Classic Horsepower

The vintage cars that caught our eye at the London Concours event last month.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The vintage cars that caught our eye at the London Concours event last month.

Concours events, which began in Paris in the 17th century, were a way for aristocrats to parade their horse-drawn carriages during summer weekends and holidays. While the mode of transportation has changed, the aim remains the same: displaying classic automobiles for the enjoyment of the public.

Last month, with permission from the ruling government, London hosted a socially-distanced Concours across two days in the beautiful gardens of the historic Honourable Artillery Company Headquarters. Over 120 cars, from the automotive classics of the 50s and 60s to more recent icons, were presented to the public. The Peak highlights four of our favourites from the show on the following page.


Ah, the golden era of convertibles. The 60s were all about soft tops and solid engineering, and the car that best epitomised that period was the Ferrari 330 GTS. Dubbed the “first Ferrari in which you could actually enjoy your radio”, the vehicle was unveiled at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show and became one of Ferrari’s more popular models, even to this day. A mint condition 330 GTS by Pininfarina recently went under the hammer for US$1.7 million (S$2.3 million) at a Sotheby’s auction. Only 99 examples (of the Spider variant) were produced, making the 330 GTS one of the rarest Ferraris on the market today.

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The British carmaker has turned the corner in recent years after surviving multiple bankruptcies. Its automotive legacy, however, has only grown from strength to strength, thanks to such phenomenal vehicles as the Aston Martin DB2/4. One of the fastest production cars of its day, it was a phenomenal shooting brake that cemented the carmaker’s reputation and became the inspiration for the DB3 that a suave British spy would go on to drive in the 1959 novel Goldfinger written by Ian Fleming. The DB2/4 itself would make cameo appearances in multiple films, including the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock horror flick The Birds.

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Jaguar E-TypE 

Once proclaimed “the world’s most beautiful car ever made” by Enzo Ferrari, the Jaguar E-Type has become such a well-loved icon that the carmaker released E-Type Reborn, a run of 10 life-size replicas produced according to original 1960s specifications in 2017. It even attempted to recreate the E-Type as an electric variant two years ago, a project which was discontinued. The E-Type marks its 60th anniversary in March next year and to celebrate, Jaguar announced that it would be releasing six matched pairs of E-Type cars, styled to pay tribute to the two cars used during its first unveiling to the public in 1961.

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Arguably Porsche’s most significant car, the 356 was the carmaker’s first model to roll off the production line back in 1948. More importantly, it won the first-ever race it entered in Innsbruck, Austria. Ferdinand Porsche believed that motorsports competitions were great marketing tools. However, its popularity only skyrocketed after it won in its 1,100cc class in the 1951 Le Mans race. A total of 76,000 models were produced between 1948 and 1965, with about half still surviving today. While the 911 soon replaced it, the Porsche 356 continues to be loved and highly coveted by automobile enthusiasts, thanks to its design and performance.