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Motor enthusiasts descended on Hampton Court Palace in their thousands to admire what some people called “the most expensive car park in the world”. Enjoying some September sun, around 12,500 people flocked to the Concours of Elegance, now in its sixth year, to see around 1,000 cars around the spectacular gardens.

More than 60 of the world’s rarest cars were in the running for the honour of Best in Show which went to the Lancia Astura Aerodinamico Castagna. The quality of cars this year was such that even be invited was an achievement in itself. Among the star attractions was the first car ever to emerge from coachbuilders, Frua, the Fiat 1100 Frua Spider and the Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Rollback.

The Royal Automobile Club presented HRH Prince Michael of Kent with the Spirit of Motoring Award for all he has done for the world of classic cars and motorsport, including his role as patron of Concours of Elegance. Winner of the ‘Spirit of the Tour’ – contested by cars on the pre-Concours Tour of Wessex – was Peter Briggs and the Bentley 3-Litre Le Mans, the first ever Bentley to race at Le Mans in 1923.

Outside of the main Concours of Elegance cars, nearly 1000 other models were there, including some of the finest examples from the UK’s most prestigious car clubs. A panel of expert judges, including Prince Michael, chose a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Taj Mahal, originally owned by the Maharaja of Nabha, as winner of the RAC Club Trophy.

Nearly 80 historic Jaguars were on display on the Saturday, competing for the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Trophy. Led by Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director Tim Hannig, a panel of judges overwhelmingly decided the car they would most want to take home was a 1938 SS Jaguar 2.5-litre Drophead Coupe.

On the Sunday more than 60 Bentleys arrived in the gardens, ranging from the pre-war grand prix cars to some of Bentley’s very latest Continental models. A judging team of Bentley experts carefully assessed every model before awarding the Bentley Trophy to a Bentley Mk6 James Young, recently the subject of a full restoration.

Motor enthusiasts descended on Hampton Court Palace

A successful management buyout has taken place at Savile Row tailoring house Davies & Son where, after an illustrious career and 21 years as the owner and head cutter,  Alan Bennett has stepped down and the ownership of the company has passed to longstanding staff members, Graham Lawless, Patrick Murphy and Mark Broadfield.

Alan, who will continue to work alongside the rest of the team for the foreseeable future and remain as chairman, said: “I am happy to pass Davies & Son on to three members of staff who I have worked with for a long time and whose company I have enjoyed so much over the years. I am particularly proud to see Patrick’s association with the company as he began with me as an apprentice and is now part owner of the firm.”

The new owners are particularly pleased to have organised an internal buyout as, in recent years, many tailoring houses have been bought by overseas companies or external hedge funds. As sales director Graham explained: “Having worked at Davies and Son for 10 years and in bespoke tailoring for more than 30, the opportunity to own this fine historic company alongside two exceptional colleagues is a dream come true.

“Our aim is to take the company forward on a new and exciting journey while not forgetting over two centuries of tradition. I cannot thank Alan enough for putting his trust in us and to enable us to continue as an independently owned company on one of the world’s most prestigious streets. The investment was a logical step for the three of us. Our individual relationships with the company each differ, but our collective vision and passion for Davies & Son shared over many years meant that joining forces to buy the company was a logical step and a realisation of long standing ambition.”

Head cutter Patrick Murphy, who returned to Davies & Son two years ago after a long tenure at Huntsman, said:  “I started my career at Davies & Son. The company has long been a standard bearer of traditional bespoke tailoring and is one of the oldest houses in the world. To be at the helm of such an eponymous business is an honour and I look forward to the challenge of taking Davies & Son onto the next level.”

Financial controller Mark Broadfield has worked for the firm for 20 years and said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working here and love the whole bespoke tailoring world. Travelling in from Leigh on Sea in Essex has never been an issue for me. As Dr Johnson once said, ‘He who is tired of London is tired of life’. I think that sums up my attitude to Savile Row equally well.”

A successful management buyout has taken place