I decided to take my Mercedes W123 to the event whereas my friend came in his very nice Jaguar XJ350.
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This weekend spanner mate and professional classic car valuer extraordinary Peter and I went to see the Concours d’Elégance Paleis Soestdijk. It is one of the best classic car shows in the Netherlands. It is held on the old palace grounds of our former Queen Juliana.
We have visited this Concours many times. In 2019, it moved from Palace Het Loo to its current location, Palace Soestdijk. The formulae have been adjusted too. It is very much advertised as a family and lifestyle event rather than just a classic car event. Next to classic cars, there are lots of other things to see and do.
I wrote about the 2019 version here.
The list of the cars participating in the formal Concours is very impressive. Have a look:
I live about half an hour’s drive south of the palace and Peter north. So we decided to meet up at a well-known motorway restaurant, de Witte Bergen, nearby Soestdijk. I decided to take my Mercedes W123. I had not run it for a few months.
Cruising on the motorway. Gorgeous weather, not too warm. The W123 doesn’t have AC.
I arrived a little early at the parking place at the restaurant. Had a nice cappuccino and some cake whilst waiting for Peter to arrive. Peter has a very nice Jaguar XJ350, which we drove to the palace. Parking facilities around the palace are a bit of a thing. The general public needs to park in parking places 4-7 kilometers away, free shuttle buses bring you back and forth.
As you will see, there is also a “bring your own Classic Car” parking place as part of the event. You will need to pay a small fee and you park your classic there, right next to the main event. Your car needs to be at least 40 years old, to qualify for classic parking. But Peter had arranged for free entrance tickets and a VIP parking ticket. These sorts of shows are becoming quite expensive. It cost almost Euro 30 for an adult ticket (INR 2400). But it is well worth it!
We parked and went in. The first thing we needed to do is to see some people at various stands. So we walked across the terrain, enjoying the sight of so many cars. Very often as you will see very rare cars too.
We passed the special sprint track. They give demos with some very interesting pre-war classic cars. Lots of smokes, blue engine oil – and petrol smoke.
As I mentioned before, it is not just classic cars, quite a few of the more exclusive car brands were out here, RollsRoyce, Bently, Aston Martin, and Ferrari to name just a few.
The main concours is in front of the palace.
A very unusual and rare 1951 Veritas Dana. It has a coach from Baur. The fifties were probably towards the end of the era where car manufactures allow coach builders to build on top of their chassis.
Many people will recognise this iconic car, even if you are not into classic cars. A Mercedes Gullwing. Will set you back at least a million Euros. Here you can just walk around it. We saw at least three of these scattered around the palace grounds.
Neither Peter nor I are really into American cars. But this original Thunderbird is very nice. Proper colour too.
This is how a fully restored Aston Martin engine and engine bay should look. Work of art!
A gorgeous Mercedes 300SL, not as expensive as the Gullwing, but a close second!
Ferrari was out in force here, with many cars all over the palace grounds. Brand new ones and many of the classic ones.
This 275GTB/4 aluminium 1967 is quite rare, not sure what the going rate for GTB is these days, but it will surpass the value of the Gullwing by a mile.
My personal favourite Ferrari, the little Dino. Often not regarded as a proper Ferrari. But I think it is drop-dead gorgeous, just like the 308.
Queen’s Juliana husband was Prince Bernard. He was a bit of a playboy. He loved aircraft (he was a pilot, yachts, beautiful yachts and cars). So they had brought together some of the cars he had owned. Such as this Ferrari.
Unfortunately, Bernard was also bent. He took a huge bribe from Lockheed to influence the Dutch government’s decision on warplanes at the time. He had to resign from various official roles at the time.
Some more unusual designs and cars on the palace grounds.
You might think this is a Mercedes. There are Mercedes three-pointed stars all over this car. But you would be wrong.
It was listed as a 1986 Isdera Spider 033-16 with a coach from Eberhard Schulz. Still, it looks like they did rummage through the Mercedes part bin to build this thing. Interesting and very blue cockpit!
Very impressive line-up!