Victoria sponge cake and tombola — they’re what ordinarily spring to mind when you think of a British country fair, but not at Heveningham Hall. The Georgian mansion’s annual summer shindig is now home to a premier concours d’elegance, staged on the impressive Kim Wilkie-designed grass terraces.
For the event’s second running, classic propeller planes were incorporated and, as you’d expect from looking at the automotive delights on display, the entry list was impressive, with a 1934 de Havilland Leopard Moth and a 1918 Sopwith Snipe among the 11 aircraft on show.
For the purpose of judging, the assembly of cars was divided into three categories — pre-War, post-War, and supercars — and it was impressive (and diverse) enough to hold its own against even the most established of concours competitions. From the 1903 Berliet 4L right through to the 2017 LaFerrari Aperta, it seemed almost every epoch and discipline of motorsport was represented. There was even an ex-Toivonen Lancia Delta S4 rally car in attendance.
While every single car exhibited deserved its place on the terraces, there were certainly some Classic Driver favourites. The visual drama of the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster was outdone only by the racing Le Mans variant parked alongside it. And with Le Mans in mind, it was also a treat to see two legends of La Sarthe — a Gulf-liveried Porsche 917K and the famous Harrods McLaren F1 GTR.
A refreshing change of pace from the high-octane events in recent weeks (along with the stunning sunshine throughout), the Heveningham Hall Concours d’Elegance was a thoroughly enjoyable affair. If the first two iterations are anything to go by, 2018’s event will be every bit as special (and hopefully as relaxed!).
Photos: Robert Cooper for Classic Driver © 2017