The fifth edition of Chantilly Arts and Élégance Richard Mille, one of the most entertaining automotive competitions, was held on 30 June in Chantilly, France. Conceived by Peter Auto, a French motor racing events company, in conjunction with Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, the occasion brought both vintage and modern cars together in a dreamy setting.
The event kick started with a supercar rally on 29 June at the Mortefontaine track, with skiing champion Alexis Pinturault slipping behind the wheel of a 720S Spider. Concurrently, visitors poured into the area to explore a range of rare cars at the Rallye de Collectionneurs which included (among others): the McLaren P1 GTR; Ferrari 288 GTO; Porsche 918 and various Mercedes SLRs. Champion rider Jessica von Bredow-Werndl demonstrated his equestrian skills to an audience of 500 guests, a spectacle that was followed by a traditional gala dinner at the 18th century Grandes Écuries de Chantilly.
The spotlight was on Concours d’Elegance the following day. Some of the world’s most coveted concept cars were on show: each paired with a fashion designer that reflected the ethos of its design. Held at the sprawling lawns of the Domaine de Chantilly castle, north of Paris, the event saw the hybrid-powered BMW Vision M Next, Bugatti Voiture Noir, McLaren Speedtail Hyper-GT, Volkswagen ID. Buggy, and many more paraded alongside models dressed in the creations of a thematically correspondent fashion designer. The McLaren Speedtail was adjudged the winner in this category with the Volkswagen ID. Buggy taking home the Prix du Public.
This specific edition was extra special as it marked the anniversaries of several iconic brands, including the centenary of Bentley and Ballot, the 100th anniversary of Bugatti, the 50th birthday of the iconic Porsche 917, 20 years of the Pagani Zonda and the 50th anniversary of Jackie Steward’s Formula 1 title with Matra. Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon, both IndyCar champions and winners of the Indianapolis 500 in 2019 and 2008 respectively, graced the event with their presence for the very first time.
While the occasion was all about cutting-edge cars, visitors also indulged in a boat ride along the Grand Canal, enjoying a fairground and old-fashioned games, even as they visited a unique exhibition dedicated to ‘The Nude Mona Lisa’ at Musée Condé. The capstone to this multi-day event was an opportunity to sit in on a sale conducted by British auction house Bonhams: a specialist in fine art, watches and antiquities. The Richard Mille lounge took things up a notch with a neo-futuristic décor inspired by the world of cinema, featuring the DeLorean straight out of the film Back To The Future.
This year, the Concours d’Etat hosted 130 entries, with the competition divided into a number of categories including pre-war; post-war; Japanese automotives and more. Notable ‘Best of Show’ winners included Bentley’s 8-litre Coupé and the Talbot T26 in the pre and post-war categories respectively. Organisers put the final visitor count at 18,000: if those figures are any indication, we can expect an even warmer response next year.
To learn more about the annual Chantilly Arts and Élégance competition, visit Richard Mille online.