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Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance 2016

Monday 5th September 2016

The Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance 2016 took place on 1-4 September on the grounds of historic Windsor Castle in England. A total of 60 automobiles from around the world graced the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle, enjoyed by nearly 12,500 spectators.

This was the fifth such automotive gathering in the United Kingdom, with the first event at the same Windsor Castle in 2012, followed by the St. James's Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Holyroodhouse Palace in 2015. The event is unique in the fact that the setting changes from year to year but with the consistent theme of always being held on the lawns of a Royal palace.

Immediately ahead of the UK Concours of Elegance 2016, a selection of Concours of Elegance cars, led by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, embarked on a 300-mile driving tour ahead of the Windsor Castle event. The Great West Tour took in some of England and Wales' best driving roads and backdrops — from the Cotswolds to the Brecon Beacons.

DK Engineering were delighted to attend with a very significant competition Ferrari, a Factory 365 GTB/4 Competition "Daytona". This car, #16425, was completed in early 1973 this is the last of just 15 factory built Competition Daytonas, one of five ultimate "Series III" specification cars and one of just two RHD examples built. It was supplied new to Ecurie Francorchamps who ran the car at the 1973 at the Spa 1000 Kms and the iconic Le Mans 24 hours where it was piloted by Teddy Pilette and Richard "Bondini" Bond where they finished this arduous event with a very creditable result.

Following its season in 1973 it was returned to the factory, freshened up and sold by Ecurie Francorchamps to England where it was raced by Robbie Gordon. In 1976 the car passed into the hands of an owner that would retain the car for 40 years when he swapped it for a 250 GT SWB and a 400 Superamerica Aerodynamico; and he campaigned the car in events across the UK for a number of years with his works diver being Mike Salmon.

The car was put into long term storage in 1984 and has been seen seldomly since, being in the care of DK since 1993. During 2016, following a period of 20 years without running, the car has been sympathetically recommissioned by DK and shows a genuine 17,000 miles from new on the speedo. It has been returned to its 1973 Le Mans livery. This car is thought to be the only unrestored example of a factory Competition Daytona left and is indeed the last factory built road registered from new Competition Ferrari.

Not only did this competition war horse take part in the concours event itself, but it took part in the Tour prior to the event through Wales and the Cotswolds on which it both impressed other entrants with its noise but performed without fault.

As ever with the Concours of Elegance, an admirable amount of money was raised for the event's chosen charities; this year The Queen's Choral Foundation, The Household Cavalry Foundation and Springfield Youth Club Hackney. With this year's donations of almost £200,000, the Concours of Elegance has now raised more than £1m for charity.

(Photo thanks to Tom Shaxon, Classicdriver & various)