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The Magazine

Stars of 'Het Loo' 2018

Stars of Het Loo 2018
The concours d’élégance ‘Paleis Het Loo’ took place last weekend at the former Royal Palace in The Netherlands. And boy, was it a sweltering hot and dusty weekend, adding much to the summer atmosphere. Fortunately the palace grounds offer some majestic old oaks and beeches, throwing their mighty shadows over the parklands, too.

A piano black Fiat 8V with body by Vignale (this one) was chosen as Best of Show. An obvious choice, perhaps? There was no doubt that this was a pretty car of prestigious make and model designation. We’d preferred the somewhat less obvious candidates though, joining the mighty 8V in the same row of Post-wars. A freshly restored Bertone bodied Stanguellini (top) and a deliciously odd Spohn bodied Veritas in particular (picture 1 below). The Autocars Sabra that was featured as a puzzle car last week was among them, too.

Renaults had come over in force to celebrate the marque’s 120th anniversary with some great cars. We saw a lovely Alpine A108 cabriolet and a delightful duo of Dutch delivered Dauphines, one a beautiful black restored example, the other a recent barn find that had just been kissed awake after a 47-year sleep (picture 2 below). The car’s original owner had put it in storage in 1971 when it was 11 years old. Highlight was the original Renault Etoile Filante - the Automeca jet powered land speed record car that was driven at over 300km/h at the Bonneville salt flats in 1956 (picture 3), perhaps smaller in size than expected but impressive never the less.

That other French make was represented with a display of ’70 Years of the 2CV’ with some cars that struck us: apart from two Saharas a 1955 Belgian made car in particular with modified boot lid and some extra body trimmings we had not come across before (picture 4). The other end of the spectrum was represented by a well-known Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith by Vignale, known for its presence of a toilet on board (with golden toilet seat), which we think is just very fitting to a palace called 'The Loo' (picture 5). 

Greatest surprise for us personally, was the Swaab Special / Hirondelle, which we previously saw here in a series of old photographs. The car was on display in fully restored condition in its original national colour of orange (picture 6). When our 7-year old daughter, who was chosen to join her dad for the event, was asked about her highlight of the show, she said: “I liked the grass, it was perfect for making hand stands.” And it was.

(Words and photographs Jeroen Booij)

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