Salon Privé London, a new car event in the heart of Chelsea

When I received an invitation to visit ‘Salon Privé London’ a few months back, I became curious. The organisation already exists from 2006 with Salon Privé Blenheim Palace but Salon Privé London is completely new!

So what should you expect? 150 cars, some world premieres, some British premieres and an exclusive atmosphere. Yes that seems like the ideal cocktail so we are going to have a look!

The press office behind the organisation is a well-oiled machine because we were given tons of information about what to expect. And it turned out to be quite something. To begin with, a new concept, because to my knowledge, I have never heard of everything that is on display also being for sale.

Although everything is a big word, the Alfa Romeo 12C Prototype was not for sale to my knowledge. Furthermore, the combination of old and new was not entirely unknown to us. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, for instance, there are always premiers, but also a Talbot Lago or a Ferrari 250GTO.

Healey by Caton

On Thursday morning, we were expected at 8am to discover the various premieres. And the first one was an immediate hit. The brand Caton may not mean much to you. It concerns a start-up that breathes new life into the Austin Healey 100. This completely new car combines the looks of the fifties with all the modern comforts of today. Perhaps the most important thing is that at Caton they have not chosen to put an electric drive in it. On the contrary, they have chosen to use the original four-cylinder engine. This is a highly tuned version with carburettor built by JME Healeys. JME Healeys is a specialized Austin-Healey tuning company that is also located in the original branch of the Donald Healey Motor Company in Warwick.

In total only 25 pieces of the Healey by Caton are built. The price is pretty steep and you also have to hand in a donor car. Exclusivity has its price.

Mustang by Charge Cars

This hand-built emission-free electric Mustang had its world premiere in Chelsea at the Salon Privé London. The car is unmistakably based on the famous 1967 Mustang Fastback. The Mustang by Charge features a new steel body and composite panels to reduce weight. The car produces 536 hp and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. The exterior is very successful; the interior can be fully personalised. Personally, I think that on the inside the car loses the charm of the outside because of, among other things, the large touchscreen in the middle of the console. I think this could have been solved differently.

Aston Martin DBX707

A British premiere this time where Aston Martin shows their latest creation, the DBX, to the general public. With this they claim to have the ‘most powerful SUV’ of the moment. 707 bhp in an SUV, a gadget or madness? And even though I’m really not an SUV fan it has to be said that Aston Martin have done a great job with their DBX.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Directly opposite the Aston Martin stand, there was a Valkyrie on the lawn. For me personally, this Hypercar deserved some more attention. On the other hand, I was glad that one was present, because with a production number of only 150 cars, this is not the kind of car you see on every street corner. By the way, Waft made a beautiful four-volume book about this car, maybe a gift idea?

Ferrari Daytona SP3

We often ask each other after an event what we think is the best car of the event. Very often, I find it difficult. Not this time, the Ferrari Daytona SP3 has beautiful lines. On the one hand, the car exudes power and on the other, it is one of the most elegant Ferraris of the last decades. The Icona model range adds the Ferrari SP3 Daytona after the SP1 and SP2 Monza. According to Maranello, it is an ode to classic racing cars of the Scuderia. The beautiful 330 P3/4, but also the 350 Can-Am and the 512S have clearly provided inspiration. We are talking about sports cars with Barchetta bodywork that were active in the 1960s. The Daytona designation refers to the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona, where Ferrari took the entire podium. There’s no point in buying anymore as the 599 units of the Ferrari SP3 Daytona have all found an owner. They paid at least 2 million euros for it.

Ferrari 296 GTB & Ferrari Roma bespoke

Still for sale is the Ferrari 296 GTB. This new member of the range has a 2.9 litre V6 with a 120° angle that develops no less than 663 hp. It is a plug-in hybrid, so add 167 electric horses to that, bringing the total to 830 hp. Hybrid is probably out of dire necessity, as even a brand like Ferrari cannot escape the emission standards imposed by Europe.

We also saw a custom-made Ferrari Roma on the stand of British importer H.R. Owen. Ferrari has noticed among the other premium brands that bespoke brings in extra money. The beautiful sounding English word bespoke is a word that we saw appear more often at the Salon Privé London.

Tushek TS900 Apex

The next premiere was the Slovenian Tushek TS900 Apex. The car has the ultimate power-to-weight ratio of 1 to 1. In this case, 1351 hp for 1343 kg. Again, this is a hybrid with the electric motor on the front axle and a fat V8 on the rear. Thanks to their high-performance ICU, they allow both power sources to work together perfectly, which, according to the founder, would create fireworks on the road. They called it an exclusive “gentleman’s racer” because you can drive it on public roads. 36 examples will be built with a price tag of around 1.5 million euros. There will be another 12 circuit cars later on.

Alpine A110 S

You can’t really call the Alpine A110 S new, I think. It is rather an addition to the already existing range. The A110 S has a more powerful engine of 292bhp which is still 40bhp more than the A110 Pure or Légende. The A110 S is built for pure driving pleasure (as if the other versions would be boring ?) and should deliver the ultimate drivers experience.

Range Rover SV

One of Britain’s icons has recently been upgraded. This fifth generation takes luxury and comfort to a new level and the SV (Special Vehicle Operations) department likes to go the extra mile. This latest creation has ceramic accents but wood is also abundantly present. Furthermore, according to the manufacturer, just about anything the customer wants is possible.

Genesis GV60 European premiere

Genesis unveiled its first car based on their dedicated electric platform. Genesis claims to offer the best service in the sector. Taking your car to the garage for maintenance is no longer an issue with Genesis. They just come to you to do the maintenance on the spot or they take the car and leave a replacement car behind. As mentioned before, I’m not really wild about SUVs but this Genesis GV60 still managed to charm me for some reason.

Morgan Super 3

Morgan, perhaps one of the most British brands still in existence, is once again making itself heard. At the Salon Privé London they introduced their new Super 3 to the general public. With this they continue the 113 year old tradition of three wheeled Morgan vehicles. The Super 3 has a 1500cc three-cylinder of Ford origin which, unlike its predecessor, is now hidden away. This Super 3 has a monocoque which increases its overall safety. The engine delivers 120 hp and that for a weight of only 635 kg, fireworks guaranteed!


Looking forward to a trip to the Sahara or other inhospitable areas? Then the Prodrive-Hunter presented here might be just the thing for you. Brutal, that is the first thing that came to mind after the unveiling of this vehicle. The Hunter was developed on the basis of the Bahrain Raid Xtreme competition car driven by Sébastien Loeb during the Dakar Rally. This four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle uses a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 that develops more than 600 hp.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge

A few years ago we could admire the first Rolls-Royce Black Badge. The goal of Rolls-Royce was clear, to appeal to a new and younger audience. And apparently they succeeded in their goal, never before Rolls-Royce produced so many cars. With the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge it can only get more so. The Ghost is in any case younger inspired than, for example, the Phantom, then stick the Black Badge label on it and you get an exclusive Rolls-Royce with a sporty touch.

When we had a chat with a representative of the brand, it came up about the electrification of the British premium brand. An electric Rolls-Royce, is that not swearing in church? Actually not, he explained, because a Rolls-Royce owner wants absolute silence. The powerful V12 is encapsulated in such a way that you literally do not hear anything anymore. With an electric motor they already have the advantage of silence. Add to this the linear power development and the enormous torque and you know that it will be a match made in heaven.

Alfa Romeo 12C Prototipo

We close the premierships with an 81-year-old Alfa Romeo. You read that right, the car has been lost for a long time. The owner of this Alfa Romeo 12C Prototipo Stefano Martinoli has had the car restored. Not in mint condition as we often see, but with retention of many original aspects. For example, the car has not been repainted but the bodywork is missing pieces of paint here and there. Mechanically, the V12 has been fine-tuned. The other important components also received the necessary attention so that the car is ready for the road again.

Progetto 33

Progetto 33 was founded by the owner of the 12C Prototipo. The intention is not to set up a business in exclusive cars but rather to conserve them. A book has also been published about this 12C Prototipo. The name ‘The Missing Link’ was not chosen at random. This 12C Prototipo brought together three important brands from that period, Ferrari, Porsche and Alfa Romeo. The book was published in a very limited edition of only 250 pieces and costs 450 euros. You can order it at Progetto 33.

Salon Privé Concours de Vente

Everything is for sale, said the organiser. By the way, it is the first event with this kind of approach. So it is a test, but given the interest, I think there will probably be a sequel. There are about fifty cars on display, and honestly nothing is ordinary. A BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile, a Delahaye 135 CS, a Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet or rather a Porsche 959? As you can see, exclusivity at its best and that is allowed because many of the visitors come here to dream. Although I think the dealers also count on buyers.

The Ferrari F50 above is also a unique example. At first glance, it looks like an ‘ordinary’ F50 but nothing could be further from the truth. Once you open the front hood, the car reveals its exclusive character. About 30 signatures of stars from the F1 world adorn the inside of the hood. And not of the least, because Michael Shumacher, Rubens Baricello and many others signed this car.

Barnato-Hassan Bentley racer

If you are looking for something really special, then the Barnato-Hassan Bentley racer is spot on as they say. This record-breaking car once set the fastest lap on the Brooklands Outer Circuit. The Barnato Hassan Bentley took part in 25 races and broke the circuit record several times, eventually achieving an unofficial lap of 143.11 mph in September 1938, before going into storage for the war. The car has its original chassis and 8 litre engine and also comes with the later 2-seater bodywork. Expected proceeds are a hefty 4.5 million pounds.

Van Hypercars naar helicopters

An Agusta, a Bell or a PAL-V Liberty after all? A what do I hear you saying? PAL-V is a young Dutch company that has built a helicopter that you can use to take the motorway. In other words, you get into your PAL-V at home and drive to the nearest airport. Don’t dawdle, the PAL-V can reach up to 160km/h on the road. Once you’re at the airport, you transform the ‘car’ into a helicopter in just 10 minutes. With a flight range of almost 500 km, you can be in Paris or London in no time. For business or pleasure, it is entirely up to you. More info.

Haute Horlogerie by Roger Dubuis

At the Salon Privé London, the Excalibur Monobalancier timepieces make their British debut. Roger Dubuis (the brand is named after its founder) is a young brand. Founded in 1995 with only one goal in mind. To be among the best in its class as quickly as possible and always with a recognisable own twist. Roger Dubuis is one of the few brands to carry the Geneva Seal label. In short this means that a brand wishing to carry the Geneva Seal must meet twelve strict conditions. Roger Dubuis is proud to say that every timepiece produced by them meets these requirements. For example, almost every component is produced in Geneva where many other brands often only assemble in Switzerland.


There were two parades each day; around 11 a.m. the premieres showed their best side and around 3 p.m. it was time for the cars offered for sale. A Sotheby’s employee told extensively about the classic cars.

Dine in style or just have a cocktail.

In The Sloane you could have a festive lunch or dinner. The beautifully designed tent was festively decorated, entirely in the style of the event.

Of course, there were plenty of places to get a drink or something to eat. Salon Privé London also had their act together in this respect.


The report above gives you a limited impression of what Salon Privé London had to offer. I suggest you go through the photos below. You will see a lot of brands pass by that I did not mention in the report. You will see a Koenigsegg, some Overfinch LandRovers, a Maserati MC20 but also the Kimera EVO37 and many other beauties. So here’s our advice, keep an eye on the Salon Privé London website and book your tickets early for next year. And if I may give you another tip, combine a few days in London. Salon Privé London is situated in the centre of this vibrant metropolis and it would be a shame not to soak up the atmosphere!

Report & photos: Patrick & Loïc Verheeken