Salon Prive returns to London


Torrential rain didn't stop an enthusiastic turnout for the first day of Salon Prive, the London-based car show which specialises in only the most expensive kind of exotica.

For 2011 the event has moved to picturesque Syon Park in south London, which donated its exemplary grounds as host to a series of UK debuts.

The Lamborghini Aventador and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport were the headline acts, but the British brands were in heavy attendance with the Range Rover Evoque, Aston Martin Virage and Rolls-Royce 102EX, and new Bentley Continental GT all attracting notable attention.

Their attendance seemed appropriate for the setting, and for the show's theme, which is intended to replicate an English garden party.

Frequent downpours and the constant presence of passenger jets on final approach into Heathrow probably added a little too much authenticity to the organisers' original vision, but no amount of water or noise could overshadow the genuine ardor of a particularly well-heeled crowd.

Salon Prive's high entry fee continues to make it an event to be seen at, and certainly it is one of the few shows where the car park is almost as impressive as the official lineup.

The production Noble M600, Maserati Gran Turismo MC Stradale and Hennessy Venom GT may have been parked on the manicured lawn beyond the gates, but the visitor's makeshift paddock featured enough Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis to make it worth an unscheduled trip.

Hopefully the rain will hold off for the next couple of days and Salon Prive's sell-out crowd will get the backdrop it deserves.