McLaren F1
McLaren F1

As with most things, car events haven’t been quite the same in 2020.

Essentially because since March, very few have gone ahead. Goodwood’s hugely popular Festival of Speed and Revival were both postponed, while high-profile concours events such as California’s Pebble Beach also couldn’t go ahead due to coronavirus restrictions.

But one of the few high-profile shows that was allowed to go ahead was Salon Privé, held within the grounds of Blenheim Palace. With a host of measures in place to ensure it was Covid-secure, it was our first car event of this scale we’d attended since the start of the year.

We headed along on Friday and Saturday, and here’s our pick of the best cars on display across both days.

Touring Superleggera
The Touring Superleggera uses Ferrari underpinnings

Let’s start with one of a handful of cars that made their global premiere at Salon Privé – the glamorous Touring Superleggera Aero 3. Based on a Ferrari F12, the Aero 3 is a completely coachbuilt model that pays tribute to 1930s race cars.

McLaren F1
The McLaren F1 is still seen as one of the all-time motoring greats

Seeing just one McLaren F1 is a truly special occasion, so how about six of them all lined-up next to each other? Ranging from standard production models through to race cars, these would be worth well in excess of £50m combined. There’s also another one just out of shot…

McLaren P1/LaFerrari
Both the P1 and LaFerrari competed for hypercar dominance

Often regarded as two of the best hypercars produced in recent years, the McLaren P1 (left) and Ferrari LaFerrari are two of the exclusive and desirable models ever produced from the two firms. Both are for sale with prestigious dealer Tom Hartley Junior.

Pagani Zonda
The Zonda uses an engine from AMG

A hugely special car, the Pagani Zonda is one of the most breath-taking modern cars to see in person – not least this ‘Roadster F’ model with its full exposed carbon fibre body. It had also won the ‘Classics of the Future’ class a few days earlier.

Chiron 300
The Chiron 300 was the first production car to break the 300mph speed record

Bugatti is known for its speed records, and keen to make a statement once again, the firm produced a special version of its Chiron hypercar – the Super Sport 300+. Last year it became the first near-production car to hit 300mph, and it’s this very car that did that. It even still wears the bugs and dirt to showcase its record.

Bugatti Veyron
The Veyron set the benchmark for performance when it was released

Arguably one of the most impressive cars to be produced in the last 20 years, the Veyron came before the Chiron and featured a mammoth 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16 engine. The cars you see here are both Grand Sport Vitesse World Record Editions and are two of just eight ever produced.

328 GTS
The 328 GTS is as fresh as the day it rolled off the production line

In the grand scheme of things at Salon Privé, a Ferrari 328 GTS might not have the same grandeur as others on this list. However, this car is a very special one as it’s the only GTS that has never been registered. It’s essentially a brand new car from the 1980s that was put into storage straight away and has never been used.

The M1 was BMW’s first ‘M’ car

As BMW’s first M car, the M1 is already a very special model. However, this one here is even more so, as it’s first owner was Franz Reuther of 1970s pop group Boney M. Kitted out with a huge wing, bodykit and impressive sound system, and with all its provenance, it’s no surprise it was awarded ‘Owner’s Choice’ at Salon Privé.

Salon Prive Winners
The winners at this year’s Salon Prive were extremely varied

Each day at Salon Privé has a particular theme, and Friday’s was a celebration of supercars and their evolution. And these are the cars that scooped top honours (from left to right) – the Ferrari F50, one of just four painted silver, picking up the Chairman’s Award; the Lotus Esprit HC Turbo winning the Duke of Malborough Award (the owner of Blenheim Palace) and the BMW M1 and McLaren F1 both being awarded Owner’s Choice.

Carrera GT
The Carrera GT is seen as one of Porsche’s all-time greats

Moving on to Saturday, which is the more popular Classic and Supercar day, here are two of Porsche’s most highly-regarded modern hypercars – the analogue Carrera GT and the hybrid 918 Spyder (right).

McLaren Senna
The Senna uses all of McLaren’s technical know-how

Just sitting in the car park was the first customer-delivered McLaren Senna – chassis number 001. The unique colour scheme pays homage to legendary driver Ayrton Senna’s home F1 circuit, Interlagos, and took McLaren more than just 600 hours to complete the livery.

Aston Martin has a longstanding history of working with Zagato

Aston Martin has a long history of working with Italian design house Zagato and one of its boldest creations is the more modern Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. Despite just 99 being produced, this car here was one of two on display.

Lamborghini models
Lamborghini has produced some of the most iconic cars of all time

What’s the correct term for a group of Lamborghinis? We’re not quite sure, but what we do know is that you don’t see a line-up of 100 of the firm’s legendary models on display very often. They ranged from the classic Miura SV (front left), all the way through to the latest Aventador SVJ supercar and Urus SUV.

Lexus LFA
Both the LFA and Skyline have gained cult followings

While not everyone’s cup of tea, Japanese performance cars have a huge following. And arguably two of the most coveted are this pair – the Lexus LFA and Nissan Skyline R34.

Jaguar Project 7/8
Both Project 7 and 8 utilise a supercharged V8 engine

And last but not least is another pairing – this time from Jaguar with its Project 7 and Project 8. Both were produced in limited numbers by the firm’s Special Operations Division and are rare to see separately, never mind together.

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