Pic­ture-per­fect scene at Au­tumn Con­cours



COMP­TON VERNEY art gallery and park in War­wick­shire was the venue for the Aston Martin Own­ers Club’s pres­ti­gious Au­tumn Con­cours in Septem­ber. Over 50 com­peti­tors en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion, show­cas­ing ev­ery era of Aston Martin from pre-war and ’50s clas­sics through to mod­ern Van­tage and rac­ing GT cars, while the spec­ta­cle was en­joyed by around 500 Aston en­thu­si­asts and their fam­i­lies.

A spe­cial fea­ture of the event was a 30th an­niver­sary celebration ex­hi­bi­tion of the V8 Za­gato, or­gan­ised by the Aston Martin Her­itage Trust. The dis­play brought to­gether nine of only 89 V8 Za­gatos ever built – be­lieved to be the world’s largest ever gath­er­ing of these rare cars. There was also an ap­pear­ance by the lat­est fruit of the part­ner­ship be­tween Aston Martin and Za­gato: the Van­quish Za­gato Con­cept first un­veiled at the Con­corso d’el­e­ganza Villa d’este at Lake Como in May 2016.

Rob Smith, trustee of the Aston Martin Her­itage Trust and one of the or­gan­is­ers, said: ‘We were ab­so­lutely de­lighted with the V8 Za­gato an­niver­sary dis­play and are very grate­ful to the own­ers who brought their cars from all over the UK.’

A panel of judges, led by chief judge and Con­cours or­gan­iser Mark Donoghue, had the dif­fi­cult task of de­cid­ing upon the class win­ners from among the ranks of im­mac­u­lately pre­pared cars, and club pres­i­dent Vis­count­ess Diana Downe pre­sented the win­ners with their tro­phies at the prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony that con­cluded the event.

The Elite Class was awarded to Ron Pear­son and grand­daugh­ter Amie, with their stun­ning su­per­charged Van­tage Le Mans. Com­mented Ron: ‘I’d like to thank Amie, who’s been work­ing with me for over ten years on Con­cours. This is the sec­ond time we have won the Elite Class, with two dif­fer­ent cars, and so I’m very proud of her.’

Fa­ther-and-son team David and Stephen Childs won the Gay­don Class with their V12 Van­tage, and Sue Hart­ley scooped the Blox­ham Class with her DB7 Van­tage. The Lagonda class was won by Dim­itri Labis with his 1984 AM Lagonda. and the Pre-war Class by Ecurie Bertelli’s Robert and Ali Blake­more with their 2-Seater Sports.

Sandy and Gay Dog­gart won the Feltham Class with their 1953 DB2/4, and Aston Martin spe­cial­ist and club rac­ing driver Des­mond Smail took the New­port Pag­nell 6 Cyl tro­phy with his DB6 Short Chassis Volante. The New­port Pag­nell 8 Cyl and Van­quish Class was won by Richard Aczel with his 2004 Van­quish. Richard also won the Associate Class with his at­ten­tion-grab­bing 1978 Ford Capri – the orig­i­nal car driven by Bodie (Lewis Collins) in The­p­ro­fes­sion­als!

Alan Med­land was de­lighted to win the Pride of Own­er­ship Class with his 1979 V8 Van­tage, An­drew Fer­gu­son took the Mod­ern Class with his 2016 Van­tage, and Stephen Archer the Com­pe­ti­tion Class with his 2010 GT4. En­try on the Day went to Jon Bell­field with his 1987 V8.

Vis­count­ess Downe said: ‘It has been a marvel­lous event in a beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion and a per­fect end to a won­der­ful sea­son of events. On be­half of the club, I’d like to thank all of our mem­bers, staff and vol­un­teers for their sup­port, en­thu­si­asm and ded­i­ca­tion through­out the year.’ As­ton­fansaread­vised­to­keepcheck­ing www.amoc.orgforthean­nounce­mentof av­eryspe­cial­spring­con­cours2017!

Left and be­low Comp­ton Verney’s park­land, de­signed by ‘Ca­pa­bil­ity’ Brown, made a suit­ably pleas­ing set­ting for dozens of As­tons of all ages. Line-up of nine V8 Za­gatos marked 30 years since the model was launched

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