Classic car show Councours d’Elegance to be held at Pt. Leo

Source -The Australian

Article by Stephen Corby

17h March, 2022

Think of it as an automotive field of dreams – more than $200 million worth of stunning motor vehicles, from collectable classics to $5.5m hyper cars plus everything in between – and you’ve pretty much defined what the mysterious term “Concours” suggests.

Pt Leo Estate on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula — a winery, restaurant and sculpture park — will be the setting for the largest such event ever held in Australia, The Motorists Concours d’Elégance, from April 1 to 3.

The list of vehicles available to be drooled over is enough to make a motoring enthusiast burst a valve, but arguably the highlight will be a Pagani Huayra Coupe, valued at $5.5 million, although some will walk straight past that to gaze at something even rarer, an original McLaren F1 (examples of which go for as much as $US15m), parked next to its modern descendant, the superlative McLaren Speedtail (yours for just $US2m).

One of the event organisers, classic-car devotee and co-founder of The Motorists, Ben Musu, is far more excited about the Rolls Royce Ghost Brougham De Ville he will have on display, however.

“Built in 1923, it has the driver sitting in the open air and the occupants enclosed, it’s a vast car and runs almost silently, which, for a combustion engine of its time, is truly remarkable,” he enthuses.

“The Ghost speaks of a time when cars were built for the aristocracy, and were never driven by their owners, but the cars we’ve got here stretch all the way to today, where the modern aristocracy buy their own super cars, very much to drive them.”

When it comes to super cars, of course, none is more recognisable nor more worshipped than the Lamborghini Countach, and the Concours d’Elégance will feature more than one, including a P400 version, which Mr Musu points out is “the genesis of the design, the purest version of the Countach”.

Those whose love of cars leans towards the more parochial will not be disappointed, of course, with plenty of Australian classics on display, including a Holden Monaro, “a Bathurst HK, which is not something that you trip over in the street every day, it’s one that’s been restored to the way it left the factory, a beautiful example”.

Mr Musu insists that “the nobility of mass production” will be as well represented as that of snazzy sports cars, with examples of the original Citroen 2CV another drawcard for history buffs.

“What makes an event like this so amazing is the vast variety, and the purpose is to create a two-day open air museum, carefully curated, that allows people to walk through 130 years of motoring history,” Mr Musu added.

The Motorists Concours d’Elegance will take place on the weekend prior to the eagerly awaited return of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne, and the hope is that it will become part of an annual festival of motoring in Victoria.

Pt Leo Estate’s $70m sculptural art collection will form a complementary part of the Concours event. The Estate is owned by art enthusiasts the Gandel family, and Pauline Gandel says they had no hesitation in signing up to be part of The Motorists Concours d’Elégance.

“We are so proud of the collection we have brought together over so many years and we get so much joy from sharing it with the public,” she said.

“When the Motorists approached us with the idea of staging a classic-car exhibition amongst the sculptures we were instantly intrigued. After all, cars are sculptural too.”

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