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2022 Chantilly Arts & Elegance
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Return to Chantilly at last
With the inaugural Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille, the Peter Auto organisation brought back an international Concours d'Elegance to France in 2014. A set fixture on the calendar, the event became biennial, alternating with the Le Mans Classic. Due to the global pandemic, the 2021 edition was scratched but after three years we were finally able to return to the Chateau de Chantilly for the 2022 Chantilly Arts & Elegance. Although scheduled at the very end of summer, the sixth edition had fabulous weather throughout both for the tour on Saturday and the actual event on Sunday. As before, there were three 'Best of Show' trophies with a pre- and post-War category for the classic cars and a separate award for contemporary show cars and limited production machinery. Among the featured categories were Touring, DeTomaso, Hispano Suiza and the Le Mans centenary.
Our photographers were on hand throughout the weekend and have returned with this 220-shot gallery that includes images from Saturday's tour and Sunday's Concours d'Elegance.

Touring Superleggera
One of Italy's most famous Carrozzerie is Touring of Milan. It is best known for the Superleggera or super lightweight construction method of aluminium panels mounted on a steel tubular subframe. The company folded in the 1960s but in more recent years, it was revived with one of the driving forces behind the scenes being the late Belgian collector Roland d'Ieteren. As a tribute to him, there were three classes dedicated to Touring, with pre-War, post-War and modern cars clothed by Touring. There were fascinating cars throughout, which included a very early Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GT Coupe. This was built before the Superleggera method was devised and featured a Weymann patented, fabric body. It was very effective as it won its class in the Mille Miglia in 1931. In addition to the various Touring bodied Alfa Romeos, the line-up also included the famous Pegaso 'Thrill' show car that was part of d'Ieteren's personal collection. Among the modern Touring cars was the Maserati Quattroporte based 'Bellaggio' shooting brake, the Alfa Romeo 8C derived Disco Volante tributes and the most recent Arese AH95.

Le Mans Centenary
Among the other events on the Peter Auto roster is the Le Mans Classic, so it was no surprise that the upcoming Le Mans Centenary also took centre stage at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance. The Automobile Club d'Ouest brought out the special 70kg trophy that will be handed to the 2023 winner and is on a world tour, visiting all the major events before returning to Le Mans in June of 2023. On the show field, the Le Mans centenary was celebrated with two separate classes. The first was for cars that starred in the Index of Performance, which was a particularly important price in France. Among the small displacement and thus highly efficient machines on display were a lovely Fiat Abarth 1000 SP, a Lotus Eleven S2 and a Panhard Monopole, complete with 'gullwing doors' and an air-cooled twin-cylinder engine. The second class was a tribute to the famous 'Hunaudieres' straight. The slippery cars shown ranged from a Ferrari 512 M and Peugeot 905 Evo1 Bis to a 1964 CD Panhard that managed a top speed of 225 km/h despite being powered by a diminutive 848 cc engine.

Further Highlights
Each of the 17 classes featured many gems but we were particularly taken by the category for early competition cars. This included a very rare Gräf and Stift from Austria and also three cars from the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile di Torino. The trio featured a V12 engined Itala from 1925 that was built on a wooden chassis and is in the process of being restored to full running order. Another class dedicated to competition cars starred 1950s American sports racers. Rare in their own right, particularly on this side of the Atlantic, the entry included a Chaparral Mark I, Kurtis 500 X and a Glasspar G2. Showing a virtually unrivalled patina was the highly original Maserati Tipo 60 Birdcage that was part of the Barchetta category. There was also a class for 'Iconoclastic' cars and this included the central-seat and mid-engined Ferrari 365 P Speciale and also the Meyers-Manx beach buggy that was used by Steve McQueen in the original Thomas Crown Affair movie. One of the earliest cars on the field was the 1904 Pipe Série E, which, despite its age, was still in highly original condition. It was not just beautifully preserved, it was still in full running order and as a class winner, it also took part in the prize giving parade.

Best of Show
At the end of a busy Sunday with parades for all classes in front of the Chateau de Chantilly, it was time to present the three 'Best of Show' awards. First up was the Concours d'Elegance for modern show cars and limited production supercars. Taking the top honours was the Aston Martin DBR22. This V12-engined roadster is a tribute to the successful Aston Martin sports cars from the 1950s. It was launched as a concept car but it will no doubt be followed by a limited production run. Chosen as 'Best of Show' pre-War was the unique Hispano Suiza H6C 'Xenia' created by and for André Dubonnet. A mechanical and aesthetic work of art, it was more than a well deserved winner. The choice for the post-War was not quite as obvious but the panel of international judges eventually picked the Talbot Lago T26 GS that had been re-bodied in period with a Barchetta body by Italian specialists Motto. Beautifully presented, it also took part in the tour on Saturday. From the many club displays, a winner was also picked; a lovely Bentley R-Type Continental Mulliner Fastback.

Final thoughts
The sixth edition of the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille featured an eclectic mix of cars. Some of these were familiar from other Concours d'Elegance while others were less obvious but equally interesting choices. Thanks to the beautiful weather, the well stocked show field and numerous club and special displays, the event was a resounding success. The only drawback is, that we have to wait another two years for the next edition. To make the wait a little easier, we would like to refer to our 220-shot gallery from the 2022 Chantilly Arts & Elegance.


Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Pieter Melissen and Wouter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com