Speed / June 2018

Concours D'Elégance Suisse 2018: What You Need to Know

Attention all motoring enthusiasts: this month, The Rake is delighted to be partnering with the prestigious vintage car rally Concours D’Elégance Suisse.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing at last year's Concours D'Élegance.

From the 22nd to the 24th of June, motoring aficionados and lovers alike will gather in the gardens of Château de Coppet, the renowned home of Madame de Staël, to pay homage to a wide-range of paragons of classic, vintage historical and special-interest automobiles in the name of the annual Concours D'Elégance Suisse. A panel of seasoned judges will be present to award prizes across several classes that span from 1920 to 1985. The third and final day is open to the public and The Rake will be presenting an award to The Best Dressed Driver, but more on that later.

It’s going to be a spectacular few days. On Friday, ourselves and a select few will be participating in a leisurely drive in a vintage convertible for 70km at a gentlemanly pace (i.e. fast and furiously) on the long and winding roads that wiggle alongside the crystal-clear waters of Lake Geneva. Following lunch at a surprise location, the cars will return and park up in the gardens of Château De Coppet before an evening soiree in partnership with the Concours D’Elégance’s other sponsors: Rolls-Royce, Banque Julius Baer and Breitling, which we are thrilled to be in the same boat car as, as titans of their respective industries.

The following day we will be rising early and immersed in the world of vintage cars. Via many talks and presentations, we will gain insight into the complexities and importance of protecting these examples of human and technical proficiency. It should go without saying that the restoration and preservation of the finest examples of 20th-century engineering are important as the journeys that the humble four-wheeled vehicles have taken us on are tightly woven into our civilization's DNA, and most exemplary achievements and events such as Concours D’Elégance wonderfully serve up that unmissable lesson. Saturday is judgment day, and the cars will be on show from 10 am and closely inspected by specialist judges who are on the lookout for the most minor and insignificant imperfections. While we are not going to be judging the cars, we are on the lookout to discover The Best Dressed Driver, and award the lucky winner with a Gentleman’s Hamper.

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Benedict Browne

Benedict is The Rake's Associate Style Editor.