Sitting up in the newsroom here at MotorMartin Towers can often be a lonesome experience but every now and again there arrives something which makes you thankful. On this occasion it was the rather marvellous news that Visitors to Concours of Elegance 2016 – held at Windsor Castle from 2-4 September – will have the unique opportunity to see four of the remaining 1926 British Grand Prix cars in one place. In a celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, the historic racing cars will be joined by a revolutionary British car from each decade of Her Majesty’s life. What a stunning idea!

Organised by the Royal Automobile Club, the very first British Grand Prix took place at Brooklands Motor Circuit, Surrey, in the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s birth, 1926. A total of 11 cars took part, with just three finishing the race, and Concours of Elegance 2016 will mark the first time that this many competitors have gathered since the race 90 years ago. Incredible and a real treat for anyone with even the slightest interest in MotorSport heritage.

It’s clear to MotorMartin that this will be a quite unique opportunity to see where top level British motorsport began, as four of the original racing cars line-up in the grounds of Windsor Castle in September; among them a Delage 155B, Talbot 700, Thomas Special and Halford Special. Each carries an incredible racing story, like that of the Delage, which was making frequent stops to avoid causing serious burns to the drivers’ feet.

Concours of Elegance 2016 have shared with MotorMartin that they will also be gathering 10 of the most revolutionary British cars from Her Majesty The Queen’s life – one from each decade. Running from the Bentley 3 Litre of the 1920s, through the Land Rover Series I, the Mini and the McLaren F1, the feature will showcase Britain’s pivotal role in the motor industry.

Amazingly, these features are just a small part of the Windsor Castle event which – at its heart – showcases sixty of the world’s most exclusive cars. The full list of those sixty, which are hosted in Windsor’s glorious Quadrangle, will be finalised in the next few weeks by the event’s Steering Committee, a group of the world’s most knowledgeable classic car experts. Already confirmed is a one-off art deco masterpiece, the 1937 Hispano Suiza Dubonnet Xenia, and an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato, a car which dominated motorsport events of its day.

For those lucky enough to be able to attend this prestigious event, Concours of Elegance 2016 will also feature a free-to-view area, consisting of more than 800 models from the UK’s best car clubs, including the Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Bentley owners’ clubs.

For those of you unsure as to the history behind this quite unique event, then allow MotorMartin to share with you the following from the organisers themselves: Established in 2012, the inaugural Concours of Elegance was held within Windsor Castle to mark the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign. Organised by Thorough Events, the first Concours of Elegance set a new global benchmark for a classic car concours; winning prestigious awards in the process; unheard of for a ‘start-up’ event in its first year. The second Concours of Elegance was held in 2013 to equal fanfare at the historic Royal Palace of St James in London, with the widely acclaimed and biggest yet third Concours set in the stunning grounds of Hampton Court Palace in September 2014. Only 60 cars of the highest calibre are invited to the Concours of Elegance (60 being a reference to The Queen’s diamond jubilee which saw the event established in 2012), with the rarest cars in the world, from all over the world, painstakingly selected by the Concours Steering Committee; a respected team of authoritative historic car experts. A key objective of the annual Concours of Elegance is to raise significant sums for charity. So there you have it. A great event, meticulous research, superb cars and amazing sums of money raised. What’s not to like?

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