Friday, September 16, 2016

Richard Mill Celebrates the Concours d’Élégance

The scene at Domaine de Chantilly during the Concours d’Élégance

The gates of the Domaine de Chantilly swung shut on September 4, bringing to a close two exceptional days for which the grounds became, for one autumn weekend, a veritable, though temporary, open-air museum of automotive wonders.

More than 13,500 people joined Richard Mille to celebrate this 3rd edition of the Concours d’Élégance, one of the world’s finest, as the specialist press and collectors unanimously—and freely—concur. In honor of the occasion, Richard Mille invited friends and partners Jean Todt and Michelle Yeoh, Cyril Kongo, Wayde van Niekerk, and a recent addition to the Richard Mille family, the internationally acclaimed actor, producer and director John Malkovich.

John Malkovich and Richard Mille at the Concours d’Élégance.

Past, present and future coexist elegantly for the duration of this weekend event, which opened on September 3 with the traditional classic car rally bringing together, for one idyllic day, the most beautiful cars in the world.

One novelty this year was a second rally, devoted exclusively to SuperCars and UltraCars from the ’80s through today, which allowed 25 gentlemen drivers to discover the countryside around Chantilly at the wheel of their rarity, while having a bit of fun during the Pondron hill climb and the track session on the Mortefontaine testing circuit.

The 155 hectares (383 acres) of parks and gardens laid out by Le Nôtre welcomed droves of visitors, there to admire the most beautiful and rare productions of automotive engineering: bodywork from world-renowned designers and untarnished classics of motor racing, as well as contemporary creations from the greatest constructors of our time.

The great Italian manufacturer MV Augusta delighted the visitors and the press with the new ‘atelier’ motorbike by Zagato, the work of the master coachbuilder from Milan, which was given its world premiere at Chantilly.

An ariel view of just a few of the cars on display.

This 3rd edition of Chantilly Arts & Élégance Richard Mille was also an occasion for celebrating the 50th career anniversary of FIA president, Jean Todt. This author of so many of motorsports’ most impressive exploits was reunited for an emotional moment with his former racing cars—the famous Scuderia F1, the legendary Peugeot 205T16 and the 504 Rallye Groupe 4—to which he personally delivered first prize in the category devoted to his career.

Connoisseurs and families alike were charmed by a program celebrating at once the greatest artists of automobile history and the French art de vivre, presented through a great number of workshops and demonstrations organized on the grounds of the Château. The opening of “The Grand Condé, rival of the Sun King?” exhibition in the Jeu de Paume hall revealed to the public more than 120 works and historical documents of great importance, including prestigious loans from some of the most important museums in France and abroad.

The Domaine de Chantilly

But, of course, Chantilly Arts & Élégance is also first and foremost about the electrifying energy of competition. Over the course of the festivities, a jury consisting of 40 experts, including Jean Todt, was called upon to pass judgment for three automobile competitions: the Concours d’Élégance to distinguish constructors and their futuristic vehicles; the Concours d’État, reserved for collectors of classic cars and the Grand Prix des Clubs, which rewards those who keep the history of the automobile alive.

It was the DS E-Tense, alongside a model wearing a dress by couturier Eymeric François, that received top honors from the assembly, along with the most prestigious prize: the Concours d’Élégance, which brings together the respective aesthetics of high fashion and concept cars. Next, a hundred cars were judged in the context of the Concours d’État, on the criteria including any restorations, their condition and their historical significance. The Richard Mille “Best of Show” prize was awarded to an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B from 1938, with Touring bodywork. The Concours des Clubs, brought together 800 cars representing 40 different clubs, and evaluated not only their presentation and the quality
of restoration, but also their mise-en-scene as part of an elegant “picnic on the grass.” This year’s winner was the Club Amicale Tricyclecariste de France.

Richard Mille and Peter Auto are pleased to announce the 4th edition will be held on September 10, 2017 at the Château de Chantilly, where you are welcome to once again experience a Sunday in the country amidst the most beautiful cars in the world.

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