This has been an extraordinary three days of vintage cars, delicious wines, gourmet food, and great camaraderie. We have seen many old friends and made several new ones. There is no question that the Chantilly Concours is a rising star among the top car shows in the world.
Many Turtle Garage subscribers are familiar with Keith Martin’s wildly popular TV show What’s My Car Worth. In this hit Velocity show, Keith evaluates cars that are headed to the auction block and ranks condition and collectability. He ultimately puts a value on the car shortly before it rolls onto the auction stage. While entering the Chateau tonight for the farewell party, Keith and I filmed the first and only episode of What’s My Chateau Worth. Items considered were overall condition, patina, originality, and provenance. While Chantilly is on par with Versailles and Downton Abbey, Keith gives some excellent insights as to why the hammer price on this chateau is likely to only reach $45 million:
How many newbies to Chantilly get to actually show a car? I lucked out big time and got to represent a phenomenal Alfa Romeo Zagato. While checking into our hotel we met Carol from Zurich and Karin from London. These two sporty ladies drove Carol’s 1961 Alfa Romeo Julietta Sprint Zagato all the way from England to Chantilly. Carol had a busy Sunday as she was simultaneously judging a class and showing her car in another class. As a result she could not be with the Alfa during the field inspection. Given her logistical dilemma I volunteered to help out and represent the car on the show field.
This small and subtle automobile is a major piece of Alfa history. This car was race prepared when new by the legendary Alfa tuners at Conrero. Carol bought the car twenty five years ago and had it properly restored by them shortly before Conrero died. Years later she had the engine rebuilt by renowned Alfa expert Rotondi. Carol has all the records and detailed historical information on this car. While doing the mechanical work Rotondi was even able to obtain the original build sheet from the Alfa factory. The Julietta Sprint Zagatos all had three shoe drum brakes and Carol kept it original. Most examples today have been incorrectly modified with modern discs brakes.
This trip has furthered my respect for Alfa Romeo. Prior to going to Pebble Beach I knew virtually nothing about this storied marque. Today I still know next to nothing but I am slowly climbing up the learning curve! As a result of being at Chantilly I have also learned much about the legendary coachbuilder Zagato. For decades Zagato has produced some of the most beautiful and functional cars ever made.
Besides seeing all of the wonderful cars today, we also toured the Chantilly chateau and stables. Among many famous credentials, these historic buildings were the filming location for the 1985 James Bond Film A View To A Kill. In 2008 Sarah competed here at the annual horse show on her once-in-a-lifetime horse Hurricane. The stables are like nothing I’d ever seen before. They make the opulent United States Equestrian Team Headquarters in Gladstone New Jersey look humble by comparison. The walls are over five meters thick and the cathedral-like ceilings seem to reach to the sky. During the tour of the stables we even caught a very unique equine demonstration:
It is wheels up and we have departed CDG. I am over Iceland heading back to New York and putting the finishing touches on this blog post. A connected office in the sky! This has been a lovely and unforgettable weekend in Paris. Special thanks to Keith Martin for his kind generosity, hospitality and friendship. A very special thank you to my wife Sarah for making the trip that much more special. Below are several photos and videos from the show on Sunday:
An early Bugatti race car