Vintage cars and mechanical watches have a lot in common: the ones who have created them and the ones who admire them are passionate about exquisite craftsmanship and a pursuit of flawlessness, even beneath the surface of such a piece of art. Starting in 2012 with the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, A. Lange & Söhne has supported several vintage car contests. And now the Concours Virtual presented by Hagerty, open for everyone, and a result of the pandemic when all concours events have been cancelled for the moment, has been a real treat for lovers of vintage cars.
Both in car construction and watchmaking, inventive spirit and ingenuity have repeatedly set milestones in terms of technology, design, and craftsmanship. The enthusiasm for these achievements connects collectors and connoisseurs of precision mechanical timepieces with admirers of classic automobiles. For Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid, the commitments reflect the company’s deep-rooted passion for sophisticated mechanics and classic elegance. “It is all about the idea of collecting, preserving and making sure these works of art survive the test of time,” says Wilhelm Schmid. “That is why we are committed to the world of classic cars. It reflects our passion for sophisticated mechanics and thrilling design, which is deeply embedded in the corporate culture of A. Lange & Söhne.”A car drives up at the eighth annual Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace featuring 75 automobiles
The Concours Virtual (the physical Concours of Elegance was held last year in September at Hampton Court Palace, UK) featured more than 120 of the world’s most beautiful automobiles curated into 16 special classes. Judges included car enthusiast and collector the Duke of Richmond, British racing driver and two-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell, Pink Floyd drummer and car collector Nick Mason, car designers Peter Stevens and Marek Reichman, and Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Sandra Button. Iconic cars to watch for were Steve McQueen’s Land Rover, one of the world’s most valuable Bugattis and the ‘Outlaw’ Porsche owned by music legend John Oates of Hall & Oates.Best in Show 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘722’ The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘722’ in action at the 1955 Mille Miglia
The “Best in Show” Winner has been announced as the legendary 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘722’, with a legendary story: Stirling Moss and his navigator Denis Jenkinson piloted this 300 SLR to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia in a record time that has remained unbeaten to this day, one of the greatest achievements in motor sports history. (It was an especially poignant win since Stirling Moss passed away in April this year.)Second place winner, 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero
The Best in Show Runner Up was the futuristic-looking fully functioning concept car, the 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, unveiled at the 1970 Turin Motor Show, and designed by Nuccio Bertone at Alfa Romeo.Third place winner 1970 Porsche 917K that won Le Mans
In Third place was a 1970 Porsche 917K, that won the legendary Le Mans circuit with the lucky number 23 – the first of many successive wins for Porsche – driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood.
Proceeds of the Concours Virtual will be donated to UNICEF to support their vital work of protecting children in danger. “Sadly, the current situation does not allow us to get together and admire the beauty of classic cars with fellow enthusiasts,” says Wilhelm Schmid. “Many cars are currently hidden away in garages instead of being showcased. As the official Timing Partner of Concours Virtual we are happy to make the cars accessible to a much wider audience and to raise money for UNICEF at the same time.”A 1954 Fiat 8V Vignale Coupe at the 2019 Hampton Court Palace Concours
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