When I had the F355 for a drive it was my job to take it to the Concours d’Elegance 2016 (www), a big car event that is held every year at Harjattula Manor in Kakskerta, close to the city Turku. It is the largest annual classic sportscar event in Finland, and the event is organized by Mr. Antti Wihanto. This year was the 20th event. However next year the event will celebrate the 20th Anniversary more officially – “bigger and better” (hopefully with more guests from other countries as well).
The main event was on a Sunday 19th June, but my trip to Turku with the F355 started already on Saturday morning when I joined a driving event from Helsinki to Turku. In the convoy there were cars like Lotus Esprit Turbo, McLaren 12C, Alfa Romeo 8C, Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari 550 Maranello, several Porsches, and more. The route was great, mostly great country roads and only a short drive on the highway, and the rain did not stop us from enjoying our cars.
Upon arrival in Turku I first drove the Ferrari F355 with the Lotus Esprit to Pro Detailing Turku to get the cars washed for the next day. Both cars are for sale by Harri Asunta, you can read more about my weekend drive with the F355 in the post “Ferrari F355 Berlinetta – my best weekend date ever”.
Then I got the news that I would sit in the jury with twelve other people, choosing the class winners of this year’s Concours d’Elegance. We had a really nice mix of judges. There were a few classic car specialists who really knew what they were talking about. When they can look at a repainted body and immediately tell the shade is not exactly the same colour that the factory offered at that time, you know they are true enthusiasts. For that reason I stayed close, and listened, and learned. I have not been that involved in the classic car world that I would recognize every model that was there. But this is something I wish to change in future, because I really like old cars.
The classes were “Best Coupe” and “Best Open”, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in each. One of the winners of the two classes would also be awarded “Best in Show”.
Concours d’Elegance Harjattula 2016 – Best Coupe
As much as I personally worship the Lamborghini Miura, for me it was a clear choice which car I wanted to win “Best Coupe” at this event. The “Scuderia Askolin” Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Scaglietti Tour de France is the first ever car from Finland to be accepted to Concours d’Elegance Villa d’Este in 2015. The car is owned by Ilkka Brotherus. It is a car with a great history (read more here). A Villa d’Este car in Finland can not be anything else than a Best in Show car at the Finnish Concours d’Elegance. Superb car!
The second prize in the coupe class of course went to the Lamborghini Miura owned by Johan Helenius at Competition Motors in Sweden. Unfortunately not a Finnish car – as far as I know there are no Miuras registered in Finland. I think the owners deserve a big applause for bringing the car with a ferry to Finland only for this event. Because one of the themes of this year was ‘Lamborghini Miura 50 years’ it was nice to see a Miura at the event, and this car was in stunning condition. It has a long history with its current owners and to hear it still is one of their favourite cars to drive is fantastic.
Third prize went to a Volvo P1800, manufactured in United Kingdom – not Sweden!
Concours d’Elegance Harjattula 2016 – Best Open
In the “Best Open” class the first prize went to a Stoewer LT 4 Torpedo. It is a rare car to find in this condition (apparently only three of these exist in the world, and one is in Finland), and for that reason the jury thought it deserves to win that class. Some people might not consider it a “typical sports car”, but it was one of the more “sportier models” when it was first launched – more than 100 years ago!! I had of course never heard of it before, but you learn something new about automotive history at these events.
Second prize was awarded to a beautiful orange Fiat 124 Spider. The second theme of this year’s Concours d’Elegance was ‘Fiat 124 Spider 50 years’. Unfortunately I saw only one Fiat 124 Spider at the event, but luckily that car was a very beautiful one. I especially love the colour!
And the car that won third prize was a beautiful Jaguar E-Type Roadster.
Concours d’Elegance Harjattula 2016 – Best Alfa
The third theme of this year was “‘Classic Alfa spiders’ (‘Duetto’ 50 years)”, but unfortunately we could not find any Alfa Spiders when we walked around judging the cars. So instead the Alfa prize was awarded to another very special car – the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Only 500 8C Competizione and 500 8C Spider cars were delivered to customers, so it is a rare car to see anywhere, but to spot one this north in Europe is of course even more special. Sounds good, too!
Concours d’Elegance Harjattula 2016 – Best in Show
Best in Show was the gorgeous Ferrari – congratulations to the owners not only for this award, but also for the huge success at Villa d’Este! You would not imagine cars like this exist in Finland, but the truth is the more I hear what people have in their garages, the more surprised I am… Some true gems exist in this country, and this is one of the greatest.