perfect for the nearby  beach, completed the Ferrari roster.

    VIP visitors included Antoine Prunet, Marcel Massini, Zurich dealer Lukas Hüni while Adolfo Orsi was chief judge.

    The CES is definitely an event set to claim a place at the front row of major concours, and worth keeping an eye on as it grows.

        Ferrari Awards

    Front-Engine Ferraris 1947-1964:

        1st 1953 342 America S/N 0246 AL

            owned by Bruce Vanyo.

        2nd 330 America 2+2 dark green

            owned by Albert Obrist.

    Front-Engine Ferraris 1965-1971:

        1st 1971 365 GTB/4 Daytona, fly yellow

            owned by Paolo Bianchi.

        2nd 1967 275 GTB/4, black

            owned by a private Swiss collection.

                                                     365 GTB/4 S/N 14355

    60th anniversary of the 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe:

        1st 1960 250 GT PF Coupe

            owned by Andre Sanchez and Jean Yves Charriau.

        2nd 1958 250 GT PF Coupe

           owned in a private Swiss collection.

    Honorary jury award for cars presented in period at the Geneva show:

        250 GT SWB Bertone S/N 3269 GT

            owned in a Swiss private collection.

    Award of the honorary jury president:

        1960 250 GT SWB Spyder California S/N 1883 GT

                owned by Hubert Haupt.


Bonus Photos!


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