2020 really has been a strange year for everyone. The almost complete absence of proper motoring events during what is usually the busiest time of the year is unprecedented; so it was truly fantastic for the Lockton Private Clients team to assemble at the magnificent Blenheim Palace, for 4 days featuring some of the world's best cars from every era.
Whilst the event was understandably tuned down for 2020 due to Covid restrictions, we felt that it was a great success and once again demonstrated the ingenuity and determination of the motoring community to adapt to challenging circumstances and produce another memorable Salon Prive, albeit a socially distanced one. Adhering to the ethos of 'coming together, keeping apart', safety was paramount – robust COVID-19 secure systems were put in place that went beyond government guidelines, including the pioneering introduction of the CI Group's Liber track & trace app.
It was really good to see some of our amazing clients – the people who matter the most; those whose passions we're privileged to protect, the car owners who share our enthusiasm for the most beautiful, elegant, fastest and in some cases valuable cars on the planet.
We also got to spend time with our partners, particularly those with whom we work to support the sector. It was fantastic to be able to introduce the team at Axa XL to some of our clients – as our scheme insurer, it's important they share this world with us.
Wednesday also saw Lockton, HFMC Wealth and Mackrell solicitors host the Veloce 2020 charity photoshoot and we extend heartfelt thanks to those who brought a very eclectic mix of cars in somewhat dismal conditions to be photographed. We must also thank Damon Hill and Richard Attwood for taking the time to not only be pictured with the cars and their owners, but for having lunch with the winning bidders from the auction.
Our thanks further extends to Chris Bucknall and the team at V Management for organising the event and to David and Andrew Bagley and all at Salon Prive for giving us the facilities for the shoot.
The day was rounded out by the simply sublime 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider collecting the coveted Best of Show award with other highlights including a pair of McLaren F1 road cars appearing on stage together (not forgetting the quartet of GTR siblings on display on the lawn) and a number of cars owned by Lockton clients also taking centre stage throughout the day.
Despite the weather being rather traditional (read cold and showery..) during both Wednesday and Thursday, Friday dawned bright, but very windy..
The Masters theme for Friday was the evolution of the supercar. Lockton were co-sponsors of the day along with Pirelli and the lawns were awash with some truly memorable machinery spanning almost 5 decades – for many, it was truly a bedroom wall poster day and another reminder that Salon Prive has the pulling power to assemble some incredible motor cars rarely seen in the same space.
It was a pleasure for me to award the trophy for the Sensational Seventies winner to the rare and, yes, truly sensational BMW M1. Fitted with the racing car inspired Procar bodywork and gleaming in bright red, the car once owned by Franz Farian of legendary 70's band Boney M was presented by classic car dealer Dylan Miles.
During the day it was wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic owners of a wide range of cars and to hear some great stories about what drives them to collect their dream cars.
Saturday saw a new aspect to the event, with car clubs welcoming around 1,000 cars to the South lawn and the scene was truly mesmerising, as dozens of exotic cars made their way to their allocated spaces creating a line-up rarely seen anywhere else – and certainly a first in 2020.
Lockton is extremely proud to be insurance partners to The Aston Martin Owners Club, Bentley Drivers Club, Ferrari Owners Club, Jaguar Enthusiasts Club, Lamborghini Club, Maserati Club UK, and Porsche Club GB and it was fantastic to see a number of these clubs attend – together with many of their members and some truly wonderful cars all of whom, like us, were simply happy to be out in the autumn sunshine enjoying what for many was the first time they and their cars had been out this year!
We can't wait for the 2021 event – it's sure to be bigger and better than ever and we once again extend our thanks to the Bagleys and their team for organising the event against the odds, to our fellow sponsors and of course, The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough allowing us to use such a stunning venue.
For a full list of this year's winners and runners-up, please click here.
We hope to see you at Blenheim in 2021!