Words are hardly enough to describe this event which brings the most beautiful and interesting cars the world has seen to the Belgian sea resort Knokke for a long weekend. Indeed, the 2015 edition of the ZOUTE GRAND PRIX® was nothing short of iconic, and offered both participants and public a marvelous time between 8 and 11 October.
Your servant assisted this year at the ZOUTE SALE® , the ZOUTE RALLY®, and the breathtaking ZOUTE CONCOURS D’ÉLÉGANCE®. Of course it delivered a host of beautiful pictures, of which we can only show a few here, but here will be more to come over the year when we will present you more in depth the marvelous cars which we saw in Knokke…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The ZOUTE RALLY® has become a true classic…
The ZOUTE RALLY® by Chubb Insurance is actually a regularity rally and a ballad reserved for 185 vintage and classic cars with a first traffic registration date prior to 1965 (pre- & post-war).
The rally course extends from Knokke-Heist through the polders to a selection of picturesque places in the hinterland and in the Netherlands.
The route is of course kept secret to the participants until just before the start of the race, when the drivers will be issued with pace notes providing full information about route, checkpoints and neutralisation points. On the Graaf d’Ursellaan, close to Elizabetlaan in Heist, a spectacular speed test – The FLYING ¼ MILE® - was held on Friday October 9.
Some remarkable cars were to be seen participating in this rally, and we photographed some of them with their teams at the start. Rather famous participants at this ZOUTE RALLY® were amongst others actor Matthias Schoenaerts in a 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster. But what to think of former Dutch prime minister Balkenende, who participated in the event behind the wheel of an Austin Healey 3000S MkII.
The ZOUTE SALE® presented interesting buys…
This time your servant was keen to have a closer look at the ZOUTE SALE® held by Bonhams at the VIP marquee on the Albertplein in the centre of Het Zoute.
For Lancia lovers, there was a charming gem, a pristine 1958 Lancia Appia Coupé, with a coachwork by Pinin Farina. This car was actually the Pinin Farina Award winner at Concours d’Elegance in Paleis Het Loo.
It is an early 2nd series car, and pretty rare too: only 973 cars were built. This car was originally sold to a Swiss owner, and had only 3 owners since new.
It has led a rather protected life, and the white paint of the roof is believed to be still original. We were also truly charmed by a rare left hand drive example of the 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 ‘Mark I’ 3 litre sports saloon. The coachwork is by Mulliners of Birmingham, and this left-hand drive car with chassis number ‘938’ was retailed via the Majestic Automobile Company in Paris.
Being originally pained in black with beige interior, is has been sprayed British Racing Green a good 24 years ago, with matching green upholstery.
We are still very fond of the original E-types, and there were some really pristine examples for sale, flanked also by a red, very well XK120 SE roadster. It has been meticulously restorted in 2005, and has won many concours as a ’99 point’ car.
The ZOUTE CONCOURS D’ÉLÉGANCE®: a true feast for the eye…
Not to be missed for anything is the ZOUTE CONCOURS D’ÉLÉGANCE®, by Bank Degroof/Petercam, which traditionally presents a limited number of 50 exceptional cars.
The beauty contest was held in two locations: the Approach Golf and the renowned Fairway 1 of the Royal Zoute Golf Club. The cars to be admired there were truly stunning. What to say of a pair of 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider and Zagato.
A gleaming black 1933 Mercedes-Benz 380 Special Roadster , bodied by famous Berlin coachbuilder Erdmann & Rossi
or a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé Boano?
There were many more, but as aid, we will come back on these cars during the coming months, we will show you their beauty in detail, and tell you much more about them in our special reports and editorials…
For the time being, just enjoy the photos, and we already look forward to next year’s edition!
Hans Knol ten Bensel